Pam Pam restaurant eating 311.
(photo credit: Illustrative)
The Commission of Equal Rights for People with Disabilities filed a NIS 60,000
civil lawsuit on Tuesday against a Tel Aviv restaurant that allegedly refused
entry to a blind IDF veteran.
According to the lawsuit, Pam- Pam
restaurant in Tel Aviv’s Ibn Gabirol Street would not allow Mordechai Levy-Talmy
eat inside because was accompanied by his guide dog.
The lawsuit, filed
by lawyer Enas Hajyahia, charges that 55- year-old Levy-Talmy, a blind and
disabled IDF veteran, went to eat lunch with his wife at Pam-Pam, but when the
couple requested an indoor table, the waitress insisted they sit outside. Levy-
Talmy asked to speak to the restaurant manager, who informed him that guide dogs
were not allowed to enter the restaurant, and therefore the couple must eat at
an outdoor table instead.
The restaurant manager would not change his
mind even after Levy-Talmy explained he was obligated by law to allow guide dogs
The lawsuit cites the Law on Equal Rights for People with
Disabilities, which stipulates that is prohibited to discriminate against blind
people with guide dogs by refusing them entry to public places.
addition, the suit notes that the law states explicitly that people with
disabilities have a basic right to participate equally and actively in all walks
of life, and their special needs must be adequately met to allow them to do so
with maximum independence, dignity and privacy.
The law further prohibits
any person engaged in providing services to the public from discriminating
against a person on the basis of disability, the suit says.
Avroch of the Commission of Equal Rights for People with Disabilities said on
Tuesday the lawsuit reflected the “immense importance of prohibiting
discrimination against people with disabilities when they seek to enjoy public
“Refusing to allow a blind person to enter a restaurant just
because he is accompanied by a guide dog is something that seriously harms the
very basic rights of people with disabilities,” said Avroch.
of Bizchut, the Israel Human Rights Center for People with Disabilities,
welcomed the lawsuit, saying it was an “important development” for enforcing the
law regarding access.
Ganor said if the lawsuit is successful, it will
send a “clear message and a warning” to the public that blind people with guide
dogs must be allowed to enter public spaces.
“Telling a blind person he
cannot enter a restaurant with his guide dog is like telling a sighted person
that he cannot enter with his eyes,” he said.