The cabinet discussed issues relating to Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day, which falls this week ,and the expansion of the basket of services for Holocaust survivors.

 Cabinet communique


Israel Cabinet meeting (Reuters archive photo)

(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Tuesday, 17 April 2012):

1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed his moving visit earlier this morning to a Jerusalem home for the elderly Holocaust survivors.

He also made the following remarks:

"The Government, beyond the tangible assistance to these dear people, and today we will decide on expanding the basket of services for Holocaust survivors, has already done much.  Governments have done much and this Government has done much in recent years; we will add to this today.

We are also active in two areas to perpetuate memory. One is the Ledorot website. We are asking people to simply go to the site and tell their story, and many are doing so. The second thing is the "Gathering the Fragments" project in which we are asking Holocaust survivors and their families to bring items related to the Holocaust to Yad Vashem so that they can be part of the documentation, and there is one such item here. It is the shirt of Rafael Denty, who was only four when he was murdered at Auschwitz, and his sister who survived brought it.

These items that are being collected are part of a single whole that gives tangible documentation to the disaster that befell the Jewish people. 50,000 such items have been collected in the past year, in the past year alone. Time is urgent and the survivors are, to our sorrow, leaving our world. I ask that they tell their stories on the Ledorot website and that people gather the fragments and bring them.

I think that Yad Vashem is doing very important work. We want to perpetuate the memory. We want to remember those who perished, the six million brothers and sisters who were murdered simply for being Jews. And we want to gather the fragments and heed the lessons of the Holocaust in order to ensure the future of our people."

2. Deputy Minister for Senior Citizen Affairs Leah Nass briefed ministers on the implementation of Government decisions on assistance for Holocaust survivors.

Finance Ministry Holocaust Survivors Rights Authority Director Ofra Ross briefed ministers on the Authority’s activities.

3. The Cabinet today adopted the recommendation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, Deputy Minister for Senior Citizen Affairs Leah Nass and Knesset Finance committee Chairman Moshe Gafni and decided to increase the budget for the basket of services for Holocaust survivors.

4. Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev briefed ministers on the "Gathering the Fragments" initiative.