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U.S. Court of Appeals Rejects Pinchas' Appeal

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on 24 January 2005 in Richmond, VA rejected Rafael I. Pinkashov Pinchas' appeal by affirming the judgment of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland in Baltimore. In Pinchas' appeal to the Appeals Court, he said that the Baltimore court decision was another huge setback and moral insult to him.

When the U.S. Court of Appeals rejected Pinchas' appeal, Pinchas then requested an en banc (full) hearing. On 8 February 2005, the United States Court of Appeals immediately denied Pinchas' 2nd request. Therefore, the Civil Action No.WMN-03-2690 is considered closed.

Arab-Jewish Couple Seeks Asylum

Nabil Jamal, a Palestinian Muslim, and his wife, a Jewish woman from Israel, are students at Gallaudet University. Nabil and his wife have applied to the US Government for "Political Asylum". They are afraid to return to Israel for fear of their lives. Nabil 's family is part of an extreme Muslim group and has made "death threats" against his life, because he married a Jewish/Israeli woman. Right now they both have student visas. However, they owe Gallaudet University $9,000 from last year. If they do not pay Gallaudet University, their student visas will expire and they will be forced to go back to Israel. They also need to raise $5,000 to cover the Interpreting and Legal fees to get ready for their case. The goal is to raise $14,000. So far, they have received a Grant from "The Shefa Fund" in Philadelphia (dedicated to Social and Economic Justice, and Middle East peace) for $5,000. A special bank account has been set up at M&T Bank, for Nabil's case. The money will be collected and then donated to CAIR (Capital Area Immigrants' Rights Coalition), a 501-c3 organization. They will disburse all money received to Gallaudet University and to the Interpreting Agency. CAIR has a very small staff and therefore cannot deal with 900 checks. Lore Rosenthal has volunteered to do this and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Gallaudet Names Goodstein To Board of Trustees

Harvey Goodstein of Arizona, has been appointed to the Gallaudet University Board of Trustees beginning in May.

Dr. Goodstein graduated from Gallaudet in 1965, later earning Master's and Ph.D degrees from Catholic University and American University, respectively. His tenure at Gallaudet spanned over 30 years with much of that time spent as a faculty member and chair of the Mathematics Department. In 2002, Dr. Goodstein led the planning efforts for the internationally acclaimed Deaf Way II conference in Washington, DC that brought over 10,000 people from every corner of the globe to celebrate deaf scholarship, culture and art. Dr. Goodstein also served as president of the Maryland Association of the Deaf, a trustee of the Maryland School for the Deaf, vice president of the National Association of the Deaf, and chair of the National Association of the Deaf Telecommunications Committee.

He and his wife, Astrid Amann Goodstein [Gallaudet University, Class of 1965] reside in Arizona.

Deaf Workers Sue For Social Benefits

In late February, fourteen Deaf workers filed a lawsuit against a contractor with the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where they worked until their contract was cancelled in 2004. Their precedent-setting case is being handled by the Law Clinic of the Hebrew University. If successful, the case may also establish that although it did not personally hire them, the university has some responsibility to the workers because it had a contract for their work.

Attorney Yael Menashe, a labor law expert who helped prepare the law suit with Law Clinic director Yuval Albashan commented, "I don't know of a single other case in which an employer has volunteered to protect contract workers. The university did not employ them, but they worked on its grounds. We must create a norm not to permit exploitative employment, just as we should not buy products manufactured by child slave labor."

One of the workers is Musa Jualis, a resident of East Jerusalem. He was employed as a cleaner on Mount Scopus for ten years, six of them in the university's law school. The corridors he washed were lined with posters extolling human rights. His work was terminated after the contractor who employed him lost the bid for the university's cleaning contract. Jualis and 90 other cleaning workers were summoned to the offices of Contracting Services, where he sat outside for two days without understanding what was going on. Finally he was called inside. A form in Hebrew was placed before him and a manager signaled him to sign. By so doing Jualis agreed to NIS 2,000 compensation for ten years of labor, sometimes in more than one post, and also waived any claim he had against the company.

Jualis and the other 13 workers presented their suit in the Regional Labor Court in Jerusalem, demanding almost NIS 600,000 for social benefits that they were legally entitled to but did not receive, and about NIS 1 million compensation for dismissal. The suit was prepared and written by 12 students and two lawyers working in the university's Legal Clinic, at the request of former university vice president and director general Moshe Vigdor.

The suit is directed against the contractor, but people in the legal clinic believe that, by preparing it, the university is admitting some liability for the workers and may even be exposing itself to a possible suit on their part. However, they feel the university could not have acted otherwise. "It's intolerable to speak of human rights when such injustice is done in our back yard," Albashan said.

According to university legal counsel Peppi Yakirevitz, it all started when a few professors protested to the management about poor conditions of contract workers. This prompted the university's legal bureau to post notices in Arabic around the campus, calling on workers who felt exploited to approach it. Dozens came to the bureau. Vigdor asked the Law Clinic to help them claim their rights and approved dedicating many hundreds of hours to preparing the complex suit. The university also set up a panel to monitor the laborers' conditions and pay.

Yakirevitz said that the contractor wrote her that he took a "grim view" of the university's acting on behalf of the workers and demanded that it stop interfering in the affairs between him and the workers.

The suit says the veteran workers were offered less than 20 percent of the compensation the contractor owed them. The contractor said he offered some workers alternative jobs but they refused, forfeiting their right to compensation. However, the suit claims that those workers who had been sent to Ma'aleh Adumim for work, were never picked up, and those sent to a contractor in Modi'in found that he had disappeared.

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