Wednesday, November 29

The Big Strike, More Than Justified

Yossi Kutzhi (on Galey Zahal radio) just said: "Each strikes ends and always with an agreement of sorts."

This strike is about municipal employees in many municipalities not receiving their salaries for many months now.

My firend Y. is a social worker at a municipal welfare service. She hasn't received a salary for over 7 months. As her partner has a good income, she isn't in trouble.
But she told me about some of her colleagues, e.g. a couple who both work at the same municipality. They haven't received a salary for over 7 months.
No phone, electricity by means of the neighbors, in danger of loosing their small home, as the bank has stopped being "considerate & understanding of the situation", no repairs, food through the food bank, the soup kitchen and relatives.
All go to work every day, doing their very best. They bring office supplies, tea, coffee and sugar, toilet paper etc. from their impoverished homes as it is no longer supplied by the municipality they work for.

So you're pissed off the municipality doesn't take care of the garbage today?

Perhaps join us in the demonstration this coming Saturday, of the "Veidat Ha'Ashukim" (the Council of the Robbed), at 19.00 o'clock, opposite the David Intercontinental Hotel in South Tel Aviv. The hotel where the wealthy of the country are gathering for their annual "Veidat Asakim" (the Council of Business) that very evening, planning to rob us a little more by funneling more public resources into their businesses and affairs in order to become yet more rich.

This strike is JUSTIFIED


Anonymous said...

"My firend Y. is a social worker at a municipal welfare service. She hasn't received a salary for over 7 months."

I assume it's not the Tel Aviv municipality.

There was a YNET comment which I found interesting:"The municipal workers who haven't been paid are employed by Arab municipalities. The way it normally works is that municipalities collect taxes (arnona) and then pay their staff. In these Arab towns, everything works by chamula (clans) and the municipality head doesn't bother collecting from his cousins, brothers and long lost relatives who all don't bother paying municipal taxes for decades. Why should the Interior Ministry pick up the slack? "

ee said...

Not that simple, anonymous.
Today I happened to go to the Givatayim municipality - or rather a branch of it, same same. (I wasn't sure about the strike - on or off.)
Everything was padlocked and abandoned. Nobody in sight.
As far as I know, most of the Givatayim population, working and dealing with the municipality, are Jewish.
I was pissed because I wasted time. But probably not half as pissed as workers without salaries.

Anonymous said...

Hi ee -- does Givatayim municipality not pay their employees?

I suppose the kids are rejoicing at having a day off

yudit said...

Well, Yesud HaMa'ale is a Jewish town and Lod a mixed one with a Jewish majority and a Jewish major.
The same goes for many of the other places.
Not that that makes any diffrence, by the way

yudit said...

Yediot, as usual, has it quite wrong, or rather, supplies only a small part of the picture, thereby creating a warped image, or maybe it is anonymous who's misinterpreting.
In all municipalities in the country, people with low incomes (large low income families, elderly, people with health problems , unemployed, new immigrants etc) are entitled to discounts.
In the large cities and wealthier areas, this usually is not a problem, as the income of municipal taxes paid the large housed wealthy, the big shopping centers and office buildings counter balance the smaller taxes paid by the less fortunate.
However, cities with large low income groups (Bney Brak is also a good example, although recent office construction is assisting) do not have this income.
It is no secret Israel's Palestinian population, as a result of years long discrimination (less money for education, for business development etc)is much poorer and that's a better explanation than the over generalizations presented by Mr. (or Ms.) anonymous.

It also explains why the same problem happens in the poorer Jewish development towns as well as cities with large groups of new immigrants.

And finally, many of the municipal employees, especially in the lower income jobs (street cleaners, garbage collectors, secretaries etc.) themselves belong to the poorer minority groups.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the explanation,yudit

Around the world - town,city and regional councils are self-funded by rates and taxes from inhabitants who live in that area.

If the council experiences financial problems and unable to pay their workers,then there are some hard decisions to be made like:
a)reduce staff -starting with the financial manager
b)increase rates
c)cut services

in a past YNET article is says that only 15% of the Israeli Arabs pay arnona taxes (while 85% of the Israeli Jews do).

In Umm el Faham - controlled by Islamist -how many paying arnona?

However I've got a feeling that good people of Abu Gosh are paying their rates.It's safe,they have wonderful hummus and Israeli Arabs living there even volunteer to serve in IDF!!,7340,L-3308173,00.html

yudit said...

