Drivers stuck in traffic as disabled protesters blocked the road were touched by an emotional display of humanity earlier this week when a policewoman tasked with dispersing protesters fed her own lunch to a wheelchair-bound woman with great patience, one spoonful after another.
Dozens of disabled people began their demonstrations on Monday by blocking the entrances and exits to Caesarea, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lives, to protest the low disability benefits. During the hot afternoon, they continued north, toward the settlement of Bat Shlomo near Zikhron Ya'akov.
There, too, the disabled people left their cars and blocked the road, crying out for the prime minister to keep his promise to raise their benefits. "The holidays are coming, we can't survive this way," they shouted.
The Zikhron Ya'akov police officers dispatched to reopen the road showed great sensitivity to the protesters' plight. The policemen, who were given cold water bottles and lunch trays for themselves, handed them out to the disabled demonstrators instead.
"The oppressive heat made it very difficult for all of us, the policemen, and certainly the disabled," explained Neta Shema, 43, a sergeant at the Zikhron Ya'akov Police, who gave her lunch tray to Iris Haya Zigdon, 66, from Bat Yam, one of the disabled who were blocking the road.
"I explained to the nice policewoman that I was suffer paralysis in both hands, and I could not lift them to eat," Zigdon said Monday. "The amazing policewoman smiled at me and said: What's the problem? I'll make sure you eat.'
"She opened the tray that was intended for her, took a large spoon and fed me, in the middle of the roadblock, with rice and boiled vegetables. It was very hot, but she did not stop.
"The drivers who passed through the area applauded her. It's amazing to discover there are such policewomen out there. I have no words that would express my thanks to her."
The commander of the Police Coastal District, Amos Yaakov, explained that "it is important to enforce the law with determination, but with the necessary humanity toward to the disabled."