Handicapped Israelis protest
Handicapped Israelis protestIsrael news photo: Flash 90

A senior government official has called to fight unemployment by fighting prejudice. Deputy director of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor Michal Tzuk spoke Wednesday in Tel Aviv about disabilities and unemployment.

“We have to put backwards thinking on the table and deal with it,” she said. “Only neutralizing the fears that accompany prejudices will allow us to integrate disenfranchised populations in general, and people with handicaps in particular [in the workforce].”

If Israel wants to meet its target on unemployment, she said, “Our role must be to remove the obstacles that stand before those who wish to join the workforce, and at the same time, to give employers the tools they need to integrate workers with various disabilities.”

The event in Tel Aviv continued with discussion panels. Among the participants were Achiya Cameri from the Commission for Equal Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Yoav Kreim, head of the national authority for rehabilitation of those with mental handicaps, and other top experts in the field of disability and rehabilitation.