Survivors will have to wait for increased aid
By Adi Schwartz

In a long overdue response, the Prime Minister’s Office announced yesterday that the government does not intend, for the time being, to carry out the recommendations of the public commission of inquiry on the aid for Holocaust survivors.

At a meeting held yesterday at the Prime Minister’s Office, meant to adopt a stance on the conclusions of the commission, it was decided that “the government will discuss the various possibilities for the implementation of the report” during the discussions for the 2009 state budget.

Responding to the government decision yesterday retired Justice Dalia Dorner, who headed the commission of inquiry told Haaretz that “this is terrible. This buries the report.”

“Initially I had said that they are being cruel to the survivors and they told me that this is too harsh a comment. Now this is blatant cruelty. After all, time is critical. These people need this money immediately. If not for this, what was the purpose of the commission? Why did we issue recommendations as quickly as possible?”

The government decision follows specific recommendations by the commission to immediately increase the reparations paid to survivors – retroactively, since January 1, 2008.

The commission ruled on June 22 that in no more than 30 days, the state must adjust the compensation paid to survivors in line with the law on survivors of Nazi persecution. This means that the payments should constitute 75 percent of the rate paid by the German government to survivors.

In practice, the proposal for a large segment of the survivors is an increase to the monthly payments from NIS 1,046 to NIS 1,875.