Itzik Vows to Block Budget if Survivors' Aid Not Paid

Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik (Kadima) has threatened to thwart the 2008 budget in the Knesset unless the cabinet advances legislation to provide assistance to Holocaust survivors.

"The state budget will not pass if appropriate solutions for this problem are not found," Itzik said yesterday at a Knesset hearing on the subject. Itzik said she would initiate ways to handle this issue if the government continues stalling, Knesset sources said. Itzik appointed Knesset Legal Counsel Nurit Elstein and Knesset Secretary Ayal Yanoun to examine legislation currently under debate in the Knesset, and to formulate a consolidated bill that would provide Holocaust survivors with state assistance. Itzik also requested ways be examined to remove obstacles to providing assistance.