Dan Israel

J’ai rejoint le service Economie de Mediapart en novembre 2012, pour m'intéresser aux entreprises au sens large. Après avoir développé une certaine obsession pour l'évasion fiscale, je me consacre désormais au monde du travail et à ses enjeux. Coordinateur du service économie-social.

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Declaration of interest

In the interest of transparency towards its readers, Mediapart’s journalists fill out and make public since 2018 a declaration of interests on the model of the one filled out by members of parliament and senior civil servants with the High Authority for Transparency and Public Life (HATVP), a body created in 2014 after Mediapart’s revelations on the Cahuzac affair.

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All his articles

Why Macron's decision to axe French TV licence is a threat to public broadcast news

France — Opinion

On Saturday July 23rd MP's voted to abolish France's television licence, a tax that funds public broadcasting and which has existed since 1948. It currently raises 3.2 billion euros a year. The scrapping of the licence fee was a surprise and little-debated campaign promise made by Emmanuel Macron in this year's presidential election. The president says the decision was taken to help reduce the 'cost of living' burden on French households. But as Mediapart's Dan Israel argues here in this opinion article, the move poses a serious threat to France's public broadcasters who will now have to rely on a government grant from VAT receipts rather than their own dedicated tax. A number of senior figures in public broadcasting have warned about the potential threat this could cause to the independence and quality of editorial content.

'Exploited' migrant delivery staff in France accuse Amazon of ignoring their plight

France

Seven workers originally from Africa were employed by a private delivery firm that worked for the giant American company in northern France from October 2021 until being laid off in February 2022. During that time they worked very long hours for low and often irregular pay. The workers insist that Amazon must have known that they were being exploited. The American group denies the workers' claims. Meanwhile the employees' case against the subcontractor is soon to be heard at an industrial tribunal. Dan Israel reports.

Macron appoints Élisabeth Borne as his new prime minister

France — Analysis

Élisabeth Borne was on Monday named as France’s new prime minister, replacing Jean Castex under who she served for the last two years as labour minister. Borne, 61, is the second-ever woman to lead a French government, after Édith Cresson who was briefly in office 30 years ago. The future of Borne and her government now hangs on the results of legislative elections to be held next month, when it remains to be seen whether Macron’s Renaissance party can maintain a working majority in parliament. Dan Israel and Ilyes Ramdani analyse Borne’s track record, and the challenges she now faces.

Summer reads: a graphic account of the adventures of Anaïs Nin

France

Léonie Bischoff is a Swiss artist and creator of graphic novels, the latest of which is a highly original account of the key episodes in the turbulent life of French-Cuban-American writer Anaïs Nin, based on the contents of her most intimate, unexpurgated diaries. As part of a summer series in which Mediapart journalists highlight those books published over the last 12 months which have particularly caught their eye, Dan Israel reviews Bischoff’s Anaïs Nin, Sur la mer des mensonges (Anaïs Nin, on the sea of lies), a seven-years-in-the-making, no-holds-barred story of Nin’s adventures and quest for personal freedom.

French unions warn of 'social timebomb' over Daimler sale of Smart factory

France

German carmaking giant Daimler, owner of Mercedes-Benz, announced last month that it was to sell off its factory in Hambach, north-east France, where the Smart city car, another of the group’s marques, has been produced since 1997. Five years ago, staff at the plant accepted a management plan to abandon the legal 35-hour week, working a 39-hour week (excluding overtime) in return for job security. But now the 1,600 jobs at the site, turned over to making electric versions of the city car, are at risk, with just one potential purchaser in view: British company Ineos, which plans to produce a diesel-guzzling offroader. Dan Israel reports.

French justice ministry report highlights fatal failings in domestic violence cases

France

Victims of domestic violence in France, the vast majority of who are women, are being failed by the justice system and police, notably by not offering effective responses to formal complaints, concludes a French justice ministry report published at the weekend. The report examined 88 cases of domestic violence that ended in murder during the period 2015-2016, and of these 83 percent of the victims were women, many of whom had previously lodged complaints. Associations monitoring media-reported cases of women murdered by their partners or ex-partners estimate they number 135 so far this year. Meanwhile, justice minister Nicole Belloubet has said that the justice system “very clearly" is malfunctioning, and that new legislation must be drafted to address the failings. Dan Israel reports.

