The crisis dividing Israel: a critical moment that will determine the future of Israelis and Palestinians

Adiv, A. (2023). The Crisis Dividing Israel: Palestinian Workers in the Balance. New Labor Forum32(3), 16–25

With ongoing protest against Netanyahu’s extreme rightwing government, Israel is wracked by internal crisis. Protesters’ calls for democracy concentrate on the need to stop the government’s dictatorial legislation and eventually to bring it down. The protest movement has not clearly stated its position on the rights of Palestinians, but the obvious link between the suppression of five million Palestinians and the rise of fascism in Israel is becoming clearer. MAAN Workers Association, which unionizes Palestinians and Israelis on the basis of equality, is part of this movement for democracy and sees the current crisis as an historical opportunity to build a strong foundation for equal partnership between Israelis and Palestinians in our land.

An Unprecedented Protest Movement in Israel

In December 2022, after five general elections in three years, Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, managed to form a government that included the extreme and fundamentalist right. Only such a coalition, he believed, would enable him to evade charges of bribery and breach of trust that had been brought against him in November 2019. [i] The new government, in the mendacious name of restoring “governance,” immediately began an unprecedented overhaul of every aspect of the political regime. The first step was an offense against the independence of the judicial system[ii]. Then it initiated a range of additional anti-democratic initiatives and legislative proposals, including suppression of freedom of expression and the media; increasing religious and nationalist motifs in secular education[iii]; continued assault on the status of women; harming LGBTQ+ communities; undermining the right to unionize and the right to strike.  The most far-reaching policy change is undoubtedly the stated aim to annex the West Bank and depose the Palestinian[KK1] [AA2]  Authority in Ramallah[iv], thus making Israel de facto an apartheid state.

However, in the face of these initiatives, a massive protest movement has gathered momentum. Since January 2023, hundreds of thousands of people have demonstrated each Saturday – at times as much as 5% of the population. The demonstrators include economists[v], academics, former army officers[vi], civil society organizations, women’s rights groups, LGBTQ+ organizations, artists and thousands of ordinary citizens. They have led a protest movement, unprecedented in strength, that is determined to stop the Netanyahu government.

The protest focuses mainly on defending the independence of the judicial system. But it has expanded to include a slew of urgent issues[vii]. Those protesters who represent Israel’s ‘center’ – the hi-tech industry, the financial sector, the defense establishment, the health sector, the universities, among others – have suddenly found themselves facing fundamentalist and racist forces that scorn democracy and the basic values of modern society. This means that a pluralist, democratic society with a free press and independent courts is no longer a given.

The protest peaked in March 2023, after Netanyahu announced the dismissal of Defense Minister, Yoav Galant, who had called for a halt to legislation that[KK3] [AA4]  would severely restrict judicial autonomy.  Within a few hours of Netanyahu’s  dramatic announcement, , spontaneous protests were rapidly organized.  Tens of thousands of people blocked major traffic arteries throughout Tel Aviv.  At the same time, Histadrut, the powerful General Federation of Labor, together with key businesses, hospital directors and universities, declared a general strike,  also[KK5] [AA6]  demanding a halt to the judicial overhaul . [viii]. The power of protests and the strike, which brought economic activity to a halt, compelled Netanyahu eventually to declare that the legislative process would be suspended, and the Defense Minister’s dismissal would be reconsidered.

These declarations were clearly nothing more than tactical steps aimed at manipulating the protesters. The government did not change its intentions. The first to call out the government’s dissembling was Joe Biden, who declared that the suspension of the legislation was not convincing, and that Netanyahu remained persona non grata in Washington[ix]

The end of this internal crisis is still pending. It is clear that, in order to guarantee a democracy in Israel, the opposition will have to bring down Netanyahu and tackle three[KK7] [AA8]  fundamental issues:– relations between religion and state; the status of Israel’s Palestinian citizens; and, most importantly, the brutal occupation[KK9] [AA10]  regime of some five million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

It is important to note that these are not just tasks for  future discussions. [KK11] [AA12] The protest movement is tacking these issues daily when it opposes Government racist anti Palestinian plans and legislations[x]. Physicist Shikma Bressler, the most vocal spokesperson  of the protesters, explained that the democratic camp, which believes in freedom and civil rights and  equality, faces a camp that advocates absolute supremacy over others”.[xi]

How Did Israel Reach this Point?

The answer is rooted in the schizophrenia between the Jewish character of the state and the total negation of Palestinian rights and on the other side the stated principles of democracy and equality that were declared in the Declaration of Independence in 1948. The Occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem in 1967 pushed this contradiction to its limits It took a major revolutionary uprising – the Palestinian intifada of 1987-1993-for Israel’s leaders to realize that you could not eliminate the Palestinian people or their struggle. However[KK13] [AA14] , in signing the 1993  Oslo[KK15]  Accords with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), Israel never made  a true break with its colonialist past, leaving Palestinians completely dependent on Israel. That said, many people among liberal and leftwing forces in Israel and around world saw Oslo as a first step towards a Palestinian state.

However[KK16] [AA17]  in November 1995 the PM Yitzhak Rabin was murdered by an Israeli extremist and a year later Likud took power.[xii]. This conjuncture proved the superficial nature of change in the Labor Party and other supporters of Oslo. Instead of waking up to the danger posed by the racist, violent Israeli rightwing that was the driving force behind the assassination, It opted on Israeli national unity.

The second Intifada that broke out in September 2000 saw the end of the Oslo peace illusion. [xiii]. In the two decades since then, a consensus between Left, centrist and rightwing Israeli forces has emerged regarding the impossibility of a political solution. While the left talked about possible political changes that could address   unfavorable conditions,  the right rejected any political solution. Consequently, governments of all stripes have permitted the massive expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. U.S. President Donald Trump’s support for Netanyahu, crowned by the Abraham Accords between Israel and the Gulf states, was the last nail in the coffin of a Two States Solution[xiv]. Trump’s regional peace plan, which Netanyahu called   “the deal of the century,” jumped over the Palestinians to  prove that the Arab World could make peace with Israel even as the occupation of Palestine continues.

With corruption charges brought against Netanyahu, and the threat that he might end up in jail became real, the populist anti-“deep state” campaign dominated the scene. Netanyahu opted on a coalition with openly fascist forces, including the Otzma Yehudit  Party, led by Adv. Itamar Ben Gvir,  and Religious Zionism, led by Bezalel Smotrich. Overnight, these two politicians moved from being outcast extremists to finance Minster (Smotrich) and Police Minister (Ben Gvir) in the new coalition of a “full-on” rightwing government.

Netanyahu’s plans are in line with processes, carried out in recent years by  authoritarian regimes in Hungary and Poland, to wipe out the independence of the judicial system, the press, and academia. The Israeli version of a political coup d’état is linked to a racist plan to put an end to Palestinian struggle as well. The link between Israel’s government and the worlds’ semi-fascist forces, above all Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, are well known. It is not by chance that Israel refuses to oppose Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Internal Rifts Left Palestinians in Disarray

According to an opinion poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research  (PSR) in Ramallah last March, 77% of Palestinians are dissatisfied with the performance of PA  President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah party.  Only 19% indicated support for Abbas. [xv]  Abbas was elected in 2006.  No presidential or parliamentary elections have been held since[xvi].

Since the 90’s the PA and Fatah and the PLO had become synonymous names. Yasser Arafat, the legendary leader of Fatah and the PLO from 1969 to his death in 2004 was recognized by Palestinians as the symbol of liberation and freedom. But when he signed the Oslo Agreements and became the first President of the PA, people realized he cannot bring freedom. His political impotency and the corrupt regime he established in Ramallah  drove people to support Hamas.

Hamas’ prestige among Palestinians was built in the 1990s, as negotiations with Israel failed to deliver tangible results to Palestinians who remained subject to the daily humiliations and injustices of the Israeli occupation. Even after the Oslo Agreement was signed, land confiscation and building of Jewish settlements on Palestinian land continued unabated. The support for Hamas reached its paek during he Second intifada of 2000-2005[xvii]; but it was based on false promise.

The Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip proved to be no better. In 2007, its members hunted down, maimed, and even killed Fatah leaders and finally expelled them from Gaza.[xviii]Hamas became the exclusive ruler, sowing terror upon its citizens. It prevents any political or economic progress for residents of the Gaza Strip, who have borne 16 years of the destructive Israeli siege and extreme poverty.

Hamas’ claim that armed struggle – meaning sending Palestinian youth on suicide bombing missions against Israeli civilians – and refusing all negotiation with Israel was soon exposed as self-destructive. After 30 years and five bloody rounds of conflict in Gaza, it is clear to all – including Hamas leaders – that, faced with the superior military power of Israel, there is no military option[xix]. Both regimes, the PA in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza, are subject to the Israeli Shekel economy. They continue to depend on Israel to issue Identity cards and provide their electricity and water. [xx]The Israeli regime, for its part, used the internal division between Hamas and the PA to isolate Gaza and use its military might to repress Palestinians. Instead of recognizing Palestine’s  right to self-determination, Israel promotes the idea of “economic peace, ” based on the illusion that, if Israel permits Palestinians to work[KK18] [AA19]  in Israel and increase their income, their desire for freedom will be neutralized.

The result has been a continued and unprecedented increase in the number of West Bank residents (and since 2021 also Gaza Strip residents) working in Israel and the Israeli settlements. In 2022, this number reached some 200,000 workers[xxi]. This crucial social and productive population from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip finds itself increasingly reliant on the Israeli economy for its livelihood, which has important strategic implications.

In the context of the PA’s economic weakness and the low salaries in both the public and private sector in the West Bank & Gaza, Palestinian trade unions face a structural problem stemming from the Paris Protocol (an economic appendix added to the Oslo Accords in  1994):  no Palestinian union, rights organization, or lawyer has the right to intervene in the legal status of Palestinians employed in Israel or in the territories under Israeli control.[xxii]

The entry of some 200,000 Palestinian workers each day to workplaces in Israel and the settlements is the most crucial factor affecting social and political reality in the West Bank. With no political horizon, the increase in their numbers magnifies the scale of their abuse. These workers are ‘bound’ to their employers via a complex permit system that results in an illegal trade in permits and violations of workers[KK20] [AA21] ’ rights.  

This large group of workers, whose average wage is three times higher than the average wage of those in PA areas, contributes App. US$ 4.0 Billion to the Palestinian GDP annually (16% of the GNI)[xxiii]. All rules and regulations governing these workers are unilaterally determined by Israeli authorities and are being implemented unilaterally. These workers cannot benefit from the guidance or support of Palestinian unions to defend themselves.

The general mood in the Palestinian arena is one of despair and helplessness. This might explain the overall underestimation of the Israeli protest movement and its potential long-term contribution to the Palestinian struggle. Apart from the voices of individual intellectuals like Lawyer Adv[KK22] [AA23] . Jawad Boulos, writer Muhammad Ali Taha and others[xxiv], Palestinian public opinion almost entirely ignores the possibilities created by the current crisis in Israel[xxv].

A New Kind of Union for Palestinians and Israelis

MAAN Workers Association –which I direct–is the only Israeli trade union organizing Palestinian workers and accepting them as full and equal members alongside its Israeli members.

 In 2009, MAAN began acting in the interface between Palestinian workers and the Israeli authorities and employers,[xxvi] announcing that it was the representative organization for Palestinian workers at the Salit Quarries in Mishor Adumim[xxvii]. MAAN demanded that management negotiate over their employment terms. This was the first time in the history of Israel’s colonial control of the Palestinians that such a demand had been made. Later, other workers–including those at Zarfati Garage[xxviii], Maya Food Industries, and Rajwan food in Atarot among  others–declared that they too were joining MAAN. This development has political significance: Palestinian workers struggling for their rights are joining a democratic Israeli organization, which recognizes them as equal members. For the first time since Palestinians began working in Israel in 1970, these workers have the opportunity to represent themselves and take action in their workplaces.

