HaMoked to the National Insurance Institute: medical committees for East Jerusalem residents must include an Arabic interpreter המוקד להגנת הפרט
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05.04.2012
HaMoked to the National Insurance Institute: medical committees for East Jerusalem residents must include an Arabic interpreter
HaMoked to the National Insurance Institute: medical committees for East Jerusalem residents must include an Arabic interpreter
Israel occupied and annexed East Jerusalem in 1967. The Palestinian inhabitants of East Jerusalem were given the status of Israeli residents. By virtue of this status, East Jerusalem residents are eligible to receive all of the social benefits the National Insurance Institute (NII) provides to Israelis, including disability benefits.

Although many East Jerusalem residents are not Hebrew-proficient, the NII medical committees, which determine their eligibility for benefits, are nearly always conducted in Hebrew. The NII allows applicants to bring their own interpreter, but this has proved to be an inadequate solution: in most cases, the interpreter is unqualified and has no bilingual fluency – especially in medical terminology – and the translation frequently results in misunderstandings and confusions. The harm caused by the language barrier is especially acute for East Jerusalem residents, members of an already disadvantaged community with many who are dependent on NII benefits.

On March 29, 2012, acting on behalf of and as a member of the Forum for the Development of Mental Health Services in East Jerusalem, composed of various community and civil society organizations as well as grassroots activists, HaMoked appealed to the NII to render its medical review boards accessible to East Jerusalem residents by appointing thereto a qualified Arabic interpreter.

The forum asserts that conducting medical committee hearings in a language that is unfamiliar to these applicants, infringes on the East Jerusalem residents' right to social security, as well as their rights to dignity and equality. The resultant harm is all the more severe since Arabic is a formal language of the State of Israel, and as such should be allowed in the context of government agencies. Therefore, the NII must act without delay to make its medical review boards accessible to the East Jerusalem residents.
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Israel occupied and annexed East Jerusalem in 1967. The Palestinian inhabitants of East Jerusalem were given the status of Israeli residents. By virtue of this status, East Jerusalem residents are eligible to receive all of the social benefits the National Insurance Institute (NII) provides to Israelis, including disability benefits.

Although many East Jerusalem residents are not Hebrew-proficient, the NII medical committees, which determine their eligibility for benefits, are nearly always conducted in Hebrew. The NII allows applicants to bring their own interpreter, but this has proved to be an inadequate solution: in most cases, the interpreter is unqualified and has no bilingual fluency – especially in medical terminology – and the translation frequently results in misunderstandings and confusions. The harm caused by the language barrier is especially acute for East Jerusalem residents, members of an already disadvantaged community with many who are dependent on NII benefits.

On March 29, 2012, acting on behalf of and as a member of the Forum for the Development of Mental Health Services in East Jerusalem, composed of various community and civil society organizations as well as grassroots activists, HaMoked appealed to the NII to render its medical review boards accessible to East Jerusalem residents by appointing thereto a qualified Arabic interpreter.

The forum asserts that conducting medical committee hearings in a language that is unfamiliar to these applicants, infringes on the East Jerusalem residents' right to social security, as well as their rights to dignity and equality. The resultant harm is all the more severe since Arabic is a formal language of the State of Israel, and as such should be allowed in the context of government agencies. Therefore, the NII must act without delay to make its medical review boards accessible to the East Jerusalem residents.
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