Charity - Good and Bad

I went to a fundraiser earlier today for a group dedicated to feeding the hungry in Israel. The organizers gave a brief speech and included some statistics about poverty there. Here are some from 2007 cited in Haaretz:
  • 1.6 million Israelis (almost 25%) live below the poverty line.

  • "The number of children living in poverty reached 804,000; or 35.9% of all Israeli children."

  • "40% of the families living under the poverty line are working."

  • With devastating numbers like these, there's clearly something fundamentally wrong. The key sentence is the first one in the Haaretz article: "Despite the improvement in all of Israel's economic indicators in 2007, a rise in the minimum wage, increased employment and higher real salaries; the country's poverty level remained almost unchanged in 2007." The Israeli economy is doing very well, so why are so many people so poor?

    The fundraiser I supported today seeks to address this issue by going to restaurants, caterers, and military bases, and bringing leftover food to people who don't have any. This is a wonderful idea, and I'm all for it, but it's a bandage on a much bigger problem. The poor people who don't have food need fundamental policy changes, not scraps from the tables of rich people. I'm happy to have helped via this organization, but I would be much happier if there was no need for this group (among many other private groups dedicated towards helping Israel's poor). Poverty in Israel should be on the extreme fringe, as it used to be.

    UPDATE: The charity is Table to Table. I didn't originally post the name of the group because I didn't want it to seem like I was singling them out (since the point of my post is that the people benefiting from T2T and similar organizations need reform much more than they need charity).


    1 comment:

    Anonymous said...

    Please add a link to this wonderful organization.