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The stark difference between Israeli and Arab schools on the same side of the separation barrier

Just five minutes from Kfar Saba, under full Israeli control, children from the village Arab a-Ramadin will attend a school made of clay, without electricity, and most certainly without computers. All my years as a teacher and administrator couldn’t have prepared me for this place.

By Eitan Kalinski

As I stood in front of a structure called ‘School for the Children of the Village of Arab a-Ramadin,’ located five minutes from Kfar Saba, I felt myself shamefully shed over 40 years of teaching. A stone’s throw from Kfar Saba’s cultural centers and educational palaces to the west, and the settlement of Alfei Menashe to the east, stands a cramped condemnable clay structure with a gaping roof. We’ll call it a school.

In Kfar Saba, which as I mentioned is five minutes away from this school, the staff of teachers at every school is diligently undergoing final preparations to receive the students who will arrive to smart classrooms, laboratories for chemistry and physics, computer and robotics rooms, a gymnasium, spacious well-lit classes, air conditioning that will give you chills during heat waves, heating that will warm students when it’s cold, an expansive yard for recess, bathrooms and water fountains in the yard, and lockers and cold water in the corridors.I have been a teacher for over 40 years. I assumed managerial positions for several years and led a teacher’s seminar in Safed. All my organs associated with the education system suffered from shock on Saturday, when I left a tour with dozens of young members of Combatants for Peace and stood before this structure. I felt the intensity of a painful gap between what I experienced throughout all my years in the school system, and the trampling of respect for student and the teacher, which will take place on September 1 at the ‘gate’ of the Arab a-Ramadin school.

On the other hand, for the children of Arab a-Ramadin — located in Area C, under Israel full Israeli jurisdiction — a dedicated staff of teachers imbued with a mission to do the impossible, wait within the clay walls of the classroom. Under a gaping frayed ramshackle roof, three students will sit around one desk because of the shortage, and over 40 students will cram into one classroom. Rays of sunlight will shine through one tiny window to light...

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Liberal Europe doesn't understand: The burkini is a feminist issue

By banning the burkini, the French view themselves as the ones liberating veiled women from Muslim patriarchy. Instead they are only imposing a different form of oppression.

By Eiad Shalabne

The images of French policemen handing out tickets to Muslim women in religious garb on the beaches of Nice this past week reflect a depressing interpretation of the essence of democracy and freedom of religion in the West, and specifically France. Under the guise of “women’s liberation” and secularism, France’s elected officials are trying to limit the presence of Muslim women in the public space by establishing guidelines for how women must undress when they go to the beach.

French legislators are ostensibly telling themselves and their voters that denying Muslim women from wearing burkinis was established n order to promote women’s liberation, and that the burkini itself is a symbol of the Muslim world’s patriarchal oppression (regardless of whether these women are immigrants or French born). French politicians, therefore, believe they are doing right by telling Muslim women: “liberate yourselves” says the French Republic, “liberate yourselves and reveal your bodies. You are no longer in the Middle East, you are in Western Europe, where no one can tell you how to dress or how to act.” Or in the words of French Prime Minister Manuel Valls: “The burkini is not compatible with the values of the French Republic.”

One must ask, however, whether liberating women from the veil, hijab, or burkini is itself an act of feminist liberation? Shouldn’t the progressive, enlightened West give women the right to choose whether to cover up or undress?

Of course arguments about religious freedom— or freedom from religion, as the secular French Republic prefers to view it — are a metaphor for the burkini itself: they cover up the racism of France’s legislators towards the Muslim communities of Europe. After all, photos of nuns enjoying themselves at the beach in full dress are and will continue to be prevalent across Europe. If so, why do we not ask France’s lawmakers to fine nuns in the name of secularism? Perhaps freedom of religion in the West only applies to certain religions — and specifically to the religion of the majority, even if that majority is secular.

The arguments against the burkini as a tool of oppression reflect the fact that France and Europe in general — even after dozens of years of Muslim presence — are still...

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Following orders: How the IDF eliminates 'quiet' in the West Bank

When the occupation seems to becomes a bit too ‘quiet,’ the Israeli military is always there to fully contain and eliminate the threat.

By Talal Jabari

Israeli intelligence has intercepting would-be suicide bombers down to a fine art. The military is quite adept at quashing demonstrations in the West Bank (they did a very thorough job at leveling entire sections of the Gaza Strip during the 2014 military campaign). And along with every Israeli military action come the right-wing politicians who make their television appearances, patting themselves on the back and talking about eliminating the enemy — all the while reinforcing their fear-mongering message that Israelis face an existential threat from the Palestinians.

