Survivors get tiny slice of Holocaust compensation
By Amiram Barkat

Poriya Hospital near Tiberias will soon be getting a state-of-the-art underground hospitalization ward at a cost of $7.8 million. Some $1.2 million of the costs will be paid for by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, the umbrella group that represents the Jewish people in negotiations for Holocaust compensation. The Claims Conference will provide funding for the project at Poriya and the other hospitals in the north of the country out of monies earmarked for the benefit of Holocaust survivors in Israel. Group officials say 31 percent of patients at Poriya Hospital are survivors, and that their proportionate share in the project is even lower.

Nearly $200 million intended for improving the lives of Holocaust survivors in Israel have gone in recent years to building hospital departments, old-age homes and nursing facilities. These investments alleviate the plight of hospitalization and serve the general Israeli public, including Holocaust survivors. But survivor advocacy groups say it is preposterous for the Claims Conference to do the Israeli government’s job while tens of thousands of Holocaust survivors are in need of help.