Tag Archives: Tel Aviv

Israel & Palestine News | Israelis & Palestinians

Israel revokes travel permits for tens of thousands of Palestinians following Tel Aviv killings
  • Four Israelis were killed and six wounded after two Palestinian gunmen opened fire in a Tel Aviv market.
  • In response, the government cancelled entry permits for some 83,000 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza for three days, revoked work permits for more than 200 of the attackers’ relatives, and increased its security presence in the occupied West Bank.
  • Following a condemnation of the homicides, the U.N. warned Israel that their response could be classified as collective punishment, illegal under the Geneva Conventions.

Read more:
Tel Aviv Terror: What We Know So Far About the Sarona Shooting” (Haaretz)
Palestinian Gunmen Open Fire in Tel Aviv, Leaving Four Dead” (The New York Times)
Palestinians barred from entering Israel after Tel Aviv killings” (The Guardian)
U.N. says Israeli move on Palestinian permits may be collective punishment” (Reuters)

(Image Credit: Tomer Appelbaum/Haaretz)

May Day || Global

Global May Day 2016

One of the few truly global holidays, International Workers’ Day (May Day) is both a worldwide celebration of the working classes as well as a day to draw attention to ongoing insecurities workers around the world face. May Day has historically had a twofold purpose: a day for workers to voice their concerns over contentious labor policies and for governments to reaffirm their commitments to workers’ rights and just labor practices. At times little more than public relations campaigns and at others violent clashes between governments and workers, global May Day events have highlighted the diverse relationships between labor, employers, and government around the world. Here are the highlights of May Day 2016 in more than 30 countries:


Asia Pacific

Bike rallies were held in Pune as Indian PM Narendra Modi saluted workers on Antarrashtriya Shramik Diwas, a public holiday. Pakistan‘s major labor unions convened in Lahore to speak out against poor working conditions, violations of international labor conventions, and ongoing privatization in the country. As Bangladeshi officials addressed labor relations and welfare reforms amidst a day of union-organized programming, in Kathmandu, Nepali workers marched while awaiting the ratification of the Labour Act, which guarantees greater social security for workers. Across the Indian Ocean, Australian union leader singled out penalty rate protection and tax reform as major Labour Day issues, with the date of the holiday having been a point of contention as well.

Throughout East Asia, workers rallied to draw attention to labor conditions and call for reforms, from ending contractualization in the Philippines to protecting job security in South KoreaHong Kong saw thousands take to the streets to demand fair and standardized working hours along with a universal pension program. In Malaysia, PM Najib Razak took the day to announce an increase in the national minimum wage and an insurance scheme proposal.

Europe & Eurasia

In cities across France, tens of thousands marched in protest against proposed labor reforms that would loosen the country’s controversial employment and job security policies. Jeremy Corbyn became the first U.K. Labour party  leader to attend a May Day rally in a half-century when he spoke to a crowd of thousands in London, reaffirming solidarity against anti-immigrant sentiment and addressing anti-Semitism accusations that have plagued his party recently. Spain saw thousands across its cities gather, many protesting ongoing austerity measures. An estimated 800,000 gathered in Rome‘s San Giovanni Square, with this year’s event dedicated to slain Italian student Giulio Regeni.

Some 2,000 convened in rain-soaked Zagreb to hear labor leaders protest the increased retirement age and ongoing poverty in Croatia. Moscow hosted a mass demonstration in the city’s Red Square estimated in size from the tens of thousands to 100,000, while thousands gathered in Istanbul’s Bakirköy district under a heavy police presence in the wake of urban suicide attacks and ongoing violence across Turkey.

The Americas

From New York to Los Angeles, demonstrations in the U.S. highlighted widening economic inequality in the country and an election season marred by racist, xenophobic, and Islamophobic sentiment. While most protests took place without incident, a peaceful march turned violent in Seattle, leading to five injured officers and nine arrests. A similar outbreak in Montreal led to one injury and 10 arrests.

In Latin America, Brazil‘s embattled president and Workers’ Party leader Dilma Roussef rallied alongside hundreds of thousands across the country as her impeachment proceedings continue and workers fear the inauguration of her center-right vice president. Cuba‘s May Day parade continued the national tradition of expressing support for the Castro regime rather than directly celebrating labor or expressing concerns over labor conditions. In Argentina, President Mauricio Macro backed employers and touted labor proposals that had spurred mass demonstrations only days before. Elsewhere in the region, minimum wage increases were announced in Venezuela and Bolivia and a march took place in Santiago as Chilean President Michelle Bachelet announced a review of her labor reforms after the Supreme Court rejected a key provision granting exclusive negotiating rights to unions.