In an article in the “Besheva” Magazine [KK24] [AA25] in 2019, Attorney Yaron Eliram,(who represents dozens of firms in the industrial zone of Mishor Adumim), expressed the employer’s concerns about referring to MAAN:  “Nearly a hundred businesses …. Are dealing with the phenomenon of repeated allegations, extortion, and brutal association of workers with no real desire to reach a serious dialogue with employers.” [xxix] This describes the classic Pavlovian reaction of employers whenever workers demand their rights after years of exploitation. MAAN has been accused of being an extremist organization that supports terror and aims to damage the “good relations” between workers and employers in the industrial zone. In fact, these are exploitative relations, which have kept the workers lacking basic rights for years[xxx]. When MAAN began unionizing at Salit Quarries in 2009, for example, we met workers who had never received the mandatory pay-slip that proves they were employees of the company. In the Zarfati Garage, we met workers who had been paid NIS 2500 a month when the legal minimum at the time was NIS 4850. Before they organized with MAAN, Zarfaty workers had  insurance for work accidents, no paid sick leave and no pay-slip. In Maya Industries, it was common for workers to be fired without warning if they refused to work overtime.

MAAN’s activities have led to significant change. Despite several  setbacks in recent years we have succeeded in reaching path-breaking collective agreements in the industrial zones of Atarot[xxxi] and Mishor Adumim[xxxii], with ripple effects in other factories as well.  MAAN’s social media posts and press releases are reposted widely, and thousands of workers are in close contact with the organization, perceiving it as dependable.

In addition to unionizing and negotiating [KK26] collective agreements in non-unionized workplaces, MAAN is also active on broader questions of policy. For example, MAAN successfully petitioned the National Labor Court in 2020 to end the payment of agency fees to Histadrut.[xxxiii] For years, these fees had been deducted from the wages of Palestinians, often overnight and without authorization.  

MAAN also closely monitors  harsh conditions at checkpoints for Palestinians entering Israel. In the second half of 2022, MAAN pressured the authorities to deal with the urgent issue of sexual harassment of Palestinian women agricultural workers at the Tulkarem checkpoint[xxxiv].  MAAN’s intervention led to greater oversight at the checkpoint, putting an end to the harassment.

Since 2021, MAAN has led  a major public campaign to fight the permit regime that regulates the entrance of Palestinian workers to Israel. The current system violates ILO standards as it leads to  to a massive illegal trade in permits. Moreover, all workers, including those who do not need to buy permits from brokers, are bonded to their employers and thus subjected to forced labor conditions. According to recent statistics, some 58,000 workers are forced to buy their permits and end up paying NIS 2,500 per month[xxxv].

Data we have gathered reveal that this criminal activity has continued unabated for years, although all government agencies recognize its harmfulness[xxxvi]. The Authorities are not stopping hundreds of Israeli contractors who manipulate the system and engage in this trade in permits ,reaping NIS 1.7 Billion in black money in 2022[xxxvii]. On the other side, the  PA allows broker’s agencies, which  receive the permits from  Israeli contractors, to sell them openly in the main squares of towns in the West Bank. After they charge each worker NIS 2,500 per month, they take their part of the profit and send the rest (estimated at 80%) to the Israeli contractor. In order to force the worker to pay them every month, they demand open promissory notes, which can be used as a threat to file a criminal charge against the worker and thus might cost that worker the ability to get a work permit.

There is a criminal aspect to this  system, including human trafficking [KK27] [AA28] and tax evasion by hundreds of companies engaged in these profitable businesses. However, another aspect is the inherent super exploitation that leaves  workers unprotected and powerless: they get through the border using the permit they have bought, and then they seek another employer in the “free market.” Often employed in dangerous conditions, without insurance or employment security; and they fall victim to extreme abuse.  

