The Union for the Disabled announced Sunday that it was throwing its support behind the National Union-National Religious Party in the March 28 national election.
The NU-NRP has made support of settlements a central focuses in its campaign, but the head of the Union for the Disabled, Momo Nekava, said he was looking beyond the color orange to the NRP's legislative track record, which he said was excellent when it came to promoting the rights of the disabled.
"We want politicians to know that those who are concerned about us will get our support," Nekava told The Jerusalem Post Sunday.
In the past, he said, he and his organization have stayed out of politics. But, he said, he and his organization would work during the next few weeks to persuade the 600,000 disabled voters to support the NU-NRP, out of gratitude for the work of MK Shaul Yahalom (NRP) in passing the Equal Accessibility Law last year.
"A tsunami has swept through Israeli politics, making old labels like left and right irrelevant," he said. Nekava said this opened the way for his organization to focus on parties such as the NRP that had good track records on social issues.
Appearing with Nekava at a media conference in Tel Aviv, NRP leader Zevulun Orlev pledged that his party would continue to work on behalf of the disabled. The NRP had made social welfare and education issues its highest priority throughout the campaign, he said.
"This is the first time that an organization for the disabled has endorsed a party based on its track record," Orlev said.
However not everyone at the press conference promised to vote for the NU-NRP. Yoav Kraien, who heads the Association for the Struggle for the Disabled, said he came to the conference to thank Yahalom, but that he had no plans to endorse any party. "He's a great legislator," Kraien said of Yahalom.
He said he was not willing to risk alienating legislators from other parties who had supported their cause, such as MK Nissim Dahan of Shas.