Compensation approved for Israelis wounded in anti-Semitic attacks abroad

Israelis who are victims of anti-Semitic attacks abroad would receive compensation under a new law approved Monday for a final vote in the Knesset. Israelis who were caught in international terror attacks targeting Israeli nationals, such as those in Mombasa, Kenya in 2002, already receive compensation, but not those in attacks aimed at Jews generally. The National Insurance Institute told the Knesset's Labor, Social Affairs and Health Committee that 10 Israeli victims of anti-Semitic attacks abroad have asked the government for compensation. Most of those requests came in the wake of the double synagogue bombing in Istanbul in 2003. The law would provide NIS 50,000 a year, though the duration of payments would depend on the victim's condition. Those wounded in attacks dating back to the year 2000 would be eligible, though they wouldn't be able to receive back payments for the past five years. Only residents of Israel who happened to be abroad, as opposed to those living abroad long-term, would be eligible. "The State of Israel is responsible when there's an anti-Semitic act" to help its citizens, said MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism), who proposed the measure. "It's part of the obligation of Israel as a Jewish state." He stressed that the measure was particularly important "in light of the growth of anti-Semitism abroad." He said that, having made changes in the bill recommended by the Treasury, he believed he had government support for the bill. He said he expected it to pass by the end of the week.