a tenet of Judaism care for elderly family members Helping seniors is Israel's 'moral commitment' Israel MK Gila Gamliel News

MK Gila Gamliel: Helping seniors is Israel’s ‘moral commitment’ – Special Content

MK Gila Gamliel: Helping seniors is Israel's 'moral commitment'


The Ministry for Social Equality has a number of duties, amongst which is selling the nicely-being of senior residents, youth, ladies and minorities. It is additionally in control of Digital Israel, a program that is designed to assist the inhabitants profit from Israel’s being a hello-tech nation.

The senior citizen features of the ministry are rising in significance. As in all Western nations, the variety of seniors is growing quickly each in numbers and as a proportion of the inhabitants as an entire. The rise in the usual of dwelling amongst different issues has decreased the start price, as couples are much less keen on having giant households. As well as, medical science is enabling individuals to stay longer. The mixture of a reducing delivery price and growing longevity is creating a rise within the variety of seniors.

In Israel, 11% of the inhabitants is categorized as seniors — that is, over 67 for males and 62 for ladies. That is a complete of some 880,000 individuals. By Western requirements that proportion is thought-about low, however as Israel is a rustic that receives numerous immigrants who’re comparatively younger, the relative variety of aged individuals is stored low.

The federal government is nicely conscious of the significance of seniors. About 15 years in the past, the Israeli authorities created a particular division to take care of the wants of seniors, with a deputy minister at its head. At this time, the wants of senior residents are met by the Ministry for Social Equality. It is headed by MK Gila Gamliel, a forceful character with a popularity for pushing onerous on points she believes to be proper. Since she believes there is a necessity to enhance the state of affairs of seniors, the aged in Israel are fortunate to have her on their aspect.

In an interview with The Jerusalem Submit, Gamliel expresses her views on how the federal government ought to make the lifetime of seniors extra nice.

“I consider that creating the conditions whereby older people can live comfortable lives free of economic anxiety is a moral commitment of the state. One of the important tenets of the Jewish faith is to take care of family members who are old and no longer able to tend to their needs, be they economic or other,” she says.

Earlier than we proceed with the wants of seniors let me ask you a query about present issues. Regardless of the current developments which prevented the collapse of the federal government, elections are up within the air, so to talk. How would you describe your previous three years in workplace as minister of social equality?


Firstly, let me say that I’ve purpose to consider that the federal government will stay in workplace till the subsequent elections in November of subsequent yr. The elections won’t be held earlier than their time.

With regard to my three years in workplace, I can say that we now have achieved rather a lot. The creation of a ministry for social equality was a historic occasion. For the primary time because the creation of the state, a authorities acknowledged the significance of social equality and made it one in every of its strategic commitments. The Likud social gathering to which I belong is a passionate believer within the want for social equality, the necessity to lower the socioeconomic hole in our society. The creation of the Ministry for Social Equality signifies that for the primary time, the wrestle for social equality has handed from the realm of semantics to the realm of actuality.

The ministry is in command of the Digital Israel program. This system has essential social repercussions as a result of it’s going to make the advantages of Israel’s hello-tech business obtainable to all. Inside this framework, we’re selling schooling in peripheral areas in order that the underprivileged youth each from the geographic and social periphery will obtain the schooling essential to make them eligible to take part within the hello-tech labor market. This additionally consists of the youth of the Arab minority.

With regard to the senior inhabitants, we have now a complete program to enhance the wellbeing of seniors. This consists of, amongst different issues,  Tipat Zahav (Golden Drops). It is the seniors’ model of the Tipat Halav facilities for nursing moms. At Tipat Zahav, seniors can get hold of info related to their wants, in addition to help. We’ve arrange eight such facilities on a pilot foundation, and the plan is to determine such facilities everywhere in the nation.

We even have a name middle at phone quantity *8840, the place seniors can obtain all the required details about the rights and advantages to which they’re entitled. This is an important service. In 2017, the authorized advantages to which seniors are entitled was elevated by NIS 30 million.

We’re additionally closely concerned in bringing the Digital Age to seniors in order that they will avail themselves of all its advantages. In collaboration with the Financial institution of Israel, we have now a program whereby seniors are taught the ins and outs of digital banking.

