April 3, 2012
On refugees and settlers
Op-ed: African refugees should head to settlements; no Israeli politician would dare evict them
In the framework of its Passover preparations, the government decided to expel 1,000 asylum seekers to South Sudan later this week. The decision was made after the Foreign Ministry ruled that South Sudan is a safe place where the expelled refugees would face no danger.
Global bodies that are not as up-to-date as Israel, such as the United Nations or the US government, asserted that South Sudan is still facing an ongoing war and the violation of human rights, thereby extending by another year the protection given to refugees from the area.
But what do they know, compared to Israel’s Foreign Ministry, and especially the government agency that truly makes decisions on such diplomatic issues: The Interior Ministry.
However, instead of picking on the ministers yet again for merely trying to safeguard Israel’s racist character, the time has come to point the finger at those who are truly at fault for the upcoming expulsion: The refugees themselves.
After all, if instead of insisting on living in areas such as Eilat, Arad and southern Tel Aviv these refugees would have settled in Migron, Maaleh Rechavam or any other West Bank outpost, nobody would dare to expel them.
Over there, regardless of issues such as legal status or court rulings, nobody would even touch them.
Is anyone preventing the South Sudan refugees from heading to the territories and joining the illegal infiltrators from eastern Israel? After all, nobody in the government is demanding that the latter go back home, even though no significant danger awaits them in their home country (with the exception of traveling on Tel Aviv’s main streets during the marathon.)
Yet the refugees are snobbish; they only wish to live among the high society of Tel Aviv’s old central bus station. In short, they should not be complaining now that they are being sent back to an area afflicted by some militia war.