MKs file bills for Holocaust survivors' rights

Bills awaiting approval, propose to combat Holocaust survivors' poverty, implement entitlements to rights, benefits.

Holocaust survivors 521 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Holocaust survivors 521
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The chairman of the Welfare, Labor and Health Committee, MK Haim Katz (Likud Beytenu) filed two bills aimed at “ensuring a dignified life for all Holocaust survivors” on Thursday, just two days after the committee held a heated discussion at the Knesset on the topic of survivors poverty.
Members of the Knesset who participated in the discussion, which took place on Monday, had pledged to tackle the issue after Holocaust survivor from Tivon, Dora Roth, expressed her outrage and said: “Let us die with dignity.”
“I am fulfilling my promise to do everything I can to put an end to this shameful situation,” Katz said in a statement on Thursday. “Israel cannot ignore its moral obligation to ensure the the dignity of survivors.”
The bills are intended to significantly improve the rights and economic situation of survivors.
The first draft law seeks not to deny Holocaust survivors their eligibility for nursing benefits from Social Security due to monthly allowances they receive, which can make their income exceed the threshold that qualifies for nursing benefits.
The second one states that anyone who resided in a hostile country during the relevant period or fled an area that was under German occupation will be defined as a Holocaust survivor by law. Also, a person will be considered a survivor if his entitlement to compensation for health damages, labor and loss of freedom as a result of the Nazi regime has been officially recognized.
According to the bills, Holocaust survivors will be entitled to a monthly pension, which would put their available monthly income at NIS 4,800, in addition to the benefits they receive from foreign countries.
Members of the committee who joined Katz’s initiative await the decision of the Ministerial Committee for Legislation to support the bills.