To counter this, MAAN, together with Legal Aid for Palestinians (LEAP), initiated a public campaign that calls on the Israeli authorities to issue a “green card” for Palestinian workers[xxxviii] an end to the trade in permits by[KK29] [AA30]  granting permits directly to workers. This Green Card campaign was conceptualized through many discussions and meetings with Palestinian workers who belong to MAAN’s activists group. MAAN is engaged in an intense exchange of ideas with organizations and institution who do research and work on this issue. Our call to issue Green Cards to Palestinian workers has been discussed with government officials and presented officially to the Inter Ministerial Committee, a committee that was formed in June 2022 to propose new ideas on how to regulate the permit system.[xxxix].

 A Democratic State for Palestinians and Israelis

Today, there is broad agreement that the “peace process” between Israel and the Palestinians, which began in Oslo in 1993, has reached a dead end. There is no political force on the Israeli side or on the Palestinian side able to implement a “two-state solution.” The establishment of Israel’s extreme rightwing government, which aims to impose an apartheid regime on the Palestinians, confirms this deadlock. Given this reality, many are calling to abandon the “two-state” paradigm, based on separation between the two peoples, and replace it with the principle of a democratic one-state solution for Palestinians and Israelis that is based on the idea of cooperation and working for a system that serves everybody without regard to their  national affiliation[xl].

The protest movement in Israel has the potential to engender significant democratic change, since it provides an opportunity to raise fundamental questions that have been silenced or dormant for many decades. MAAN’s activities on both sides of the separation barrier and its active participation in this movement for democracy[xli] contributes to the creation of a new social, cultural, and political reality of equal partnership between Israelis and Palestinians. This may be proof that a democratic Israeli-Palestinian partnership is not just a dream for the distant future but a reality that can be built today.

[i] Netanyahu Will Return With Corruption Charges Unresolved. Here’s Where the Case Stands / New York Times 3.11.22.

[ii] ‘It’s a judicial coup trying to change the very basic fundamental pillars of Israel democracy’ / France 24, 10.3.23 . See also Levin unveils bills to remove nearly all High Court’s tools for government oversight / the Time of Israel 11.1.23

[iii] Cabinet Approves Transfer of Education Ministry Powers to anti-LGBTQ Deputy Minister / Haaretz 15.1.23

[iv] The Palestinian Authority (PA) was established in 1994 following the Oslo Agreement between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) that was recognized by Israel at the time as the official representative of the Palestinian people. The PA has a parliament and a President and it calls itself the State of Palestine, although in reality it is an autonomous authority that is controlled by Israel. Stiil, its semi-independent status gives it a voice in the international arena and control over civilian aspects life in the West Bank while Gaza is controlled by Hamas in basically the same way.

[v] Economists warn Israel’s judicial overhaul will spark ‘fast, powerful’ meltdown / I24News 2.3.23

[vi] Netanyahu’s Legal Crusade Is Sparking a Military Backlash in Israel / Foreign Policy 23.3.23  

[vii] Israeli Protesters could be the key to peace / Chatham House analysis 16.3.23

[viii] Histadrut labor federation announces ‘historic general strike’ if judicial overhaul not halted / The Times of Israel 27.3.23

[ix] Biden says Netanyahu won’t get White House invitation in “near term” / Axios 29.3.23 / See also Biden’s Confrontation With Netanyahu Had Been Brewing for Years / New York Times 29.3.23

[x] See for example the outcry against the bill that aimed to outlaw raising of Palestinian flags in Israel

[xi] How a Particle Physicist Became the Reluctant Face of Israel’s Protest Movement. An interview with Ms. Shikma Bresler / Ha’aretz 17.3.2023 see also Netanyahu succumbs to the Jewish Jihad / by Uri Misgav, Ha’aretz 18.5.2023 (Hebrew)

[xii] Yitzhak Rabin’s murder still casts its shadow / DW 11.4.2020

[xiii] See a discussion of the role of Hamas in the second Intifada below here. Aslo in Endnote no. 15

