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  • Small gods with big sticks at the unemployment office

    How is it that a civil servant's whim, impression or impulse can shatter an entire family's lives? Some people, pushed and pushed into the corner, can't take it anymore. By Yudit Ilany When the Israeli Employment Service (the unemployment office) registers somebody as "uncooperative," all social security payments are automatically suspended for two months. This procedure is commonly known as “refusal.” Refusal snowballs single-parent families straight into an avalanche of poverty and distress, from which there is no salvation but death. September the 22nd was a tough day, during which many women from Jaffa encountered refusals. The 28th of each…

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  • A dangerous position

    Despite the onslaught of discriminatory legislation and racist declarations by public leaders, empirical data suggests that the government of Israel is closing the gaps between its Jewish and Arab citizens in many fields. The refusal to recognize those changes is dangerous and counter-productive. By Ron Gerlitz and Batya Kallus The policies of the current government and Knesset in relation to Arab citizens include statements that are divisive, discriminatory and dangerous. The provocations against the Arab leadership and members of Knesset are ongoing, and are strengthened by extremist elements of the government. However, all of the harsh declarations and actions by government ministers have not…

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  • Oops: Unemployment in Israel 'leaps' by 20% overnight

    The Central Bureau of Statistics announced it is changing its criteria for calculating unemployment. On the new list: Arab communities. Off the list: IDF conscripts who are now considered "employed" . The result: A quantum leap of 20 percent.  This isn't even an April Fools joke. I wish it was. Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) sheepishly announced  that the criteria it's been using to calculate the unemployment ratio in Israel don't match the ones used by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which Israel insisted upon joining two years back. Now that the CBS intends to switch over…

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