Analysis

How Israels Planned Deportations of African Asylum Seekers Inspires the pro-Trump Right in the U.S.

Some people are declaring 'sign me up!' in response to a Tucker Carlson tweet on Israels temporary inspector force — with anti-Semitism sometimes thrown in for good measure

Asylum seekers demonstrating in Jerusalem against their forced deportation from Israel, January 2017.
Emil Salman

As the immigration debate heats up in the United States, fueled by U.S. President Donald Trumps displeasure with immigrants from ostensible shithole countries, some Trump admirers are inspired by Israels tough treatment of African asylum seekers.

Tucker Carlson, the Fox News host whose show is the second-highest-rated cable program in the United States, tweeted a link to a Haaretz story reporting that Israels Population, Immigration and Border Authority was offering up to $8,700 to civilians who sign up as temporary inspectors in the expulsion of asylum seekers from Sudan and Eritrea.

Bounty hunters needed | Haaretz Editorial

In his tweet Thursday, Carlson added the commentary: a deportation force, if you will. Its not America, so nobody seems to mind them enforcing their borders.

The tweet appeared shortly after a story ran on the far-right news website Breitbart headlined How to Successfully Stop Illegal Immigration: Follow Israels Model. According to Breitbart, the following was Israels five-step process: 1. Build a barrier; 2. Forcibly deport illegal immigrants; 3. Provide incentives for illegals to leave on their own; 4. Cut off all government funds (that assist asylum seekers with food or shelter, including detention facilities) 5. Crack down on employers who hire illegals.

Israel, like the United States, has been embroiled in intense debates over illegal immigration, though Israel has nearly completely stemmed the influx by building a border fence — which Trump has repeatedly referred to in admiring terms.

Only shortly after taking office, Trump told Foxs Sean Hannity that people want protection. And a wall protects. All you have to do is ask Israel. They were having a total disaster coming across, and they had a wall. Its 99.9 percent stoppage.

The compliment was acknowledged by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

What's new in Israeli politics? Nothing, really | Analysis

Carlson said in a September broadcast that in Israel and in Hungary, walls have proven remarkably effective at controlling who crosses borders, and thats why Democrats oppose one on our border, not because it wont work but precisely because it will work. He claimed that the Democrats were resisting a wall in order to let illegal immigration continue and import Mexican voters so that they can never lose an election again.

Now, just as he pointed to Israels fence, Carlson seems to be embracing Israels planned forced deportation.

Although the inflow of illegal infiltrators — as Netanyahu refers to them — has slowed to a trickle, Israels government is determined to deport the 40,000 or so Africans who have settled in the country, including children. On January 1, Israel announced that the campaign had been officially launched, and that Eritreans and Sudanese were being told they would have to leave the country in the coming months or be imprisoned indefinitely.

Currently, nearly all Eritreans and Sudanese in Israel have temporary visas that they must renew every three months. Now, the government says, they will be unable to renew their visas. Instead, they will be told that they will have to return to their countries of origin or leave for Uganda or Rwanda, countries with which Israel has agreements to accept them.

Mr. Kagame, don't cooperate with Israel's asylum-seeker expulsion | Opinion

The government announced that beginning in April, asylum seekers who have refused to leave will be jailed and their employers fined. Also, renewed pressure to leave will be put on the 970 residents of the Holot detention facility, which is expected to be closed in two and a half months, and on the 450 Africans in Saharonim Prison — both in the south.

While the remarks on Israels toughened immigration policies by Fox and Breitbart may seem flattering to some, they come with a darker underbelly. While many of the replies to Carlsons tweet on Israels temporary inspector force were enthusiastic — with some fans tweeting sign me up! and wish we had that here! — there were also numerous anti-Semitic memes from accounts associated with the alt-right.

Some replied to the Carlson tweet with the hashtag #openbordersforisrael. The hashtag represents a popular slogan among white supremacists like former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke, whose conspiracy theories accuse Jews of seeking to maintain a powerful ethnostate in Israel by letting only Jews immigrate there, while weakening other countries in the West by holding them to a different standard.

According to Duke and other anti-Semitic conspiracists, a Jewish cabal seeks to flood Europe and North America with immigrants from Asia and Africa as part of a demonic profit- and power-grabbing scheme.