Shalom Life | September 25, 2014

Report: Palestinians Prefer to Work for Israelis

“Whenever Palestinian workers have the opportunity to work for Israeli employers, they are quick to quit their jobs with their Palestinian employers – for reasons having to do with salaries and other rights,” says Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, the P.A.'s official daily

By: Daniel Koren

Published: September 24th, 2014 in Business » Israel

Photo Caption: Palestinians work alongside Jews at the SodaStream factory in Mishor Adumim

Photo Credit: AFP


For all the supporters of a boycott against Israel, for all those who decree that Israeli settlements are "occupying" Palestinian land and ostracizing the Palestinian people, perhaps it's time to do a bit more research on the matter.

For example, SodaStream, which has a factory out in the West Bank, employs roughly 900 Palestinian employees. Now that they may relocate the factory to the Negev - which they don't attribute to those BDS supporters that have insisted they do so, though it may very well be a factor - nearly 1,000 Palestinians could be out of work.

Furthermore, as reported Sunday by the Palestinian Authority's official daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, it seems that the Palestinians themselves prefer to work for Israelis.

The report lauds the conditions in which Israeli employers set up for their employees, while criticizing Palestinian employers who offer low salaries and no benefits.

Translated by Palestinian Media Watch, the report reads that “whenever Palestinian workers have the opportunity to work for Israeli employers, they are quick to quit their jobs with their Palestinian employers – for reasons having to do with salaries and other rights.”

Al-Hayat Al-Jadida interviewed a number of Palestinian employees in reaching their conclusion, learning that Palestinians with Israeli bosses make a much better income than Palestinians with Palestinian bosses.

For one, Palestinian employers do not offer medical insurance (as it is not a mandate of Palestinian law), nor do they offer any stipends for food or transportation, while Israeli employers often pay their workers, particularly for the latter.

The report suggests that Palestinian employers also cannot be trusted to pay salaries on time. “The only cases in which a Palestinian worker does not receive the salary his Israeli [employer] determined for him are those cases in which the middleman is Palestinian,” stated Muhammad Hassan, an agricultural worker. “This is because he employs the workers at his own expense, and he is the one who pays their salaries, which puts the worker at risk of being exploited or having his wages withheld.”

Fuad Qahawish, a Palestinian waiter at a Palestinian restaurant, said “I work 10 hours a day and receive a monthly salary of not more than 1,900 shekels, and we have no additional rights like yearly vacations, travel expenses and so on.”

“My colleagues who do the same work for Israelis receive 4,000 shekels a month for the same number of hours,’ he added.

By law, Israeli employers are required to pay Palestinian workers Israeli minimum wage. The Palestinian Authority, however, does not enforce its own minimum wage laws, notes Al Hayat Al-Jadida:

“The Palestinian worker receives nearly all of his rights from his Israeli employers – even if through the courts of law – [and he] is entitled to yearly vacations, sick leave and overtime pay, and is paid for his travel expenses, while the majority of Palestinian employers do not provide these benefits to their workers, except for a few institutions which have begun implementing them without pressure from official parties."

Now, you must ask yourself, who really suffers from a boycott of Israeli businesses? The Israelis who will find decent work elsewhere, or the Palestinians who receive a much better salary by working for Israelis?

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