The military wasn’t really ready for — nor really knew how to deal with — the adult Palestinians who fit no certain profile who started plowing their cars into people, or teenage Palestinians with no political affiliation who started a spree of stabbing attacks. That, however, did not stop the right-wing government from carrying on with its message, while assuring the populace that the solution to the current problems is more oppression.

But a more significant threat to the establishment has reared its ugly head, and no amount of military training, nor advance intelligence warnings can stop it. What makes this threat worse than the stabbing attacks is that it is posed by the majority of the Palestinian populace, and they’re relentless about it: the desire to live a normal life.

It is difficult to keep track of the amount of times Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other right-wing ministers have gone before the cameras to complain about Palestinian violence. And although that violence was only committed by a minutia of Palestinian society, that never prevented the Israeli authorities from imposing widespread collective punishment. However, one would assume that the fact that the level of violence has dwindled almost entirely should have the PM elated, perhaps even celebratory.

But “quiet” isn’t what the establishment actually wants. Quiet doesn’t help explain why tens of thousands of Israeli soldiers are needed to protect the Israeli settlements. ‘Quiet’ doesn’t explain why Israel actually needs to keep those settlements. Quiet definitely doesn’t encourage Congress to send more money to Israel in the form of military aid. And most importantly, quiet doesn’t explain why the status quo of collective punishment over the Palestinian people is maintained through various...

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The night that rekindled my faith in two states

They said the two-state solution is no longer relevant, that we cannot evacuate settlements, that there is ‘no partner for peace.’ Then I heard Iyad speak to a group of Israelis in a Tel Aviv bar.

By Yael Burstein

Neither of us could hide our excitement as he stood up to speak before a crowd of over 120 young Israelis in a Tel Aviv bar. While in his childhood Iyad Othmani was forced to wait for hours at checkpoints, while soldiers made sure over and over again that he could cross to go to school, on this night — he was the keynote speaker.

We worked for months to ensure that Iyad could come speak before Israelis — what we believed would help break a few bricks in the wall, and look past this Green Line that everyone is always talking about, yet do not know where it is located, what it symbolizes, and why the hell it’s green in the first place.

I met Iyad for the first time at a meeting organized by Geneva Initiative activists in Jerusalem. I understood that we know so little about what is happening on the other side of the Green Line, and that if only we could understand the real difficulties plaguing the other side on a daily basis, perhaps we would be able to cause things to turn out differently, to cause people to think differently.

Things we do not know

They say that millennials are focused solely on themselves, that we are always looking at the screen, that we no longer believe in that concept that the “adults” have been talking about for years — we long for it, yet we do nothing to advance it. But the participants who came to hear Iyad talk about his life in Ramallah as a young Palestinian proved otherwise. With patience and hardly any interruptions from the audience, with smart questions and a real desire to learn and know, we laid the cornerstone of a bridge that will be built over the gap of narratives.

While 70 percent of young Palestinians claim no political affiliation, Iyad heads three different projects with the goal of sounding more and more Palestinian voices calling for the end of the conflict and separating into two states, based on the Geneva Initiative. When over 20 percent of the 2.9 million Palestinians are unemployed and 14...

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How an IDF general whitewashed the killing of three innocent Palestinians

Maj. Gen. Uzi Dayan was trying to support a soldier charged with killing an unarmed Palestinian. Instead, he ended up confessing to a crime that could have severe repercussions at The Hague.

By Yael Marom and John Brown*

Late last week, Channel 2 news reported that three senior reserve officers — Maj. Gen. Uzi Dayan, Brig. Gen. Shmuel Zakai, and Gen. Dan Biton — will testify for the defense of Elor Azaria, the Israeli soldier who is on trial for shooting and killing a Palestinian who stabbed an IDF soldier in Hebron, though he was already immobilized. 

Zakai had previously posted on his Facebook page that Azaria’s treatment “is disgraceful and rife with hypocrisy, and principally unprofessional.” Dayan argues that the Military Police Criminal Investigation Division (MPCID) shouldn’t be the body designated to investigate such incidents, but rather an internal investigation committee.

