A September 21, 2014 article in the Palestinian Authority controlled daily publication, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, praises Israel as well as Israeli businesses for their treatment of Palestinian workers. The same article condemned Palestinian employers for their unfair treatment of fellow Palestinians.
The article explains that Palestinian workers are equal in the eyes of Israeli employers, receiving full rights, with the exception being when their full salary is subjected to the will of a Palestinian middleman.
First reported and translated by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), the Al-Hayat Al-Jadida article stated:
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.
The salaries of workers employed by Palestinians amount to less than half the salaries of those who work for Israeli employers in the areas of the Israel-occupied West Bank…
The [Israeli] work conditions are very good, and include transportation, medical insurance and pensions. These things do not exist with Palestinian employers.
Israel has forced its employers in the West Bank to pay [Israeli] minimum wage, which is 23 shekels an hour, to Palestinian workers. However, the PA passed a law, but does not force the employers in the PA areas to implement it, thereby exposing the worker to potential exploitation.
According to the Palestinian Bureau of Statistics (PBS), Palestinians working in Israeli factories earn two-to-three times more than their fellow citizens working for Palestinian businesses. They also receive full benefits as deemed by Israeli law.
Aryeh Savir of United With Israel reported on an Al-Hura Arab language TV broadcast that also commended the Jewish State for its treatment of Palestinian workers. In the Al-Hura broadcast Deputy Head of the Samaria Regional Council Yossi Dagan commented on Jews and Arabs working side-by-side. Coexisting.
“There are 10 large industrial centers in Judea and Samaria, in which some 15,000 Palestinians work side by side with Israeli employees,” Savir said. “At Barkan alone 3,000 Palestinians are employed together with 3,000 Israeli employees. They work together, earning the same wages, enjoying the same social benefits, vacation days and pension as prescribed by Israeli law. They go on trips together. Coexistence between the two peoples happens here, and all are awarded with a good and respectable livelihood.”
The same broadcast takes a swipe at the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, reporting that “Palestinians employed by Israeli-owned factories in Judea and Samaria that are constantly under the threat of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS), especially by countries from the European Union.”
Arab and Palestinian media offering high praise to Israel and Israeli employers for their treatment of Palestinian workers is a slap in the face to the BDS Movement.
A September 3, 2014 article by Abraham H. Miller, published in Forbes Magazine, discusses the BDS campaign against the Israeli company SodaStream who operates a plant in the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim. Their “potential” closing of the facility and relocation to the Negev would result in 900 Palestinians losing jobs that are lauded in the Al-Hayat Al-Jadida article.
Sentencing 900 families to a life of poverty is regarded as a victory by the BDS movement as long as an Israeli business leaves the West Bank.
It appears the Palestinian government, media, and population would agree with Mr. Miller, not the BDS, who wrote, “what the West Bank needs is more factories, more jobs, and more opportunities. It needs more Soda Streams, not fewer.”
Paul Miller is a contributor to the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity.