Two million Israelis have reported loss of income due to the Corona plandemic, and about 510,000 citizens have not yet returned to the labor market since the beginning of the Covid-19 scam?
According to UNICEF, Israel has the 4th highest child poverty rate in the Western world. At the same time the UN excludes Israel from the child rights violators list?
One in every three children starting school this year across the country is facing poverty, Latet Israeli Humanitarian Aid published earlier this month.
Some 36% of schoolchildren parents reported to the organization that children are skipping meals to help them endure the financial crisis, while 26% of the children are sent to school without lunch.
A study published by the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) last month showed that two million Israelis have reported loss of income due to the crisis.
Among those, 20% were business owners who had to close their business either temporarily (14.4%) or permanently (5.4%), while 53% of young adults aged 18 to 24 suffered a decline in earnings.
Meanwhile, Israel finds itself in a political crisis. While poverty and social inequality should be on the top of the priority list, the reality is different. In late August, Finance Minister Israel Katz announced that no additional grant will be given for the end-of-year holidays, a financial help that could have aided a significant number of families to get through the holidays without food shortage.
The announcement followed the “check for every citizen” grant, whose aim, however, was to stimulate the consumption in the economy rather than to address the growing problem of hunger and overall poverty, as food stamps policies aim to do.
Therefore, this year Israel approached the holidays with about a million citizens who have lost their jobs – which can be translated into about four million people whose homes have been impacted by economic distress.
And there is no governmental safety net to catch those in free fall. Relying on nonprofit organizations, therefore, has become a reality for numerous families.
LEKET ISRAEL, the leading food rescue organization in the country, has a played a prominent role in supporting families in distress – prior to and during the Corona-virus crisis.
The food bank mobilizes thousands of volunteers who harvest and collect surplus agricultural produce and cooked meals to sort and distribute, mostly to organizations such as shelters and soup kitchens throughout the country.
As of 2019, Leket rescued 17,000 tons of healthy food to be delivered to 175,000 Israelis in need per week.
Since March, we’ve seen at least a 50% to 100% increase in demand from the organizations we work with,” Leket’s founder and chairman Joseph Gitler told The Jerusalem Post.
The numbers of calls from those who need help has also significantly increased, Gitler said, even though in the past the organization did not generally receive calls from private individuals. That shows the level of desperation. People are falling very quickly and they are looking for help anywhere they can find it.
Another central player in combating poverty is Latet (meaning “to give” in Hebrew), an NGO aiming to combat poverty and food insecurity. In 2019, the organization distributed around NIS 90 million worth of food to poor people, reaching over 200,000 individuals.
In a study conducted by the organization, it has foreseen that the real effects of the recession will only be felt in 2021, together with a decline of middle-class Israeli families into poverty.
Their [the children’s] chances of gaining working skills and eventually taking part in the workforce is almost zero,” Gilles Darmon told the Post earlier this month concerning the staggering rate of children who lack the basic conditions for succeeding in the school environment, such as proper nutrition and technological access.
One of the most worrying and painful conclusions from the study is that this could happen to any one of us.
Worldwide, the UN predicted that by 2030, the number of undernourished people could reach as high as 909 million following the first months of the pandemic and the heavy toll world economies have paid for it.
The fact that a third of Israeli children are living below the poverty line and a quarter are being sent to school hungry is not the utmost priority of the government could be perhaps the best indication of its moral quality.
If such a problem has turned into just one more issue down the interminable list, just another headline, just another cry in protests, time has indeed arrived for a serious spiritual accounting on the moral foundations of our society.
Jerusalem Post / ABC Flash Point News 2020.