Monday, December 20, 2004

Israel has its own bracero program, who knew?

Haaretz - Israel News:
"The ministerial committee for foreign workers rejected Monday a request from Agriculture Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) to bring an additional 1,200 Thai laborers into the country, Israel Radio reported."

I had been under the mistaken impression that Arabs did all the low-paying jobs in Israel; but from this story in Haaretz I learn that, just as in the Gulf monarchies, Asian guest workers have a key role to play in the economy of Israel. Israeli farmers in Gaza are fighting to keep enough labor, mostly from Thailand, while the Thai government is busy encouraging its people, three of whom have been killed in Arab attacks this year, to go home. I wonder why they aren't recruiting farm workers from Mexico or Guatemala.


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