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Comment:

When a holocaust survivor with dental problems asked for help the israeli ministry told him he will "receive money only for teeth he lost in the Holocaust" and they want proof!

No wonder many holocaust Survivors "Boycott Holocaust Day" in protest of "Israel's denial of its Holocaust survivors."

That says it all. If the zionist project was ever about saving Jews from a holocaust then they would at least show a little respect for its survivors and look after them..

If on the other hand, the zionist project was about using the holocaust guilt to buy western collaboration in their colonial project to steal Palestine, then 60 years on, after the successful theft, the holocaust survivors - all pensioners now, must be seen as just dead weight - a drag the zionist economy - best ignored - they will be gone in a few years..

Israel worst place for Holocaust survivors


Ines Ehrlich, Ynetnews
16 April 2007

Shoah survivors forced back to Germany due to Israel's lack of restitution laws - Documentary shows Israel worst place for Holocaust survivors to live throughout Western world. Hundreds protest outside Knesset, demand goverment help survivors with financial difficulties

The documentary showed an elderly survivor called Esther who was initially interviewed at her home but by the end of the documentary had moved to a senior citizens’ home after falling over and lying on the floor for hours until she was able to get to the phone to seek help.

Her allowance totals $442 a month and she had lived off her pension, often finding herself debating between the purchase of food or medicine, telephone and electricity bills. She had not left the house for four years because she needed help with her walker. She did not lock the door lest she fell and could not be rescued, until a burglar broke in and stole all the cash she had – a total of $21.


Holocaust survivors have left Israel to live out the rest of their days in Germany due to the better conditions they receive there, according to a documentary program broadcast Tuesday night by Israel's Channel 2 television.

The documentary, Musar Shilumin (The Morals of Restitution) opened with an elderly woman speaking from her comfortable home in Berlin to two of Israel's best known docu-activists – Orly Vilnai Federbush and Guy Meroz. The woman's fluent Hebrew was spoken with an unmistakable German accent.

This Holocaust survivor had left Israel to return to Germany to receive the free medication and monthly allowance provided to survivors by the German government.

Contrary to Israel, the German government has stipulated that Holocaust survivors in need of housing and medicine are entitled to receive them free of charge. When asked what she thought of the Israeli government's attitude towards Holocaust survivors, she said: "I would not want what I think to appear in print."

Meanwhile, hundreds of people, including Holocaust survivors, college students, and youth movement members, rallied outside the Knesset in Jerusalem Monday, in protest of the dire financial situation many Holocaust survivors have found themselves in.

The protestors began their march at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority. They called on the government to help the survivors by transferring NIS 30 million to the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel.

The protest was organized by “Tafnit - A New Agenda for Israel”, an organization that aims at “bringing about a significant change in Israel’s national priorities toward the broad national consensus”.

“Even on Holocaust Remembrance Day, it’s not enough to remember those who were killed, but also those that are with us here,” said Tafnit Chairman Uzi Dayan.

Years of delayed processing and neglect

A nurse at the Abarbanel Mental Health Center spoke of survivors admitting themselves into the institution just for the sake of a warm bed and food. Sadly, they were later forcefully evicted.


The six-month investigative report took the two activists on a voyage to New York, Berlin and Amsterdam to seek out the bureaucratically withheld funds. They discovered a disappearing world, the world of 250,000 Holocaust survivors still alive today in Israel, of whom 80,000 live in dire poverty while substantial funds are withheld.

The documentary pointed an accusing finger at the Israeli cabinet and at the Claims Conference, the organization responsible for recovering and distributing Jewish assets plundered by the Nazis. The Conference is supposed to transfer restitution funds to Holocaust survivors but for years has been withholding a sum of $300 million to $900 million, depending on who is asked, due to various bureaucratic reasons.

As a consequence of this, despite being one of the wealthiest foundations in the world, many survivors in poor health and living in impoverished conditions will not live to receive their restitution entitlements.

The documentary also criticized Israeli banks for withholding Holocaust victims' funds, and also found fault with the JNF, the Israel Museum and various other institutions still holding Holocaust victims' properties.

