Palestinians who work in Israel don’t trust the Palestinian Authority

A new law giving the P.A. carte blanche to seize the assets of any Palestinian with a job in Israel prompted a one-day strike.

Palestinians cross into Israel through a hole in the security fence in Judea, July 25, 2021. Photo by Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90.
Palestinians cross into Israel through a hole in the security fence in Judea, July 25, 2021. Photo by Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90.
Moshe Hill
Moshe Hill
Moshe Hill is a political analyst and activist. His work can be found at www.aHillwithaView.com and on X @HillWithView.

The Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority have come to an agreement on Palestinians who have jobs in Israel. Instead of their employers paying them in cash, Palestinian workers must now deposit the money in Palestinian banks. This agreement will affect up to 200,000 workers.

In response to this, Palestinian laborers went on a one-day strike, claiming that the new policy is unfair and will make their pay subject to taxes and bank fees.

Reuters reported on a number of the striking Palestinians, with one saying, “They decided without consulting the workers’ union. Either a worker agrees or he loses his work permit.”

Another said, “We reject having our salaries transferred to Palestinian Authority banks because we are afraid of the future and there is a crisis of trust.”

This lack of trust has been woefully underreported. Asset forfeiture is commonplace in governments around the world, but in most societies, there is usually a predicate, such as the commission of a crime. Palestinian workers, however, have no faith that the P.A. will wait for a specific excuse to seize their assets.

The institutional distrust the Palestinian people have for their leadership has a long history. For four generations, the Palestinian people have been used as pawns in their leaders’ war with the Jewish state, often egged on by neighboring Arab countries. The current leader of the P.A. Mahmoud Abbas has been serving his four-year term since 2005. He has delayed every election that was supposed to be held. When offered a chance to create a state, he has consistently walked away from the table without a counteroffer when he bothered to negotiate at all.

Prior to Abbas was Yasser Arafat, who used his people as suicide bombers and terrorists in the first and second intifadas. He spent decades teaching successive generations of Palestinian youth that the true enemy was not his own selfish incompetence, but the evil Jew next door.

If anyone can see through these institutional lies, it’s the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who have an inside look at Israel every day. On average, these workers get paid twice as much as the average Palestinian worker inside Palestinian-controlled areas. Workers in Israel are treated with a modicum of respect, something their neighbors cannot say. They see Israeli Arabs treated with the same rights and privileges as Israeli Jews.

When leftist movements like BDS have a modicum of success, the only ones who suffer are Palestinian laborers who work in Israel. If an Israeli business is forced to lay off employees because of pressure from the BDS movement, it’s the Palestinian employees who are hit first.

This is exactly what happened with the company SodaStream in 2016. When it had to lay off employees due to declining sales caused by advocates of BDS, it was the 500 Palestinians out of 1,300 employees who lost their jobs. The remainder, who were almost evenly divided between Israeli Jews and Arabs, did not.

Did the P.A. do anything to help those who were fired? Of course not. Instead, it added them to the tens of thousands of other unemployed—the unemployment rate in P.A.-ruled areas is 26%—and exploited their pain for its own political purposes.

It is unsurprising that Palestinians who work in Israel do not trust the P.A., and its latest policy highlights this fact. The Palestinian people have suffered under their leadership long enough, and giving that same leadership absolute control over the assets of the few who have managed to get a decent job in Israel has many of those workers losing sleep.

Moshe Hill is a political analyst and columnist. His work can be found at www.aHillwithaView.com, Facebook.com/aHillwithaView and Twitter.com/HillWithView.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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