Deaf MP is ‘fool’ and ‘can’t speak’ – right-wing radio show host

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On Tuesday, a presenter for a right-wing radio station called deaf MP Shirly Pinto (Yamina) “stupid” and “dumb-minded” and said it was good that she was deaf and that she “do not know how to speak”.

The presenter, Yossi Ben-Atar of Galei Israel (94 FM), hosts a daily program called “Nerve Center”, which is characterized on the station’s website as “a program that allows its listeners to give their opinions on n ‘any hot topic. “

“Shirly Pinto is stupid and stupid. It’s good that you [Pinto] are deaf and we don’t hear your high-pitched voice, it’s good that you can’t speak, “he said.

Ben-Atar’s remarks came after Pinto was exposed on Monday for accusing opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu of incitement. flames of public discourse in vitriol.

Swearing-in of MP Shirley Pinto, the first deaf MP in the Knesset (Credit: NOAM MOSKOVITZ / KNESSET)

“The attack on Shirly Pinto is an attack on every disabled person in Israel,” Foreign Minister Yair Lapid wrote on Twitter in defense. “I would like to strengthen my friend Shirly, we are proud of her and proud that she is a member of the Knesset,” he wrote.

Galei Yisrael apologized on Twitter.

“Radio Galei Yisrael is unwilling to accept statements of the type made and apologizes to MP Pinto and any other injured person,” the tweet read.

“It should be noted that the presenter apologized for the way the words were pronounced shortly after.”

As the daughter of two deaf parents and the wife of a deaf husband, Pinto saw first-hand the barriers to accessibility for those who rely on sign language.

Pinto is a longtime activist for people with disabilities, is one of the founders of the “Israel Center for Deaf Studies” and led the “I Sign, I Am Equal” campaign in September 2016 aimed at raising awareness of the importance of sign language in the public sphere. She has been a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University’s Sign Language Interpreting Program and volunteered as a councilor for Ramat Gan Municipality on disability issues.

In 2019, Pinto joined the Yamina party as it headed towards the elections. In June 2021, with Naftali Bennett taking the oath of office as Israel’s 13th prime minister, Pinto became a member of the coalition, making her the first deaf MP in Knesset history.


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