A few weeks ago Dayan broke silence in an interview with Radio Darom in which he declared his stance on Azaria’s trial, explaining the normative mode of behavior the army needs to adopt:

But did this really happen? And if so, what was the purpose of Dayan’s boasting, which by all accounts should lead to a criminal investigation against him? And what are Azaria’s attorneys hoping to achieve by bringing in his irrelevant testimony? We will try to answer all these questions, but first let us focus on the event Dayan spoke about.

The story

On March 10, 1998, at about 6 p.m., a white van carrying 12 Palestinian laborers heading home from work approached the Tarqumiyah crossing, between Israel and the southern West Bank. As the van entered the checkpoint, it veered slightly to the right, hitting one of the soldiers lightly. The soldier would later say that it wasn’t an accident, and that he saw “rage coming out of the driver’s eyes.” The soldiers, apparently aware of an alert issued the previous day of an imminent car-ramming attack, thought they saw one unfolding and opened fire. Three passengers were killed and another two were injured.

The head of the IDF’s West Bank division at the time, Brig. Gen. Yitzhak Eitan, initially claimed that “a preliminary investigation yielded that an attempt was made to run over a soldier, and the checkpoint staff responded accordingly.” However, eyewitnesses told Haaretz reporters Amos Harel and Sami Sokol that the van changed lanes because it...

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'Anti-Semitizing' pro-Palestinian activism comes at a price

It is tempting to label pro-Palestinian activists as anti-Semitic, because it delegitimizes even their most legitimate claims. But this increasingly common reflex has adverse effects that greatly outweigh its short-term benefit.

By Tom Pessah

Things you can see from here, can’t be seen from there, says a famous Israeli song. This is what I feel about pro-Palestinian activism: having been closely involved in pro-Palestine activism as an Israeli student in an American university, I now understand why it is often portrayed in the media as anti-Jewish.

In 2012, the San Francisco-based Arab Cultural and Community Center approached the government of Alameda County, CA, proposing to proclaim June 5 as “Palestinian Cultural Day” in recognition of “the contributions of the local Palestinian population to Alameda County residents and communities.” Focusing on culture, the proposal deliberately avoided any political demands, and focused instead on Palestinians’ “books, poetry, music, dance, oral history, folktales, proverbs, and handicrafts made with cross-stitch embroidery patterns.” In the spirit of inclusion, the Palestinian executive director of the ACCC, Loubna Qutami, made sure it included references to the Palestinians’ “Christian, Jewish or Muslim faith.”

The ACCC’s initiative met with a furious reaction from right-wing Zionist groups. Pamela Geller compared it to an “Auschwitz Proclamation day,” because “the mission of the mystical ‘Palestinian’ narrative is the destruction of the tiny state of Israel so as to satiate the racism and Jewish genocide as commanded by Quran.” A member of StandWithUs insisted that Jews are a separate and distinct national group from Palestinians and should not be confused with them.

Angry protestors showed up at the meeting of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, to voice their opposition to the inclusion of Jewish faith as a part of Palestinian heritage. In response, the issue was taken off the Board’s agenda.

A few days later, J Weekly, the Bay Area’s only Jewish magazine reported on the incident. The first paragraph briefly conveyed that there was a proposal for a cultural day, and that it had been taken off the board’s agenda. The following paragraph described how “the move produced a flurry of questions and accusations, including the suggestion from pro-Palestinian forces that ‘Jewish pressure’ was behind the decision.” Although the expression “Jewish pressure” was described as an accusation, placed in quotation marks, and attributed to “pro-Palestine forces,” the so-called “quote” was not sourced to...

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Creating a radical Hebrew culture — in the diaspora

Israeli artists and authors abroad are beginning to create an alternative Hebrew culture that challenges norms and national borders. Israeli politicians, on the other hand, aren’t so pleased.

By Mati Shemoelof

Over the past few years we have been witnessing the growth of an alternative Hebrew culture, both independent and diverse, outside of Israel. Just recently two Hebrew-language publications have been published in Berlin: the bi-lingual magazine “Aviv,” edited by Hano Hanostein and Itamar Gov, and “Mikan V’Eilach,” dedicated to diasporic Hebrew and edited by Tal Hever-Chybowski. They join the relatively older magazine “Shpitz,” edited by Tal Alon, and a number of institutions such as Berlin’s Hebrew library and the Berlin Public Library.

