Israel’s Immigrant Debate Turns Hateful, Violent
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  • Walter Sobchak

    Israel is in a war zone and it is under daily attack by enemies who have sworn to destroy it and kill its citizens. It does not need its US friends to go all sanctimonious and PC on it. African Illegals are a problem and a potential fifth column. By all means do not shoot them on sight. Give them a clean change of clothing and 3 square meals while you arrange for them to return to their countries of origin ASAP.

  • Corlyss

    What is to be done about illiterates with poor to miserable civic skills flooding into western nations for the superior benefits when even western societies are under strain to support the shiftless no-accounts (often created by their own state policies) already present within their borders?

    Pie-eyed utopians who think this immigration question is all about xenophobia, fear of “The Other,” or racism, while at the same time 25-50% of the 18-34 demo can’t find jobs because of labor markets frozen in rules set in the 1950s, are wilfully ignoring the dysjuncts to put a Sesame Street happy face on an intolerable situation.

    Nations that can’t protect their own borders do not deserve the label “nation.”

  • Corlyss

    “Human beings who seek to improve their living conditions by moving in search of work are exercising a natural right”

    Sez who? And what rights do the nationals within the destination nation possess? None?

  • Paladin

    One would think that an Israeli politician’s career would be over the second he said anyone “should be imprisoned and transported to camps we are building.”

  • Kenny

    “Human beings who seek to improve their living conditions by moving in search of work are exercising a natural right.”

    A natural right! Who deems this a right, you?

  • Pincher Martin

    “But the answer in all of these cases is sound policy informed by compassion, and never hatred or racism towards minority populations….”

    “Human beings who seek to improve their living conditions by moving in search of work are exercising a natural right, and while there are reasons why states may for security or social reasons need to limit and control migration, Israel (and America) should never lose sight of the dignity of all human beings even as we try to enforce immigration laws in an equitable way.”

    This kind of unfortunate reaction wouldn’t happen if policy elites in developed countries took immigration restrictions much more seriously than they do. One way they might start to exhibit some seriousness on these matters is by not stating there is a “natural right” to immigrate to the country of your choice because you believe life would be better there for you.

    Some countries are great places to live for many reasons: excellent political institutions, favorable histories, clever cultural and social adaptions, high relative levels of freedom, high economic productivity, etc. But one of the most neglected reasons why some countries are great places to live is because of the quality of the people living in them. Yet the majority of social scientists continue to assume an easy plasticity to humanity when discussing immigration policies.

    Via Meadia is highlighting and censuring the ugly reaction of some Israelis to the growing number of Africans immigrating to the Jewish state. Did it also highlight the growing problem of crime associated with this movement of people (Israel Police: Unemployed African refugees turning Tel Aviv beaches into high crime spots) and warn about the potential adverse consequences if something was not done about it? Because without this warning, Via Meadia‘s censure illustrates the one-sided accounting most scholars practice when publicly discussing immigration. These kinds of ugly reactions, like the one in Israel, don’t just come out of the blue. They are the inevitable result of insulated elites ignoring growing problems in favor of some trendy ideological pose.

  • John Burke

    I think WRM is leaving out a lot. This is a direct result of the ouster of Mubarek as Egyptian authorities no longer care to police Israel’s Sinai border and various Bedouin groups now reign there. Migrants from Sudan and elsewhere in Africa are now able to cross Egyptian territory and sneak into Israel across a border Israel did not need to control tightly for 30 years. There are now 60,000 such “infiltrators” — the equivalent of three million in a population the size of the US — and more are arriving at the rate of 1,000 a month. That will soon make for a very sizable non-Jewish population, much of it Muslim, in the Jewish state. It does not take a math whiz to figure out that Egypt’s new Muslim Brotherhood rulers need not contemplate a new war to eliminate the Jewish state. They can just sit back and allow Africa’s growing, impoverished peoples to flood across Sinai.

    And you know, not every manifestation in the world of antagonism toward dark-skinned people by lighter-
    skinned people for any reason is motivated by “racism.” Israelis are, with ample reason, acutely conscious of a wide range of potential scenarios resulting in the eventual demise of the Jewish state.

  • Well, in Tel Aviv, where the tensions errupted, illegal migrants and refugees now make up almost 15 percent of the city’s population, and they concentrate in the poorer parts in the south. Not sure what would happen if this was the case in any major European or America city.

    Needless to say, this doesn’t excuse the politicians who now come out with the most despicable rethoric.

    But it is definitely news to me that it is some kind of right to move to a country in search of better opportunities.

  • Anthony

    As I understand it, these are illegal immigrants (African) and sovereignty inures but in democratic Israel responsibility lies with governing party; to their credit Netanyahu and Peres (hating foreigners against the foundation of Judaism) have quickly demonstrated responsible leadership. Racist passions can blind one to shared humanity – such passions when turned on Jews have generated pogroms (historically, such passion was cause of Leo M. Frank’s lynching in United States).

    Finally WRM, my initial response after reading Quick Take is to contrast theme to your insightful essays and quick takes on Anti-semitic trends…. How a nation with pogrom antecedents essentially recognizes the violence of scapegoating and addresses its African immigration problem may elucidate certain truths…

  • Brendan Doran

    “Like America and Europe, Israel faces a serious problem in the form of illegal immigration. But the answer in all of these cases is sound policy informed by compassion, and never hatred or racism towards minority populations.”

    And if that isn’t the answer? What then? You must know the Left has a sizable contingent that believes in wealth redistribution thru Open Borders, certainly that is their plan for the US. What positive gain has their been for us thus so? Every creature and society on earth has the right of self defense. Our “compassion” is better placed for our own.

  • Brendan Doran

    And the US, Europe, or Israel cannot feed, clothe, house and medically care for their respective regions or indeed continents. In our case apparently the Western Hemisphere. That being of course the goal of the agents of “compassion”. Of which they have none for their own.

  • Realism is the first desideratum for moral responsibility in this world. There are no easy answers, but I feel confident that Israel will do the right thing and will do it responsibly to the best of its ability. It certainly had better, if only because the whole world is watching, not least the American people. Maybe we can even learn something. I hope so.

  • Corlyss

    “This kind of unfortunate reaction wouldn’t happen if policy elites in developed countries took immigration restrictions much more seriously than they do.”

    They are too busy creating a Sesame Street utopia where every nation has America’s history of successful immigration assimilation. Even we are breaking under the strain of Kenney’d mid-60s “reforms” that have resulted in policies that reject the Western, educated,or trained contributors in favor of aggressive minorities who demand their right to be a US resident, to vote without becoming citizens, to syphon off resources that should be spent on citizens or those preparing to become citizens. Instead, we get La Raza, et al. turning this country in to a Latino colony, incapable of policy formulation on immigration for fear of appearing xenophobic, because, you know, appearances are everything.

  • Kris

    “the answer in all of these cases is sound policy informed by compassion”

    One reason for the recent explosive outburst is that Israel’s “liberal elites” have been displaying a very strange kind of compassion. Illegal immigrants caught crossing the Egypt-Israel border are almost immediately bussed to and released in the Tel-Aviv slums, where they are mostly left to fend for themselves. So the illegal immigrants carry on as they are used to in the hellholes they have escaped, while the already suffering inhabitants of the slums pay most of the price. This happens because the elites are not willing to appear uncompassionate by turning back the illegal immigrants at the border, yet they are not willing to pay the (hefty) price to actually absorb them. This understandably infuriates the original slum dwellers.

    And still the stream of Africans willing to undertake the dangerous journey (through deserts and Arabs) from their countries to Israel grows.

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