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Stars of Oscar-winning documentary face harsh reality
Danny Spektor
Published: 02.03.11, 20:01
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21 Talkbacks for this article
1. Again Ynet?
Jew ,   Israel   (03.02.11)
In what way is it appropriate to use the word refugee and South African illegal migrant as interchangeable terms. One does not equate to another and regardless of the circumstance of the arrival of the many children who attend this school it is truly inappropriate to continue to use them as a political tool to illicit sympathy from a nation who must maintain laws to protect its national sovereignty.
2. confused...
Emma ,   Tel Aviv, Israel   (03.02.11)
Surely the film won an Oscar because of its artistic merit (and not its subject matter). Also, I am very concerned about how this issue is being reported in the media. There is a huge difference between refugees and their children, and individuals from 3rd world countries who are in Israel illegally but who simply don't want to go home for economic reasons. If families were to be deported to France or Germany this whole subject would not a non issue. The young man from Darfur is indeed a refugee and is in no danger of being deported (even though he entered the country illegally). The Bolivian girl is a full Israeli citizen as her father is Israeli. However, If the South African girl lived in Western Europe or the United States she would already have been deported. It's very sad that she lost her mother, but that doesn't mean she is entitled to Israeli citizenship. Although refugees should not be deported until it is safe for them to return home, I see no problem in repatriating illegal migrants and their families. This is an every day practice in all enlightened Western democracies.
3. misleading article
Jon ,   Petach Tikva, Israel   (03.02.11)
In what universe is a South African illegal migrant a refugee? What is wrong with deporting her and her father? What makes kids from the Philipines refugees and immune from deportation? The fact that they like it here.
4. refugees?
chaim witz ,   brazil - sao paulo   (03.02.11)
Very cute, but as time goes by, the proportion of jews in Israel diminishes (in the '80s 85%, today 75%...). The great aliah from Soviet Union in the '90s was not good to increase this percentage , but only to desaccelerate this inevitable trend. The question is: why are we ready to sacrifice the country we longed 2000 years to re-build, in order to be seen as the 'good guys'? Israel is being devoured from the inside, and we care about who won the Oscar...
5. #3 Emma - Thank you for your well reasoned comment!
Scott ,   USA   (03.02.11)
6. refugees 2?
chaim witz ,   brazil - sao paulo   (03.02.11)
These nice children will eat up Israel alive when they become adults. Due to the fact they are non-jewish, they can never be fully integrated in israeli society, and that wil be cause for revolt. And the israeli government is the one to blame: what matters if the country disintegrates in 20 years, if we can have abundant cheeap manpower today?
7. am I missing something?
Avi ,   Ramat Gan   (03.02.11)
I genuinely don't understand why the South African girl thinks she has a right to stay in Israel. She is an illegal migrant from a democratic country with a reasonable human rights record. Have we become so shallow that an Oscar somehow changes reality and the need to uphold the law. It's just ridiculous. It's terrible that her mother died, but this is completely irrelevent to her status.
8. illegals
frank ,   israel   (03.03.11)
they are not refugees but illegals and should be treated as such. All illegals MUST be sent home! Movies are nice, but after 1 or so hours you go home, why won't they?
9. & what of the children in the movie "Slum Dog Millionaire"?
no name ,   in this place   (03.02.11)
are their lives better because they appeared in a hollywood movie? further I agree with Emma @#3.... South Africa is a democratic and free country ... so how is this child anything but an economic illegal migrant looking for the best possible deal for herself and her family? Was she chosen because her English is good? Was she chosen because she's black? In other words what underlying racism do the directors, writers and producers of this film carry with them? What was their motivation? To encourage illegal economic immigration? to assist illegal economic immigrants to get the best deal? or was it perhaps to make the most money they could while at the same time getting the most recognition for their work? just asking!
10. the current leadership of politics in israel..
kidane ,   Eritrea.   (03.03.11)
i think the current leadership of israeli politics will lead the jews people to isolation,on which the israeli people are tricked by the word Jews, a political tool of the politicians, i understand and i feel what the jews people have experienced in thier history due to being as jews but it doent mean that the past can live in the future, so i recommend to the israeli people not to be so blind with the actions of their current political leadership. and i think it is better to be co-operaives to other people otherwise, it will hurt their global future.
