Galia Aloni Dagan wanted to take her son, who suffers from cerebral palsy, to a Purim show, but when they arrived at the Suzanne Dellal Center in Tel Aviv, she was surprised to find that Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat's car was parked in the parking space reserved for the disabled.
"When my five-year-old son and I arrived at Suzanne Dellal we found that the access to the two parking spots reserved for the handicapped was blocked by a security guard. I told him I had a disabled son and asked to park in the spot, but he said 'You can't park here. There is an event going on inside,'" the mother recalled.
Livnat's car parked in disabled spot
Dagan was forced to park in a disabled parking space located further away, and after the show she noticed that a white vehicle was parked in the spot closest to the arts center. "I told the guard 'This car doesn't have a disabled parking permit, so why is it parked here?' he said it was Minister Livnat's vehicle. She should be ashamed of herself and fined. She should apologize to my son for the distorted message she is sending – there is no excuse for such an act.
"My son has a right to enjoy the show like everyone else, and we should have been able to park as close as possible to the venue," she said. "As far as I know, Livnat's legs are healthy."
Dagan posted her grievances on Facebook, prompting Livnat to call and apologize personally. The minister told Dagan she was especially sensitive to the rights of disabled people, as both her mother and brother have disabled parking permits on their vehicles. Livnat promised Dagan that her driver would be disciplined.
The minister issued a statement saying, "Upon learning of the incident through Facebook I called Dagan and apologized. I do not drive the car and had no idea that once I got out of it the driver parked in a disabled spot in violation of the law and my instructions."
Moran Azulay contributed to the report
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