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1920 Histradrut Founded - History

1920 Histradrut Founded - History


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Histadrut

The Histadrut was founded by members of the second Aliyah. It was established to provide a workers' union in Palestine..

Most members of the Second Aliyah arrived from Eastern Europe with a commitment to socialism. This commitment was initially manifested by their fight for the ideals of Jewish labor --Avodah Iv'rit. These immigrants also founded the socialist Zionist groups such as Hapo'el Ha'tza'ir, and Paolei Zion. In 1914, there was an aborted attempt to found a national labor union. The short- lived organization was called United Commission of Palestine Workers. In 1920, after renewed efforts, the workers of Palestine succeeded in organizing themselves into a united front -- the Histadrut. Four thousand, four hundred and thirty three voters took part in the election of delegates at the founding conference, held in Haifa. The opening resolution adopted by the conference read: " It is the aim of the United Federation of all the workers and laborers of Palestine who live by the sweat of their brows without exploiting the toil of others, to promote land settlement, to involve itself in all economic and cultural issues effecting labor in Palestine, and to build a Jewish workers society there." Thus the founders of the Histadrut set the stage for the union's development into a unique labor organization that, in addition to focusing on workers rights, developed powerful institutions to help establish a Jewish State in Palestine. The Histadrut established subsidiaries such as Solel Boneh, that became the country's largest builder. It established a newspaper -- Davar-- and created a bank (Bank Hapoalim), large stores (Hamashbir), and large industrial enterprises (Koor). This system worked effectively during the years of struggle to found and develop a Jewish State. In recent years, the Histadrut has found itself on both sides of the bargaining table in many labor disputes.


The &aposNew Woman&apos

The most familiar symbol of the “Roaring Twenties” is probably the flapper: a young woman with bobbed hair and short skirts who drank, smoked and said what might be termed “unladylike” things, in addition to being more sexually 𠇏ree” than previous generations. In reality, most young women in the 1920s did none of these things (though many did adopt a fashionable flapper wardrobe), but even those women who were not flappers gained some unprecedented freedoms. 

They could vote at last: The 19th Amendment to the Constitution had guaranteed that right in 1920, though it would be decades before African American women in the South could fully exercise their right to vote without Jim Crow intimidation. 

Millions of women worked in blue collar jobs, as well as white-collar jobs (as stenographers, for example) and could afford to participate in the burgeoning consumer economy. The increased availability of birth-control devices such as the diaphragm made it possible for women to have fewer children. And new machines and technologies like the washing machine and the vacuum cleaner eliminated some of the drudgery of household work.

Did you know? Because the 18th Amendment and the Volstead Act did not make it illegal to drink alcohol, only to manufacture and sell it, many people stockpiled liquor before the ban went into effect. Rumor had it that the Yale Club in New York City had a 14-year supply of booze in its basement.


CONCLUSION

Although accepted to the Histadrut on an equal basis, Histadrut women were subject to discrimination in every form of activity, from labor to management and politics. Nevertheless, women chose to collaborate with the Histadrut’s leadership. Indeed, Golda Meir’s meteoric rise to top positions proved this choice to be beneficial for the few women who put women’s unique issues and interests aside and instead furthered a “general” i.e. national-socialist agenda. This is still the case. Data prove that Histadrut women today prevail in a “women’s niche”—Na’amat—where they can be better represented. In the “general” arena, however, Histadrut women still have a long way to go to achieve equality.

Books

Avizohar, Meir. National and Social Ideals as Reflected in Mapai, The Israeli Labour Party, 1930–1942 (Hebrew). Tel Aviv: 1990.

Bartal, Gavriel. The General Workers’ Federation: Structure and Activities (Hebrew). Tel Aviv: 1983.

Bernstein, Deborah S. The Struggle for Equality: Urban Workers in Prestate Israeli Society . New York: 1987.

Ibid. Constructing Boundaries: Jewish and Arab Workers in Mandatory Palestine . Albany: 2000.

Katznelson-Shazar, Rahel. The Person as She Was (Hebrew). Tel Aviv: 1989.

Maimon, Ada Fishman. Fifty Years of the Women Workers’ Movement (1904–1954) (Hebrew). Ayanot: 1955.

Porez, Ada, and Dafna Izraeli. Women and Men in Workers’ Committees in the Industry (Hebrew). Tel Aviv: 1980.

Rabin, Yizhak. My Father’s Home (Hebrew). n.d..

Sternhell, Zeev. The Founding Myths of Israel . Princeton: 1997.

Tzahor, Zeev. On the Road to Yishuv Leadership: The Formative Years of the Histadrut (Hebrew). Jerusalem: 1981.

Articles

Elboim, Rachel Dror. “Women in Zionist Utopianism.” Cathedra 66 (1992): 111–143.

Bernstein, Deborah S. “Human Being or Housewife? The Status of Women in the Jewish Working-Class Family in Palestine of the 1920s and 1930s.” In Pioneers and Homemakers: Jewish Women in Pre-state Israel, edited by Deborah S. Bernstein. New York: 1992.

Ibid. “The Plough Woman Who Cried into the Pots: The Position of Women in the Labor Force in Pre-State Israeli Society.” Jewish Social Studies 45 (1983): 43–56.

Hyman, Paula. “Labor Organizing and Female Institution.” In Women, Work and Protest , edited by Ruth M. Milkman, 22–41. Boston: 1985.

