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June 19, 2016 12:12 pm

Israel Advances Law to Exempt Octogenarians From Waiting on Line

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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An elderly couple resting on a bench. Photo: Wikipedia.

An elderly couple resting on a bench. Photo: Wikipedia.

A bill seeking to make life easier for octogenarians was approved by the Jewish state’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday, Israel’s Channel 10 reported.

The bill, initiated by Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel, will exempt Israelis aged 80 and above from having to wait on line in public places.

“[This] is our duty as a society, even without enacting laws,” said Gamliel. “And I have no doubt that as a result of the law, the issue will become a societal norm, making such legislation unnecessary in the future.”

Referring to a biblical proverb from Leviticus — “Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly” — Gamliel said this should be the guiding principle of a “healthy, tolerant society that knows how to respect and appreciate its elderly, and exempting [octogenarians] from standing on line is the minimum that we can do for them.”

The public places in question are post offices, banks, concert halls, movie theaters, supermarkets and others.

According to a World Health Organization report released in May this year, Israel has the 8th-highest life expectancy in the world – ahead of the US, Canada, France, Russia and other developed nations. In 2014, it reached 80.2 years for men and 84 for women.

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