FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Struggle of Workers in Palestine

by Gloria Bergen

When thinking of Palestine most people probably form images of air-raids, razed-to-the-ground buildings, stone-throwing children, Israeli tanks rolling down emptied streets, frightened people behind barred windows, and angry Palestinian working class kids planning suicide bombing missions against Israelis.

If we spoke of the priorities of Palestinian workers we might guess that their main priority is statehood, a Palestinian Nation and the protection of their leader, Arafat. We might believe from the mainstream media that they only demonstrate against and do battle with Israel soldiers; that they have no anger against their own ruling class, nor have no other issues to fight for. The truth is that the priorities of the majority of Palestinian workers are not killing Jews, nationhood and protecting the status of Arafat, but jobs and food.

Palestine has a 78% unemployment rate. At least 120,000 workers lost their jobs due to Israel-Palestine border closures and the bombing of Palestinian factories and facilities by the Zionist war machine. Over the past month thousands of Palestinian workers have held sit-ins and demonstrations over their country’s economic destruction, chronic unemployment and lack of food.

In early July, 5,000 workers clashed with riot police in Gaza during a “Starvation March”. It was seen clearly by some as a class issue as some protestors accused PLO leaders of sending their children to Europe, while their children die of starvation.

On July 15 approximately 2,000 workers in Gaza demonstrated in front of the Palestinian Parliament for jobs, reform and an end to corruption within the Palestine National Authority. Some held up their work tools and signs that read “workers are victims of occupation and victims of neglect” while others banged on empty food containers and held up dried out pita bread on sticks. Meanwhile, hundreds more marched out front of the Gaza city U.N. Headquarters and six hundred unemployed demonstrated in front of the Labor Ministry building in Khan Younis in the Gaza strip.

With no parliamentary buildings still fully standing, with no state nor international support, and no military machine to back the Palestinian Authority, many believe that there isn’t much a power-castrated Arafat can do. Some Palestinians see it differently, accusing Arafat and the PA of robbing them and sending millions of dollars out of the country and straight into their own accounts.

The struggle of workers in Palestine is the same struggle that all workers of the world share; the battle against a global neo-liberal agenda that creates war, destroys jobs, and lets the corporate bums and ruling class get richer.

Gloria Bergen lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She can be reached at: bergengloria@hotmail.com.

 

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
July 22, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Good as Goldman: Hillary and Wall Street
Joseph E. Lowndes
From Silent Majority to White-Hot Rage: Observations from Cleveland
Paul Street
Political Correctness: Handle with Care
Richard Moser
Actions Express Priorities: 40 Years of Failed Lesser Evil Voting
Eric Draitser
Hillary and Tim Kaine: a Match Made on Wall Street
Conn Hallinan
The Big Boom: Nukes And NATO
Ron Jacobs
Exacerbate the Split in the Ruling Class
Jill Stein
After US Airstrikes Kill 73 in Syria, It’s Time to End Military Assaults that Breed Terrorism
Jack Rasmus
Trump, Trade and Working Class Discontent
John Feffer
Could a Military Coup Happen Here?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Late Night, Wine-Soaked Thoughts on Trump’s Jeremiad
Andrew Levine
Vice Presidents: What Are They Good For?
Michael Lukas
Law, Order, and the Disciplining of Black Bodies at the Republican National Convention
David Swanson
Top 10 Reasons Why It’s Just Fine for U.S. to Blow Up Children
Victor Grossman
Horror News, This Time From Munich
Margaret Kimberley
Gavin Long’s Last Words
Mark Weisbrot
Confidence and the Degradation of Brazil
Brian Cloughley
Boris Johnson: Britain’s Lying Buffoon
Lawrence Reichard
A Global Crossroad
Kevin Schwartz
Beyond 28 Pages: Saudi Arabia and the West
Charles Pierson
The Courage of Kalyn Chapman James
Michael Brenner
Terrorism Redux
Bruce Lerro
Being Inconvenienced While Minding My Own Business: Liberals and the Social Contract Theory of Violence
Mark Dunbar
The Politics of Jeremy Corbyn
Binoy Kampmark
Laura Ingraham and Trumpism
Uri Avnery
The Great Rift
Nicholas Buccola
What’s the Matter with What Ted Said?
Aidan O'Brien
Thank Allah for Western Democracy, Despondency and Defeat
Joseph Natoli
The Politics of Crazy and Stupid
Sher Ali Khan
Empirocracy
Nauman Sadiq
A House Divided: Turkey’s Failed Coup Plot
Franklin Lamb
A Roadmap for Lebanon to Grant Civil Rights for Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon
Colin Todhunter
Power and the Bomb: Conducting International Relations with the Threat of Mass Murder
Michael Barker
UK Labour’s Rightwing Select Corporate Lobbyist to Oppose Jeremy Corbyn
Graham Peebles
Brexit, Trump and Lots of Anger
Anhvinh Doanvo
Civilian Deaths, Iraq, Syria, ISIS and Drones
Christopher Brauchli
Kansas and the Phantom Voters
Peter Lee
Gavin Long’s Manifesto and the Politics of “Terrorism”
Missy Comley Beattie
An Alarmingly Ignorant Fuck
Robert Koehler
Volatile America
Adam Vogal
Why Black Lives Matter To Me
Raouf Halaby
It Is Not Plagiarism, Y’all
Rev. Jeff Hood
Deliver Us From Babel
Frances Madeson
Juvenile Life Without Parole, Captured in ‘Natural Life’
Charles R. Larson
Review: Han Kang’s “The Vegetarian”
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail