A new survey of 500 men and women living in poverty in Israel has presented a “shocking” picture of economic divisions within the country and serves as a warning ahead of a new budget.

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Survey of 500 Israelis living in poverty found that, for most, their situation had worsened in the past 12 months

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, the leader of a Jewish-Christian interfaith group, noted that almost two thirds of Israel’s poorest said their situation had worsened over the past 12 months.

The survey by Shvakim Panorama for the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews showed that 95 percent thought the situation would worsen and that almost half said they did not feel part of Israeli society.

“The survey presents a shocking picture of social division between two groups in Israel society,” said Eckstein. “Sadly, poverty is seen as a problem for the poor and not as a threat to Israeli society as a whole.”

Despite its reputation for wealth generation, Israel has the highest poverty rate in the developed world, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), at almost 21 percent – over twice the OECD average.

The number of children living in poverty in Israel has risen by 60% in the past decade, and the difference between rich and poor has increased substantially.

“The findings should serve as a warning to those who are preparing to sign the new budget into law,” said Eckstein. “Israel must act quickly to rehabilitate the poorest in society.”

 

The number of children living in poverty in Israel has risen by 60% in the
past decade, and the difference between rich and poor has increased
substantially.

“The findings should serve as a warning to those who are preparing to sign
the new budget into law,” said Eckstein. “Israel must act quickly to
rehabilitate the poorest in society.”