Jewish view on refugees
Donniel Hartman
Published: 30.05.12, 12:02
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35 Talkbacks for this article
1. Move the Erittrean infiltrators into "Rabbi" Hartmann's home
steve ,   Haifa   (05.30.12)
Let her host them!
2. Dr. Harman - How many women and children...
Patriotic Israeli ,   Tel Aviv, Israel   (05.30.12)
of these poor miserable suffering people has your generous and Jewish institute taken in and given refuge to? OR are you all talk and hot air? A farce?
3. Okay
Sarah B ,   U.S.A. / Israel   (05.30.12)
Let me see if I can reduce that common denominator and pitiful plea to Jewish values. When we were in Israel for Pesach, my daughter and I went to visit relatives living in Tel Aviv. Not the South, but the North. We walked past a lovely park, and were "graced" with the view of a drunken, disheveled and barefoot African balancing his arm -- holding a liquor bottle -- against a tree while urinating in full view of all passers-by. Just what my daughter needs to see, right? Care to tell me, Dr. Hartman, how I am supposed to respond in accordance with the highest standards of Jewish moral principle? How would you feel had it been you and your pre-teen daughter? Were it, G-d forbid, a Jew, I would have to find a way to make that person more acceptable and act in ways more acceptable to the Jewish people. But I am decidedly not obligated to deal with such an issue involving an illegal alien parasite. Am I? I do not have to welcome all strangers, certainly not the morally depraved ones, who think it perfectly acceptable to be inebriated and urinate in full public view at ten o'clock in the morning. The parks, by the way, throughout Tel Aviv, actually, are no longer accessible to Israeli children. Too many drunken Africans sleeping it off around the slides and the swings and the monkey bars. Please do tell me how THAT conforms to acceptable standards of ANYONE's morality, let alone the Jews.
4. Israel can not solve Africa's problems
Rachel ,   US   (05.30.12)
You let those who are in Israel stay and allow them to work the whole continent will be at your doorstep.
5. Please, beware of the"Jewish values"! Unless in a religeous
tom ,   tel aviv   (05.30.12)
context this expression has no place in issues concerning a general, human attitudes toward others . With the exception of Islam, I do not know any doctrine that preaches inhumanity towards other beings, be they migrants or French. We're not that special and surely shouldn't even try to be; we might loose our tiny shred of land out of sheer arrogance: no we're not better, chosen or otherwise.
6. if i am not for my self who will be for me Hillel THE ELDER
yissacher ,   tel aviv   (05.30.12)
i think Hillel was more versed in Jewish values than the author of this article Furthermore Rabbbi Akiva discusses if two people are in a desert with one person owning a bottle of water and the other one not Rabbi Akiva comes to the conclusion that the person owning the bottle should drink the water as his life takes precedence .the inferences are obvious The human rights of Israelis take precedence over the human rights of infiltrators
7. Is the problem only about refugees?
Geoff ,   London (UK)   (05.30.12)
The author writes about Israel's moral obligation to refugees. He does not reflect on whether Israel has any sort of obligation to economic migrants.
8. does not mean we must go broke, deprive our poor
ralph   (05.30.12)
or solve on our own the worlds refuge problem. get real.
9. Well said Dr. Hartman!
A Jerusalemite ,   Jerusalem, Israel   (05.30.12)
A well thought out and provocative opinion piece. As Jews and as human beings it is our duty and our right to treat other human beings as we want to be treated...not as threats.
10. Please!What have AFRICAN, ALL MOSLEM financial migrants got
Alan ,   SA   (05.30.12)
to do with "Jewish Values" Because they got into to Israel by hook or by crook,does it automatically qualify them for Jewish Ethics Treatment??? Please help me! Its got NOTHING to do with racism.
11. Is it Israel's responsibility?
Rozie   (05.30.12)
to solve the problems of the entire world. These migrants have another objective. They are Muslim...someone is paying their way to Israel so that they could change the balance of the country. They have many children and bring all their families and they want to skew the Jewish majority of Israel. Why is it that their rich Muslim neighbors are not helping them.
12. #6 the point is that there are more than 1 bottle of water
Yossef   (05.30.12)
13. Agree with #9
Yossef   (05.30.12)
14. This loony left narrative has nothing to do with Judaism.
Chaim ,   Israel   (05.30.12)
Leave it to Harman to justify allowing the takeover of Israel by foreigners as "Jewish values". His loony left narrative has nothing to do with Judaism. Hartman wouldn't know a Jewish value if he saw one.
15. African infiltrators
DT ,   Israel   (05.30.12)
We should treat them decently but in order to keep Israel a Jewish State, we must send them back to their own countries. Also there are many spacious almost empty countries in the world, like Russia, so send them there. The State of Israel was meant to be a refuge for Jews. I wonder if all these wonderful leftists would each adopt an African family and let them live in their home?
16. #1,2,3... Read the article more carefully
Daniel ,   Boston   (05.30.12)
He is actually agreeing with some of the things you are saying, i.e. that Jews DON'T have to take care of them all. The point is that there are Jewish values and there is the question of Jewish identity. Both are important and actually don't make sense without each other. All of you only look at one side of the coin, and you take any reference to the other side as an attack on yours. Here is the thing: I (and the author) agree with you on the basic principle, that it is not our responsibility to take care of ALL the refugees. I agree that they should not stay in Israel. It just doesn't contradict the principle that as Jews, we have to do good to others, Jew or non-Jew, within reason (i.e. as long as it does not seriously injure us as individuals and as a group).
