CiF Watch/Guest Post..
23 May '12..
A recent piece in the Guardian, Israeli PM: illigal African immigrants threaten identity of Jewish state, May 20, describing the simmering issue of Israel’s African migrants, included the following passage:
“Amid the anti-immigration clamour, some Israelis have argued that, in the light of Jewish history, their state should be sympathetic and welcoming to those fleeing persecution.”
To quote the sadistic prison captain in ‘Cool Hand Luke’:
“What we’ve got here is…. failure to communicate.”
To diffuse the powder keg that Israeli cities with relatively high African populations are now sitting on, the intellectual cobwebs regarding refugees and migrants need to be swiftly cleaned out and a rapidly metastasizing groupthink ought be remedied by way of a realistic appraisal of alternatives.
Unlike the situation in other relatively well-off countries, Israel’s illegal immigration challenge is a recent phenomenon. The influx of Africans can be traced to 2005, after the Egyptian police attacked Sudanese refugees who were camped out in Cairo and demanded asylum. Jerusalem proved generous and word spread that migrants would be greeted hospitably and provided with job opportunities upon arrival in the State of Israel.
Since Hosni Mubarak was swept up and out of power during the twilight of moderation known as the ‘Arab Spring’, government authority has all but collapsed in the Sinai Peninsula. One byproduct of this lawless state of affairs has been a spike in the rate of illegal immigration to Israel from Africa. Over the last several months, Israel’s southern border with Egypt, by way of the Sinai, has turned into the primary point of entry for thousands of work-seeking migrants.
While some of these fortune seekers are refugees, the vast majority are illegal infiltrators who are, along with drugs and weapons, smuggled into Israel by Bedouin tribesmen. Furthermore, while many illegal immigrants seek asylum status under the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees of the United Nations, only a fraction of all the illegal immigrants are actually eligible for this status.
(Read full "Growing Pains: the Birth of Israel’s Illegal Immigration Crisis")
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