Airline says it conducts security arrangements according to procedures set by the Israeli government
A Jewish Israeli soldier is demanding an apology from El Al Airlines, claiming he was humiliated by security staff at the Brussels airport because he has an Arab-sounding name. Asaf Abudi flew to Belgium in November to represent Israel in a horseback-riding competition.
After spending five days in Belgium, he arrived at the airport for his return flight to Israel, where he says he was separated from the other passengers and treated rudely, and that some of the contents of his luggage went missing.
The soldier’s father, Avi Abudi, told Haaretz he thinks the airline’s personnel stepped up security for his son, who is Jewish, because of his Arab-sounding last name.
The soldier’s lawyer, Lior Har-Zvi, wrote the airline following the incident stating that his client made it clear to airline personnel that he was an Israel Defense Forces soldier who was in the middle of his compulsory army service, and that he was representing Israel at a horseback-riding competition in Belgium.
Treated like a criminal
“Our client,” the letter said, “was taken by your company’s representative to an isolated area of the Brussels airport, and during the entire time he was held in the isolated area he was prevented from using the restroom, as if he was a dangerous detainee or someone accused of a serious crime.”
The soldier said he was held in an area with two other passengers who were speaking Arabic, and that he was later led onto the plane by security personnel shortly before takeoff.
When he arrived in Israel, he said he discovered that some of his riding gear was missing.
El Al responded that, although it regrets any distress caused to the passenger, it conducts security arrangements according to procedures set by the Israeli government.
It added that any special scrutiny is based on professional criteria and is not meant to offend any particular passenger.
In Abudi’s case, the airline added, procedure required that he be subjected to additional security measures as part of routine security sampling.
Workers use an immersion heater to boil water. (2011) (photo: Ron Amir)
[….] Similarly to the other estimated 30,000 Palestinian workers without work permits in Israel, these laborers are confined to building sites day and night for fear of being arrested.
“Every two weeks or so the police come and detain us. They take us to the checkpoint and send us back into the West Bank. It’s their way of telling us whose boss. But they know we’ll just make our way back in,” said Faisal. Israeli NGO Kav LaOved reports that when workers are apprehended, they are usually transported back into the West Bank. But workers can also be indicted. Sentences usually include three months in jail and a police preclusion for three years, barring them from entering and working in Israel lawfully. Basem has had numerous run-ins with the police for working without a permit, but he spoke of how in his experience, no contractor had been penalized for employing illegal workers. He said that this was partly as a result of workers not naming their employers out of fear of being blacklisted.
Israeli photographer, Ron Amir, has a long and close relationship with this particular group of workers. He initially met them while documenting the lives of illegal workers for an exhibition, and subsequently became a friend. Ron described how Palestinian construction workers usually find employment through a long chain of middlemen. Workers are initially hired by a subcontractor from their own village, who is then recruited by a series of other contractors within Israel. Ron claimed that this structure is geared towards obscuring the complicity of Israeli firms in employing illegal workers. This in turn diminishes the prospect of the general contractor being held legally accountable. As Kav LaOved reports, the incentive for employing a Palestinian without a work permit is high. The cost of employing a Palestinian worker with a permit is about 70% higher than employing one without a permit (210 versus 124 shekels respectively).
[….] Israeli labor laws states that every worker in Israel is entitled to the full range of social rights regardless of whether or not they have a permit. Despite this, primary research by NGOs such as Kav LaOved and Gisha suggest that Israeli employers systematically abuse the rights of Palestinian and immigrant workers, particularly those without permits.
Basem didn’t seem phased by the dangers in his line of work. He spoke of a 22 year old Palestinian worker who died this past November after falling off a construction site in Netanya. No charges have as of yet, been lodged against the contractor of the dead worker. Suheib Zayud, 19, fell from a construction site in 2011, he remains in a coma. His contractor denied that he had ever employed Suheib. As a result, the worker’s family received no financial compensation, and have been burdened with all the medical expenses. This case, as well as others before it, suggest that the contractor of the fatally injured worker in Netanya, is unlikely to face legal ramifications.