17. First paragraph tells us all we need to know
Gee ,   Zikron Yaakov   (05.30.12)
"and our duty to leverage our past suffering to create a society committed to the highest level of sensitivity to others, in particular, fellow sufferers." We do not have to leverage our past suffering at all. What we need to do is enforce our laws - that means that criminals are not required.
18. Just have a look on the map....
Josef ,   BsAs   (05.30.12)
Israel is a just little country. That is the issue. What about the US, the European countries, Canada, Australia etc... these are countries with a lot more space than Israel has. In the case of Israel it is not racism vs. goodwill but reality vs ideologie (left or right does not matter in this case).
19. @17: same as the rest, don't just read the first paragraph
Daniel ,   Boston   (05.30.12)
The article presents two different views, and it happens to start with the Jewish values one. This is an issue of optimization, and it is important to see that there are two options, both of which are bad. There is an optimal solution somewhere in between, which can only be found through constructive debate. Don't just stick to one side, try to see what the other is trying to say. The solution is in the middle.
20. Those "values" must be seen in the context of numbers
Raymond in DC ,   Washington, USA   (05.31.12)
When the Torah speaks of respecting the stranger among you, the implication is that these are small numbers living in proximity to or amongst the Jewish majority, or simply passing through. The very notion that the ancient Israelites would have tolerated masses of foreigners with their pagan ways and values is simply ludicrous. It was one thing when Israel took in a hundred or so Vietnamese "boat people" decades ago. But Israel exists as an island among failed states. Israel can't absorb every refugee fleeing Arab racism (Darfur), dictators (Eritrea), or poverty (most of Africa). Nor can it absorb every Palestinian gay or lesbian fleeing cultural intolerance, nor every Palestinian woman trying to avoid being "honor killed". When Egypt runs out of foreign currency and can't afford to import enough food, should Israel accept Egyptian refugees as well? What Hartman won't do is what all those pleading on behalf of the illegals won't do - give us a number. How many could or should Israel take in, and after that number is breached, then what? People should also realize that the true number of illegals is not 70,000. That's just the Africans. Were one to add in the Palestinian Arab infiltrators and those brought in on work contracts who choose not to go home, the true number is far larger.
21. #9 - are you a relative of the Rabbi? A friend?
michael redbourn ,   Arad Israel   (05.30.12)
Israel should keep the 3% that are really refugees and deport the rest who only came here to milk the country.
22. Biblical references
Silim ,   SF US   (05.31.12)
It is of note to remember that Jacob's family were economic refugees when migrating (legally?) to Egypt to stay there temporarily. Did Ruth's move to join Israel include her severing her roots?
23. African invasion
Mark ,   San Diego USA   (05.31.12)
If Israel doesn't deport those barely civilized 3rd world invaders they will become a bastion of desecration to the Israeli culture, values, and heritage. Their 3rd world cesspool of a culture will infiltrate and spread like cancer through your great country eating up your way of life and culture. Look whats happened to the U.S. Expel them before it's to late.
24. @15 Send them to Russia? Are you joking?
Benjamin ,   TA Israel   (05.31.12)
After the fall of Soviet Union racism and xenophobia run rampant in Russia. Russians derogatory calling slightly-dark skinned people from former Soviet central Asia "black" now , and Africans they call "black monkeys". No way Russia would take migrants from Africa or any other place. In fact no non-African country would do it, and any African country would have to be bribed heavily to even consider this question. Most likely the ones already residing in Israel will stay here forever. Best hope for Israel is to limit their growth to some sane numbers with border measures.
25. it's easy to understand
Shmuel ,   Brazil   (05.31.12)
I was oleh chadash years ago so I can tell you the truth: Israelis prefer to hire an illegal immigrant and pay less. That's all. I came back. No job. This is sad. Israel is not for people like me, willing to live free as a Jew :(
26. # 21 - No I am not.
A Jerusalemite ,   Jerusalem, Israel   (05.31.12)
There are both good and bad in every group, including these Africans. There is more than one way to react to them. Refugees are entitled to help. Proven criminals can and should be deported. In between there are many others - and other solutions can be found to alleviate the problems. Blind, bulk refusal to accept a group of people for any reason is racism. I prefer my people to understand that and to not be guilty of it...
27. Were the Europeans right?
Bertram ,   London, UK   (05.31.12)
In view of the responses that I have read here I conclude that you would have agreed with those European countries which expelled the Jewish infiltrators over the many centuries. Clearly, since they hailed from Eretz Yisrael, they had no right to reside in those countries. And don't give me this refugee nonsense. They were simply criminals ready to leech off the hardworking Spaniards, Germans, French.....etc.
28. 12# israel spends millions building desalination plants
yissacher ,   tel aviv   (05.31.12)
because there is not enough water
29. To: No. 27
Sarah B ,   U.S.A. / Israel   (05.31.12)
And managed, along the way, to become renowned physicians, philosophers, scientists, university professors and, more recently, account for 35% of all Nobel Prize winners, despite being only 0.02% of the world's population. You are quite ignorant.
30. They are opportunists, NOT refugees
Reuven   (06.01.12)
Deport all of them, before it's too late. Jews are now only 75% of Israel's population...perhaps less. We've got to increase the percentage of Jews if we are to remain the world's only Jewish state.
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