The Palestinian flag flying over City Chambers in Glasgow’s George Square. Photos by Suki Sangh Palestinian citizens of Israel are being persecuted for expressing their opposition to the assault on Gaza. Add your name to this trade union statement of s …
Palestinian citizens of Israel are being persecuted for expressing their opposition to the assault on Gaza. Add your name to this trade union statement of solidarity.
We, the undersigned trade unionists, condemn absolutely the treatment of Palestinian Israelis who are losing their jobs for criticising the military action in Gaza on social media sites.
There have been several incidents of Palestinian citizens of Israel being sacked by their employers after criticising the Israeli military on social media. Steven Beck, the director of the Association of Civil Rights in Israel, a human rights NGO, has said:
“This has been a real problem since the start of the conflict, and it is completely illegal. Israeli employment law does not allow employees to be terminated for expressing their political views. This is about private opinions expressed outside the workplace.”
Although exact numbers of those affected are uncertain, we believe that even one worker dismissed for this activity is one worker too many.
The Israeli city of Haifa, home to a large Palestinian community, saw demonstrations against the war on July 18 and 19, for which the protesters are still facing repercussions. After the protests against the Israeli government’s military aggression, pro-war Israelis later published Facebook postings with photos and names of those who took part and the names of their employers, who they encouraged to sack them. Earlier this month Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s far-right foreign minister, called for a boycott of businesses that had organised a strike to protest against the Gaza war.
Israel’s treatment of its Palestinian minority is widely seen by liberal Israelis and Arabs as a barometer of the quality of its democracy.
Palestinian citizens of Israel make up a fifth of the country’s population and in the eyes of the law have exactly the same rights as Jewish Israelis.
The Nazareth branch of the Worker’s Hotline has been approached by dozens of Palestinian Israeli workers who have been fired because of things they’ve said on social networks, mainly Facebook. According to the hotline, there are more every day.
The problem has extended to Palestinian students at academic institutions. At least 25 Facebook pages have been set up with names like “Not in our Schools” and “Exposing the Traitors” where people copy statuses of Palestinian Israelis alongside their photos and places of work, requesting that the general public call on their employers to fire them. Otherwise they threaten a boycott of their employers.
The targeting of Palestine Israeli workers for criticising their government’s actions in Palestine sets a dangerous precedent for all workers.
As trade unionists we stand side by side with those who are being oppressed. Freedom of expression is the most basic right citizens have in a democratic state. Employers shouldn’t be able to punish workers because of their political views. This is clearly stated in Israeli employment law: the Employment (Equal Opportunities) Law forbids firing workers because of their political opinions. At the moment this clause is being broken repeatedly. We believe trade unionists across the world should rally to support these workers who are under attack.
1. Dave Moxham Deputy General Secretary, Scottish Trade Union Congress
2. Janice Godrich, PCS National President
3. Pat Rafferty, Unite Scotland Regional Secretary
4. Jackson Cullinane, Unite Scotland Political Officer
5. Vince Mills, Scottish Political Committee of Unite Scotland
6. Tony Woodhouse, Chair of Unite the Union Executive Council and President
7. Bryan Simpson Young Members Executive Council Observer
8. Cat Boyd, Unite the Union Member/Chair, Coalition of Resistance Scotland
9. Ross Lister, Unite the Union Member
10. Steve Miller, Unite The Union Executive Council Member
11. Kwasi Agyemang-Prempeh, Unite The Union Executive Council Member
12. Frank Woods, Unite The Union Executive Council Member
13. Sean McGovern, Unite The Union Executive Council Member
14. Suki Sangha, General Council, Scottish Trade Union Congress (pc)
15. Penny Gower, EIS-FELA National Executive (pc)
16. Mike Cowley, Branch Convenor Edinburgh College, EIS-FELA National Committee
17. Arthur West, Kilmarnock and Loudon Trades Union Council
18. Sarah Collins, Branch Secretary East Ayrshire, Unison
19. John Davison, PCS AGS, HMRC group (pc)
20. Cara Hilton MSP for Dunfermline
21. Patrick Harvie, MSP for Glasgow
22. Alison Johnstone, MSP for Lothian
23. Sandra Osbourne MP for Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock
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