Izraeli, Dafna., and K. Gaier. “Sex and Interoccupational Wage Differences in Israel.” Industrial Relations 18, 2 (1979): 227–232.

Kafkafi, Eyal. “The Psycho-Intellectual Aspect of Gender Inequality in Israel’s Labor Movement.” Israel Studies 4, 1(1999): 188–211.

Kessler, Alice Harris. “Problems of Coalition-Building: Women and Trade Unions in the 1920s.” In Women, Work and Protest , edited by Ruth M. Milkman, 110–131. Boston: 1985.

Kolat, Israel. “The Concept of the Histadrut: Emergence and Change (1920–1948).” In Labor and Society in Israel , edited by Avrech, I., and D. Giladi, 204–227. Tel Aviv: 1973.

Milkman, Ruth. “Organizing the Sexual Division of Labor: Historic Perspectives On ‘Women’s Work and the American Labor Movement.’” Social Review 10 (1980): 95–110.

Stern, Bat-Sheva Margalit. “Recruiting and Organizing Women in the Histadrut: Establishing the Domestic Workers Trade Union in Tel Aviv: A Case Study” (Hebrew). Yahadut Zemanenu 14 (2001): 185–224.

Stern, Bat-Sheva Margalit. “Rebels of Unimportance: The 1930s Textile Strike in Tel Aviv and the Boundaries of Women’s Self-Reliance.” Middle Eastern Studies 38, 3 (2002): 171–194.

Unpublished Material

Porez, Ada. “The Rule of Women’s Representation in the Workers’ Committees” (Hebrew). Master’s thesis, Tel Aviv University 1980.

Rozen, Giora. “The Histadrut’s Trade Union in the World War II Era” (Hebrew). Master’s thesis, Tel Aviv University, 1974.

Stern, Bat-Sheva Margalit. “The Women Workers’ Movement in Pre-State Israel: The Women Workers’ Council, 1920–1939” (Hebrew). Ph.D. diss., Haifa University: 1997.

Newspapers

Regev, David. “Report on the Status of Women in Israel” (Hebrew). Yedioth Ahronoth, November 10, 2002.


Corruption permeates Israel under Netanyahu, goes back decades

Prime Minister Netanyahu faces mounting scandal, as do his wife, friends, and many colleagues. This follows scandals for previous Israeli leaders Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak, David Ben-Gurion and others for charges that range from financial corruption to sexual assault.

Certainly every country has its share of shady politicians and dirty little secrets. The US has more than enough to be embarrassed about . We need to vet our elected officials’ campaign funds, study their relationships with non-government operatives, and examine our government’s spending habits.

We need to spend our money where it will have a good return, where it will be invested in ways that reflect our American ideals. And when it comes to foreign aid, we should not support governments that will be wasteful, imprudent, or treacherous toward the people they rule.

About 20% of the American foreign aid budget goes to Israel. Is that a good investment? Is this a trustworthy government?

One would expect that a nation with oodles of Nobel laureates, world-class medical facilities, cutting edge technology, a robust economy, a nation that boasts (erroneously – see embedded links for the truth) a “flourishing democracy ,” the “ most moral army in the world ,” “ an absolute reverence for life ,” and ancient, deeply religious underpinnings —one would expect that such a nation might be a little cleaner than average.

Human rights violations aside, infraction of international law and disdain for United Nations resolutions notwithstanding, Israel seems to have more than its share of shenanigans.

In fact, misconduct seems to be the norm, rather than the exception in the country that receives $10 million a day from the United States. State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan commented recently that there is nothing to worry about: “A corrupt state is a state that doesn’t fight against corruption” – and Israel is fighting. But from the looks of things, it isn’t fighting nearly hard enough.

Israel is one of the world’s leading exporters of investment scams ($5-10 billion a year–read this or a few of these ), with organized crime that has grown to “ monstrous proportions .” That cutting edge tech sector? 25% of its revenue comes from “ shady or fraudulent industries .” And that government of the people? 75% of Israel’s 120 parliamentarians live in the pockets of special interest groups and their relentless lobbyists. (To be fair, at least that percentage of American congress people live in the pockets of AIPAC .)

Israel is fighting corruption from the highest places in government, right on down to the household help. Here is just a starter list of the fine messes that Israel’s darlings have gotten themselves into.

Charges against Netanyahu

“Case 1,000” – Cigars and Pink Champagne Affair
In 2015, Bibi allegedly accepted “lavish gifts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars” from a number of people, including billionaire Hollywood producer (and Israeli spy ) Arnon Milchan. Milchan admitted that for years he’d been giving the Netanyahus expensive gifts—champagne, jewelry, boxes of cigars—at their request. At the time as the 2015 gifts, Milchan was negotiating a media partnership which, if it had succeeded, would have given him controlling interest over Channel 2 News in Israel. According to the Times of Israel , “if Milchan had succeeded, Netanyahu would have gained valuable influence over Channel 2 News.”

The Netanyahus also reported ly received lavish gifts from Australian millionaire James Packer in exchange for special favors.

The Prime Minister maintains his innocence.

Arnon Mozes

“Case 2,000” – the Newspaper Rivalry Affair
In 2014, Netanyahu allegedly attempted to manipulate newspaper circulation in Israel. Namely, he promised to advance legislation that would effectively reduce the circulation of Sheldon Adelson’s free newspaper, Israel Hayom , and increase Arnon Mozes’ Yedioth Ahronoth . All Mozes would need to do was give Netanyahu more favorable coverage during the election season.

