Enough Hypocrisy Over Infiltrators

It's true that it's nicer to be in favor of all the poor of Africa, but we should also put a stop to hypocrisy and to turning a blind eye.

Nehemia Shtrasler
Nehemia Shtrasler
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Nehemia Shtrasler
Nehemia Shtrasler

It's much more pleasant to write in favor of the work migrants from Sudan and Eritrea. It's much nicer to claim that they should be allowed to work for a decent wage and in good conditions. It's much more progressive to say they should be provided with health, education and welfare services, like any other citizen.

Even the police commissioner says they should be allowed to work, in order to reduce crime. But Commissioner Yohanan Danino is looking only at the short term. He isn't taking into account the fact that the moment it is clear to every infiltrator that he is allowed to work here without restrictions, the tens of thousands who have arrived so far will be only the spearhead for the hundreds of thousands to follow. No fence and no detention facility will stop them, because the wage differences are immense.

Many social welfare organizations express opposition to expulsion. As far as they are concerned, all the migrants are entitled to refuge, and not only those two percent who have been recognized as refugees. They have no red lines and no quantitative or budgetary limitations. As far as they are concerned, all present and future migrants are welcome. And if Eritrea has a mandatory 15-year draft and most of the infiltrators are simply deserters from the army, we still have to absorb them with love, and it makes no difference at whose expense.

It seems as though those social welfare organizations are enjoying the situation in which Israeli society is steadily deteriorating. After all, it's clear that if we accept increasing numbers of uneducated people without a profession, they will sooner or later become a burden on the taxpayer. That will cause an increase in poverty, social disparities and crime. But there will still be one advantage: The organizations will be able to blame the wicked government that didn't do enough and didn't give enough. After all, it never gives enough.

We have to understand that giving jobs to Sudanese and Eritreans means a severe blow to Israeli blue-collar workers (Jews and Arabs ), who will be thrown out of those very same jobs. This is migration that comes at the expense of the lower classes, of non-professional manual laborers whose wages will decline in the best case. Those who benefit are the members of the middle- and upper-class, who will receive cheaper goods and services, and businessmen, who will employ the migrants at a miniscule salary. But the social welfare organizations ignore all that.

It all began in 2006, when the number of infiltrators began steadily increasing and Ehud Olmert and his government did nothing to stem the tide. The border with Egypt was wide open, and it was possible to enter Israel without any difficulty. Olmert preferred to turn a blind eye and not to do the minimum required of a responsible leader: building a fence. For that he didn't find the money.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was no better. He also carried on with the same ostrich policy in the hope that the issue would disappear on its own. But then the hostile acts on the Egyptian border began, and only then, very belatedly, when there were already tens of thousands of asylum-seekers here, did the government decide in March 2010 to build a fence on the Egyptian border. But the decision was one thing and the implementation another. Nothing was done, because the Sudanese did not come to upscale Rehavia or Caesarea.

Only in August 2011, after the lethal terror attack on the highway along the Egyptian border when eight people were killed, did the construction of the fence begin. Construction of the detention facility has not begun to this day.

That is why we must act immediately and with determination. We must conclude the construction of the border fence and quickly build the detention facility. The infiltrators must be held in the facility for a long time, in decent living conditions, but without the possibility of going out to work. The result will be that they will report to their friends in Sudan, Eritrea and Chad that it's not worthwhile to come here because it's impossible to earn money, and therefore there isn't even a possibility of returning the high travel costs.

That is the only way to stop the stream of migration, without shooting and without humiliation, and even to turn back the wheel. It's also what many European countries do. It's true that it's nicer to be in favor of all the poor of Africa, but we should also put a stop to hypocrisy and to turning a blind eye.

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