Locked in her home

Depicting personal stories, the documentary showed another elderly survivor called Esther who was initially interviewed at her home but by the end of the documentary had moved to a senior citizens’ home after falling over and lying on the floor for hours until she was able to get to the phone to seek help.

Her allowance totals NIS 1,800 (about $442) a month and she had lived off her pension, often finding herself debating between the purchase of food or medicine, telephone and electricity bills. She had not left the house for four years because she needed help with her walker. She did not lock the door lest she fell and could not be rescued, until a burglar broke in and stole all the cash she had – a total of NIS 87 (about $21).

A nurse at the Abarbanel Mental Health Center spoke of survivors admitting themselves into the institution just for the sake of a warm bed and food. Sadly, they were later forcefully evicted.

The Lobby for Holocaust Survivors

The documentary covered a recent meeting held by the Lobby for Holocaust Survivors to allow victims a platform on which to voice their complaints. The lobby was founded by Knesset members Colette Avital and Sara Marom Shalev, in an effort to improve the plight of Holocaust survivors, as well as to promote legislation on the issue.

Numerous survivors spoke at the meeting, harshly criticizing Israel for what they called its “ruthless, disrespectful policy” towards them. “Does the country prefer the victims to die before they receive the funds they deserve?” Avital asked.

By the end of six months of docu-activism in an effort to bring about change, some $120,000 of restitution funds were transferred to the needy – just enough for an ad-hoc allowance of NIS 1,500 per survivor.

Source: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3388445,00.html


Pensioners: 'Boycott Holocaust Day'


Ruth Eglash, The Jerusalem Post
2007-04-13


Pensioners' rights group Ken Lazaken called Thursday for a boycott of official Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremonies to protest the government's failure to sufficiently help the more than 70,000 Holocaust survivors who live in poverty in Israel.

35 percent of Israel's estimated 250,000 Holocaust survivors live below the poverty line. Many of them have to choose on a daily basis between buying food or medicine.

Nathan Lavon,
Director of Pensioners' rights group Ken Lazaken


"People should not participate in ceremonies to remember the dead, when really we should be remembering and helping those who are still living," Nathan Lavon, director of Ken Lazaken, said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post..

He said 35 percent of Israel's estimated 250,000 Holocaust survivors live below the poverty line, according to a study conducted by the JDC-Brookdale Institute. Many of them have to choose on a daily basis between buying food and paying for other basic needs, he said.

"There needs to be a comprehensive law to ensure that Holocaust survivors do not have to chose between food or medicine, to make sure they will be cared for until the end of their days," Levon said, adding that while he usually attends one of the official events, this year he plans to participate in an alternative ceremony - scheduled to take place on Monday at noon opposite the Knesset - to highlight survivors' needs.

Several survivors described how the ministry panel responsible for allocating additional aid had demanded they prove their medical conditions or disabilities stemmed directly from Nazi persecution. How can they possibly prove that these ailments came from the Holocaust?


Levon said he was shocked earlier this week during a meeting of the Knesset lobby for Holocaust survivors, which heard about the problems they encounter when asking the Finance Ministry to approve medical assistance. Several survivors described how the ministry panel responsible for allocating additional aid had demanded they prove their medical conditions or disabilities stemmed directly from Nazi persecution.

"How can they possibly prove that these ailments came from the Holocaust?" Levon fumed. "And why should Holocaust survivors have to make a special request for glasses or dentures anyway? They should automatically get a discount for medicine."

He also expressed anger over the government's stalling of funding for a law sponsored by the late MK Yuri Stern (Israel Beiteinu), which passed in January and is supposed to provide survivors with additional rent assistance and up to a 75% discount on medicine as soon as July.

In response, Pensioners Affairs Minister Rafi Eitan told the Post that his office had made progress in improving the situation. He highlighted increases in budget for the Fund for the Welfare of Holocaust Survivors in Israel, more hours of home help for survivors and a potential enlargement of the monthly stipend, which currently stands at NIS 1,000- 1,200 per month.

"People think I can perform magic, that I am like Uri Geller and can bend spoons with my little finger, but I don't do magic, I do what I can do," said Eitan. "We are a new political party and are still finding ourselves."