Anonymous, actually, Um ElFahm is one of the more professionally run municipalities providing very good services to its residents, both the religious and the non religious.
Um ElFahm is a fairly "well to do" community which a number of wealthy residents, lots of businesses paying business level municipal taxes.
Relatively speaking many of its sons and daughters attend institutes of higher learning.
Another interesting project is the first aid clinic run by the local community, after Magen David Adom refused to open a first aid station or allot an intensive care ambulance.
The local doctors raised money and started their own service.
There is a wonderful art gallery and arts center, a well-equipped country club, and mall, a good educational system and very professional welfare services.
In many ways Um ElFahm is more like Ranana or Ramat HaSharon than, let's say Rahat, or Jaffa for that matter.

As to Abu Gosh: one of the reasons Abu Gosh was spared the lot of many other villages in the area, is because many of its residents were serving in the shabak, rather than the army. Some will say "true citizens", others will call them "mashtapim", collaborators.
I guess it depends on your angle of view.

I somehow have the feeling you've never visited Um ElFahm, am i right?

Anonymous said...

yudit wrote:"I somehow have the feeling you've never visited Um ElFahm, am i right?"

You are correct Yudit.And I wonder how many overseas tourists would feel safe there in Umm el Faham ,especially with it being the centre of Sheikh Raed Salah Islamist movement (Salah was arrested 3 yrs ago for raising money for Hamas)and their blocking Wadi Ara Road a few yrs ago.

Here's a quote from Gems in Israel about Abu Gosh:
"The Arab village of Abu Gosh was established in 1520.The villagers are well known for the friendly, close relationship they have with their neighboring Jewish inhabitants.After Shoeva Junction, the modern road to Jerusalem passes a high ramp that bridges the mountains. Drive along part of the old road, which cuts through the Arab village of Abu Gosh. To do this you have to turn left (northwards) according to the signpost.

Along the length of this road, there are a number of Middle Eastern restaurants, that feature Houmus and Tehina, stuffed vegetables, and charcoal-grilled meats.The first restaurant is at the gas station about 300 yards (meters) after leaving the highway. The owners of the place are sworn Elvis Presley fans. His photographs decorate all the walls of the restaurant and two statues of the singer are placed near the entrance.Many Israeli notables have been and still are welcomed at The Lebanese Restaurant (Hamisada Halevanonit) which is the last restaurant situated at the end the village. It is built around an ancient mulberry tree. The restaurant’s clientele prefers dinning under the shade of its branches. The tree produces green fruit on one side and black fruit on the other. The polished stone table under the tree was a place for numerous discussions and agreements between many different people over the years, including Moshe Sharrett, Moshe Dayan and other dignitaries.

Now that sounds an inviting place to visit !! :)

yudit said...

If it wasn't so sad, it would be funny.
Some weeks ago, thousands of Haredi Jews rioted on the streets of Jerusalem, set fire to cars, garbage cans, and whatever they could lay their hands on. They threw rocks and molotov cocktails at policemen, thereby endangering their lives. Some of their leaders published lengthy documents why this behavior was perfectly OK. Why? because of the Gay Pride parade that was to take place in the streets of Jerusalem.

The police were so worried they would not be able to protect tge gay marchers lives, so they moved the march to a far away area and most of it was inddors in a posrts stadion.

Yet would you feel unsafe going to visit West Jerusalem?

I think your comment on a tourist feeling fear visiting Um Elfahm is exactly the same.
Fundamentalist leaders exist in both groups, but from there deciding that Um elFahm would be "dangerous", is , well i guess i could say, based purely on anonymous' prejudices concerning Israel's Palestinian population.
In reality Um ElFahm does have a lot to offer. Perhaps it is not as pretty as Abu Gosh, but then Um elFahm is the "real thing" in comparison to "diet humous" style Abu Gosh.
Anonymous sounds a lot like those people who think they know Jaffa because they occasionally eat at Abu Hansan's or buy pitot at Abu lafia. Their knowledge of Jaffa is as deep as Abu Hasnans, albeit wonderful, humus plate. (And by the way, if they would really come to Jaffa, beyond the tourists traps, they might find out Jaffa humus is a lot better than that offered at the tourists spots for zfonbonim.

But the matter is more serious than the taste of humus in this or that restaurant.

Prejudice breeds fear, fear breeds hate. Getting to know Um elFahm might be a great way of dealing with the root of the problem.

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