(JTA) — Israel will, for the first time, distribute an annual payment and other special benefits to Israeli Jews from Iraq, Morocco and Algeria who suffered during the period of the Holocaust.
The new policy, which Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said is“righting a historical wrong,” comes in response to several lawsuits filed by Iraqi Jews, arguing that they should be entitled to certain benefits the government provides European Holocaust survivors, the Times of Israel reported Friday.
The new benefits — approximately $950 per year and free medication — will go to Jews from Algeria and Morocco who were persecuted between 1940 and 1942 and to Jews from Iraq who were targeted in the “Farhud” pogroms in Baghdad in June 1941.
Several historians have argued that Nazi Germany actively encouraged persecution of Jews in Arab countries during World War II, the Times of Israel said, citing Haaretz.
Jews from Libya and Tunisia, which both were under Nazi control until 1943, were already eligible for Holocaust survivor compensation, with payments starting at $7,000 annually.