The Histadrut, as part of its ideology
and strategy to attain solidarity with the Palestinian employees, has
strived to promote the relationship with the Palestinian people in
the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU), in
well as the rights of the Palestinian employees.
The Histadrut is a standard bearer for the
promotion of peace through continuous peaceful dialogue and
understanding and empathy
for the needs of the Palestinian workers. The Histadrut strongly
this is the sole way to attain a just and viable peace between the two
which guarantees two states for two peoples and a comprehensive
all the outstanding issues of the conflict.
The ideology of the Histadrut has not
focused solely on the declaration phase but also translated this into
1995 our two organisations signed an unprecedented agreement in which
percent of all dues from Palestinians employed by Israeli employers
remitted to the PGFTU. Unfortunately,
the agreement was not fully implemented due to security conditions.
However, under the auspices of the
International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), headed by Guy Ryder, we
finalised and implemented the agreement in June 2008. As a result, €3.1
million has been
transferred to the PGFTU, both in arrears and in ongoing payments.
Histadrut and PGFTU are now co-operating not only on the confederation
but also at the union level and representatives of both sides meet on a
basis. In the transport sector, under
the auspices of the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF)
Canadian Auto Workers' Union (CAW), we implemented a telephone "Hotline"
project to facilitate communication between Israeli checkpoint guards,
Palestinian truck drivers, and the PGFTU.
And in July 2009 in
the framework of deepening the relationship, our two unions have put in
joint vocational training seminar for drivers from both Israel and
construction area, we have agreed joint vocational training courses,
help of the Builders and Woodworkers International (BWI), for young
Palestinians to gain vocational training and work experience in Israel.
50,000 Palestinians are currently employed by Israeli companies. And
while we support an independent
Palestinian state with a viable economy, we continue to work hard to
Palestinians trying to earn a decent living.
also provide legal support for Palestinian workers and encourage
in educational and vocational training workshops and distribute
printed in Arabic to outline their rights.
also lobby the Israeli government on key issues. In 2009, the Israeli
government sought to
impose a €250 tax on all Palestinian employees employed by Israeli
Shaher Sa'ed, the General Secretary of the PGFTU, asked the Chairman of
Histadrut, Ofer Eini, to help get this plan cancelled. Chairman Eini
agreed and took a public stand
against the proposal, successfully negotiating to exclude it from draft
very much aware of the ongoing suffering of the inhabitants of Gaza. We
are also aware that the inhabitants
of Gaza are held hostage by the terror regime of Hamas which violently
over the Gaza Strip in 2007 and uninhibited, has exerted any means to
peace, human rights and workers supporters (including PGFTU leaders and
representatives who were forced to flee to the West Bank in order to
lives and the lives of their families) and
persecute them in a brutal manner. This terror organization, whose main
objective is the extinction of the Israeli State, has harmed Israeli
and workers by firing missiles in the past ten years which intensified
the withdrawal of Israel from the Gaza
Strip in 2005.
The Histadrut, whose value of solidarity
is its top priority, supports the humanitarian assistance for the
residents of Gaza, coordinates the access for different Confederations
and unions to Gaza
and ensures the success of their activity through coordination with the
This activity of the Histadrut proves
that it is possible to offer humanitarian assistance to the residents of
Gaza via peaceful means
whose positive results yield assistance and aid that are meaningful.
The conduct of the flotilla's organizers
and their methods of action utterly contradict the cooperation and the
to achieve the goal we all aspire to attain -- effective humanitarian
for the residents of Gaza.
As already broadcast in the media
throughout the world, Israel
notified the organizers of the present flotilla that its six ships would
allowed to enter Gaza
for security reasons. Israel
invited the flotilla to travel to the Israeli port of Ashdod,
unload their supplies and pass them overland after Israeli security
This would have been the sole effective way to ensure the required
as well as preventing the unnecessary violence.
The Histadrut clearly states that if the
organizers of the flotilla would have complied with this fair and
offer to travel to Ashdod port and participate at the inspection of the
supplies, the Histadrut would have assisted to ensure that the
would have been transferred to Gaza while cooperating with our
the PGFTU, ITUC and all the trade unions throughout the world.
We are saddened by the fact that an
action whose goal is apparently humanitarian assistance deteriorated to
that lead to loss of life. Unfortunately, the conduct of the flotilla
organizers, through the rejection of the Israeli proposal, was to attain
provocation to strengthen Hamas, agitate the real peace efforts in the
(such as Histadrut and PGFTU) and create an incident which now threatens
unravel the delicate diplomacy which had successfully in recent weeks
about a renewal of peace negotiations between the Israeli government and
Despite the harsh events of the day, the
Histadrut will continue firmly in the belief in the implementation of
solidarity between Israelis and the Palestinians, to act vigorously to
strengthen the relationship and the cooperation between the Histadrut
The Histadrut will continue to assist in
providing humanitarian assistance as much as required to the residents
and calls on our friends throughout the world to continue to work
promote the solidarity of the Israeli and Palestinian peoples, for
peace, mutual respect and prosperity through unlimited support in the
relationship between the
Israeli and the Palestinian trade unions
in the vision that this is the sole way to attain a just and viable