Loneliness is one of many main issues of seniors. In that regard, we’ve got an annual finances of NIS 90 million for the Shleikes Plus Membership, the place seniors can acquire sponsored tickets for cinemas, theaters and different cultural actions. As well as, members of the membership are aware about particular sponsored purchasing occasions.

I discussed earlier the necessity of seniors to take part within the Digital Age. The Digital Age has its benefits in addition to its disadvantages. One of many disadvantages is the convenience with which seniors could be scammed, particularly when making purchases on-line and paying by bank card.  I’ll attempt to put an finish or a minimum of reduce these felony actions. I lately allotted NIS 15 million to seek out methods to fight the scamming of seniors. I strongly consider that these shameful practices have to be stopped.

You sound very enthusiastic about this problem. 


I definitely am. I regard this as some of the essential points that have to be handled. As we speak, the victims are our mother and father and grandparents. If we don’t put a cease to those practices, tomorrow will probably be our flip; and later, that of our youngsters and grandchildren.

The College of Haifa did a survey on this problem and located that 47% of all seniors have at one time or one other skilled a rip-off; 30% reported that they have been talked into shopping for items that have been overly costly; and 25% reported that they have been coerced into shopping for issues that they neither needed nor wanted.

Have you learnt what meaning? It signifies that half the senior inhabitants of Israel have at one time or one other been manipulated in making purchases they didn’t want. For my part, that is as shut because it will get to legalized theft. We’re making it our enterprise to take away the ‘legal’ facet from the equation.

As a minister, a member of the chief department of the federal government, I can’t proceed to let this occur. And as a human being, I can’t perceive how individuals can so simply overlook the fifth commandment: “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you” — Exodus 20:12 (NIV).


Sadly. these practices are very widespread. What, in your opinion, are the explanations?

For one factor, the convenience with which they are often perpetrated and the truth that they’re authorized and profitable. It is straightforward to telephone some senior who could also be lonely and thirsting for human contact and luxury, even by way of a telephone name. From there, the street to speaking somebody into making an pointless buy and acquiring his/her credit score particulars is easy and easy.

These are often greasy, sensible, quick-speaking women and men who’re employed in telemarketing corporations. The contributing elements to those practices are the best way commerce is creating, particularly on-line commerce, the rise in bank card possession and a mixture of the 2.

You stated that as a member of the chief department, you plan to attempt to put a cease to those practices. How? They’re very properly ingrained. Is it maybe wishful considering in your half?


No, it is not. Moreover, we’re past the intentional part. We at the moment are within the part of planning and execution, for which I’ve allotted NIS 15 million. Through the previous month, specialists within the ministry have been formulating the required plans. They’re based mostly on the seniors’ realizing that they don’t seem to be alone on this drawback as a result of it is the issue of our society as an entire. And, as such, I’m producing backing from the federal government and from the personal sector.

On this difficulty I’ve just lately met with representatives of banking, bank card corporations and cellular telephone corporations which make these practices attainable. I can now say that these three our bodies agree wholeheartedly find methods to stop such practices every time attainable. Final week, Minister of Financial system and Business Eli Cohen agreed to cooperate inside the framework of the Shopper Safety Authority in his ministry.

All of it signifies that we’re on the appropriate street to tackling this urgent drawback. And we’ll quickly have a laws invoice ready to convey to the federal government. The invoice will probably be 4-pronged: compensation for the victims; the means by which bank card corporations can cope with the scammers; harsh exemplary punishments; and elevated public consciousness.

I consider that when they’re legislated, these measures could have a really robust impact on the businesses or people which are scamming shoppers.

In what approach will bank card corporations be capable of cope with these issues? What do you imply by harsh exemplary punishments? And the way will the victims be compensated?


With regard to the brand new laws we’re selling, the bank card corporations will have the ability to halt clearing operations for these convicted or those that are suspected of scamming. In excessive instances, they are going to be banned from the additional use of bank card amenities.

With regard to punishments, within the invoice we’re submitting to the federal government, these breaking the regulation can be liable to a jail sentence of as much as 5 years. Moreover, not solely these making the ‘sale’ might be chargeable for punishment but in addition the senior executives of the businesses convicted of scamming seniors.

The victims will obtain financial compensation. However for this regulation to be efficient, we’d like the cooperation of the seniors affected as a result of it is they and solely they who should sue their scammers.


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