JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel’s prime minister says thousands of Africans who have infiltrated into Israel will be sent back home.
Benjamin Netanyahu declared Wednesday that Israel has halted the flow of African migrants into Israel over the past seven months. He spoke while visiting the fence Israel built on border with Egypt to keep migrants out.
He said he will soon begin “repatriating the tens of thousands of infiltrators in Israel to their countries of origin.”
About 60,000 Africans have entered Israel in recent years, some seeking asylum and others looking for work.
Sigal Rozen, whose group assists migrants, says it’s unlikely Israel can repatriate them, since many come from conflict zones or countries that have no ties with Israel.
Hoo boy, this one’s going to explode on the news the moment they start to load up the first boat. Hey Benji, play it smart and make sure the cameras see you sending home some Irish and Portuguese too. Not that it will make any difference. Certain groups get a pass, no matter what.
OTOH, if some of those African asylum seekers are provably Falashas, then he’s in a world of trouble within Israel itself. Africa is a huge place, and I have no idea which part these infiltrators came from.
... and Drew ties another post to the Aksum/Queen of Sheba post! Learning stuff is dangerous; you start noticing all sorts of things you’d never been aware of before!
This may be news over here, but the problem is not at all new in Israel. There seems to be a pretty huge groundswell of public opinion that these people should get the boot. On the other hand, there are some who want them to stay; part of the core concept of Israel is that it is a refuge, and it looks like the vast majority of these ‘infiltrators’ are from Eritrea. Eritrea, as you recall, is a tiny bit of a country on the lower Red Sea, which broke off from Ethiopia about 20 years ago. It’s very much an Islamic nation, and it’s also a hellhole with one of the worst human rights ratings of any country on earth. The same thing goes for the newly independent South Sudan. Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai, among many others, has been speaking out about this problem for several years now. Jump over to Haaretz or the JPost and you can read hundreds of news articles on the topic.
Border control fans in the USA will find the next bit quite interesting: Once Israel got the border fence properly built, not one single infiltrator was able to get in. Not one.
12/24/12: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday signaled he was ready to begin repatriating African migrants, which he termed the “second stage” in the effort to clear Israel of illegal infiltrators.
“We have succeeded in blocking the entry of infiltrators from Africa to Israel,” Netanyahu said at the start of a discussion he convened on the issue. “After having faced the threat of the entry of hundreds of thousands, this month, not one infiltrator entered Israel’s cities.”
The prime minister said that after workers complete construction of the the security fence being built along Israel’s southern border next month, Israel will start working to send migrants already in Israel back to their home countries. “Now we are moving on to the second stage, that of repatriating the infiltrators who are already here.”
On the third hand, this could be a lot of political posturing. There is a significant right-wing faction in Israel that could need a bit of pandering to for the upcoming elections. And that bunch has already held “Banish the darkness” rallies.
Calling it a move to “banish the darkness,” right-wing MKs Michael Ben-Ari and Arieh Eldad held a Hanukka candle-lighting ceremony in south Tel Aviv on Monday to issue a call to expel all African migrants from Israel.
Ben-Ari’s parliamentary aide and right-wing activist Itamar Ben-Gvir said, “We came to expel the darkness!” but added that the message of the rally was not racist, as they accept Ethiopian Jews.
He clarified that the “darkness” refers to the poverty and suffering among residents of south Tel Aviv and other neighborhoods with high populations of African migrants, and not to people of color.
I work several days a week on the Texas-Mexico border (literally a stone’s throw away). I’m all for securing our border, but there are some differences between US-Mexico and Israel-Egypt. One is length (approx. 2000 miles v. approx. 150 miles). That translates into money. The Israeli fence cost around 1.4 billion NIS (New Israeli Shekels), which covert to approximately $370 million US. That means the cost to build an equivalent fence here would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 billion - almost as much as barry & michelle spend on their vacations.
The length factor, combined with geographic and topographic differences (the US-Mexico border runs through more varied terrain - deserts, mountains, along rivers, through major cities, etc.) also means the Israelis can monitor and respond to breaches much more effectively.
Another difference is technology: the entire structure is bristling with surveillance technology: sensors, radars, antennae and cameras. There are even reports that the fence (or at least portions of it) are electrified, and possibly even supplemented with mines.
But the biggest difference is that the U.S. doesn’t have the political will to construct an effective fence along its southernmost border.
Even if it did, static barriers provide a false sense of confidence. The US-Mexico fence is routinely breached using a variety of means: catapults and cannons, ramps, tunnels, and just plain climbing.
Sorry for the length of this post. As you can probably tell, this is one of my hot buttons…
Length? That was a short one. You feel the need to churn paragraphs, this is the place for it.
But you hit the nail on the head: the USA does not have the will. Instead, we have a government who puts up “dangerous to be here, stay away” signs in areas in our own nation where the coyotes and drug smugglers frequent. That chaps my ass worse than porcupine toilet paper.
Centex ... Since Drew already said it there’s nothing for me to add except,
Ditto all that Drew said.
part of the core concept of Israel is that it is a refuge,
Drew, that’s part of something referred to as the “right of return” which I may have slightly misnamed. Any Jew anywhere can immigrate to and live in Israel. I’ve simplified a bit but generally that’s it. There have been a few exceptions. I think, (should check) so called mobster Mickey Cohen was refused, but I really believe more because the US Justice dept. wanted him. He set up the Flamingo in Vegas with Ben Siegel. He was more bookie and numbers guy I think. The other really serious mob guy, as played in the Godfather, was Meyer
Lansky. Now I think about it, it may have been Mr. Lansky who was refused, or approved and then deported afterwards. While both were certainly well connected I always felt some sympathy for them as, I doubt Cohen ever killed anyone but then how would I know, and Mr. Lansky was an organizer and accountant type. But a very major one.
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