After Israeli Supreme Court’s Bold Move, MAZON Urges Equitable Food Aid Distribution

September 11, 2023

After Israeli Supreme Court’s Bold Move, Leading Anti-Hunger Organization Urges Equitable Food Aid Distribution

Los Angeles, Calif.MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, today praised the Israeli government’s new funding of additional food assistance, urging that the new food assistance cards must be distributed equally and equitably to all Israelis facing hunger. Last Thursday, Israel’s Supreme Court issued a temporary ban blocking the Shas party’s food aid distribution plan, which heavily favored ultra-Orthodox communities while neglecting Arab-Israeli citizens and others.

“We commend this government’s addition of 400 million shekels to the food assistance budget to fight hunger, as well as the Supreme Court’s bold decision to prevent this critical aid from only reaching certain segments of Israeli society,” said Dr. Ishai Menuchin, MAZON’s Israel Director. “It is critical that all Israelis facing food insecurity — including Arab Israelis — can get the help they need.”

Earlier this year, the Knesset passed a two-year national budget that included significant increases in funding for food security programs. MAZON and its 16 local organizational partners in Israel have been demanding that Prime Minister Netanyanu’s government keep their promises to address Israel’s hunger crisis by applying fair and equitable standards in determining the distributions of food assistance cards to all Israelis, including Arab citizens.

“The State of Israel must live up to its foundational democratic values and care for all its most vulnerable citizens, not only those who support the ruling coalition,” said Abby J. Leibman, MAZON’s President & CEO. “Alongside our partners, we will continue to hold the Israeli government to account, urging them to change their criteria for the food card distribution as quickly as possible to ensure equal and equitable access to benefits. Because all people deserve dignity, respect, and food security — regardless of ethnicity, religion, or background.”

Earlier this year MAZON issued a statement warning that attempts to weaken Israel’s democratic foundations will only serve to deepen rates of hunger in Israel. MAZON also recently held a briefing about food insecurity in Israel and the ongoing debate over Israel’s democracy.