Eretz Yisrael Time

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Monday, June 23, 2008
Yossi Shwartz is a man with nothing.

Once he was a farmer in Gush Katif (Gan Or). Yossi had a home, had land, had a job, and had employees. And then the Israeli government ripped it all away.

And now he finds himself in an even stranger situation.

A few months after the Expulsion, Yossi found himself sued by 17 of his former Arab employees. They are demanding severance pay from him.

Now while Yossi might agree that his former employees deserve severance pay, he doesn’t feel he is the right address for his former employees. After all, he wasn’t the one that shut down his farm and fired his employees. That was a decision and act of the Israeli government, and just like they still owe him fair value for what they destroyed perhaps they owe the same to his workers.

So Yossi went to Minhelet Sela (The Expulsion Authority) and demanded they provide him with legal counsel to defend himself. They of course refused. Their official response is that as an employer he was responsible for setting aside money for severance pay and he should pay them from that. (Note that he still hasn’t received from Minhelet Sela what is due to him by law).

Eventually he found his way to the organization “Ezri” which was able to provide him money for legal counsel in the form of the lawyer Neil Samulet.

The suspicion raised is that this is a trial balloon (perhaps run and financed by Israeli left-wing organizations?) to see if all the former Arab employees can start suing the former Gush Katif farmers.

The lawyer case’s is simply that the workers must sue the State not Yossi.

The case went to court and the court agreed that the Yossi is not the party that is responsible to pay their severance pay (though Yossi still had to pay, with Ezri's help, the tens of thousands of his legal defense fees).

These same Gaza Arabs are now trying to get at Yossi in another court, clearly implying that there is some serious local left-wing assistance going on here, specifically targeting the Gush Katif farmer, as they know the system so well and specifically didn't go after the government instead.

It was also recently exposed that the Israeli government property assessors received explicit orders on how much to evaluate the homes in Gush Katif. The first 100 homes were accessed properly, and when the senior government officials saw that the actual value of the homes in Gush Katif were easily hundreds of shekels higher than what they had planned for, they gave orders that all homes were to be accessed at a lower fixed rate - which is the way it was done from then on.

Hattip: Basheva and Makor Rishon


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