Palestinian workers of Israel Railways

Oded Marck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


During the 1948 Palestine war, the British Palestine Railway Company became Israel Railways—a government owned railroad company, regarded by its management and by the state as an important Zionist enterprise. Yet this enterprise faced a challenge of nationalist character: Israel Railways could not be operated by Jews alone, since most Palestine Railways workers were Arabs. In the meantime, Palestinian workers, many of them now refugees in neighbouring countries, were addressing Israel Railways asking to return to their positions. The need to hire skilled Palestinian workers in an enterprise of national importance undermined state policies of isolating Palestinians and the segmentation of the labour market along ethnic and national lines. In this article I wish to trace the paths of these workers, place them in a wider historical context, and through this to contribute to wider historiographic discussions; Palestinians as active agents in shaping their lives in Israel; the process of shaping Israel’s segregated labour market; the making of early-day-Israel’s industrial relation system.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
StateAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • History
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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