Hundreds in Tel Aviv Call for Deportation of Foreign Workers, Refugees

Protesters in Tel Aviv's working class Hatikva neighborhood claim foreign workers and refugees are responsible for violent incidents and drive up apartment prices.

Several hundred people, mostly residents of south Tel Aviv, held a demonstration on Tuesday evening against the presence of foreign workers and refugees in their neighborhoods.

The demonstration, held outside the entrance to the market in the working class Hatikva neighborhood, was held under the banner "No more fear in the neighborhoods, send the infiltrators back home."

The protest against foreign workers and refugees in Tel Aviv's Hatikva neighborhood, Dec. 21, 2010. Ofer Vaknin

The demonstration occurred against the background of complaints by Hatikva neighborhood residents of violence by foreign workers and refugees. Protesters said that Jewish women fear going out in the neighborhood after dark because of their treatment by foreign residents.

Demonstrators also said that the foreigners increase demand for apartments, driving up rental prices.

The demonstrators called on the government to deport foreign workers and refugees and for apartment owners not to rent to foreigners. Signs included  "No to racism, Yes to neighborhoods" and "Send the infiltrators home".

On Monday in Bat Yam, a city just south of Tel Aviv, a demonstration was held against the renting of apartments to Arabs, with some 200 local residents and right-wing activists protesting under the banner "Keeping Bat Yam Jewish."