WATCH: 1st Deaf MK In Israeli History Sworn In To Knesset

Arutz Knesset screenshot.

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Shirly Pinto of Yamina became the first deaf MK in Israel’s Knesset on Wednesday morning, when she was sworn-in to replace Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana, who resigned from the Knesset via the Norwegian law.

Pinto, 32, was born deaf to a deaf father and a deaf and blind mother in Kiryat Bialik.

She served in the Israeli Air Force as a project and logistics manager, receiving a reward of excellence for her service, and then attended law school and was the only deaf law intern in Israel. She is an advocate for people with disabilities and is one of the founders of The Israeli Center for Deaf Studies.

She became a member of Yamina in 2019.

Pinto lives in Ramat Gan and is married to Michael Kadosh, an oleh from the United States who is also deaf and works as a telecommunications engineer, and has a three-year-old son who is also deaf.

Pinto is not the first disabled MK in the Knesset. Karine Elharrar of Yesh Atid, who has muscular dystrophy and is a wheelchair-user, has been an MK since 2012 and is now the new government’s Energy Minister.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. No, it should NOT be capitalized. Deaf is an adjective, not a proper noun. The people who insist on capitalizing it because they regard it as an identity are literally insane and belong in an asylum.

  2. Kol hakavod to her on her achievement.

    On a less serious note, she may find herself at home in the Knesset, since many politicians make a practice of not hearing what others say!