Tag Archives: handicapped
Thousands of Israelis visit the Knesset today as it opens its doors to the public hosting an Open House event on the occasion of the parliament’s 63 birthday. Speaker of the Knesset, Mr. Reuven “Rubi” Rivlin was quoted saying: ”The Knesset is the house of the people, and this will literally be true, when a crowd of thousands comes to the Knesset to enjoy a range of activities. The purpose of the ”Open House” is to celebrate the Knesset`s birthday in a way which will bring the public closer to the Knesset, its unique role and its operations. The happening taking place on Tu Bishvat will be a mix of educational activities, cultural events, exercises led by MKs and yearly traditional ceremonies. I can promise anyone who comes an exceptional experience.”
Many interactive activities took place in Parliament today including the Knesset Band who welcomed visitors in the front plaza, ‘Story Hour’ for children lead by MKs, an exhibition of the Knesset Guard dog handlers, symposiums lead by MKs on political issues for students, actors dressed as famous Israeli political leaders interacted with visitors and a workshop on hand-powered bicycles for the handicapped.
Harsh struggles in Israel are not only of a military nature. Several dozens of physically disabled protesters fight to ‘be recognised as human beings and to fully integrate into society’ as well as for an increase in their social security benefits. Using the power of motorized wheelchairs protesters forcibly broke out of police barriers deployed to contain them in a small area.
This is Day One of what demonstrators promise will be a long, hard, struggle. In the late 1990’s handicapped protesters conducted a similar battle with protests going on for over two months. Protesters describe their life as a daily struggle for survival; “We don’t need to beg! We’re entitled to respect!” Demonstration leaders claim they will not back down ‘until white smoke emerges from the chimney’.