MAZON Deeply Concerned About Food Insecurity Following Israeli Government’s Dangerous Actions

July 26, 2023

This week, the Israeli Knesset passed the first piece of legislation in the Netanyahu government’s effort to overhaul the country’s judicial system, drastically stripping the courts’ ability to review and regulate various government decisions.

“We are devastated by the Israeli government’s actions to dismantle the nation’s democratic foundation, but we are inspired by the hundreds of thousands of Israelis fighting for justice and democracy,” said Rabbi Joel Pitkowsky,  Board Chair of MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger. “Yet we must not lose sight of the fact that over 1.5 million Israelis from all faiths and backgrounds struggle with food insecurity. The impact of a weakened democracy will fall disproportionately on those experiencing hunger, who always suffer most during times of economic and social turmoil. These Israelis — regardless of ethnicity, religion, or background — must not be dismissed or ignored. We at MAZON will hold those in power accountable for their promises to address Israel’s hunger crisis.”

Earlier this year, the Israeli Knesset passed a two-year national budget, which included significant increases in funding for food security programs: 46 million shekels (NIS) for Israel’s charitable food distribution network, an additional 90 million NIS for the National Nutrition Security Program, and a historic one billion NIS in discretionary funds for government-provided food assistance cards.

“Particularly following this week’s Knesset vote, MAZON and our partners in Israel are recommitted to seeking justice, and this includes demanding long-term solutions to address food insecurity,” Rabbi Pitkowsky continued. “It is critically important that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government uses fair and equitable criteria in determining who can access the new food card program. They must not repeat mistakes of the past, when assistance did not reach all the communities facing high rates of hunger, including Arab Israelis. We will not allow this government to dissolve critical bodies like the National Nutritional Security Council, and we demand accountability for all government support programs. Now is the time to double down on our efforts to ensure that all food insecure Israelis can access the support they need and deserve.”

Since its founding in 1985, MAZON has been working to address hunger in Israel. Partnering with 16 Israeli organizations, MAZON is building the infrastructure to advance long-term solutions to end hunger for all Israelis.

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