We're taking to the streets with a simple message for the government – "honor your promises!" From the outset we were opposed to gradual increases to our benefits, because so often promises of future raises are not honored. We saw the current situation coming, and it was our greatest fear. Withholding the promised benefit increase is inhumane.
For people with disabilities, who receive an income of no more than NIS 2,342 (680 US dollars) a month, even the smallest raise makes a huge difference. Since the last update to our benefits, prices have risen and caught up with us. We are back in the same place, living beneath the poverty line. At the moment, we can't afford even the most basic things.
This is a struggle for the soul of our country. Wouldn't you rather live in a country that cares for its elderly, its disabled and weak?
People with disabilities need the money promised to them now. They need it to pay for medical treatment, food, rent, and all other expenses that seem trivial to other people. I have a disability that requires treatment and assistance, but I can't afford a caretaker. My husband does his best to help, but how much can he possibly do? One working person can't be expected to do everything: help me, take care of the kids and clean the house. I need help. Sometimes, when I'm alone at home I'm too scared even to take a shower on my own because I might fall and break something or hurt myself. So I have to wait for my husband to get home. My life gets more difficult each passing day.
But we are also determined to achieve justice, because we know that we are equal to any other citizen in this country.
After I attend protests I suffer from terrible pains that often last a couple of days. But I never miss a protest, because this is important. People need to understand. If I don't go, or write, or speak about it, no one will ever know what this cause means to us. The government is doing its best to dissuade us from demanding our rights. I've been active in this struggle for four years now, and I'm exhausted. Why must they make our life so hard? Why can't they just treat us like human beings, rather than like beggars? We are not asking for luxuries. All we want is to live, in peace and without pain. But that is not possible in the current situation.
This is the most important campaign in Israel. This is a struggle for the soul of our country. The question is: what kind of country do you want to live in? Is our social security fund a charity institution, or do we have an inalienable right to a decent living here? If we have to live on donations, we will beg for donations. But is that the kind of country you want to live in? Wouldn't you rather live in a country that cares for its elderly, its disabled and weak? This is the real question here.