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 email@example.com. His Web site is www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com
©The Bulletin 2008