MAZON Applauds Israeli Supreme Court’s Ruling Promising Equitable Food Aid Distribution

September 13, 2023

Today, MAZON welcomed the Israeli Supreme Court’s ruling that the ruling government must change plans for its food assistance distribution before it is implemented next year. This move will ensure that this essential government support reaches all of those facing food insecurity in Israel, while allowing the additional funding for this year to be allocated to those in need.

“We welcome the court’s decision mandating new eligibility requirements so that next year’s food assistance will be distributed fairly and equitably — not just to the ultra-Orthodox but also to Arab Israelis, single-parent families, and others,” said Dr. Ishai Menuchin, MAZON’s Israel Director. “At the same time, we appreciate this government’s commitment to funding 400 million shekels (NIS) in new food assistance this year and 600 million NIS next year, which will help hundreds of thousands of families 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, with an additional NIS 400 million for food assistance. MAZON and its 16 local organizational partners in Israel have been demanding that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government meet its promise to address Israel’s hunger crisis by applying equitable standards in the distribution of food assistance cards to all Israelis who need support. The Supreme Court last week issued a temporary ban on the government’s food aid plan, which heavily favored the ultra-Orthodox community while neglecting others like Arab-Israelis.

“It’s harrowing to watch the political situation in Israel unfold, but today I am heartened by the Supreme Court’s decision to ensure that all Israelis facing hunger can get the help they need,” said Abby J. Leibman, MAZON’s President & CEO. “As we approach the sacred time of the High Holy Days, many of us will be reflecting upon themes like justice and hope. This remarkable moment in Israel’s history is full of opportunity stemming from all those fighting for justice and democracy. While I remain deeply concerned that 1.5 million Israelis struggle with food insecurity, I am incredibly proud to stand with MAZON’s partners in Israel to hold the Netanyahu government accountable to all Israelis — regardless of ethnicity, religion, or background.”

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