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March 2019 Newsletter: Palestinian Laborers in the Israeli Construction Industry

By Newsletters, Recent

שלום

The Institute usually deals with issues related to Palestinian entries into Israel through the lens of its field activity at the crossings. Over the past few months we have been looking at the socio economic factors from a research point of view. More specifically, we wanted to evaluate the implementation of the reforms advocated in the 2014 State Comptroller report on this topic. Here are the main findings.

Also in this month’s newsletter: paratroopers in Kiryat Gat, Hebrew U students and law and order in the downfall of the political left.

Have a nice read!

מדיניות העסקת פלסטינים בענף הבנייה בישראל

This article surveys the long-standing Israeli policy in the field of employing Palestinian laborers from Judea and Samaria in Israel and presents the changes that have occurred in this policy since the beginning of Israeli control over Judea and Samaria

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Impetus for conducting this study was rooted in the personal testimonies that have steadily accumulated over recent years regarding the infringements of the Palestinian laborers’ social benefits rights and of the flaws in the distribution of permits to Israeli employers which have a detrimental effect upon the efficiency of the Israeli construction sector.

In this study, we related to the shortcomings presented in the State Ombudsman’s Report for 2014. The report indicated the lack of a uniform and systemized policy for allocating permits to employers, a lack of supervision over the awarding of social benefits to Palestinian laborers, and to the existence of a restrictive arrangement which results in Palestinian laborers being obligated to work for a single Israeli employer without the option of transferring to another. One very negative consequence of this arrangement is the dependence of laborers in agents to ensure the continuity of their employment, a service which costs them a high percentage of their income.
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In light of these shortcomings, we examined the effectiveness of the reform in this field authorized by the Ministry of Finance in October 2018. The study found that the reform solves most of the problems caused by the existing policy and can be primarily successful in negating the cartel and in increasing enforcement aimed at ensuring provision of social benefits for laborers in accordance with the terms of Israeli law.

Finally, the study recommends complementary measures to the reform, including ongoing guidance for Palestinian laborers regarding their social benefits and the imposition of financial penalties on contractors who were found to have used the services of agents. The study also highlights the importance of establishing the payments and clearing system with the Palestinian Authority as recommended by the reform. This system will serve to prevent cash payment to the laborers, payment that increases the risk of infringement of the laborers’ social benefits rights

For the complete study

 

Blue & White Human Rights

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Students at the ORT Kiryat Gat technological high school had a very meaningful day cloturing their Biglal Haruach program. The whole school came together to hear the participants’ conclusions and summary. Then Platoon Alef of the 890 paratroopers’ battalion shared their moral and tactical experience serving at the Gaza border in the midst of the so-called ‘Return march’ riots. Finally we held an intergenerational debate with veterans from the local community.
At the Institute we believe the people’s army is not an empty slogan. We believe in the mutual need for reprensentation of the different components of the Israeli society in meaningful positions in the IDF. We act to narrow the gap and help all face the complexity of balancing the different values emanating from the society and making the IDF what it is.

Institute News

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Thanks to our new parternship with the Hebrew University, BA students can now volunteer with us and receive academic credits in exchange.

You too can join us through two main channels:
East Jerusalem (teaching Hebrew and working in our information center)
Research assistant on political and social topics

More details on the Hebrew U app TRIBU or by email info@izs.org.il

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Past and present staff members joined to thank Dr Yoaz Hendel for his 7 years as the head of the Institute. Stepping down to contend for a Knesset seat in the coming elections, Hendel underlined the need for a rich and dynamic extra-parliamentary work, pushing forward ideas on the public stage and having an impact on the public agenda.

 

Publications

The following English-language articles were published by members of the Institute and contain references to a wide range of issues on the public agenda:

Founding Chairman of the Institute Israel Harel blames Netanyahu for repeatedly mishandling the situation on the Temple Mount. (Haaretz).
Institute CEO Miri Shalem argues Livni’s fall symbolizes the end of a certain kind of political left (Yediot Aharonot).

The Status of Former Jewish Assets in Judea and Samaria – Rethinking the Court’s Ruling in Valero

By Demographics, Recent

This paper is the first in a series of student academic essays published by the IZS as part of 2019 Call for Papers project. It explores the status of the former Jewish properties in Judea and Samaria that were seized by Jordan in 1948. Contrary to the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Valero case (2011), this paper concludes that Israel legally can, and should, return the property to its former owners.

To learn more about the arguments supporting this conclusion, read the full research.

Here is a link to a short YouTube video

https://youtu.be/fWpKEh7If6c

February 2019 Newsletter: The Status of Former Jewish Assets in Judea and Samaria

By Newsletters, Recent

Shalom,
This month we explore the status of the former Jewish properties in Judea and Samaria that were seized by Jordan in 1948. Contrary to the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Valero case (2011), this paper concludes that Israel legally can, and should, return the property to its former owners.

IZS Chairman Dr. Yoaz Hendel takes it to the political level and we wish him luck in his run for a Knesset seat.

Former Jewish Assets in Judea and Samaria

We are proud to open a new research section, in which we will give a stage to excellent student academic papers.
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In this first research, Russel A. Shalev examines the High Court Valero ruling, according to which a property’s transfer to Jordanian custodianship eliminated any ties between the previous owners and the property pending the cancellation of such a transfer as part of a peace agreement.

Left, the interview of the researcher, Russel Shalev.

