Action Items

McConfusion: McDonald's Israel reportedly backs down, while McDonald's HQ stonewalls

McDonald’s Israel has reportedly reversed it prohibition on its Arab workers speaking Arabic to each other and to customers, but its US headquarters continues to stonewall and provide contradictory information. According to the Arabic-language newspaper in Israel, Hadith an-Nass, the reversal of the no-Arabic policy was announced in a letter sent by McDonald’s Israel to the Mossawa center for Arab rights. In this alert, EI explains the latest developments, and urges readers to continue with their effective action. 

McBusted: Mounting evidence supports claim McDonald's Israel fired worker for speaking Arabic

The Electronic Intifada today publishes an exclusive investigative report by Jonathan Cook detailing evidence that supports the claim by a former worker at McDonald’s Israel that she was fired for speaking Arabic on the job. We renew our call on our readers to contact McDonald’s Corporation about this disturbing matter and demand justice for this and all its workers. Last week, Oak Brook, Illinois-based McDonald’s Corporation admitted in a statement sent to EI that its licensee in Israel maintains a policy requiring all its workers to speak only Hebrew. But the company asserted that it was “absolutely not true” that the worker, Abeer Zinaty, who had previously been recognized as an outstanding employee, was fired for speaking Arabic on the job. 

Israeli army kills and wounds anti-Wall demonstrators

Habitat International Coalition and OMCT call for intervention in the killing of four persons who were protesting against the construction of the Separation Wall in Buddu. The organisations urge the authorities in Israel to desist from using excessive and lethal force against protestors or communities affected by the wall, to immediately investigate the circumstances of these events, identify those responsible and bring them before a competent and impartial civil tribunal. 

McDonald's Confirms 'No Arabic' policy at its restaurants in Israel

McDonald’s Corporation today confirmed that it has a policy banning its employees from speaking Arabic in its restaurants in Israel, despite the fact that Palestinian citizens of Israel form 20% of its workforce, and Arabic is one of the two official languages of Israel. The Corporation denied, however, that Abeer Zinaty, a former “Excellent Worker 2003 — McDonald’s Israel,” was fired because she spoke Arabic on the job. 

McDonald's Israel reportedly fires employee for speaking Arabic

McDonalds claims “McDonald’s has a long-standing and distinguished record for diversity — as an employer, franchiser, and purchaser of goods and services. We recognize not only a responsibility to provide opportunity, but also the advantages of having a workforce with diverse backgrounds and perspectives.” The Electronic Intifada urges its readers to contact McDonald’s Corporation to ask for a full investigation of allegations of institutionalized racism and discrimination against Arab employees by its subsidiary in Israel. At least one employee has reportedly been fired because she spoke Arabic to a co-worker. 

Support Academic Freedom in International Studies

Last year the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3077, the International Studies in Higher Education Act of 2003. The bill provides for government funding for international area studies and foreign language programs, known as Title VI; however, the bill also contains a troubling provision regarding academic freedom. If agreed to by the Senate, this bill would create a 7-person International Studies Advisory Board. This bill is being supported by conservative think tanks like the Hoover Institution and self-appointed campus watchdog groups like Daniel Pipes’ Campus Watch. 

Act immediately to lift the siege off Nablus, Balata and Beit Foreek

Nablus has been under siege for the last 10 days while Balata refugee camp has been under siege for the last 18 consecutive days. We have just heard that every single entrance/exit to Balata has been sealed off completely. No food or medicine is allowed in. Medical relief teams are being obstructed and at times completely prevented from passing through. Activists from ISM (the International Solidarity Movement) were attacked while carrying out their missions to observe and bear witness on what the Israeli occupation authorities are brutalizing the Palestinian population. 

Two Israeli teenage refuseniks on hunger strike

The two teenagers Hillel Goral (18) and Noam Bahat (19) are conscientious objectors to compulsory military service. At present they are serving their second prison sentence for refusing to enter the Israeli army. Israel has no alternative civilian service and Hillel Goral and Noam Bahat are currently on hunger strike. Hillel Goral was sentenced to 28 days, his second sentence was for the same duration. Noam Bahat was initially sentenced to 28 days, his second sentence was for 42 days. 

Israel kills 21, injures 55 in two weeks

Have you been wondering what has become of Palestinian life in the occupied territories as the world’s attention was turned towards Iraq? While there have been no Palestinian attacks inside Israel for ten weeks, Israeli attacks against Palestinians have not stopped for a single day. In the last two weeks alone, Israel has killed 21 Palestinians and injured 55 others. In an attack on Palestinian civilians and property yesterday, the Israeli military completely destroyed 18 homes in the Khan Yunis refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, leaving 25 families (178 Palestinian civilians) homeless. AMJ calls for action. 

Torture and ill-treatment of child detainees

Over the past month, the International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by PCATI and Defence for Children International/Palestine Section (DCIPA), another member of the SOS-Torture network, of the alarming situation of many other Palestinian children in detention. OMCT is gravely concerned by the high number of allegations of unlawful arrests and detention, torture and ill-treatment of children while in police custody or in Israeli detention facilities, as well as the poor and often inhuman living conditions there.