[Marxism] Histadrut: Israel's racist "trade union"

David Walsh davidrail68 at yahoo.com
Tue Mar 10 12:07:53 MDT 2009

full article:


Histadrut: Israel's racist "trade union" 
Tony Greenstein, The Electronic Intifada, 10 March 2009 

Histadrut has always been a strange creature. In most countries one joins a trade union which is affiliated to a national trade union federation. In Israel one first joins Histadrut and then one is allocated to a union. It is only outside Israel that Histadrut is seen as a normal trade union, the Israeli equivalent of the British Trade Union Congress or the American union movement AFL/CIO.

Less well known is the fact that Histadrut, an organization of the settler Jewish working class, was the key Zionist organization responsible for the formation of the Israeli state. As former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir remarked: "Then [1928] I was put on the Histadrut Executive Committee at a time when this big labor union wasn't just a trade union organization. It was a great colonizing agency." [1] Pinhas Lavon, as secretary-general of Histadrut, went so far as to describe it in 1960 as "a general organization to its core. It is not a trade union ..." [2] Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, held that without Histadrut, "I doubt whether we would have had a state." [3]


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