The Prime Minister denies any wrongdoing.

In addition, Netanyahu’s phone records are under investigation: it seems that during the last election he placed calls to Adelson, owner of Israel Hayom . The timing of some of these calls coincided with “ particularly sympathetic headlines ,” which may constitute illegal campaigning. Adelson is an American citizen and a major donor to the Republican Party.

Previous Netanyahu allegations
During his first term as Prime Minister (1996 – 99), Benjamin Netanyahu was investigated twice for fraud and breach of trust. In both cases, the police recommended that he be charged, but prosecutors declined. Ironically, the first investigation alleged that Netanyahu attempted to influence a corruption investigation .

In both cases, he insisted he was innocent.

History repeats itself

Netanyahu is not the first Prime Minister to be embroiled in scandal in reality, this has been going on for decades. It can get very distracting.

One member of Israeli parliament – from Netanyahu’s Likud party – came up with a solution to this annoying problem. In 2016, David Amsalem drafted a bill that would shield the prime minister from criminal investigation while in office. He explained on Facebook: “For the past 30 years, there hasn’t been a single prime minister who wasn’t busy with investigations. The prime minister holds the most important job in Israel…[and] can not be preoccupied by investigations practically every day.” The bill is not expected to pass into law.

Yitzhak Rabin

What have these Prime Ministers been getting themselves into all these years?

Yitzhak Rabin (PM 1974-77, 1992-95) was involved in The Dollar Account Affair —an illegal bank account—which led to his resignation from his first stint as Prime Minister in 1977. Interestingly, he was re-elected in 1992. (Earlier, Rabin had been a member of the pre-Israel underground paramilitary group, Haganah.)

Shimon Peres

Shimon Peres (PM 1984-86, 1995-96) is known in the West as a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Among Arabs, he is nicknamed “the butcher of Qana” and “the engineer of genocide,” referring to a 1996 attack in Lebanon that killed over 100 civilians. A Time Magazine article stated that “ for Palestinians, on the receiving end of this “great” man’s policies, Peres was an integral part of a project that was anything but honorable…his whole history was devoted to establishing and then developing a state founded on dispossession and the ethnic cleansing of another people[.]” (Peres had also been a member of Haganah.)

Ehud Barak

Ehud Barak (PM 1999-2001) Barak was investigated several times for alleged illegal campaign financing, bribery, money laundering, and more. Those charges did not stick. In 2009, While visiting England, Barak almost faced arrest under “universal jurisdiction” as a war criminal for his actions during Operation Cast Lead. Similarly, he , along with Ehud Olmert (see below) and 12 other Israeli political officials, was charged by lawyers in Belgium for war crimes. As long as the officials stay out of Belgium, they are not at risk of arrest. (Barak served in the IDF for 35 years.)

Ariel Sharon

Ariel Sharon : (PM 2001-2006) Sharon was investigated for a number of financial and corruption scandals during his time as Prime Minister, but is best remembered for his efforts as Defense Minister. Sharon launched the invasion of Lebanon in 1982 which resulted in the Sabra and Shatila massacres. The world reacted strongly against this atrocity, and in 1983 Israel set up a commission of inquiry. It determined that Sharon bore “personal responsibility” for the massacre, stating, “ Mr. Sharon was found responsible for ignoring the danger of bloodshed and revenge…as well as not taking appropriate measures to prevent bloodshed.” Sharon was forced to resign. Nevertheless, he was later elected Prime Minister 3 times. (Sharon had also been a member of Haganah.)

Ehud Olmert

Ehud Olmert (PM 2006-2009) Olmert was dogged by corruption investigations from the mid-1980s, leading some to believe that he was “corrupt but a master at covering his tracks,” and others to conclude that “the authorities were simply obsessed with harassing him.” Beginning in 2008, his luck changed: Olmert was convicted for accepting bribes, falsifying documents, tax evasion, obstruction of justice, and breach of trust in the Talansky Affair, the Holyland Affair, the Rishon Tours Affair, and the Investment Center Case. (He tried to pin the Holyland case on his secretary , and offered her money – $10k/month – for her prison sentence. But she turned state’s witness and testified against him.) Olmert resigned, was imprisoned in February 2016, and then was granted an early release in July 2017, thanks to “impeccable” behavior, according to the parole board . Ironically, however, the recently released Olmert is now under investigation for allegedly disclosing classified information while in prison .

Shady dealings go beyond the prime minister’s office: Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, has a few issues of her own.

Sara Netanyahu

Sara Netanyahu

“Mealbooking affair” – corruption
Sara Netanyahu, wife of the Prime Minister, already has a full-time chef, but she is about to be indicted for fraud and breach of trust for hiring an outside chef and having hundreds of lavish meals catered at the official residence – about $100,000 worth – paid for with public funds. (In addition, in 2011 alone, the Netanyahu residence billed Israeli taxpayers $24,000 for take-out food.) The probe alleges that Mrs. Netanyahu falsified documents . The most serious charge carries a possible sentence of five years in prison.

