Key Cooperation to Safeguard Israel’s Agricultural Sector during the War Against Hamas

Adi Marcus
Nov 05, 2023

The agricultural sector in Israel has been severely affected by the departure of over 50,000 foreign workers who left their jobs due to the armed conflict. This exodus has left the agricultural sector in a precarious situation, jeopardizing food production.

To address this crisis, Pichi Dubiner, the National Director of Agricultural Workers at the Histadrut, has worked tirelessly in collaboration with the agricultural union. Their goal is to recruit volunteers to support Israel’s agricultural sector and ensure that food production is not compromised.

In a swift and effective effort, Pichi and the Histadrut mobilized over 1,000 people in less than a week, connecting them with volunteer opportunities that match their skills and availability. This immediate response reflects the community’s determination to protect one of the fundamental pillars of sustainability for the Israeli population during times of war: food security.

The support of the Pensioners Union has been essential in this initiative, as they have contributed to the recruitment of men and women of retirement age to work in fruit and vegetable packing centers. Their commitment serves as an example of how different generations of Israeli society come together in critical moments.

While the volunteer efforts to support Israel’s agricultural sector are commendable, it’s essential to acknowledge the significant risks that these volunteers face as they work in areas where there is no adequate shelter from constant missile launches.

Pichi Dubiner has high expectations and believes that the Histadrut will mobilize over 15,000 volunteers in the near future, which will be crucial to ensure the sustainability of the agricultural sector amid the war. According to Dubiner, the response from the population has been exemplary, with people willing to offer their support even in the most unexpected moments. “During the war, they call us on Saturday mornings and Friday nights because they want to help. The people understand that in times of conflict, we must remain united and support national interests.”

The Histadrut is central to this operation due to its long history as the oldest and most practical social movement in Israel. Its experience and ability to coordinate support from various sectors of society, including businesses, government workers, and private collaborators, are crucial to the success of this initiative. The organization has become the point of contact for farmers needing labor during these challenging times.

The directive from our president, Arnon Bar-David, has always been constant collaboration with employers, says Pichi.

“While our primary focus is the well-being of employees, we recognize that working in cooperation with employers is essential to achieve benefits that impact the entire nation’s well-being.” – Pichi Dubiner

In this context, the Histadrut’s close relationship with the agricultural employers’ union, led by Dubi Amitai, plays a crucial role in achieving effective placements for volunteer mobilization. This collaboration demonstrates how, in times of crisis, the unions of employers and workers can work together towards a common goal: preserving food security and the well-being of Israeli society.

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