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Photo by: Danielle Ziri
Pensioners Party launches campaign
By DANIELLE ZIRI
24/12/2012
Party declared goal of appealing to the younger generation, who are between 30 and 40 years old, to rally them to the cause.
 
Ahead of next month’s election, the New Pensioners Party, also named Dor Builders of the Land, launched its election campaign on Sunday at a press conference in Tel Aviv.

The presentation led by the slogan “Because we need to take care of mom and dad,” started with a short video clip in which old family photos of parents with their children scroll across the screen accompanied by a voice saying: “They held us in their arms; were there for our first step; taught us to deal with challenges; were full of pride when we grew up; and gave us a shoulder to lean on during the most difficult moments.

“They took care of us our whole life, now it is our turn,” the video continued.

The party declared that its goal is to appeal to the younger generation, who are between 30 and 40 years old, to rally them to the cause as they think of their parents or any other elderly member of their family.

Party chairman Ephraim Lapid, who opened the conference, explained that Dor (meaning “generation”) decided to symbolically launch its political crusade on Sunday, 10 Tevet, which marks a memorial day for Holocaust victims whose date of death remains unknown.

“Dor is the only social party in Israel,” Lapid said, “Everybody, from Left, Right or Center will tell you about social justice, about Iran’s nuclear weapons or about peace with Syria, but no one will put the four subjects which we are committed to on top of their agendas.”

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The four subjects are the health system, old-age pensions, the right to retire with dignity and housing.

According to Dor, there are 804,000 citizens aged 65 or older living in Israel today, which represents one out of 10 individuals. Fourteen percent continue to work after retirement age.

“We are very proud to be the voice of those who want to continue to live in dignity and contribute to Israeli society,” Lapid added.

The issue of retirement, which Dor sees as “a forgotten field,” was presented as central to the party’s political vision.

In Israel today, individuals are required to retire at age 67, but social worker Dalia Nakar, who has joined the party, believes this law ought to be changed.

“These are still young people,” she said, “Sixty-seven years old today is not the 67 years old of 30 or 40 years ago, when the individual only had another couple of years to live and was indeed very old by then.

“We want to change this law and have people retire out of right and not obligation, because we believe that the elderly can still contribute in many ways,” Nakar continued.

As far as the health system in concerned, Midad Gissin, the party’s No. 2, who suffered from cancer 25 years ago, explained the party sees a need to change the current health system, expanding the funds given to the elderly for medical expenses “so that they don’t have to choose between eating and buying medicine.”

“No other party brought up the health issue,” Gissin said, “but health is the only issue that really concerns everyone, regardless of color, race, age or religion, everyone is faced with the health issue and whoever hasn’t been sick yet will be.”

Dor is expected to start spreading its new campaign on social media in the next few days.
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