At the time of the armistice agreement between the State of Israel and the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan in 1949, approximately forty square kilometers of land and several hundred buildings previously owned by Jews in Judea and Samaria lay in Jordanian hands. 1 Subsequently, the Jordanian government, applying Mandatory ordinances, seized the former Jewish assets, declaring them enemy property and vesting them in the Enemy Property Custodianship.

When Israel conquered Judea and Samaria following the 1967 Six Day War, many of the former owners expected to regain control of their property which had been seized from them by the Jordanian government. Despite this expectation however, the Israeli government has not released the property, instead continuing to hold the assets as Jordanian national property. The Israeli Supreme Court has argued that the Jordanian seizure of the assets as enemy properties essentially extinguishes the ties between the property and its original Jewish owners.
This paper will argue that the Jordanian seizure was illegal, was the result of Jordanian aggression and unrecognized annexation of the territory, and thus should be seen as invalid. Recognizing confiscated Jewish assets as Jordanian state property would be a violation of the principle of ex injuria jus non oritur, unjust acts cannot create law.
After having established that Jordan’s illegal actions cannot grant them legal rights, we will examine the claim that Jewish properties cannot be returned to their original owners barring comprehensive treatment of parallel Arab claims on Israel. We will argue that Jewish properties in Judea and Samaria are sui generis, ie. a unique historical and legal phenomenon, and that they are much straightforward legally than Arab properties in Israel. Conditioning their return on parallel Arab claims would erase the distinction between aggressor and victim. We will see from Israel’s experience in Jerusalem that such parallelism is unnecessary and that the return of Jewish properties will not open the gates to a flood The Status of Former Jewish Assets in Judea and Samaria 8 of Arab claims. Finally, we will argue that Israel has a unique historical obligation to restore the seized Jewish properties.

For the complete study

Blue and White Human Rights
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After a year and a half under construction, the new facility at the Qalandia crossing opened on February 20th. It includes six personal and belongings screening spots and twenty automatic documentation checking monitors. Workers show their magnetic card and can go through within seconds.

Nadav and Shmuel, our volunteers at the crossings around Jerusalem, sum up: ”The new crossing is a considerable change in all the way the place works. The maximum waiting time has dropped to five minutes. We see a lot of workers who used to cross earlier. Everybody we have been talking to is very satisfied with this change, to the extent people from Beit Lehem drive all the way to cross from here.”

For those who missed it, last month’s Tablet coverage of our activities in Qalandia can be found here.

Institute News

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Congratulations to our chairman Yoaz Hendel for being #2 of Moshe Yaalon’s Telem movement and running together with Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid’s Bue and White party.

Yoaz’s dedication to Zionism, the state and national liberal values are important assets for Israel in general and the Knesset in particular.

Publications

The following English-language articles were published by members of the Institute and contain references to a wide range of issues on the public agenda:

IZS Chairman Dr. Yoaz Hendel bids farewell to readers after years of holding his weekly column (Yediot Aharonot).
Founding Chairman of the Institute Israel Harel laments the Jewish Home’s shift toward sectarianism (Haaretz).
Institute CEO Miri Shalem argues Livni’s fall symbolizes the end of a certain kind of political left (Yediot Aharonot).
Head of Blue&White Human Rights Nave Dromi explains why the left’s personal attacks won’t end the day after Netanyahu (Haaretz).
Progects’ manager Nicolas Nissim Touboul shows how France’s way to deal with antisemitism is flawed (Ynet).

Law Enforcement In The Arab Sector

By Recent, Rights, Duties and Law

Three years following the October 2000 events, the Or Commission published its recommendations for the improvement of the relations between the Israeli police and the Arab society. The commission’s report made recommendations in three major areas: the treatment of Israeli Arabs as non hostile, the promotion of dialogue and cooperation between the police and the Arab society, and equal enforcement of the law in the Arab sector. This paper examined the degree to which these recommendations have been implemented in the 15 years since the issuance of the Orr Commission’s report.

With regards to the treatment of Arabs by the police, we found that the Israeli police uses excessive force towards the Arab society compared to the Jewish society. However, based on the data examined, it is hard to determine whether this is the result of discriminatory practices or the relatively high friction between the police and parts of the Arab population. In addition, the Arab sector is, to some extent, subject to over-policing. In recent years, the percentage of arrests that didn’t result in pressing charges among Israeli Arabs was significantly higher than its equivalent in the Jewish sector. These issues have probably accounted for the decline in the level of trust in the police among Israeli Arabs since 2003.
With regards to strengthening the dialogue between the police and the Arab sector, we found that government decisions aimed at expanding the Civil Guard apparatus in the Arab sector have been partially implemented. Moreover, Arab volunteers in the police make up a small part in proportion to their share in the population.

With regards to equal law enforcement in the Arab sector, we found that major Arab cities are still lacking in police stations. This is in part the result of objections by some of the Arab municipalities to allocate lands for the purpose of establishing new police stations. In addition, Arabs’ participation rate in the police force is much lower than their share in the population. Efforts to tackle these problems have been made as part of the implementation of government decision No. 922.

Our research concludes that, in the 15 years since the issuance of the Orr Commission’s report, there have been minor improvements, however, there is still a lot to be done to amend the relationship between the Israeli police and the Arab sector. For this to happen, the Israeli government should take measures against police officers who use excessive force and continue to promote equal law enforcement. It is also critical that Arab leaders and elected officials work together with the Israeli police to encourage more Israeli Arabs to join the police.

To the full research…

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