Previous Sara Netanyahu charges
Mrs. Netanyahu’s employees have had additional complaints. In 2015, former caretaker at the PM residence Menny Naftali won a case against her for verbal and emotional abuse. He alleged that she drank “crazy amounts” of alcohol, especially champagne, and then regularly flew into a rage, yelling at and humiliating Naftali and other employees, over 20 of whom had quit during the Netanyahus’ tenure at the residence. The court awarded Naftali compensation of about $43,000.

The Prime Minister stands by his wife, describing her on Facebook as a “courageous and honest woman who has never had any flaws in her actions.”

And the trail of corruption goes on.

Bibi’s inner circle and top powerbrokers

“Case 3,000” – the Submarine Affair, David Shimron et al

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu climbs out of the Rahav, the fifth submarine in the fleet. It arrived in Haifa port January 12, 2016.

In 2013-14, in what has been described as the “gravest corruption case in Israel’s history,” David Shimron (Netanyahu’s personal attorney, former chief of staff, close friend, and 2 nd cousin) allegedly attempted to push through a $480 million deal ( some sources place the value at $1.7 billion) for the purchase of submarines and patrol boats from a German shipbuilding company in which he has a financial interest. Shimron stood to receive millions of dollars. The case includes allegations of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust. According to Ha’aretz , “At least ten high-powered individuals have been identified as involved in the scandal, including very close associates of Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu,” among them a former Navy commander, a retired rear admiral, and a former deputy head of the National Security Council.

Netanyahu’s hands may or may not be clean in this affair. He has been accused of frivolously increasing the order of submarines from 5 to 6—a wasteful action that former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon claimed “jeopardizes the interests of the country.” One journalist suggested that if Netanyahu knew what was going on around him, “then this is a case of suspected offenses that violate ethical standards.” If he wasn’t aware, then he had “surrounded himself unknowingly with a bunch of allegedly corrupt people, appointing them to the highest and most sensitive positions in government.” Either way, the news is not good.

Netanyahu maintains his innocence.

(As an aside, these submarines and patrol boats were intended to protect offshore natural gas platforms—as Israel extracts natural gas that is also claimed by Lebanon, Syria, Cyprus, and the Palestinians. The tangle of claims , counter-claims, and violence that surround this resource located in the Mediterranean Sea is astonishing.)

Moshe Katsav

Rape conviction, 2010 – Moshe Katsav (former Israeli President)
Katsav resigned as President of Israel in June 2007 when he was charged with rape, as well as with molesting or sexually harassing two female employees. The first incident happened in the 1990s when he was cabinet minister the second and third happened while he was president. He began his sentence in 2011 and was granted early release in 2016 after serving five years for rape.

He has repeatedly professed innocence.

An Israeli drone manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries (Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)

Case 630, corruption – Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)
Top management at government owned IAI are under scrutiny for alleged bribery, fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, and breach of trust. Suspects include retired IDF brigadier-general Amal Asad and many others at high levels, including executives, board directors, and board members, as well as individuals who were “ supposed to be guardians of the public trust.” Police describe the allegations as “systematic criminal behavior and deep corruption seemingly commonplace in Israel Aerospace Industries.”

Aryeh Deri

Bribery, fraud, breach of trust – Aryeh Deri
Aryeh Deri, one of the founders of the ultra-orthodox Shas party, has had his ups and down. In the 1988, at the age of 29, Deri became the youngest Interior Minister in Israel’s (short) history. In 1999 he was convicted of fraud, bribery, and breach of trust, and served 22 months. In 2013 he was back at the helm of the Shas party. In January 2016, he was re-appointed Interior Minister. And by the end of March that year, he was embroiled in another scandal, suspected of tax offenses, breach of trust, and money laundering.

Faina Kirshenbaum

“Case 242,” corruption – Faina Kirshenbaum et al
In “one of the biggest public corruption investigations that have been uncovered in Israel,” dozens of officials have been arrested, charged, or indicted on a range of activities, including bribery, money laundering, conspiracy, extortion, tax evasion, embezzling, and breach of trust. In the middle of this mess is Faina Kirshenbaum , former Deputy Interior Minister and former director general of far-right political party Yisrael Beytenu (“Israel is our home”). Kirshenbaum is “at the center of some 10 separate corruption cases,” and in the words of her indictment, “acted willfully and intentionally, at times with great sophistication, in order to carry out a series of crimes.” She allegedly used her position as deputy minister to embezzle millions of dollars. Many of those implicated are members of Yisrael Beytenu.

Gil Shefer

Alleged Sexual Harassment – Gil Shefer (Netanyahu’s former chief of staff)
In December 2016, Gil Sheffer was arrested on suspicion of sexual offense that allegedly occurred during his time as Netanyahu’s chief of staff in 2012-13. This was not his first brush with the law: in 2013 allegations came to light of sexual harassment dating back 15 years, too long ago to allow investigation. Coincidentally, he resigned from office at the same time the allegations became public – both Shefer and Netanyahu insist that his departure was unrelated to the scandal. Interestingly, Shefer’s predecessor, Natan Eshel, had also quit amid a sexual harassment scandal. Shefer was also recently questioned in the Mealbooking Affair (see #9 above).

Shaul Elovitch

Case 4000 – “the Bezeq Affair”
Meet Shaul Elovitch , Chairman and owner of telecom giant, Bezeq. He may or may not be a longtime friend of PM Netanyahu. (Bibi stated once that they were “little more than acquaintances,” and later that he had been a “personal friend for 20 years.”) Elovitch himself is already under investigation , and now he is in his own version of Case 2000 (see #2 above): for the last few years, Elovitch’s internet portal, Walla, has been suspiciously pro-Netanyahu. Starting in 2015, Bibi stories were always glowingly positive photos of Sara Netanyahu were profuse stories like the Naftali scandal (see #X above) miraculously disappeared from the website stories of Bibi’s son Yair and his girlfriend miraculously appeared just when rumors were flying of his being gay—and all of this at roughly the same time that Netanyahu’s office was advancing policies favorable toward Elovitch’s business. When Bibi was ordered to turn over information, he refused to comply.

Perach Lerner

Perach Lerner – corruption
A highly influential advisor of Netanyahu, Perach Lerner recently confessed to fraud and breach of trust. She had allowed her husband to take advantage of her position with the prime minister to help his business.

Histadrut, an organization of the settler Jewish working class, was the key Zionist organization responsible for the formation of the Israeli state.

Under-age sex scandal: Tzion al-Grisi
Al-Grisi was not a high-level official, but he was important enough to rub elbows with some powerful people before the scandal. He behaved improperly toward a young girl, starting when she was 8 or 9 years old, which is shocking enough. He was later convicted, but the story doesn’t end there.

Al-Grisi was was a labor union delegate to Meretz, a leftist, Zionist political party, where he allegedly kept his position for months before Twitter got ahold of the news. He was also regional branch chair of Histadrut, Israel’s national trade union center. Histadrut has reportedly taken no action against Al-Grisi.

(Quick history lesson: Histadrut was founded in 1920 purportedly as a labor union, but acted as a colonizer of Palestine by assimilating immigrants in order to “carry out the conquest of the land.” It rejected Arab workers and products–essentially boycotting Arab labor and produce. David Ben-Gurion (Israel’s legendary first Prime Minister) was the organization’s first secretary-general, and added to the Arabs’ misery with wage scales that favored Jewish workers. Under Ben-Gurion, “class struggle was redefined as the struggle against Arab labor.” He also reportedly helped himself to the treasury–including for “trysts with his mistress in sundry European spas” (The Sacred Chain: A History of the Jews by Norman Cantor, New York: HarperPerennial, 1995, p. 368). Histadrut also founded Haganah.)

Al-Grisi maintains innocence, claiming that the girl seduced him and that the charges were “concocted” by her mother.

Conclusion

Israel is not alone in the corruption within its government, but the magnitude of the mess is critical when considering the amount of aid it receives from the United States–over $10 million per day . Compare this to assistance to the occupied Palestinian territories– averaging $400 million per year –approximately one tenth of what Israel receives. In fact, the US Congress is trying to reduce aid to Palestinians by vilifying the compensation being paid to the families of their slain and imprisoned.

Another serious issue is the Israeli government’s way of creating distractions for the world when a serious scandal comes to light. Israeli political analyst Michel Warschawski warned that Netanyahu “desperately needs distractions from these scandals. A ready-made target is always Gaza.” He added, “The danger is that he tries to heat up things there and starts a war.”

Kathryn Shihadah is a staff writer for If Americans Knew.

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Histadrut Ivrit of America

The Histadruth Ivrith of America, (1916 - 2005), was part of the movement for the revival of the Hebrew language that sought to revive Hebrew, a language then used for prayer and the study of holy texts, as a living language that would be spoken and used to create contemporary literature.

The Histadrut held its first annual congress in New York in 1917 Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the father of modern Hebrew, David Ben-Gurion and Itzhak Ben-Zvi attended. [1]

Beginning in 1921, Histadrut published Hadoar, an American Hebrew newspaper that was distributed nationwide. [1] [2]

In its early year, Histadrut published a Sefer Hashanah Le-Yehude Amerika (Yearbook for the Jews of America) a large format annual with literary and scholarly essays, and journalistic accounts of the year's developments in American Jewish life. [1]

Ogen (anchor), the Histadrut publishing house was founded in 1920. Over the decades it published more than 60 works of literature and scholarship. Among the most notable was the Anthology of Hebrew Poetry in America (1938), which included poems from several centuries of American Jewish life. [1]

A youth movement, Histadruth Hanoar Haivri, was established in 1936. [1]

Beginning in the 1930s, and intensifying after Israeli independence, Histradut sponsored dance groups, camping, ulpan for teaching Hebrew language, choral groups, the Pargod theater group and other cultural and recreational activities. The Hebrew Arts Foundation was established in 1952, followed by a Hebrew Arts School. [1] [3]

The organization was disbanded in 2005. [1]

Michael Weingrad describes the Histradrut Hebraists as linguistically and ideologically "marginal," because the Hebrew revival was centered in Yiddish-speaking Ashkenaz and continued in Israel. He describes the story of the Histadrut after Israeli independence as "the steady decline in the fortunes of an already small group." However, Weingrad points out that the movement produced a few notable Hebrew poets, Gabriel Preil, Eisig Silberschlag and Robert Whitehill. [2]


During World War ii

With the anti-Zionist turn in British policy (White Paper of May 1939), a clash of opinion broke out in the yishuv in relation to the Haganah's main task. Non-labor circles wished to limit its activities to guarding settlements and urban quarters against Arab attackers. The Jewish Agency, however, wanted to turn the Haganah into the military arm of the yishuv's struggle against the British White Paper policy, which was also the desire of most members of the Haganah. In 1941 the crisis was settled with the establishment of a security committee composed of representatives of all circles in the yishuv and given control over the Haganah.

With the outbreak of World War ii, the Haganah was faced with new problems. On the one hand, it actively supported the volunteering to the Jewish units that were established in the framework of the British army. Many of the founders and members of the Haganah joined these units and did much to foster Jewish leadership in them and preserve their Zionist character. The members of the Haganah also developed networks for the clandestine acquisition of arms within the British army, and they cared for Jewish survivors and refugees in the countries of Europe in which they were stationed at the close of the war.

At the same time, the general staff continued its activities in Palestine and developed the defense forces of the Haganah itself. Its members were divided into a "Guard Force," based on older members, for the static defense of the settlements, and a "Field Force," based on younger members (up to the age of 35), who were trained for active defense activities. A special paramilitary youth movement (*Gadna) was established to train youth between the ages of 14 and 18. In addition, courses were held for commanders of all ranks, among which the most important was the annual course for platoon leaders at Juʿāra near Ein ha-Shofet. The secret arms industry also expanded and produced mortars, shells, and submachine guns. National general defense programs were formulated in the yishuv (Program A in 1941, Program b in 1945). Finally the intelligence service of the Haganah (Shay – short for sherut yedi'ot) was developed and reached a very high level of effectiveness.

In 1941, a mobilized formation of the Haganah – the *Palmaḥ (short for Peluggot Maḥaẓ – "crack units") – was established. It was a regular underground army whose units were located in kibbutzim in all parts of the country. The members of the Palmah earned a substantial amount of their living expenses by agricultural labor (14 days a month), and they received excellent training. When the German army stood at the gates of Egypt, contact was reestablished between the Haganah and the British military authorities and joint efforts were carried out in which hundreds of Palmaḥ members received commando training by British officers. At a later time, a paratroop unit was established in this cooperative framework, and 32 of its members parachuted in Europe into enemy territory to organize Jewish youth in Nazi-occupied territory for resistance against the Nazis. From the end of 1939, the Haganah legally published a monthly entitled Ma'arakhot that was devoted to military thought and studies of military planning.

In general, however, the British authorities were hostile to the Haganah and saw it as an obstacle to their anti-Jewish policy. In 1939–40 many members of the Haganah were imprisoned and searches were carried out to locate the arms caches. The British military forces met with opposition that gradually reached the stage of bloodshed (Ramat ha-Kovesh, 1943), and show trials were held against Haganah members accused of stealing arms from British military depots. In 1944 the dissident underground organizations (iẒl and *Loḥamei Ḥerut Israel – Leḥi) began attacking the British, against the established policy of the Jewish Agency. The Haganah was charged with stopping the activities of iẒl after the latter refused to heed the warnings of the Jewish Agency. This task (called the "saison") was carried out mainly by volunteers from the Palmaḥ. This mission aroused bitter feelings, even in the ranks of those who carried it out, mainly because some of the imprisoned members of iẒl were turned over to the British authorities.


Sept. 17, 1920 -- The Founding of the NFL

First known as the American Professional Football Association (APFA) and later renamed the NFL in 1922, the league's first president was Jim Thorpe. Without a doubt the most famous athlete of his time, Thorpe helped add credibility to the sport. While not front-page news in 1920, the league's formation was the start of a journey that has made the NFL this country's favorite sport.

Pro football began in 1892 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when former Yale star William "Pudge" Heffelfinger was paid a notable sum of $500 to play in a single game for the Allegheny Athletic Association on November 12. For nearly the next three decades, pro football faced its ups and downs as the game was played primarily in small towns throughout western Pennsylvania and the Midwest.

Many problems plagued the game of pro football with increasing regularity. The need for a sense of order brought these men, which among others included George "Papa Bear" Halas, together in Canton to form the first professional football league. Eleven franchises were represented at the meeting: Canton Bulldogs, Decatur Staleys, Chicago Cardinals, Akron Pros, Cleveland Indians, Dayton Triangles, Massillon Tigers, Hammond Pros, Muncie Flyers, Rock Island Independents, Rochester Jeffersons.

The original meeting minutes from September 17, 1920 are housed in the Hall of Fame's archives. (click image to enlarge)

The first matter of business was Massillon's withdrawal from professional football for the 1920 season. The team never joined the NFL. However, by season's start, the membership also included the Buffalo All-Americans, Chicago Tigers, Columbus Panhandles, and Detroit Heralds. Only two of the franchises still exist today. The Decatur Staleys moved to Chicago in 1921 and were renamed the Bears one year later. The Chicago Cardinals franchise now calls Arizona home.

first game featuring a team from the APFA was played at Douglas Park in Rock Island, Illinois. The Independents were victorious as they rolled to a 48-0 win over the St. Paul Ideals.

One week later, two league teams battled head-to-head for the fist time. The Dayton Triangles shutout the Columbus Panhandles, 14-0 in Triangle Park.

The Akron Pros, with an 8-0-3 regular season record, were crowned the league's first champion.


1920 Histradrut Founded - History

The Histadrut has been criticized by European worker unions and international human rights groups over its failure to represent migrant workers, considered to be the most maltreated employees in Israel. In 2009, the Histadrut began accepting memberships of migrant workers. Another criticism of the Histadrut is that it appears to protect powerful interest groups in the labor market, i.e., that it does not protect all workers.

With the increasing liberalization and deregulation of the Israeli economy since the 1980s, the role and size of Histadrut declined. A major shift in power took place in 1994, when the Labor Party lost its leadership and governing role in the Histadrut, and a new party named RAM, composed of individuals who had left the Labor Party due to internal power struggles, took charge and began to sell off or eliminate its non union-related assets and activities, proclaiming that from then on, it would function solely as a trade union. The most severe blow came in 1995, when Israel's National Health Insurance Law came into effect, creating Israel's modern universal health care system. Under the law, Israelis were given a choice in membership between Clalit and three other health insurance funds, which were now prohibited from discriminating against applicants for age and medical reasons, and Clalit's tie to the Histadrut was severed. As a result, many people no longer depended on the Histadrut for their health insurance, and one of the largest declines in union membership in history occurred. Membership almost instantly plunged from 1.8 million (almost 80% of the workforce at the time) to about 200,000. The loss of revenue generated from Clalit's health insurance premiums and union dues caused an enormous decline in the Histadrut's resources, and it was forced to sell off valuable real estate assets to survive.

By 1930 the Histadrut had become the central organisation of the Yishuv. It did what the Zionist Executive wanted, but was unable to do: absorb immigrants and organise agricultural settlement, defense and expansion into new areas of production. According to Tzahor the Histadrut had become "the executive arm of the Zionist movement—but an arm acting on its own". It had become a "state in the making".

According to Tzahor, while the Histadrut focused on constructive action, its leaders did not "abandon fundamental ideological principles". However, according to Ze'ev Sternhell in his book The Founding Myths of Israel, the labor leaders had already abandoned socialist principles by 1920 and only used them as "mobilizing myths".

Histadrut or the General Organization of Workers in Israel originally (, HaHistadrut HaKlalit shel HaOvdim B'Eretz Yisrael) is Israel's National trade union center, representing the majority of trade unionists in the State of Israel.

Membership in 1983 was 1,600,000 (including dependants), accounting for more than one-third of the total population of Israel and about 85% of all wage earners. About 170,000 Histadrut members were Arabs (who were admitted to membership starting in 1959). In 1989, the Histadrut was the employer of approximately 280,000 workers.

Absorption of immigration was seen as a very important task of the Histadrut. Providing immigrants with work was often seen as more important than the financial soundness of its operations. The labor leaders saw failure to absorb immigrants as a moral bankruptcy that was much worse than financial bankruptcy. In 1924 the Histadrut's Office for Public Works collapsed and went bankrupt, and in 1927 the same happened to its successor, the privatised Sollel Boneh. In both cases the Zionist Executive bailed them out and recognised the deficit in the category of "expenses for immigration absorption". The Zionist Executive, sharing the goal of stimulating immigration with the Histadrut, had to do this because beside the Histadrut there was no other organisation in Palestine with the ability to absorb immigrants.

The initial aim of the Histadrut was to take responsibility for all spheres of activity of the workers movement: settlement, defense, trade unions, education, housing construction, health, banking, cooperative ventures, welfare and even culture. The Histadrut took over economic firms operated by the parties, which operated by subcontracting, and their Office of Information, which was expanded into a Labor Exchange. Already after a few months the Histadrut became the single largest employer in the Yishuv. The Histadrut succeeded in improving worker's rights as e.g. the right to strike was recognised, employers had to motivate dismissal and workers got a place to turn to with their complaints.

Following its support of the 2011 Israeli social justice protests, on February 8, 2012, Histadrut called a general strike in support of lower paid subcontracted, and unorganized workers, negotiating with both the government and private employers on their behalf, demanding that the subcontracted workers be hired directly and be offered the pay and benefits granted to regular employees. A settlement was announced on Sunday, February 12, which provided for some gains by the subcontractors, but also for a 3-year moratorium on further strikes over subcontractor issues.

The Histadrut managed to recover from its low point in membership and gradually grow in membership. In 2005, it had about 650,000 members. To this day, the Histadrut still remains a powerful force in Israeli society and the economy.

Bloomfield was the Montreal Chairman of the Israel Histadrut Campaign. In 1967 was reported to have been active in the Histadrut, Israel's organization of trade unions, for over twenty years. According to The Canadian Jewish Chronicle, Bloomfield and his brother Bernard "played a decisive part in making the Histadrut one of the most respected and influential organizations" in Canada.

The Histadrut became one of the most powerful institutions in the state of Israel, a mainstay of the Labour Zionist movement and, aside from being a trade union, its state-building role made it the owner of a number of businesses and factories and, for a time, the largest employer in the country. Until Israel began moving away from a socialist economy, the Histadrut, along with the government, owned most of the economy. Through its economic arm, Hevrat HaOvdim ("Society of Workers"), the Histadrut owned and operated a number of enterprises, including the country's largest industrial conglomerates as well as the country's largest bank, Bank Hapoalim. The Israeli services sector was completely dominated by the Histadrut and government, and the Histadrut also largely dominated public transport, agriculture, and insurance industries. In addition, it owned Clalit Health Services, Israel's largest Kupat Holim, or health insurance company. Clalit was the only health insurance company to accept people without discrimination based on age or medical situation, and membership in the Histadrut was a precondition for membership with Clalit, meaning that many Israelis were dependent on Histadrut membership for their health insurance.

