Olmert meets survivors’ advocates


Holocaust survivors in Israel said they expected to reach a deal on welfare payments soon.

After survivor advocacy groups met Tuesday and Wednesday with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, the chairman of the Center of Organizations for Holocaust Survivors, Noah Flug, said a compromise would be reached within 10 days at most, Army Radio reported.

The government has offered about $20 more per month per survivor – an amount representatives have called “shameful.”

The system of distribution discussed Wednesday sought to establish a new amount according to two criteria: the survivors’ current financial status and their whereabouts during World War II.

At the meeting, Olmert pledged to address this month the complaints raised by Holocaust survivors who are dependent on state subsidies. He ordered a Cabinet task force to come up with ways to provide extra funds to Holocaust survivors’ groups by Aug. 19.

“It is important to emphasize that the entire government sees this as a moral imperative of the highest order,” Olmert said at the meeting, according to a Prime Minister’s Office statement. He also said some survivors’ behavior during a demonstration Sunday, when some donned concentration camp uniforms, was “unbecoming.”




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