February 18: Funding for survivors

Each survivor has a unique story, and with each passing day it becomes harder to record vital testimonies.

Funding for survivors
Sir, – According to “Claims Conference debates use of reparations for hospitals, education” (February 16), around 8 percent of Claims Conference funding goes to Holocaust education, documentation and research. It should be more.
In all the discussions about how Holocaust restitution funds are allocated, it must be remembered that this is a race against time in more ways than one. Each survivor has a unique story, and with each passing day it becomes harder to record vital testimonies; if funds are cut to Holocaust education and documentation, some survivors’ voices will be silenced forever.
All around us, Holocaust denial is on the rise, and Holocaust witnesses, people like me, are less and less able to tell their testimony and share their experiences with young people. It is critical that in these waning years, every piece of evidence, every last bit of testimony, be documented and shared.
I hope that in the discussions taking place, our voice is heard as well.
The writer is a Holocaust survivor from Greece
Sir, – I find it very disturbing, as I always do, that the Claims Conference is once more debating whether or not reparation money from the German government to benefit Holocaust survivors should be used to fund general medical facilities, Holocaust education and concerts.
Extremely basic services, such as adequate medication and home care, are not sufficiently accessible to survivors, many of whom live below the poverty line in the US and Israel. Services such those offered by the Association for Immediate Help for Holocaust Survivors are provided by volunteers – and now the organization will no longer have a home due to a lack of funds (“Holocaust survivor center loses building, may close,” February 14).
When the next generation asks us what we did to help Holocaust survivors, we should feel a horrible vacuum knowing that their needs were not a chief priority to the Israeli government and to major Jewish organizations.
The writer is a former Claims Conference information specialist
We’re the bad guys?
Sir, – A quick review of the February 16 Post gives us the following stories in the first section:
• “Iranian MPs call for opposition leaders to be tried, executed”
• “4 Israel embassies closed amid warnings of revenge attack for Mughniyeh hit”
• “Muslim Brotherhood to form party in Egypt”
• “Tunisia Jews report harassment from protesters”
• “Facebook removes anti-Israel page link.”
Then we have “Falk Report: ICJ needs advisory opinion on Israeli acts of ‘ethnic cleansing.’” We are seen as the bad guys? Has the UN special investigator considered an inquiry by the International Court of Justice into the world-wide demonization of Israel? Any comments from him on Saudis murdering women who are raped?

Ma’aleh Adumim
Sir, – Richard Falk has taken upon himself to educate Israel as well as the United Nations by using “strong” language in his report to the UN Human Rights Council that “more accurately” describes Israeli “ethnic cleansing,” “denial of Palestinian rights” and so on.
This, from a man who exactly 32 years ago wrote in The New York Times: “The depiction of [Khomeini] as fanatical, reactionary and the bearer of crude prejudices seems certainly and happily false.... What is also encouraging is that his entourage of close advisers is uniformly composed of moderate, progressive individuals.”
Keeping this in mind, why would anyone believe Falk now? Normally I would laugh, but hard as I try, I can only weep.
Tel Aviv