[xiv] The utter failure of the Abraham Accords , by Imad K. Harb / Aljazeera, 18.5.21

[xv] Palestinians public opinion changes / PSR Survey 14.3.23 / see also Corruption is the main concern for Palestinians, says local anti-corruption watchdog / The New Arab 30.3.22

[xvi] A year on, Nizar Banat’s killing sheds light on PA corruption, but justive is on hold

See also To prevent the PA from Unraveling, Address Internal Reform / The Washington Institute 28.2.23

[xvii] What is Hamas’s military strategy? By Majed Kialy / Arab 48 (Arabic) 31.10.2010

[xviii] Hamas takes control of Gaza / The Guardian. 15.6.2007

[xix] On Hamas and its attempt to become a Palestinian Hizbulla / Al Natour Center for Studies & Research, July 2022 by Majed Kayali (Arabic)

[xx] Paradigm Lost: From Two-State Solution to One-State Reality / Foreign Affairs 8.12.2020 See also How the peace process killed the two-state solution / The Brookings Institute 12.4.2018

[xxi] The Future of Palestinian Employment in the Israeli Labour Market in light of Political and Economic Realities / M.A.S Policy Brief Sep.2022

[xxii] The rational was that Israel and Palestine are to be two separate states and thus unions from one should be able to organize in the territory of the other state.

[xxiii] The Future of Palestinian Employment in the Israeli Labor Market in light of Political and Economic Realities / M.A.S Palestinian Research Centre. July 2022.

[xxiv] Palestinian Author: We Should Join Israeli Protests, Without Palestinian Flags/ Haaretz 1.5.23 (an interview with Mohammad Ali Taha) Our present is our future, so who will forge it? / Jawad Boulus Alquds Al Arabi 16.3.23 (Arabic) see also Palestinians must put forward an alternative / Asaad Ghanem, Haaretz 13.4.23 (Hebrew) – note that the three voices quoted here are Palestinians Arab citizens of Israel.

[xxv] Wave of ‘Israeli spring’ protests leaves Palestinian citizens out in the cold / The Guardian 18.2.23

[xxvi] Power to the Workers? Labor Struggles and Representation in a Post-Corporatist Era / Phd dissertation by Jonathan Preminger 2018 – this important study presents the history of MAAN (previously called WAC or WAC-MAAN in English)

[xxvii] Palestinian Workers Are Now Unionizing in the West Bank / By Miriam Berger The Nation 1.10.2017

[xxviii] The Struggle for Palestinian Workers’ Rights in Israeli Settlements: The Case of Maan v. Zarfati Garage / By Ethan Jerume Morton, The Jerusalem Quarterly – Institute for Palestinian Studies, Summer 2021 /

[xxix] The Workers’s Revolt / “Besheva”, 13.12.2019 (see the original Hebrew article in Besheva’s website here

[xxx] Ripe for Abuse – Palestinian Child Labor in Israeli Agricultural Settlements in the West Bank / HRW 13.4.2015

[xxxi] MAAN’s field report on the Atarot industrial zone in Jerusalem has now appeared: “Palestinian workers demand their rights and unionize.” / MAAN website Feb. 2022   

[xxxii] A New Research: WAC-MAAN – A decade of organizing Palestinian workers in the West Bank Settlements / MAAN website June 2019

[xxxiii] Following MAAN’s petition, Israeli Interior Ministry’s Payments Section has stopped deducting service fees from the wages of Palestinian workers. The fees were paid to the Histadrut since 1970 and to Histadrut Leumit since 2019 / MAAN Website 8.12.2020 

[xxxiv] An end to sexual harassment of Palestinian women workers at the Sha’ar Ephraim checkpoint (near Tulkarm) / MAAN 20.11.2022

[xxxv] Palestinians snap up Israeli work permits from profiteers / By Idan Eretz, Globes, 27.4.2023

[xxxvi] Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee holds quick debate on “Trade in Israeli entry permits of Palestinian workers”; MK Ben Barak, Chair: “Palestinians working in Israel is in the interest of both Israel and the Palestinians” / Knesset News, 26.5.2022

