TEL AVIV – The new party formed by Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked announced on Tuesday that activist Shirley Pinto will be joining the New Right party’s list as the first-ever deaf Knesset candidate.
Pinto, 30, is a co-founder of the Israeli Center for Deaf Studies, studied law and taught sign language interpretation at Bar-Ilan University. She served as a project officer in a volunteer capacity in the air force and earned the presidential award for excellence.
“I’m happy and excited to announce that I joined the New Right,” Pinto said. “I will continue to act with all my might, as I have in the past, to help people with disabilities in Israel and to be their representative in the Knesset, with a goal to turn Israel into a more accessible, egalitarian and accepting society.”
Shaked said the New Right seeks to “implement right-wing policies with social sensitivity.”
Bennett said Pinto was “a true fighter for social issues,” and promised her presence on the party list “will make history and break through a glass ceiling for the deaf community in Israel.”
He stated that her candidacy marked “one of my proudest moments since entering public life.”
Pinto’s “entry into the leadership arena is just a first step, but a great leap forward toward a future of equality and acceptance of others. Together, we will continue to strengthen Israeli society, so that Israel can return to being victorious, including in the fight for the rights of people with disabilities,” Bennett added.
Pinto is the second new candidate to join the party after right-wing columnist and Breitbart contributor Caroline Glick joined last week.