In the first year of its existence the Histadrut lacked central leadership, and many initiatives were taken at the local level. This changed after David Ben-Gurion became appointed in the General Secretariat. Ben-Gurion wanted to transform the Histadrut into a national instrument for the realisation of Zionism. According to Zeev Sternhell Ben-Gurion's exclusive commitment to this goal is illustrated by a December 1922 quote: [. ] Our central problem is immigration . and not adapting our lives to this or that doctrine. [. ] How can we run our Zionist movement in such a way that [. we] will be able to carry out the conquest of the land by the Jewish worker, and which will find the resources to organise the massive immigration and settlement of workers through their own capabilities? The creation of a new Zionist movement, a Zionist movement of workers, is the first prerequisite for the fulfillment of Zionism. [. ] Without [such] a new Zionist movement that is entirely at our disposal, there is no future or hope for our activities Ben-Gurion transformed the Histadrut in a few months. He set up a well-defined hierarchy and reduced the competencies of local workers' councils. He also centralised the collection of membership dues, most of which were formerly used up by local branches.

The Histadrut was founded in December 1920 in Haifa to look out for the interests of Jewish workers. Until 1920, Ahdut HaAvoda and Hapoel Hatzair had been unable to set up a unified workers organisation. In 1920, Third Aliyah immigrants founded Gdud HaAvoda and demanded a unified organization for all Jewish workers, which led to the establishment of the Histadrut. At the end of 1921 David Ben-Gurion was elected as Secretary. Membership grew from 4,400 in 1920 and to 8,394 members in 1922. By 1927, the Histadrut had 25,000 members, accounting for 75% of the Jewish workforce in Mandatory Palestine.

The chairman of the Histadrut today is Avi Nissenkorn. In 2010, then-chairman Ofer Eini appointed a deputy chairman, Adv. Daniel Avi Nissenkorn, from outside the organizational ranks. This is the first time in the Histadrut's history that the Trade Union Division has been headed by someone appointed on a professional basis, rather than rising through the ranks of the workers committees or elected by Histadrut members.

In 1994, Ramon split from the Labor Party to form a list called "New Life in the Histadrut" together with Amir Peretz. In the subsequent Histadrut elections he beat the Labor faction which had controlled the Histadrut since its founding. He proceeded to privatize most of the Histadrut-owned companies. As a result, the National Health Insurance Law was approved during his term of office. Based on recommendations of the Shoshana Netanyahu Commission from 1990 which undertook an exhaustive review of the health care system in Israel in the late 1980s, the law went into effect on 1 January 1995.

Elections to the first congress of the Zionist trade union centre Histadrut were held in 1920 (the congress itself convened on December 4, 1920). In total 4433 of about 7000 Jewish workers in Palestine participated. The election was marred by irregularities, and the Jewish Socialist Workers Party (MPSI) protested against the 'fraudulent behaviour' of the dominant parties after the election.

Michael Weingrad describes the Histradrut Hebraists as linguistically and ideologically "marginal," because the Hebrew revival was centered in Yiddish-speaking Ashkenaz and continued in Israel. He describes the story of the Histadrut after Israeli independence as "the steady decline in the fortunes of an already small group." However, Weingrad points out that the movement produced a few notable Hebrew poets, Gabriel Preil, Eisig Silberschlag and Robert Whitehill.

In its early year, Histadrut published a Sefer Hashanah Le-Yehude Amerika (Yearbook for the Jews of America) a large format annual with literary and scholarly essays, and journalistic accounts of the year's developments in American Jewish life.

In 1934, when Meir returned from the United States, she joined the Executive Committee of the Histadrut and moved up the ranks to become the head of its Political Department. This appointment was important training for her future role in Israeli leadership.


December 12, 1920

The General Federation of Jewish Labor, or the Histadrut, is founded in Haifa to serve as a neutral, independent trade union to represent all Jewish workers in Palestine. The Histadrut sought to represent both urban and rural workers, although in the early years, men and women working in the cities made up the bulk of its membership.

In addition to traditional trade unions, the Histadrut became a conglomerate of sorts, including construction enterprises, credit and banking for its members and material distribution and marketing agencies. The Histadrut accounts for more than 20 percent of the national income in Israel and maintains health insurance and other social services for its members.

In 1921, David Ben-Gurion was elected as Secretary General of the Histadrut, and by 1927 the Histadrut had 25,000 members, representing 75% of the Jewish workers in Palestine. The Histadrut would become a major force in developing the economy and infrastructure of the yishuv.

Today, the Histadrut remains a major force in Israeli labor and the economy. Approximately 600,000 Israeli workers or one third of Israel’s work force are direct members of the Histadrut, represented by a variety of unions including: Teachers Unions Doctors Unions Electrical/Power Workers Unions Clerks Unions Steelworkers Union, Ports and Airports Authorities Union and Security/arms industries Union. Another 200,000 are associated with Histadrut committees or guilds. The Secretary General of the Histadrut holds one of the most powerful position in the country’s economy and is involved in working disputes with economic concerns over firing of workers, closing of industrial plants and salaries’ contracts.

Photo Credit: 1950 poster proclaiming that the immigrant worker’s place is in the Histadrut.


Watch the video: History Brief: Labor Disputes in the 1920s (May 2022).


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