A third of Holocaust survivors living in Israel are poor, the Holocaust Survivors’ Welfare Fund reported this week. According to the fund, some 80,000 of the 260,000 survivors in the country live under the poverty line.
In addition to their grim financial situation, the survivors are also more prone to suffer from unique physical and medical problems related to the malnutrition and severe hardships they had experienced during the war years. Dental, hearing and eyesight problems are more common among survivors as well.
Many of the survivors suffer from mental distress and loneliness, and lack proper social and family support networks. Some 50,000 to 60,000 survivors are in need of some level of nursing, as 73 percent of this population is over the age of 76, and about a fifth is over 86.
The Jerusalem Post reports,
Pensioners’ rights group Ken Lazaken called Thursday for a boycott of official Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremonies to protest the government’s failure to sufficiently help the more than 70,000 Holocaust survivors who live in poverty in Israel.
“People should not participate in ceremonies to remember the dead, when really we should be remembering and helping those who are still living,” Nathan Lavon, director of Ken Lazaken, said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post.
I’m not saying that I agree with boycotting Yom Hashoah, but that it’s gotten to the point that someone has to suggest a boycott in the attempt at getting the survivors’ basic needs even a modicum of attention?
There are no words for how shameful this is.