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    No justice, no egg rolls! Labor strife in Israel

    By Jennifer 8. Lee | February 12, 2008

    Rebecca Harrison of Reuters as a fascinating account of how Israeli Asian restaurant workers went on a one-day spring roll strike to protest government policies to replace Asian restaurant workers with Israeli ones.

    You’d would think it’s an Onion article, except it’s real.

    The restaurants are angry at government plans to purge Asian cooks and replace them with Israelis as part of a broader program to cut the number of foreigners working in the Jewish state.

    As the article explains, Israel attracts virtually no immigrants from Asia since anyone seeking citizenship here must prove they have Jewish family or links to the country. But seeking to plug a gap in the labor market during the first Palestinian uprising, Israel allowed foreigners to work in the Jewish state. But now it is trying to limit those numbers to create more jobs for Israelis.

    The government believes that Israelis can be trained to make the Asian food. That may be true, but doesn’t it cut into the perception of authenticity experience? (Have you ever been to a mall Chinese joint where the person serving it is white? Or I have to admit, it was really disconcerting to have two white guys serve as sushi chefs at a Japanese restaurant in Park City Utah.)

    It’s not going to stop at egg rolls either. Sushi and noodles may be next in two weeks.

    Topics: Chinese Food | No Comments »

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