Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

25 Sivan 5766 - June 21, 2006 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











In Israel Children Less Than One Year Old Suffer from Hunger

By Eliezer Rauchberger

In a comparative study with 15 European countries, Bituach Leumi found that Israel ranks second to last in terms of support for children, MK Rabbi Avrohom Ravitz told a Knesset plenum on Monday as he submitted a no-confidence motion together with NRP-HaIchud HaLeumi in reaction to the poverty affecting many segments of the population.

The no-confidence motion was voted down by a majority of 52 coalition members against 35 opposition members. The coalition also rejected four other no-confidence motions submitted by opposition parties as Kassam missiles rain down on Sderot.

Rabbi Ravitz said that he had heard during Olmert's visit to France that the Prime Minister called on French Jews to send their children to Israel. "Look at what the French government does for its children, some of whom are immigrants from eastern countries and various other places. They are not native French, but there is no discrimination. The French government, with the exception of the first child for whom they give nothing, gives three and four and five times what we give [in child support]."

He said in Italy and Germany as well, the government provides generously for every child, including children in large families. "In these countries they value large families; only here children are not suitably provided for. You can also make comparisons with Austria, Ireland, Belgium, Britain, Denmark, Holland and Luxembourg. These are the best places for children to live. If someone with a large family wants to leave Eretz Yisroel he should go to Luxembourg, Spain, Finland, France or Sweden. In other countries they know how to view children.

"In Israel some children a year old and younger already suffer from hunger. They don't know what it is that they are suffering from, but they are suffering because of their parents' poverty. And our society does not provide them the assistance they need, particularly if they are in a chareidi family in which case they definitely are not helped and are even discriminated against. Why are we doing the opposite of what the rest of the Western world does? Because Poraz [of Shinui] drove everyone crazy with his ideas and we bought the goods he was selling and continue to do so to this very day?"

Likud Chairman MK Binyamin Netanyahu, who presented the no- confidence motion for his party over the lack of security in Sderot, said he has no doubt that if the Kassam missiles were aimed at Jerusalem or the Dan Region a big outcry would be heard and the government's reaction would be very different. "But because residents of Sderot and the Negev communities are being fired at, the matter is being handled as if they were shooting at places outside of Israel. As if Sderot is not a part of the State of Israel."

Netanyahu also criticized Olmert for not even speaking with Sderot Mayor Eli Moyal last week, even when Moyal passed by him in the Knesset.

Minister Yaakov Edri, who responded in the name of the government, acknowledged that the poverty figures in Israel were very severe but said that the current government has the will and the intention to address poverty and has to be given some time. As proof he cited the fact for the first time the 2006 budget did not make any cuts in the budgets for social ministries, i.e. the Internal Affairs Ministry, the Education Ministry, the Welfare Ministry and the Health Ministry. "And I believe next year we will see a change for the better. Budget increases will be provided and the turnaround will happen. Because in a short period of time it is impossible to change things and close gaps. But over time I believe we will feel the differences."

On the issue of security he said, "There are no [simple solutions] or tricks to stop Kassams. And whoever doesn't say this isn't telling the truth."


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