Minister Isaac Herzog says thousands of survivors live in deplorable conditions: ‘Too many organizations thought the responsibility should fall on a different organization’

Yael Branovsky Published: 04.16.07, 03:05 / Israel News

“I felt deeply ashamed, the situation we’re faced with in terms of the conditions Holocaust survivors are living in is completely absurd,” said Social Affairs Minister Isaac Herzog on Sunday as Israel prepared to mark its annual Holocaust memorial day.

Herzog was addressing the data presented to him at an emergency meeting summoned earlier that morning with representatives from the National Insurance Institute, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Jewish Agency and officials from the prime minister’s office to discuss the difficult situation faced by thousands of Holocaust survivors forced to make ends meet with minimal government stipends.

According to the updated figures presented to Herzog there are currently 250,000 Holocaust survivors currently living in Israel, some 20,000 of which receive reparations from Germany and an additional 40,000 receive stipends from the State, leaving over 180,000 survivors who receive no support.

“I ask myself – how did we get to a situation where they are not entitled to anything?” said Herzog, himself descendant from a family of survivors.