In the shadow of war the struggle for workers’ rights continues

We enter the year 2024 in the shadow of a war that is changing the face of the Middle East. Hamas's attack of October 7 has plunged the Israeli and Palestinian peoples deeper into what seems an endless conflict. The current phase has so far claimed the lives of 1300 Israelis and over 20,000 Palestinians. About 70% of homes in Gaza have been made unfit for habitation, and more than a million and a half Gazans are now crowded into the south of the Strip hungry for food. Over 160,000 Israelis have been displaced from their homes, and 136 are held hostage by Hamas under inhumane conditions.

For decades, we at MAAN Workers Association have been fighting against the Occupation and its oppression of Palestinians. However, it must be said frankly that Hamas’s brutal attack against Israeli civilians on Black Saturday was not an act of resistance to the Israeli occupation, but a fundamentalist jihadist action carried out in support of the Iran-Hezbollah axis, with Putin in the background.

Since October 7, some 200,000 Palestinians who work in Israel have not been permitted to enter. MAAN has undertaken major efforts to bring them back to their jobs. Right-wingers in the Cabinet rail against this, but we persist in affirming that Israel has a responsibility to them. This struggle is vital not just for their livelihoods, but also for the Israeli economy, and for the future of both peoples.

See two articles:

  1. Ban of Palestinian workers creates powder keg in the West Bank.
  2. Open the Gates of Israel for the return of Palestinian workers

MAAN continues its efforts to organize workers in this challenging time. We report on the beginning of negotiations with AKIM-Jerusalem and the signing of a 5th collective agreement with the Musrara Art College.

Throughout 2023, MAAN took part in the protest movement against Netanyahu’s right-wing government and its attempt to undermine Israel’s democracy. The war has temporarily frozen those protests, but the confrontation of right and left in Israel has never been more severe. MAAN supports the electoral list of protest activists (New Contract) in the upcoming local elections, and we will play an active role in the struggle to overthrow the present government.

See: Elections for Local Authorities: MAAN Supports Democratic Lists organized by the “New Contract” initiative of the Protest movement

The Bread and Roses fund-raising exhibition organized since 2004 by MAAN and Sindyanna of Galilee in cooperation with hundreds of Jewish and Arab artists will open on March to mark our commitment to solidarity and compassion over hate and destruction. See The 18th Bread and Roses Art Sale.


The East Jerusalem Project

Significant Achievements of MAAN – Workers Association in Protecting Workers’ Rights

Since the outbreak of the war, MAAN – Workers Association has secured the labor rights, social security benefits, unemployment benefits, and support for work accidents for over 300 residents of East Jerusalem. This includes opening checkpoints and distributing food vouchers, translating to over 3 million NIS in benefits. Notably, over 40% of those who received assistance are women.

Palestinian Workers

The government’s decision to massively import overseas workers is social lawlessness, a disaster for both the economy and security. It must be revoked and Palestinians must be allowed to return to their jobs in Israel

Wednesday, May 15, the Israeli government approved a structural reform on employment of migrant workers where it allowed a ceiling of 330,000 overseas workers in the Israeli job market. MAAN sees this decision as a step that defies all economic logic, contradicts labor market planning, and opens the way to a dangerous expansion of human trafficking for labor purposes in Israel. In addition, the decision reflects complete disregard for the consequences of the continued halt in employment of Palestinians.

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.


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.