PM to decide on Holocaust survivors’ benefits
By Anshel Pfeffer

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is expected to make a final decision today on the benefits package for Holocaust survivors. A meeting at his office today will center on the remaining dispute regarding an allowance for needy survivors of the “second circle” – individuals who fled Nazi-occupied territory.

Negotiations over the past 10 days led to an agreement on medical services for survivors and stipends for groups of camp and ghetto survivors who had previously been left out for bureaucratic reasons. However, at the last meeting on Thursday night, a serious disagreement arose concerning allowances for second-circle survivors. PMO Director General Raanan Dinur announced that an allowance would not be forthcoming, because of objections by treasury officials. Instead, an effort would be made to alleviate their plight as part of a general aid package for needy elderly.

Social Affairs Ministry Director General Nahum Itzkovich told Haaretz last night: “You cannot resolve the survivors issue without solving the plight of second-circle survivors.”