The new extreme Israeli rightwing government is a challenge to all democratic forces who support human and workers’ rights.
For over twenty years we have stood at the center of the struggle for universal rights. For our position on the current government see below.
In this Newsletter we report on a new unionizing drive among Palestinian workers in the “Better & Different” food factory in area C; several initiatives we took to defend the rights of Palestinians in the checkpoints; a joint statement with Kav Laoved on progress regarding the pension rights of Palestinian workers; MAAN’s Green Card campaign and our statement that compared the Kafala system in Qatar to the trade in permits of Palestinian workers, and a spotlight on two of our grass roots partners for the advancement and empowerment of women rights in East Jerusalem.
MAAN works with dozens of civil society organization in the fields of law, advocacy, rights literacy, health and empowerment. This rights community, in which Palestinian and Israeli activists are already meeting, discussing, cooperating, is our answer to the apartheid regime taking shape in Israel.
We welcome your remarks or questions regarding this newsletter. In light of the new government’s attempt to clamp down on civil rights of Israelis and further political rights of Palestinians, we would be happy to conduct online meetings with your activists in order to elaborate on our work and upcoming challenges.
++ This Newsletter was prepared by Assaf Adiv and Yonatan Preminger
MAAN ACTIVISTS MEET IN BEIT SAHOUR
On Oct 17, 2022, MAAN held a meeting of activists in the city of Beit Sahour in the West Bank (Bethlehem region). On the agenda was how to promote the concept of the Green Card for Palestinian workers as well as a discussion of MAAN’s effort to organize workers, including both those who work in the settlements and inside Israel.
For more on the Green Card campaign, see HERE.
Among the speakers in the meeting were: Wafa Tayara – Head of MAAN’s Women and Work program in the Umm al-Fahm region; Yoav Gal Tamir and Othman Gharabat from the organizing section; Assaf Adiv – Executive Director; and activists Kheiri Abd El Jabbar, Hatem Abu Ziadeh, Badawi Abu Jawaied and Mai Abu Samaan.
FOOD FACTORY WORKERS JOIN MAAN
A large group of workers from the Better & Different food factory in Mishor Adumim joined MAAN in December. The workers, who live in Palestinian Authority areas of the West Bank, unionized to improve their wages and employment conditions. Most of them currently work for minimum wage and have no hope of promotion.
On this organizing drive, See Here.
VIA DOLOROSA FOR WORKERS AT THE CHECKPOINTS
On Nov. 27, MAAN’s Wafa Tiara and staff visited the Barta’a checkpoint to monitor the situation there.
See the report here.
Workers who face harsh conditions in Barta’a Checkpoint approached MAAN after we published a report on sexual harassment of Palestinian women in the Sha’ar Efraim checkpoint see here.
On Oct. 24, MAAN wrote to the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) and raised the issue of extortion of workers who want to renew their magnetic cards see here.
MAAN: In the face of the extreme right wing Government, we put forward a vision of equality & a joint struggle of Palestinians and Israelis
In the fight against the extreme rightwing government, MAAN refuses to succumb to despair. We position our struggle on the principle of equality for all in the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. On the basis of cooperation between Palestinians and Israelis, we call for the joint building of one democratic state that can provide an alternative to the violent and destructive reality that has resulted from years of occupation and injustice.
For the full statement, see here.
The Kafala system that chains migrant workers in Qatar exists in Israel too: 200,000 Palestinians are subject to a regime of bonded labour
Kafala in Qatar and Israel: Harsh criticism was directed at Qatar during the World Cup. Most of it concerned Qatar’s Kafala system that bonds migrant workers. Israel has a similar system: some 200,000 Palestinian workers are employed in the Israeli labour market under a similar system of bonded labour.
MAAN campaigns to issue Green Cards for Palestinian workers as the alternative to the corrupt permit system. See MAAN’s statement here.
A joint statement from Kav LaOved – Worker’s Hotline and MAAN-Workers Association concerning the transfer of Palestinian workers’ pension funds to the Amitim Company
The Payments Division (PD) which operates the system managing employment of Palestinians in Israel announced in December that all pension savings of Palestinian workers employed in Israel will be transferred to Amitim Pensions Fund as of April 1, 2023. MAAN and Kav LaOved issued a joint statement on the meaning of this important step. See the full text here.
NETWORKING ON WOMEN’S EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS IN EAST JERUSALEM
7. In order to promote the employment of Palestinian women and improve their position in the job market, MAAN conducts rights literacy training in cooperation with local community initiatives. We highlight two of these groups. For more information about this project, see here.
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