Jerusalem Offers Aid After Holocaust Survivors March On Israel’s Streets
No Funds To Go to ‘Refugees’

Matthew Gutman | Wed. Aug 22, 2007

Jerusalem – After an acrimonious summer-long debate about Israel’s treatment of its Holocaust survivors, the Israeli government inked a controversial deal Sunday that will provide millions of dollars in financial aid to some survivors.

Other articles by Matthew Gutman

The plight of Israel’s Holocaust survivors, of whom there are estimated to be 260,000, has been on public display since the release of two reports earlier this year that pointed to high levels of poverty among their ranks. The government was slow to react, and a few weeks ago, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was confronted with a protest march in which survivors donned striped pajamas and yellow Stars of David.

The new package of benefits, agreed upon by Olmert’s Cabinet, will provide direct funds for people who lived through the death camps, labor camps and ghettos. But the legislation was criticized immediately by many survivor advocates, who said it leaves out tens of thousands of people who lived in Nazi-occupied countries but did not end up in the camps.