Shirley Pinto, the first deaf member of the Knesset, was sworn in in sign language on Wednesday morning.
Pinto, a MK from Yamina, after the resignation of one of the party’s ministers by “Norwegian law” to the Israeli parliament, entered a candidate on the party’s list to take their place in parliament.
Knesset General Secretary Yardena Meller-Horowitz called Pinto’s name in plenary, and the MP stood up and swore her loyalty to the Knesset in both sign language and spoken Hebrew.
Pinto is a long-time disability activist, especially the hearing impaired, and is Yamina’s representative at the World Zionist Congress.
She joined the party – then known as the New Right – in early 2019 on her candidate list, but the party couldn’t cross the voting threshold.
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Upon joining the party, Pinto said that she “will continue to work with all of my strength, as I have done in the past, for people with disabilities in Israel and your strength will be in the Knesset with the aim of making Israel one accessible, equal land ”. , and inclusive society. “
Israel’s First Deaf MK, Shirley Pinto, swears by the law pic.twitter.com/r1EXlY6IID
– Here’s the news (@kann_news) June 16, 2021
The newly appointed Energy Minister Karine Elharrar, a member of Yesh Atid, uses a wheelchair and has also been campaigning for the rights of people with disabilities for many years.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, the head of Yamina, congratulated Pinto and praised the historic occasion.
“One of the most meaningful moments for me – for all of us,” he tweeted after she was sworn in. “My dear Shirley, I’m so proud of you.”
Fifteen more new MKs have been or will be sworn in this week under Norwegian law after the formation of the government on Sunday evening. All three ministers of Yisrael Beytenu are giving up their Knesset seats, as are three of the four blue and white ministers. In Yesh Atid, only two ministers will step down from the Knesset, as many as in New Hope. Two ministers resign in Meretz, only one of three Labor ministers.
In the past, opposition party lawmakers – including Yamina and Yesh Atid – have argued against the implementation of Norwegian law, claiming it had massively increased government spending.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.
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