Indian unemployed youths scrambling for jobs in Israel

Indian Workers Israel
Skilled workers wait for their interview and skill test at a Haryana state government recruitment drive to send workers to Israel, at Maharshi Dayanand University in Rohtak, January 17, 2024. Credit: Reuters Photo

The unemployment rate in India has reached 45.4%, highest in 45 years. Of course, there are advertisements for government jobs but vacancies are not filled up. The Modi government is exposed on the economic front. A large number of youths with university degrees are struggling to secure stable employment.

The Chief Minister of Haryana Manohar Lal Khattar proudly announced in the assembly that 219 skilled youths are selected for Israel.  Similarly, the Uttar Pradesh government released advertisements for 10,000 jobs in Israel: 3,000 vacancies for shuttering carpenter; 3,000 for iron bending; 2,000 for ceramic tiling, and 2,000 for plastering.

The state government department did not give any details about salary package, boarding and food expenses in Israel. From this one can understand how the Modi government is befooling the Indian unemployed youths.

According to M.P. Nathanael (Deccan Herald, 1 March,2024). Parliament Security Services (PSS) faced a shortage of 50% of its sanctioned strength of 434 personnel. In Central Reserve Police Force (CAPF), there are 85,000 vacancies; CBI functioning with just 5,600 personnel against a sanctioned strength of 7,295; this includes 367 technical personnel. In Indian Railways, over 2.5 lakhs posts were vacant; in the Judiciary, against a sanctioned strength of 1,114 judges in high courts, there are just 767 while in district judiciary, there are as many as 5,300 vacancies against the sanctioned strength of 25,081. According to the report” State of Judiciary” of the Apex Court, there are 14.2 judges per million. Over five crore cases pending in various courts. This data shows that the empty promises made by the Modi government have shattered the dream of many in India.

From various media reports, it is observed that unemployment for a long time among them has pushed them to darkness. On a societal level, they are subject to various kinds of humiliations. In frustration, it is seen that these unemployed angry youths from Haryana are least bothered about the cultural landscape of Israel. These unemployed depressed youths are least bothered about consequences of war going between Israel and Palestine.

The Chief Minister of Haryana seems to be unaware of Israel`s society and religion. He does not have even scant knowledge about unemployment in Israel. He does not even know how many unemployed Israeli youths, in frustration. migrated to other countries in search of jobs and a better lifestyle. According to a study by Rashi and Gandyr Foundation[1], “54% of Israeli youths would emigrate abroad since there is lack of personal security and stability”. It is currently estimated that there are 330,000 native-born Israelis including 230,000 jews, living abroad or even more (Israeli Diaspora, Wikipedia).

The Chief Minister of Haryana is also not aware of how Indian unemployed youths would get ‘Integrated and Assimilated’ in an alien society of Israel.  Language in Israel is Hebrew & Arabic. There is a language barrier.  Since the war began on 7th October,2023 between Israel and Palestine, more than 30,000 Palestinians have died including children, women and elderly.  The death toll of Israelis is more than 1410. Israel’s Finance Minister said, “the war will likely cost Israel approximately $13.8 billion” (Girgio Capero, Aljazeera, 29 Jun, 2024).

Cost of Living in Israel: According to OECD, cost of living in Israel is more expensive than 76% of countries in the world; the prices of some basic consumer goods including Milk, Bread, & Cheese are between 58% to 70% more expensive in Israel versus average price levels in OECD member countries. (Times of Israel, 27 August,2023). For a one -room apartment, Rent varies from $ 650-750 to 450-650 depending on the area. There is no central heating in Israel. One Israel dollar is equal to 23.06340 INR. Expats who live in Tel Avis Centre will pay dearly for their accommodation; inter-city taxis are expensive. (Wikipedia). The war has destabilized the country economically. The war has changed Israel for 30 years.

These disheartened Indian unemployed youths are least bothered about knowing that Israel is a religiously divided country. Religion composition in Israel is 73.6% Jewish, 18.1 Muslim, 1.9% Christian and 1.6 % Druze. Jewish are highly orthodox people. According to a Pew Research Centre report (Israel’s Religiously divided Society March 8, 2016), there is a lot of discrimination in Israeli society against Muslims. Nearly half of Israeli Jews say Arabs should be expelled or transformed from Israel.

The Chief Minister of Haryana Manohar Lal Khattar and Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath are basically not familiar with Israel-Iran Geo-Strategic Rivalry. Analysts writing in 2004 stated that it would be difficult for India to maintain strategic partnerships with both Israel and Iran for a long time, given the mutually antagonistic relationships these two West Asian states shared between themselves[2]. K. Subrahmanyam wrote in 2005, He emphasized that if Iran went nuclear, it would destabilize West Asia, stoke Saudi Arabian proliferation and provoke a counter-vailing Israel[3]. Israeli Ambassador, Naor Gilon described Iran as the ‘biggest destabilizer’ in the region[4].

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2019 said, “Israel is not a state of all its citizens [but rather] the nation-state of the Jewish people”. Life is not normal in a war zone.  Israel is on the brink of devastation. The chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar seems not aware of the geo-political situation of the Middle East. On 16 February,2024, in his latest speech, Hezbollah`s[5] Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah warned Israel that it will pay in blood for its attacks on Lebanese civilians.

To lift Indians stranded from a war zone of Israel, External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jai Shankar told media that the government of India launched “Operation Ajay” to bring back Indians. As per the statement of the spokesperson of the Ministry, there are about 18,000 Indians in Israel, and about 16 in Palestine – a dozen in the West Bank and 3-4 people in Gaza. One hand the external Affairs Ministry launched ‘Operation Ajay’ to evacuate Indians from Israel, on the other side, the BJP government in Haryana is proudly sending 219 unemployed youths to a war zone where life will be risky.

How can Indian unemployed youths live a decent life when life is uncertain and the situation is volatile in Israel. Unemployed Israeli youths are migrating to other countries in search of jobs and better life. There are a number of social and economic challenges in Israel therefore the government of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh must stop sending Indian unemployed youths henceforth.

*Dr. Rahul Kumar, Ph.D. in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi (India). He is Editor of Bheem Patrika. The views expressed in this article are personal.

[1] Asharq Al- Awaat, July 17, 2023.

[2] S Samuel C Rajiv (2023), THE INDIA-ISRAEL STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP: Contours, Opportunities and Challenges, IDSA & Pentagon Press LLP.p.111.

[3] Ibid.p.113.

[4] Ibid.p.116.

[5] Lebanese organization, militant group that first emerged during Lebanon`s civil war as a militia after the Israeli invasion of that country in 1982.

Comment by Hiren Gohain

The article ‘Indian unemployed youth scrambling….’ by Rahul Kumar makes very disturbing reading.The present Government of India’s stand on the current Israeli genocide of Palestinians in Gaza is exposed as hollow and hypocritical by the gleeful response of BJP-ruled states to the Centre’s adoption  of a policy to send unemployed Indian youths to serve in Israel now falling short of Palestinian Arab labour for urgent manual labour.

It could conceivably bring in its wake diplomatic and political complications the adventurist rulers do not bargain for.It is a puzzle why opposition parties are not taking up the issue and protesting with vigour. To help Israel out of the economic difficulties consequent to its vile genocidal decisions is not only to expose a gross hypocritical backing of those decisions,but also to invite on the heads of unsuspecting Indian youths bitter suspicion and hatred of Palestinian youths who are now out of their jobs.If such resentment heats up the political quagmire might be a very nasty surprise not only for power-worshipping politicians,but also for their hapless compatriots.

There should be a strong and serious demand for withdrawal of this dangerous policy decision.

Hiren Gohain

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