Saturday, November 5

The Whisperers

The well worn cliché: "Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East" is showing signs of erosion. More and more evidence of NGOs involved in human rights abuse investigations are becoming known.

What is Israel's response to these accusations? The predictable automatic response that "anti-Semitism and attempts made to delegitimize Israel’s right to exist which plays into the hands of Israel's enemies".

However, instead of investigating these accusations, a blanket excuse is always given - "security reasons" - and a swift denial. Some cases are even dismissed as "not in the public interest".

These cover-ups are not only confined to security issues or torture of Palestinians who are in captivity by the security services to extract information, but also in various government departments concerned with the running of the country's services for its citizens. The latter has nothing to do with "security reasons" but the formation of cartels protecting the interests of those in the various ministry hierarchies.

The insensitivity displayed towards the abuse and exploitation of foreign workers as well as contract laborers with no chance of salary increments above the minimum wage. A form of slavery is becoming common place in the hands of heartless contractors who are responsible for maintaining cleaning services in hospitals, public buildings, and shopping malls. This extends to the security guards who stand at entrances to public places looking after public security. The democracy Israel-style ignores the employees who are not even considered human beings but cogs in contract labour cartels. They have no decent terms of employment. The list in the contract labour cartels is endless. These workers have no employment benefits at all. In this democracy it is legal as these employees are numbers and are barely considered human with feelings and desires.

If there are complaints against the civil service hierarchy, depending on the senior position of civil servant, the availability of a body to redress complaints of inefficiency, defamation of character and slander accusations is very difficult if not impossible even though there is a law making provision for this. The demi-god in the position of responsibility in the hierarchy is never available - always at some meeting and the complainant is left high and dry. There is no address for slander accusations in the work place as the "impartial courts" only deal with this if important public figures are involved. In some cases the judge can even decide against the complainant for "wasting his time" even if there is a case morally, but legally, it is a different matter.

Many Israel pundits will say "that it is not only Israel, but all democracies have a problem with slander cases against the common citizen”. Appeal to a court of law is an expensive business - a gamble, depending on the moods of the legal clique of judges in the cartel where the disease of nepotism is dominant.

Sometimes there are whispers of truth that leaks out much to the shock of the establishment and if the stink is too great then promises of investigations are released to the press and that is where the matter remains unless a well known public figure with loads of money is involved. Money buys justice and excellent lawyers. Those unfortunate people who are not wealthy and are treated unjustly have very little recourse to justice. This is not only applicable to Palestinians but to Israelis as well. There are a few exceptions but these are rare and when they occur they are reported.

There are work places in Israel where it is forbidden to organize a workers committee in order to look after the interests of workers and where they can redress their complaints against their employers. In some institutions the clause against holding a strike is in the personal contract. In many cases the management ignores legitimate complaints about working conditions or an unreasonable superior who slanders his or her team of workers.

The conditions of foreign workers and contract laborers are almost akin to slavery. The cover-ups are alive and kicking in Israel. Exploitation is a common practice which is overlooked. It is not going to improve until the whisperers turn into screamers making their voices heard rather than adopting the attitude of "I'm all right Jack and I close my eyes to the rest".

The indifference of Israeli society to the occupation, the injustices to foreign workers and contracted laborers is a disease that needs to be cured.

In many cases pay is poor as we have witnessed in the doctors strike, where young doctors who are specializing, work long hours with hardly any break. There is still no progress to find a solution.

The establishment is becoming insensitive to its citizens as the obstacles before the average citizen in seeking justice is almost insurmountable. The cartels are prospering and the wealthy remain powerful.

You may ask - What has this to do with the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict? Plenty - if there is no desire to solve the conflict as Israel remains a colonial power, the exploitation of Israel's foreign workers and contract workers will never be solved. A colonialist power thrives on cartels and insensitivity to its citizens. This is the root of the problem.
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1 comment:

mashallah said...

I assume from the articles you are Israeli or at least Jewish and I am Married to Palestinian and Muslim. Its nice to see a balanced view on the other side of the conflict!! Its obvious to all that look that there are few angels on either side and it doesn't help when some in the world insist on put a halo on their favorite and horns on the other. In the end (as I have written in other forums) The land Of Israel/Palestine is the adopted baby of 3 "parents" all of whom claim to love it but can't seem to stop themselves ripping it into pieces between them in hopes of holding on to the biggest chunk. Such a shame since when they're all done, all they will have is a dead baby.