Regimes in Trouble
Yacov Ben Efrat
WAC's May 1: Saluting Egypt's Workers
Power Struggle in Israel's Judicial System
Issue 109, May/June 2008
Labor Shakes Egypt
AS ISRAEL celebrates its 60th year, Palestinians the world over commemorate their Nakba (catastrophe). Israel's birthday party is pooped. No feeling of triumph fills the air. The former President is accused of rape. The former Finance Minister is charged with theft. The Prime Minister is enmeshed in yet another corruption scandal. Mammon has settled in Zion.
Among the myths being smashed these days, one concerns the integrity and independence of Israel's Judicial System. Since the appointment of Daniel Friedmann as Justice Minister, a Power Struggle has been going on, with the Government and Knesset on one side, the Supreme Court on the other. The first two want to get the Court off their backs, and popular sentiment is with them.
Lacking the will for peace, Israel finds itself in Trouble together with other Regimes such as Lebanon, Syria and Egypt. Because of the global rise in food prices, the country of the Nile is in turmoil. After Three Days in Cairo investigating the latest wave of strikes, Asma Agbarieh-Zahalka concludes that Egyptian Workers are Imposing a New Agenda, neither Islamic nor nationalist—rather, class-oriented.
This new trend was applauded at the May 1 Celebration of the Workers Advice Center (WAC – Ma'an) in Tel Aviv. Arab and Jewish workers, activists and artists Saluted the Egyptian Workers and presented their own agenda for social change in the region.
Lately, Video48's new documentary: Six Floors to Hell won the editing prize at the DocAviv film festival. We bring the story of Jalal, who must save enough to build a house in order to marry the woman he loves. He is one among hundreds of Illegal Palestinian Workers in Israel, who face what appear to be impossible odds in their battle for bread.
Israel has an Africa Problem in the form of refugees, 8000 to date, who have managed to cross the permeable border with Egypt. It prides itself on being an Asylum State. Yes, for Jews. For all the others it wants to be a Locked Fortress, unless you are a migrant worker and can pay a staggering under-the-table visa fee.