The work conditions of illegal workers are often substandard, with legally required on-site security and safety conditions systematically neglected. As Kav LaOved reports, in past cases of work-related accidents involving illegal workers, employers have denied any connection to the employee. The lack of a permit and official documentation mean that the employee is unlikely to be able to prove their eligibility for compensation from the National Insurance Institute. A lack of official documentation, and workers commonly receiving cash in hand from subcontractors, makes employees more susceptible to exploitation, and increases the difficulty of proving a violation of rights in labor courts.
At the end of 2011, a total of 27,000 Palestinians were legally working in Israel, predominantly in construction and agriculture. According to a publication issued by the Association of Builders in Israel in 2011, the sector needs 20,000 more workers. Numerous Israeli contractors have reported that they are consistently short of construction workers.
—Alon Aviram, Palestinian employment: The phantom workers of Israel
There ought to be a law against what I’m doing.– Vice president of the Downtown Council of Kansas City, on the incentives the local government gives to businesses. Nationwide, local governments give up $80.4 billion in incentives each year. (via officialssay)
Is torture justified if the torturer is a university-educated woman, and the tortured a bigoted Muslim fundamentalist? I think those are excellent questions for us to ask ourselves, arguably defining questions of the age, and I think the longer you look at them the thornier they get.–
Today in Worst Questions Asked: Another instance of weaponized, imperialist feminism. The fact that this has already occurred - in Abu Ghraib and other torture cells maintained by USA and Western allies in the War on Terror - proves how Western feminism has been co-opted for global wars for many years now. What’s even worse is how many Western feminists condone these practices i.e. Invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, drone attacks in Pakistan, speaking for Others, so on and so forth for the sake of “emancipation”. Subashini says it with one tweet:
I went downstairs just to say hello to some of the people on the Joint Staff who used to work for me, and one of the generals called me in. He said, “Sir, you’ve got to come in and talk to me a second.” I said, “Well, you’re too busy.” He said, “No, no.” He says, “We’ve made the decision we’re going to war with Iraq.” This was on or about the 20th of September. I said, “We’re going to war with Iraq? Why?” He said, “I don’t know.” He said, “I guess they don’t know what else to do.” So I said, “Well, did they find some information connecting Saddam to al-Qaeda?” He said, “No, no.” He says, “There’s nothing new that way. They just made the decision to go to war with Iraq.” He said, “I guess it’s like we don’t know what to do about terrorists, but we’ve got a good military and we can take down governments.” And he said, “I guess if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem has to look like a nail.”
So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, “Are we still going to war with Iraq?” And he said, “Oh, it’s worse than that.” He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, “I just got this down from upstairs” — meaning the Secretary of Defense’s office — “today.” And he said, “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” I said, “Is it classified?” He said, “Yes, sir.” I said, “Well, don’t show it to me.” And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, “You remember that?” He said, “Sir, I didn’t show you that memo! I didn’t show it to you!”
this is from idiocracy, right?
Neoliberalism is a philosophy which construes profit making as the essence of democracy and consuming as the only operable form of citizenship. It also provides a rationale for a handful of private interests to control as much as possible of social, economic, and political life in order to maximize their personal profit. Neoliberalism is marked by a shift from the manufacturing to the service sector, the rise of temporary and part-time work, growth of the financial sphere and speculative activity, the spread of mass consumerism, the commodification of practically everything. Neoliberalism combines free market ideology with the privatization of public wealth, the elimination of the social state and social protections, and the deregulation of economic activity. Core narratives of neoliberalism are: privatization, deregulation, commodification, and the selling off of state functions. Neoliberalism advocates lifting the government oversight of free enterprise/trade thereby not providing checks and balances to prevent or mitigate social damage that might occur as a result of the policy of “no governmental interference”; eliminating public funding of social services; deregulating governmental involvement in anything that could cut into the profits of private enterprise; privatizing such enterprises as schools, hospitals, community-based organizations, and other entities traditionally held in the public trust; and eradicating the concept of “the public good” or “community” in favor of “individual responsibility.– Henry Armand Giroux (via mehreenkasana)