Diasporic culture is slowly awakening in Israel as well. Examples include Itamar Orlev’s book “Bandit,” or Tomer Gardi’s new book, which was written in broken German and is currently making waves in Germany. The discourse is not defined by the physical location of the writers, but rather by their consciousness, which is the product of diaspora. In the global age it is difficult to feel obligated to national borders, the borders of language, or the borders dictated to the citizen by his nation.

I feel, however, that there is a need to make clear the cultural aspect of this diaspora, which includes a diverse cast of voices and takes place in so many places that it is actually bigger than Berlin (Berlin, of course, is a strategic place because of the history of the Holocaust). The paradox is that while Israel is closing its borders to the diaspora, it is also appropriating its works. For example, while the annual Sapir Prize for Literature was closed off to writers who live abroad, the State of Israel is monopolizing Jewish works of art and literature outside of Israel, as exemplified by the National Library of Israel’s attempt to take ownership of Franz Kafka’s manuscripts, for instance.

Over the past few years, more and more voices in Israel want to close the door to Hebrew, Jewish, and Israeli voices who live abroad, specifically because of the growing effect of the Hebrew diaspora. But this rejection only strengthens the diaspora. On the one hand, strengthening the mental border between border Israel and the diaspora leads to a deeper understanding that there is a need for creative independence and autonomy in the diaspora. On the other hand, there is a refusal to forgo a dialogue, whose goal...

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Keep Israel's militarism away from asylum seeker children

Contrary to what some activists claim, Defense Minister Liberman’s decision to forbid soldiers from volunteering with children of asylum seekers is a good one.

By Dror Mizrachi

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman caused controversy this week when he acquiesced to requests by activists in south Tel Aviv and ordered the IDF chief of staff to stop soldiers from volunteering with asylum seeker children. The anger against Liberman was justified: volunteer work is a positive thing, especially when it is for the benefit of the weakest segments of society.

But the question that needs to be asked is how, from the get go, did we get to the point in which soldiers take an active role in education — vis-a-vis refugees or citizens — all while turning mandatory enlistment into a natural and legitimate act. In this situation, and in this context alone, it seems that Liberman actually made the right decision.

It seems that the public has come to accept the fact that men and women in uniform in different stages of their service work in education. Since the first days of the state these positions were filled by Gadna (a military program that prepares young people for service in the IDF) participants, soldier-teachers, high school programs — all state-sanctioned projects that sought to bring the army into the classroom. Those who didn’t take in the spirit of the IDF from their history books, or from the fact that they have a brother in the IDF or a father in reserve duty, will now have a teacher-soldier in the classroom on a regular basis, right before he or she becomes a soldier.

Easy solutions

The fate of the asylum seekers and their children in Israel is slightly different. They arrived here under complex and often tragic circumstances. They are subject to difficult conditions that are only growing worse as time goes on. And not by chance — this is happening because the Israeli government has decided to make it so: to implement a policy that will tire out and leave asylum seekers without status, to prevent parents from working legally, not to mention be eligible for decent health services.

Furthermore the state does not provide solutions for young children of asylum seekers, leading to the establishment of makeshift kindergartens, where difficult conditions have led to the death of 15 toddlers. This did not happen by...

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Catch him if you can: How a hasbara impostor fooled the Israeli Right

Thousands of Israelis fell in love with Wilhelm T. Roth, an Austrian aristocrat, strategic consultant and high-flying pro-Israel advocate, only to realize that he was in fact a 30-year-old small-time right-wing politico. It’s not him, it’s them: His fanciful stories of EU decision-makers warming to the Israeli narrative were just what they wanted to hear.

By Gilad Halpern

For just over a year, in 2013-2014, I was the editor of a radio program called Journeys that was dedicated to hearing the stories of people who have journeyed to Israel and, for whatever reason, now call it home. My role, among other things, was to search for potential guests, hopefully hailing from as diverse a background as possible. In other words, the farther from the “New Jersey to Raanana” paradigm, the better.

Around that time I became aware of Wilhelm T. Roth, a former political advisor to Austria’s far-right Freedom Party and a pro-Israel advocate. A descendant of Austrian aristocracy, he went on to found the Israel Europe Freedom Center that sought to sway the European Right toward Israeli policies.

On paper, he was an ideal guest. His story was interesting and unconventional, and he seemed to be seeking media attention. But a brief Google search raised too many questions: his activity, so it seemed, amounted to no more than lengthy Facebook posts (which were, by the way, all in Hebrew). There was no mention of the Israel Europe Freedom Center anywhere except on Facebook. A Google search of his name yielded barely any results in German. But most importantly, the level of the insights he offered in his Facebook posts betrayed a woeful ignorance of European politics, the kind you would expect more from an Israeli right-wing loudmouth than from someone who was a close observer – let alone an actor. It sounded fishy, so I gave up.

Now it has emerged that Roth is indeed an Israeli right-wing loudmouth who defrauded dozens, if not hundreds, of right-wing activists, journalists and politicians. The right-leaning news site NRG (owned by Sheldon Adelson) revealed that the blue-blooded Roth is in fact Moshe Heruti, a 30 year-old from the city of Givatayim, near Tel Aviv, who realized that a fake identity is a sure way to stand out among Israel’s many self-proclaimed defenders.

Heruti presented himself as a former advisor to Austria’s Freedom Party, a partner in a strategic consultancy firm in Brussels, and...

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From Moscow to Jerusalem: My lifelong journey to becoming Israeli

When I arrived in Israel, 25 years ago this week, it was the first time I realized I was ‘Russian.’ I had only been a Jew and a Soviet citizen, or so I thought.

By Ksenia Svetlova

Aliya is a lifelong journey, and this week I’m marking 25 years since mine started.

On August 8, 1991, the movers came. I was still in bed, and my mother woke me up gently. The people who bought our furniture came to collect the beds. We spent our final night on stacks of old blankets provided by friends and neighbors. Our house was empty, except three suitcases and my drawings, still hanging on the wall next to where my bed once stood.

Surprisingly, I wasn’t exceptionally distraught to see my childhood home being taken apart by strangers. In fact, I wasn’t distraught at all. I sat down listening to the foreign songs I taped on my Walkman, which I got as a birthday present only two weeks earlier. I wasn’t thinking about the future.

About Israel, the place we were leaving our country for never to return, I knew close to nothing. When we left Moscow, I was more curious than anxious. I wanted to know if you could get MTV and skateboards in Israel but nobody could answer my question. None of my mother’s friends who were also preparing to make their aliya had ever been to Israel, and their heated discussions about what it would be like were strictly theoretical.

A dark secret

I had said goodbye to my school friends three months before. My grandmother banned me from telling them where we were going, “to be on the safe side.” She had survived the Holocaust, in which her family perished, and Stalin’s purges. But I believed her that telling a bunch of indifferent 14 year-olds that I’m going to Israel was dangerous.
When I was six, she told me I was Jewish, and then too asked me to keep that information for myself. There was nothing I could say, knowing she had lost her family together with most of the other Jews of Rostov.

There wasn’t much to tell, though. She stopped speaking Yiddish after the war. She never celebrated the Jewish festivals. That was her way of getting back at God. To my mind, the term “Jewish” was almost as abstract as the word “abstract” itself. How are...

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How Israel is drying out Palestinians in the Jordan Valley

Next door to the plush Israeli settlements of the Jordan Valley live small Bedouin communities who must struggle for even the smallest bit of water. 

By Eitan Kalinski

More than 90 percent of the West Bank’s Jordan Valley region are Palestinians. Less than 10 percent are Israeli settlers. Yet when it comes to water distribution, it turns out, we see a different distribution: settlers are entitled to between eight and nine times more water, while Palestinian communities are subject to a policy of water deprivation. In fact, this is a policy of ethnic cleansing, whose goal is a Jordan Valley bereft of Palestinians.

The Jordan Valley is made up of nearly 400,000 acres, constituting 29 percent of the area of the West Bank. The valley is the richest, most fertile land reserve for the demographic and economic development of the future Palestinian state. Yet today, it is undergoing a process of ethnic cleansing, which is ridding it of its Palestinian residents.

In 1948 Israeli forces expelled the Bedouin community of Ein Gedi, near the Dead Sea, and re-established itself in the Jordan Valley. Through water deprivation and home demolitions, Israel wants to expel them once again.

A week and a half ago, my wife and I joined a group of activists who brought over water to the Fasayil encampment, adjacent to the Israeli settlement of Petza’el. The Bedouin encampment gets boiling water for one hour once every four days from a rusty, perforated water pipe, to which members of the community connect rubber hoses in the blazing sun.

There is something spine-tingling about standing in the scorching heat while facing Bedouin tents that are disconnected from water. The dozens of water bottles we handed out and the water tanker we brought were not enough to make us forget we are part of the state that deprives these women and children.

