Due to the recent slew
of offensive and racist statements made by Israeli
politicians, African diplomats in Israel are afraid to walk down the street, said African ambassadors in Israel during a meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon.
The meeting, which was attended by the ambassadors of Angola, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia
and the Ivory Coast,
was recently held in the Foreign Ministry's offices in Jerusalem, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.
In addition to Ayalon, the meeting was also attended by Avi Granot, the assistant director general for the ministry's Africa division.
During the meeting, Ghana's ambassador to Israel Henry Hanson-Hall said that his wife is constantly picked on when she goes shopping. "If that's what happens to an ambassador's wife," he said "what are the rest of the African employees supposed to say?! I'm afraid of being arrested or picked on," he added.
According to the foreign diplomats, the racial slurs directed at them harm Israel's public image in Africa. They emphasized Israel's right to deport foreign migrants, but asked that the issue be dealt with in a humane manner.
They further said that the publicized deportation of migrants humiliates them and depicts them as dangerous criminals.
"I deeply appreciate your attendance," Ayalon said to the diplomats adding that "it is important for the ministry to hear your opinion and solve the issue together."
"We have a problem with illegal migrants in Israel and we're determined to return them to their countries of origin, but we shall do so by cooperating with the African countries in a respectful and sensitive manner," Ayalon added.