Nabil Ghanem – victim of obtuseness and the cruel permits regime

Nabil Ghanem, an unarmed 53-year-old Palestinian, was shot dead on 19th June by soldiers near the separation fence in the Qalqiliya region as he went to work. Ghanem has been coming to work in Israel from his village near Nablus for the past 35 years. Because he was involved in the first intifada in the 1980s, he was forbidden from entering Israel and was therefore compelled to enter to seek work via breaches in the fence and not through the checkpoints.

Nabil Ghanem was one of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who have been employed in Israel since 1967. The security forces know very well that he represented no security threat. Even if he broke the law in his efforts to get over the fence, this is no justification for killing him. The army’s official report of the incident holds that Nabil was shot while he tried to cut the separation fence.

Moreover, the army retained his body for days, an affront to his dignity and a humiliation for his family, reflecting the arbitrariness, obtuseness and cruelty of the authorities.

The current government, like its predecessors, refuses to make any progress in reaching a settlement with the Palestinians. Its policies are based on narrow security considerations which mark every Palestinian as an enemy. Even when it ostensibly eases restrictions in the name of “economic peace”, the justification for every step is security needs. Instead of seeing Palestinians as partners for building a life of dignity, they are viewed through the sights of a gun.

The arbitrary permits regime makes Palestinians hostages to their employers, who exploit their weakened position and deny them their rights. It also makes them subject to the criminal illegal trade in permits, forcing them to pay thousands of shekels to obtain one. Now they have to contend with live ammunition too, as they seek a way of earning a living.

Nabil Ghanem’s murder exposes the true face of “economic peace”. The racist populist sentiment in Israel longs to see Palestinian blood; the authorities loose the leashes of the police and soldiers, allowing them to kill innocent people with no fear of real prosecution, never mind punishment.

MAAN Workers Association offers an alternative path. We call for an end to the abuse of workers, and demand they be given a “green card”[1] that would grant them freedom of movement to choose their employer as they see fit, without fear of being denied entry and the loss of livelihood that this entails.

Translation: Yonatan Preminger

[1] A joint Position Paper by MAAN and LEAP calling to implement Green Card for Palestinian workers as an alternative to the current corrupt and dysfunctional permit regime, was published Jan. 2022 see here



Fighting for peace and cooperation between Palestinian and Israeli workers in times of war

Following is a talk by Yoav Gal Tamir that was given to the Global Labour Institute School under the headline “Young Union Leaders Imagining International Trade Unionism”. The GLI gathering of 100 activists took place at the end of November near Paris. MAAN’s representative Yoav Gal Tamir talked about the union’s role today, after the October Massacre by Hamas and Israel’s retaliation. Tamir also emphasized MAAN’s unique role as a union that works in Israel, defends and organizes both Israeli and Palestinian workers.

The East Jerusalem Project

Solidarity across borders: residents of East and West Jerusalem work together in crisis and build the foundations of a common future

Jerusalem after October 7 is a city marked by suspicion and fear. The city economy has been hit hard, and many in both the Jewish and Palestinian communities prefer to avoid public spaces. In the immediate days after the war began, checkpoints around the city have been shut, cutting off the Palestinians living in the outskirts of the city. That would be around one third of the city’s residents who are left in a dire economic situation. Amidst this, dozens of organizations – both Jewish and Palestinian – begun working to provide relief. MAAN Workers Association (MAAN) joined the Jerusalem’s civilian Emergency Center, especially the branch set up for the East Jerusalem residents. Together, these organizations in both sides of the city create an enclave of sanity, bringing hope in solidarity.


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.

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