In response to Levon's demand for a comprehensive bill to help survivors as opposed to periodical legislative changes and increases in aid, Eitan said: "A law without financial backing helps no one, but increasing funding without a law does help people. Nathan Levon has been working on this for the last 10 years but he has not managed to get a law or money."

Source: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1176152784684&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull


'Alternative' ceremony focuses on financial plight of survivors in Israel


Ruth Eglash, The Jerusalem Post
2007-04-16


Under the banner "Every survivor has a name: We must all take responsibility," more than 1,000 people held an "alternative" Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony in Jerusalem Monday to remember the survivors and protest the conditions of more than 70,000 of them living here in poverty.

Some Holocaust survivors have to wait for more than a year to receive a pair of glasses

Nathan Lavon,
Director of Pensioners' rights group Ken Lazaken


Activists, students, government ministers and Holocaust survivors gathered in the Wohl Rose Garden opposite the Knesset Monday to remember those who managed to escape Nazi persecution and make it to Israel. The event also protested the day-to-day conditions of more than 70,000 survivors who receive very little financial aid from the government.

"Our goal is to find a suitable solution so that all Holocaust survivors can live out their final years in dignity," Natan Lavon, director of Ken Lazaken, told The Jerusalem Post in an interview before the event, which culminated in a "March of the Living" from the Knesset to Yad Vashem, the site of the official government Holocaust Remembrance ceremony. "We want to change the law to ensure the worthy existence of every Holocaust survivor in Israel."

Lavon noted that more than 1,500 survivors of the estimated 250,000 had died in the past year. "We are not talking about that many people or that many more years to help them," he said.

Detailing specific demands, Lavon said that survivors should ideally receive a monthly allowance and rent subsidy, as well as a yearly aid package for medical equipment and treatment.

"Some Holocaust survivors have to wait for more than a year to receive a pair of glasses," he said. "In order for them to receive health care and medical equipment, survivors face impossible bureaucracy and an extremely lengthy waiting period."

Lavon welcomed recent initiatives made by the newly appointed Minister for Welfare and Social Services Isaac Herzog, who along with MK Colette Avital, head of the Holocaust Survivors Lobby in the Knesset, made a surprise appearance at the event.

Herzog told participants that he was ready to take on the challenge of improving conditions for Israel's Holocaust survivors. He announced his decision to establish a new committee aimed at making formal recommendations to the prime minister to remedy the situation, and said he planned to push to have his ministry take responsibility for the welfare of Holocaust survivors from the Finance Ministry.

"The minister's intentions are very honorable," commented Lavon. "Now, no one knows who is responsible for what, some elements are in the Finance Ministry, some in other ministries; if it was all under one roof then already the situation would be much better."

Avital told the crowd that she did not know how Israel's Holocaust survivors had reached such a desperate point.

"It is hard to explain," she said. "The country's legislation and bureaucracy is outdated, it needs to change and I already see that the first steps have been taken here today."

One Holocaust survivor, Yehudit Mazor, told the Post that while her personal situation was not so bad, it was shameful to see other survivors still suffering in the State of Israel.

"When I hear how Germany and other countries in Europe treat their survivors compared to Israel, I am shocked," said Mazor, who had traveled from the North to be at the ceremony. "Both my sister and I were children in Hungary during the war, my father survived Auschwitz, but because my sister lived for a time in the US, she is not entitled to any survivor benefits here. So what if she lived in America? She is still a survivor."

Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Uzi Dayan, active in fighting for the rights of survivors in Israel, also addressed the crowd. He told the audience that "the Holocaust is still here," and that it was up to the younger generation to make sure that society never forgot about the victims' continuing plight.

Nir Ketrarou, head of the youth movements organization, said that groups had come from as far as Dimona and the Golan to show their solidarity with the survivors.

"There is no reason that they should be suffering," he said. "There is plenty of money and they should be cared for. We believe that it is important to show survivors that the younger generation is behind them."

Source: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1176152808767&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull


Israel's denial of its Holocaust survivors


Amiram Barkat, Haaretz Correspondent

The survivors seeking disability allowances must prove their condition to a medical committee before they are awarded the stipend. They are not required to prove they are disabled, but rather that their disability stems from Nazi persecution.