'Indelibles': the joyous story of Charlie Hebdo before the massacre

France

The shooting massacre carried out by jihadist terrorists in their attack on the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo in January 2015 left 12 people dead, including most of the satirical magazine’s cartoonists. Luz was one of those who escaped the attack, by chance because he arrived late for an editorial meeting. After producing an illustrated book about the events, he has published a cartoon work, Indélébiles (Indelibles), in which he pays tribute to his dead colleagues by celebrating, across more than 300 pages of sketches, their lives and work together. In this first of a series in which members of Mediapart’s editorial team recommend their choice reading for the summer, Dan Israel sets out how Luz has succeeded in producing a lively, joyous, radiant and moving homage to his indelible friends.              

France Télécom staff suicides trial: a landmark for corporate culture?

France — Interview

The trial in Paris on charges of moral harassment of the former CEO of France Télécom and six other senior executives of the company, who are accused of causing a wave of staff suicides amid a brutal corporate restructuring plan, ended on Thursday. While the verdicts will only finally be announced in December, the prosecution has demanded that the defendants be handed maximum sentences, which include jail terms of between eight months and one year. Mediapart turned to Rachel Saada, a French lawyer specialised in labour law cases and who notably represented the families of Renault staff who took their lives in a wave of suicides at the carmaking group between 2006-2007, for her analysis of the trial, and its implications for corporate culture in France. 

France Télécom bosses' trial: the witness for those who died

France

In an ongoing trial in Paris, the former boss of France Télécom, the now renamed Orange telecommunications giant, along with six of his former top executives, stand accused of moral harassment of staff in a brutal four-year cost-cutting plan to axe 22,000 jobs, during which more than 30 employees took their own lives, including by immolation, hanging and defenestration. At least 13 others attempted suicide, and many more were diagnosed with depression. One of the latter is Yves Minguy, a highly skilled computing engineer who, after 35 years with the company, was humiliatingly posted to answer the telephone at a customer call centre. He took to the witness stand last week and afterwards told Mediapart of the duty he felt to speak “for those who are no longer here”.

The French government's lies over May Day 'attack' on Paris hospital

France — Investigation

The Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris has been at the centre of a major controversy after incidents that took place there in the aftermath of this year's annual May Day demonstrations. Throughout the evening of May 1st and into the following morning, several members of the government and senior health managers in Paris insisted the well-known hospital had been “attacked” by violent demonstrators. Yet in fact there was no such attack: instead, a few dozen protestors sought refuge in the hospital's buildings to escape police tear gas and charges. There was no threatening behaviour from protestors towards hospital staff and none of them damaged the premises. However, some were later hit by the police. Now interior minister Christophe Castaner has formally retracted his use of the word “attack”. Dan Israel reports.

The divisions behind the latest 'gilets jaunes' social protests in Paris

France — Analysis

This Saturday December 1st the so-called 'gilets jaunes' or yellow hi-vis vest protesters will take to the streets of central Paris for the third weekend in a row. This time other groups – unions, anti-racist movements and student groups – are also planning demonstrations in the capital. But while they might all be demonstrating at the same time, these different components of the current social movement sweeping across France are not all on the same wavelength when it comes to their aims and objectives. Mathilde Goanec, Dan Israel and Faïza Zerouala report.

Battle over McDonald's 'union stronghold' in Marseille

France

A McDonald's restaurant in the north of Marseille faces closure in the coming days as it gets sold to a mysterious new owner. The current owners of the franchise say the fast-food restaurant is closing simply because it has made heavy losses in recent years. But unions and staff insist the sale is simply a ruse to get rid of an outlet whose employees have successfully led many forms of industrial action in recent years, both locally and nationally. As Dan Israel reports, the 70 staff have now made an official complaint of attempted fraud on the part of the franchise owners.