Jerusalem – The official Israel State Commission of Inquiry for the Examination of Assistance to Concentration Camp Survivors, led by former Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner, will order the prime minister and the finance minister to increase financial assistance to concentration camp survivors. The commission is also expected to criticize the neglect of concentration camp survivors by the state for many years.

During its work, the committee heard the stories of two brothers, both concentration camp survivors, one of whom moved to Israel at the end of World War II while the other remained in Germany after the war.

The brother who lived in Germany receives twice the amount of assistance that the State of Israel pays to the brother who lives in Israel.

Since the gap in assistance between Israel and other countries is significant, the commission will instruct the state to increase the amount of assistance provided to concentration camp survivors.

The state commission was established after the Israeli Knesset Parliament’s State Audit Committee instructed the state comptroller to examine the situation of concentration camp survivors in Israel. The state comptroller’s examination revealed that the state has not learned lessons, nor does it act appropriately in this matter. Under these circumstances, and based on the state comptroller’s report, the State Audit Committee was instructed to establish a state commission of inquiry, and sought to investigate several aspects: adequate provision of the survivors’ needs in terms of finances and health and psychological care; a comparison of the circumstances of concentration camp survivors in Israel to that of those who live abroad; an examination of the behavior of the Israel Finance Ministry’s bureau for rehabilitating the handicapped toward concentration camp survivors; the behavior of the Israeli government in all matters having to do with fulfilling agreements and commitments, including international agreements that the government signed, and more.

The commission holds its meetings at Yad Vashem, the institution which memorializes the six million Jews who were murdered by the Nazis.

This week, Justice Dorner will submit the commission’s recommendations to the Israeli Knesset Parliament and to the Israel state comptroller.

David Bedein can be reached at dbedein@israelbehindthenews.com. His Web site is www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com

©The Bulletin 2008

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.