Middle East & Africa

Police in Egypt blocked hundreds of workers from assembling in a Cairo office as labor leaders and international organizations called for the government to decriminalize independent union organization. In Israel, more than 5,000 youth marched in Tel Aviv, while a Palestinian trade union renewed its call for the establishment of a minimum wage and the dismantlement of the Gaza blockade. A government-sponsored event in Dubai reportedly drew nearly 200 workers, though labor practices in the UAE continue to draw international scrutiny.

South of the Sahara, events popped up across South Africa as politicians sought to address the country’s high unemployment rate and appeal to workers ahead of August elections. In Nigeria, President Mohammadu Buhari spoke to thousands of workers in Abuja, touting his anti-corruption campaign. A Mozambique labor leader addressed a crowd in Maputo about the debts of state-owned companies and the need for wage and workplace reform. As the decline of oil prices has created economic hardship throughout Angola, the country’s two labor unions marched to draw attention to deteriorating worker conditions and the need for infrastructure maintenance. Workers in Ghana protested the privatization of the management of the state-owned Electric Company of Ghana, while the government insisted the company was still run by the state. Meanwhile, Ethiopia sidestepped Sunday commemorations altogether by moving May Day to May 3, when labor leaders plan to highlight ongoing struggles to organize Ethiopian workers.

Israel News | Arabs

Several Israeli cities effectively bar Arab laborers from their jobs in schools as violence in the country grows
  • Several municipalities including Tel Aviv, Rehovot, Hod Hasharon, and Modiin-Maccabim-Reut prohibited school staff including maintenance workers, cleaners, and construction workers (most of whom are Arab) from going to work during school hours.
  • To date, 41 Palestinians and seven Israelis have been killed in recent weeks as cycles of revenge killings, protests, and state-driven violence continue.
  • While Arab-Israeli politicians and NGOs denounced the restrictions as illegal and racist, the Interior Ministry called for respect and equality without reversing the restrictions.

Read more:
Four Israeli cities, citing security, ban Arab workers from schools” (Reuters)
Israeli Towns Move to Ban Arab Workers From Schools” (Haaretz)

(Image Credit: Moti Milrod/Haaretz)

Israel News | Migrants & Refugees

Protests erupt in Tel Aviv following Supreme Court decision limiting migrant detentions to 12 months
  • After the court ruling that calls for the immediate release of around 1,200 migrants detained without charge, some Tel Aviv residents took to the streets in outrage.
  • Demonstrators claimed asylum seekers bring down their quality of life with crime and open-air living.
  • Protesters confronted some migrants around Lewinsky Park, yelling insults and condemning the Supreme Court.

“What’s going to happen in reality is that thousands of infiltrators are going to come here and make our lives hell, even more than they are now. … We are going to fight this with all our strength.”

Read the full story at Ynet News.

Israel News | Refugees & Migrants

Israel Supreme Court limits detention of migrants without charge to a year
  • The ruling struck down a portion of the Infiltration Prevention Act that allowed for migrants to be detained for up to 20 months.
  • Among the more than 2,500 migrants detained at the Holot detention facility in the Negev, those who have been detained without charge for 12 months or more are to be released in the next 15 days.
  • Israel refers to illegal migrants as “infiltrators” and since 2009 has granted asylum requests–mostly from Eritreans, Sudanese, and Congolese–to fewer than 0.15% of those who applied.

“The court made it clear that a policy whose purpose is to break asylum-seekers’ spirit to coerce them to leave Israel is unconstitutional. The judges also criticized the slow pace of examining asylum claims and the abysmally low recognition rate of refugees in Israel.”

Read the full story at the Times of Israel.

(Image Credit: Flash90, via The Times of Israel)

Israel News | Ethiopian Israelis & Immigrants

Ethiopian Israelis in Tel Aviv protest Israel Attorney General’s closure of criminal case against police officer who assaulted Ethiopian IDF soldier
  • Hundreds took to the streets in demonstration, with road blockages and clashes with the police leading to at least 19 arrests.
  • Joining the protests were keses, spiritual leaders in the Ethiopian Jewish community who say they lack official rights and recognition in their roles.
  • Ethiopian Israeli soldiers organized an online protest despite law forbidding soldiers from engaging in protest still on the books.

“We are not enthusiasts of protests, but we are unwilling to remain silent. The attorney general closed the case against the policeman, and we will continue protesting until that case is opened.”

Read the full story at Haaretz.

(Image Credit: Reuters, via Haaretz)

Ethiopian Israelis continue anti-racism demonstrations in Tel Aviv.
  • The protests continue a month after the incendiary event involving two Israeli police officers assaulting an Ethiopian IDF soldier.
  • Wednesday’s rally involved roughly 200 protesters and a heavy police presence, with two arrests but no violence despite police warnings.

More on this story at Al Jazeera.

(Image Credit: AFP, via Al Jazeera)