Addressing Holland`s decision to stop paying benefits to Holocaust survivors of Dutch descent who also receive benefits in Israel, Finance Committee Chairman Moshe Gafni (United Torah Juaism) said Tuesday that he would turn to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also serves as Israel`s Foreign Minister, as well as to Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely and Foreign Ministry Director-General Dori Gold, and ask that they intervene in the matter.
”It cannot be that the State of Israel will stop paying the survivors so as not to hurt the stipends they receive from Holland,” Gafni said, adding that he will soon hold a special committee meeting in which he will summon representatives of the Prime Minister’s Office and the Foreign Ministry to hear how they plan to act and ”what is the right thing to do here.”
MK Moshe Gafni
”There is a Foreign Ministry in the State of Israel, and this matter must be addressed with the utmost professionalism,” Gafni said.
”Those who deal with Israel`s foreign relations must give their opinion on the matter. We may eventually lose this battle, but we must certainly not let it go without trying to reverse the harsh decision.”
The committee chairman urged that, “the senior ranks government of Israel… intervene with the government of the Netherlands,” and also
called on Ofra Ross, director of the Holocaust Survivors` Rights Authority, to work towards reversing the Dutch government`s decision.
All of the MKs who took part in the meeting supported Gafni`s demand. ”There is wall-to-wall consensus in the Finance Committee regarding the Holocaust survivors` rights and the State of Israel`s duty to do all it can so that they will receive what they deserve by law,” said one of the committee members.