11. re #3
Tobias   (03.03.11)
Who calls the kids from the Philipines "refugees"? In the article they mention children of migrant workers and refugees, and I think its quite clear that the philippines in Israel are migrant workers, while the people from Darfur are refugees who barely escaped a genocide.
12. Immigrants
daz ,   uk   (03.03.11)
Why all this fuss about immigrants, Israel was founded on immigration. Only the arabs are indigenous to the region
13. Anchor Kids
Avi ,   T/A Israel   (03.03.11)
The kids are the pawns of their Parents and we are the Pawns of our sentiments. The Parents are illegal (I dont speak about genuine refugees) and are here knowingly and willingly having openly broken the law. This is about law and order not sentiments and people manipulating us - it is not about Ron Haldai or his political opinion this is about Law. The parents knew EXACTLY what they were doing they know that they have broken the law and the law MUST be seen to be upheld. If the law is not upheld then the next lot of sweet faced beribboned kids are sitting in the wings with their parents telling us all that their kids love Humust love Purim and are as Israeli and nearly Jewish in their hearts as the rest of us - oy vey Avi
14. contradictions in article
David ,   Modi'in   (03.03.11)
Esther feels Israeli, yet Melissa says her old school felt Israeli and this one doesn't. Please explain. Also, there was an interview with the boy from Darfur in Ha'aretz yesterday where he says that he wants to stay in Israel (i.e.not go back to Darfur as reported here). Finally, the figure of only 1,200 kids plus their entire families (of which 800 have been allowed to stay) is obviously and purposely misleading, and no one seems to question it.
15. to Tobias #11
Sarah ,   Jerusalem   (03.03.11)
I believe that the point is that the media in Israelis deliberately confuse the issue. For example, this article states at the beginning that refugees kids fear that they might soon be deported. The article then explains that the only person who may be deported is a South African girl (i.e. clearly not a refugee). I don't know if you live in Israel, but the reporting in the media is extremely biased about this whole issue. It doesn't mention that many of the kids' parents arrived on tourist visas and stayed illegally. It pretends that there are only a few hundred kids involved. It shows pictures of crying kids who say they feel Israeli and love Purim, etc. It talks about deporting children (not entire families. The 800 families that were given permission to stay are already forgotten. Most of all, the media doesn't mention that all Western European countries deport children with their families. No one is being deported to a country where their life is in danger. Israel is acting like a mature Western democracy, on the one hand giving citizenship to those children who, although here illegally, are deemed to be culturally Israeli, yet on the other hand deporting illegals in a justified manner.
16. Rogozin school
Karen ,   Los Angeles. USA   (03.03.11)
Whatever the technicalities are re migrant workers or refugees, if Israel deports those children it will be sad beyond words. What has happened to the "Jewish soul" of Israel?
17.  Israeli in the full sense of the word
Dan ,   Golan   (03.03.11)
Esther says "I am Israeli in the full sense of the word". What complete utter nonsense. I used to support the plight of the foreign worker children. A tiny bit of research shows how redundant their claims are. They should all be deported ASAP and enough with the media manipulation and politically motivated half-truths on this issue.
18. Karen #16
Yossi ,   Jerusalem   (03.03.11)
Your country routinely deports illegals including children with their families. If I was to arrive in Israel with my 7 year old kid and avoid being deported for 4 years, I would have no moral argument for not being deported. It wouldn't even be an issue. But don't let the facts confuse you. The kids say they feel Israeli, their parents came here to make money and are now knowingly using their children to abuse the system, and if the kids are not deported then the flood gates will open. We have let 800 stay this time. There are many 1000s of kids in this situation. Why should a 2 year old from the Ukraine whose parents came here on tourist visas get citizenship. Enough already. Kick these kids out with their abusive, manipulating parents. We have laws in this country.
19. We arethe People of the Book
noa ,   israel   (03.03.11)
Do we want to be like other countries that closed their doors to Jews during WWII? Or suddenly reduced the number of immigrants that were allowed in? We are not Jewish for the sake of being Jewish but to show the world we can be better. No, it is not our reason for being, but it is what we have incorporated into our identify for almost 5000 years.
20. to 12 not accurate
ygalg ,   israel   (03.03.11)
not all Arabs are indigenous. just as not all Israelis are immigrants.
21. school
karen ,   los angeles usa   (03.03.11)
beautifully stated
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