Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

25 Nissan 5761 - April 18, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Metulla Farmers Sued for Unemployment Compensation
by M. Tzvi

The International Red Cross is suing several farmers in Metulla for tens of thousands of dollars in unemployment compensation for Lebanese workers who had worked for them for the past several years. One of the farmers was asked to compensate 17 Lebanese workers he had employed. The farmers were warned that if they do not meet the demands, the Red Cross will sue them in international court.

Says one farmer: "This letter, which was sent to me from Cyprus, was beyond belief. Why should I give them compensation payments? I'm not the Histadrut. I don't understand what they want from me. I have employed Lebanese workers over the years mostly as agricultural workers. I employed them with IDF backing. The idea was to encourage their relatives to enlist in the South Lebanese Army. Dozens of other families in Metulla did the same. I refuse to pay them unemployment compensation. Let them deal with the government, since it's the State that is supposed to take care of them."

The head of the Metulla Local Council suggested reopening the gates to Lebanon. "It is inconceivable that the Lebanese who were employed by Metulla residents come along now and demand compensation, and that there is no one to pay them. Some of them worked for local farmers for 20 years. The State is the one who has to consider compensation payments."

Sources at the Rehabilitation Administration for Soldiers of the South Lebanese Army confirmed that they know about the letters and that "These claims were the first of a wave of compensation claims from the Lebanese."

Perhaps the unemployed Lebanese workers should request that the Histadrut file their requests for compensation payments. There is just one problem: nobody fired them from their jobs. Metulla farmers would be glad to bring them back to work. The ones preventing this are the Hizbullah fighters who control the border. Perhaps the Red Cross should ask Sheik Nasrullah to compensate the Lebanese farmers who lost their livelihood because of him...?


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