Holocaust survivors told the Knesset on Tuesday they have been "humiliated and trampled" during a special hearing by the Knesset lobby for Holocaust survivors on what they called their poor treatment by the treasury.

During the tumultuous hearing, the survivors complained to the lobby members that Finance Ministry officials processing their claims displayed obtuseness and cynicism.

They also accused the treasury of deliberate foot-dragging. During the hearing, some of the distraught survivors lashed out at the Finance Ministry representative, accusing her of complicity in the alleged maltreatment. Others said they would not attend ceremonies commemorating Holocaust victims in protest of "Israel's denial of its Holocaust survivors."

The survivors seeking disability allowances must prove their condition to a medical committee before they are awarded the stipend. They are not required to prove they are disabled, but rather that their disability stems from Nazi persecution. The only available avenue of appeal is through the court system.

Another survivor, Abraham Berkowitz, who immigrated to Israel from Romania, said that when he told the committee that he was suffering from dental problems, they told him he would "receive money only for teeth he lost in the Holocaust." He then added that treasury workers told him they thought the medical committee was actually too lenient on the survivors.


The monthly stipend dispensed to the 40,000 survivors deemed eligible is quite meager: NIS 1,040. In contrast, Germany pays double that figure to its disabled victims, who are not required to prove their injuries are a direct result of persecution.

Tova Pedens, who had been refused a stipend by the treasury-commissioned medical committee, told the lobby that treasury employees advised her to pretend she was insane to improve her chances.

Another survivor, Abraham Berkowitz, who immigrated to Israel from Romania, said that when he told the committee that he was suffering from dental problems, they told him he would "receive money only for teeth he lost in the Holocaust." He then added that treasury workers told him they thought the medical committee was actually too lenient on the survivors.

Another survivor, Rachel Biyale, accused the treasury of submitting inflated cost estimates for bills aimed at helping survivors. "Hannah Arendt wrote of Adolf Eichmann's Banality of Evil. The treasury adopts a banality of deception," she said.

Many survivors noted Finance Minister Abraham Hirchson's failure to abide by his promise to help them in their daily struggle against poverty. MK Zevulun Orlev (National Religious Party), who attended the hearing, said the treasury needed to be relieved of the duty of treating survivors, "because its people have lost sight of the fact that they are dealing with human beings."

Lobby chair MK Colette Avital noted with outrage that the head of the Finance Ministry department responsible for the treatment of survivors, Rafi Pinto, was not there, and had instead sent an aide to the hearing.

His representative told the lobby that the claims of the survivors stemmed from their unfamiliarity with the jurisdiction and the degree of discretion available to the medical committee.

Original title: Holocaust survivors tell Knesset they have been 'trampled' by treasury


Source: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/847310.html


Holocaust survivors go hungry in Israel


Bradley Burston, Haaretz
2005-12-29

It is an image that resists any attempt to throw it into the denial pile: the specter of Jews surviving the Holocaust only to go hungry in Israel.

There are nearly 400,000 Holocaust survivors in Israel, 40 percent of them are living below the poverty line


If it has done nothing else, the current election campaign has focused the public's radar on social problems which have gone unaddressed for years.

Every day, it seems, the human needs of unheralded Israelis come to light in a shocking new way. The case in point Thursday was the finding that some 40 percent of Holocaust survivors in Israel are living below the poverty line.

There are nearly 400,000 Holocaust survivors in Israel, the nation with the largest population of survivors anywhere. Moreover, the medical and thus the financial needs of the population are growing, as even the youngest of the survivors are now well over 60.

The problem is particularly acute for about 170,000 who moved to Israel from the former Soviet Union over the past decade, and are now living in poverty. They are entitled neither to the monthly pensions sent other surviviors by the governments of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, nor the pensions supplied by Israeli and international Jewish organizations.

All of them arrived past the age of 65, and many are living alone in a nation whose inner workings are difficult to contend with even for the native-born and the young.

The Knesset has allocated millions to the fund, but much more assistance is urgently needed. The survivors may still have a few things to their name, but time is not one of them.

Source: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=663900&contrassID=2


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