The Netherlands has slashed the pension of a Holocaust survivor who recently immigrated to Israel because she chose to live in the West Bank, according to a Channel 2 report aired Thursday.
The woman, a 90-year-old Dutch Holocaust survivor identified in the report only as D., received a monthly pension of about €1,100 (4,300 shekels) from the Dutch government. She moved to Israel in the past few months because of the recent spike in anti-Semitic attacks, her son told the station. Now she receives €740 (3,200 shekels), a reduction of nearly 35 percent, plus what she gets from the Israeli government as a Holocaust survivor.
“She got a letter and it says, ‘Honorable lady, because you went to live on the West Jordan Bank and we have no agreement with this periphery, we are obligated to deduct a large amount from your elderly pension,’” the woman’s son, who lives in an unspecified West Bank settlement near Modiin, told Channel 2.
“This hit my mother so badly that she started crying. She hasn’t been sleeping since then, she lost her trust. She wants to return abroad,” the man, whose voice was altered on TV and whose face remained off-screen, said.
The family was fighting the Dutch government’s decision, the report said.
“This a law voted on by the Dutch government,” he added. “It affected my mother catastrophically; I was personally shocked, my family was shocked. This is unbelievable: They are punishing a 90-year-old woman because she immigrated to Israel and because it’s the territories and she lives in the state of Israel… and this is her livelihood. I mean, this is her pension. How is this possible?”
The report did not publish a response from Dutch authorities.