Holocaust survivors and cannabis enthusiasts join forces

The Green Leaf Graduates party, which advocates cannabis legalization, has created a buzz in the world of Israeli politics with their plan to join up with the Holocaust Survivors Party.

It's high season for politics in Israel ahead of their upcoming parliamentary elections on February 10, and the Holocaust Survivors Party is turning over a new leaf – the kind often found in Amsterdam coffee shops.

The Holocaust Survivors Party has sparked interest in their mission to increase benefits paid to Israeli victims of Nazi persecution by running a political broadcast with the Green Leaf Graduates party on television.

Close to 70,000 [Holocaust survivors] live below the poverty line,“ Ohad Shem-Tov, leader of the Green Leaf Graduates, says in the ad. ”Our moral obligation is to allow them to live the remainder of their lives in honour.”

Following Shem-Tov’s remark, Holocaust Survivors Party chairman Yaakov Kfir says, “For us, the Holocaust survivors, we have a moral obligation get this plant legalized.”

Kfir said he joined forces with the Green Leaf Graduates in part to attract more attention to the survivors' cause.

The fact that I am interviewed by so many media outlets indicates that the decision to hook up with the Aleh Yarok (Green Leaf) Graduates was smarter than if I had chosen to go with a larger, more solid party,” Kfir told the Jerusalem Post.

Kfir also mentioned that he knows of many aged Holocaust survivors who have experienced difficulty or shame in obtaining cannabis to treat the symptoms of glaucoma and of anti-cancer therapy, strengthening his convictions in support of cannabis legalization.

“I have decided that 'if I am not for myself – who will be?' It's time we take care of ourselves, and this might be our last chance to make sure that, despite the fact we had no childhood, we can at least reach old age decently and even be allowed to use medical marijuana if the need arises,” Kfir told the Jerusalem Post.

Israel's Hebrew University is one of the world's major contributors to research into medicinal applications of cannabis.