Holland To Restore Shoah Survivor’s Pension, Issue New Rules for Others Living in West Bank

The Dutch government has restored the pension benefits of a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor whose payments were cut by 35% because she moved to the West Bank to be near her son, The Jerusalem Post reported today. But the government said that it will issue a new policy that could penalize other survivors based on where they choose to live.

The Netherlands will not cut the pension of a Dutch Holocaust survivor living in a settlement beyond the Green Line, but will soon publish new policy directives on pension payments beyond the Green Line, a spokesman for the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment clarified Monday. …

In response, the spokesperson for the Dutch Ministry dealing with the matter said that the Dutch authorities were in touch with the family involved, and that this “very unfortunate” incident “should have been prevented.”

The spokesperson said that the woman shouldn’t be penalized since she didn’t know the consequences of her actions, but said that her government would “soon publish a modified policy regarding pension beneficiaries in the territories occupied by Israel.” She indicated that the policy would only apply to new cases.

The Dutch foreign minister was one of 16 EU foreign ministers who last month signed a letter to Federica Mogherini, the new EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, “urging her to move swiftly to ensure the labeling of settlement products.”

The report last week of the 90-year-old survivor prompted former Labour MK Colette Avital, who heads an organization that supports Holocaust survivors, to say, “It is hard to accept such harassment of survivors, whose welfare needs to be sacrosanct in the eyes of the Dutch authorities.”

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