It is difficult to stand before Fasayil’s dried springs, while above them stands water infrastructure belonging to Mekorot, Israel’s national water company, which takes away from the wonder of the local springs and leaves bare terraces, built by Arab peasants over hundreds of years.

Today a large part of the Jordan Valley has been declared “open-fire zones,” nature reserves, Israeli settlements, and state land. Palestinians, who constitute the majority population in the area, are allocated less than 15 percent of the territory (which the state is also trying...

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Trump's America could end up looking like present-day Israel

Israel is a disturbing demonstration of how far violent intolerance involving ethnic and religious prejudice can go. Americans should be vigilant regarding any signs of this happening in the United States.

By  Paul R. Pillar

One of the more pertinent observations about Donald Trump’s comment this week on what gun owners could do about a Hillary Clinton presidency comes from columnist Thomas Friedman, who recalls the assassination in Israel 21 years ago of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. The assassination was preceded by a stream of hateful invective with violent overtones directed by elements on the Israeli right against Rabin—for his having taken a step, in the form of the Oslo accords, toward making peace with the Palestinians.

The invective was condoned rather than condemned by prominent political leaders on the right, including current prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The inflammatory rhetoric and its widespread toleration helped to convince the assassin that his lethal act would be not only widely accepted but even legitimate. This whole tragic and abominable story is told in detail in Dan Ephron’s gripping book Killing a King, which I reviewed for The National Interest.

Assassination of a leader is one of the most shocking forms that such action can take. In Israel it took that form with the murder of Rabin. Here in the United States we can hope that the Secret Service is on the case and can prevent a comparable crime.The process that took place then in Israel and that Trump’s remark about the Second Amendment increases the risk of taking place in the United States is related to one of his slightly earlier comments: the one about how if he loses in November it will be because the election was “rigged.”

The implied consequences in this instance may be somewhat different from those associated with the comment about guns but the underlying dynamic is basically the same: the inculcating in large parts of the population of the idea that other parts of the population or other leaders are less than legitimate. This in turn bestows a sense of legitimacy on extra-constitutional or even violent actions directed against the despised leaders or sub-populations.

Violence not against an individual leader but instead against ordinary members of a sub-population is another form such invective-stimulated action can take. Here the Trump rhetoric to worry about is his stream of comments about Muslims and Mexicans. And...

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Israeli treasury looks to scrap Palestinian day workers' tax breaks

Palestinians working in Israel will see thousands of shekels reduced annually from their barely sufficient salary, as per an amendment proposed by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon. The arguments he put forth are hair-raisingly infuriating.

By Ala Khatib

Every now and again the Israeli government declares that it intends to ease restrictions on Palestinian employment in Israel – from improving the workflow at West Bank checkpoints to clamping down on the bribes they need to pay to get a permit (up to a third of their monthly salary, in some cases).

Earlier this year, outgoing Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said that he and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon had completed a plan “to increase the number of Palestinian laborers entering Israel, while improving conditions at the checkpoints and ensuring standards of customer service.” They say it would cost NIS 300 million – but nobody knows who would foot the bill.

Last week I participated in a discussion organized by the Knesset’s Finance Committee, following Kahlon’s proposal to cancel tax breaks accorded to Palestinian laborers. In other words, he wants to increase the tax burden on them.

“Why not? Palestinians who have jobs in Israel live in paradise,” one Treasury official told me – opting to compare them to their brethren in the Palestinian Authority, of course.

These patronizing remarks can also be heard from Israeli employers of Thai, Filipino or African workers, who feel that they’ve done them a favor merely by virtue of offering them employment opportunities outside their country of origin.

However, not only foreign workers bear the brunt. The circle of exploitation is constantly expanding, with Israeli security guards and cleaners seeing their labor rights and employment stability constantly eroded.

These workers are often blamed by their employers and the government for their precariousness. They are “parasites,” “ingrates” and “lazy.” This is how a culture of masters and slaves is created and legitimized.

Minister Kahlon of La Mancha

Answering to a Finance Committee query, the finance minister said that the average salary of a Palestinian working in Israel is two and a half times higher than that of a Palestinian working in the Palestinian territories. He therefore proposed an amendment to the Income Tax Provision that would almost halve the tax breaks accorded to Palestinians working in Israel. In effect, it would mean slashing NIS 3000 per annum from each salary, that in the better cases stands just above...

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