For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
The picture painted by Mya Guarnieri in her Guardian Comment is free article, ‘Children are just Israel's latest victims’ is stark. Readers unfortunate enough not to know better would doubtless reach two false conclusions: first, that Israel treats its migrant worker population exceptionally badly; and second, – and perhaps the most demonstrably untrue – that Israel is a ‘white’ country, which does not like non-white people.
The trigger for these accusations is a decision by Israel in 2009 to deport back to their countries of origin a group of illegal migrant workers, including up to 1,200 children who were born in Israel. The story’s headline, standfirst and opening paragraph together implied that the children were to be sent away alone but the second paragraph actually admitted that the minors were in fact due to be sent back ‘along with their families’.
Guarnieri’s central complaint is that the children were born in Israel and that sending them to their parents’ countries of origin would be an act of ‘inhumanity’ completely out of step with civilised behaviour. This provides the context for her accusation that the policy is born of a racist country.
But deporting migrant children controversially is by no means unique to Israel. The European Union has gone out of its way to make legal its planned deportation of thousands of lone Afghan asylum-seeking minors, including by committing to build ‘reception centres’ in war-torn Afghanistan ‘that can provide care for minors when the family cannot be found’. The Guardian itself reported these measures last month when the UK announced that it would be participating in the scheme, although the issue of race was not mentioned.
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"