Israel's Illegal Immigrant Problem
A very small percentage of these people are, indeed, refugees. Though we are responsible for their lives, we do not have to keep them here forever and we do not have to grant them citizenship.
by Moshe Feiglin
February 8, 2018
The Left has been pressing very hard to stop the deportation of tens of thousands of African work migrants who illegally entered Israel. There are multiple and complex factors involved in this issue, and disinformation is pervasive. Let us peel the layers of the onion and try to make some order.
The main party at fault for the current situation is the Netanyahu government. For years, Israel's entire southern border was left wide open and convoys of infiltrators rolled right in. Now we are dealing with the results of this anarchy.
There is a kernel of truth in the claims of leftist organizations pressuring the government to leave all the infiltrators here. Jews are commanded by the Torah not to deliver a slave into the hands of his owner, and a very small percentage of these people are, indeed, refugees. Thus, we are responsible for their lives.
We do not have to keep them here forever and we do not have to grant them citizenship. But we do have to take care of them and provide them with decent living conditions, secluded, so that they do not threaten Israel's citizens. Ultimately, we must find a solution for them in a place that needs this type of immigration – Europe, for example. I asked many infiltrators if they would go to Europe if they had $15,000 in their pockets. They all answered yes.
Another option: These refugees do not come directly from Rwanda or South Sudan. They come here from a country that is not committing genocide. Nobody has swum to Israel or parachuted into our country. All of them come through Egypt. Why don't we return them there? We don't because of political considerations. We do not want to destabilize the peace agreement with Egypt.
Israel does not border the countries these immigrants left. The entire problem is caused by the ridiculous machinations of a government that has lost its way. Why is the government looking for all sorts of convoluted solutions? This is where the disinformation comes in. IDF reserve-generals, now in the private arms business, get authorizations from their cronies in the Defense Ministry to export Israeli arms to African dictatorships and make big money (privately, not for Israel). The potential victims flee via Egypt to Israel – and then we pay $5,000 per person to the king of Rwanda, who is a despicable mass-murderer, so that he will be kind enough to take them back. We are turning into a country that funds and nurtures horror regimes.
The vast majority of these infiltrators, however, are not refugees; they are work migrants. And they therefore must simply be deported. Even the High Court agrees. We must get to the bottom of this issue and separate between those who are truly refugees and should receive more gentle treatment as described above and those who are work migrants, who deserve nothing and should be deported.
We are a Jewish state. We are not a state of all its citizens, like the U.S., for example – and the U.S. does not take in every refugee or work migrant, either. We are a Jewish state and, thus, even if we do take in refugees, we should not grant them citizenship; rather, we should treat them decently and offer them a better life elsewhere. We need to preserve a solid Jewish majority and the Jewish social fabric of our country.
Nobody dares say these things, though, which creates a vacuum. It is into this vacuum that all the leftist organizations enter and press for their state-of-all-its-citizens/anti-deportation agenda.
When we are committed to our own solid Jewish identity, we will have the fortitude to deal with the infiltrators – and the host of other problems plaguing Israel.
Moshe Feiglin is the former Deputy Speaker of the Knesset. He heads the Zehut Party. He is the founder of Manhigut Yehudit and Zo Artzeinu and the author of two books: 'Where There Are No Men' and 'War of Dreams.' Feiglin served in the IDF as an officer in Combat Engineering and is a veteran of the Lebanon War. He lives in Ginot Shomron with his family.