[xxxvii] Palestinians snap up Israeli work permits from profiteers / By Idan Eretz, Globes, 27.4.2023

[xxxviii] Give Palestinian workers a Green Card – A Position paper submitted to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Employment Arrangements for Palestinians in the Construction Sector, July 2022 / See also The great exploitation – Palestinians forced to pay huge sums to work in Israel / Haaretz 27.1.2022 – this article quotes extensively MAAN and LEAP on the Green Card proposal 

[xxxix] Position paper submitted to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Employment Arrangements for Palestinians in the Construction Sector, July 2022 / MAAN

[xl] Beyond the Two-States Solution – by Jonathan Kuttab See also Let’s Stop Lying About the Two-State ‘Solution’ / Tablet 3.2.2020 See also The Jewish majority alone matters / Daam Party website, 16.3.23

[xli] The fight against the right wing government impels a commitment to the principle of equal partnership between Israelis and Palestinians / a statement by MAAN, Feb 5, 2023


The East Jerusalem Project

Severe employment crisis in East Jerusalem ahead of Ramadan

On the eve of Ramadan, Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem are facing an economic and social crisis exacerbated by a 7.6 per cent increase in unemployment since the outbreak of the war. Despite the crisis, the government is severely undermining its own five-year plan for East Jerusalem. MAAN Workers Association (hence MAAN) calls on the mayor and the incoming city council to secure budgets to reduce socio-economic gaps in the city.

Palestinian Workers

MAAN and Kav Laoved write to Immigration and Population Authority and demand to reserve a place in the quota for Palestinian workers with a permit who resigned/fired during the “Iron Swords” war

The two workers’ rights groups wrote on Feb. 13 to Mr. Moshe Nakash the head of the Immigration and Population Authority and demanded that special measures will be taken to alleviate the suffering of Palestinian workers and also to enable Israeli employers to overcome the crisis and keep their experienced workers.

Palestinian Workers

The War in Gaza Brings Severe Poverty and Despair to the West Bank

Journalist Hagar Sheizaf of Haaretz collaborated with MAAN to give a compelling presentation on the dire situation of Palestinian workers out of work for four months due to the war. Sheizaf quotes Assaf Adiv, MAAN’s Executive Director and also workers affiliated with MAAN who worked in Israel for dozens of years. These workers bare no responsibility for the October 7 terrorist attack, yet they pay the price. All of them demand to go back to their work places in Israel for the benefit of all.


אנא כתבו את שמכם המלא, טלפון ותיאור קצר של נושא הפנייה, ונציג\ה של מען יחזרו אליכם בהקדם האפשרי.

رجاءً اكتبوا اسمكم الكامل، الهاتف، ووصف قصير حول موضوع توجهكم، ومندوب عن نقابة معًا سيعاود الاتصال بكم لاحقًا

As an organization committed to the rights of workers without distinction of religion, race, nationality, gender, or profession - democracy is our essence. We strongly oppose the authoritarian laws that the extreme government of Netanyahu, Lapid, Bennett, and Smotrich is attempting to impose.

Without democracy, there are no workers' rights, just as a workers' organization cannot exist under dictatorship.

only a victory of the democratic camp will enable a discussion on the Palestinian issue and lead to an alternative solution to occupation and apartheid while ensuring human rights and citizenship for all, Israelis and Palestinians alike. As long as the apartheid regime persists, the democratic camp will not succeed in defeating Israeli extremists. Therefore, we work to involve the Arab and Palestinian society in the protest.

We invite you:

To march with us in protests and to build an alternative, democratic, Jewish-Arab professional union in Israel. Join our quiet WhatsApp group today, "Marching with us in protest."

To join MAAN and unite workers in your workplace. Read here how to join the organization.

To follow MAAN's work on social networks.

Please write your full name, phone number, and a brief description of the subject of your inquiry, and a representative from our organization will get back to you as soon as possible.