'We live in fear.' Rally in south TA (archives)
Photo: Ofer Amram
Dozens south Tel Aviv's residents gathered at the Hatikva neighborhood on Monday to protest what they referred to as the State's failure to address the flow of African migrants to the area.
Some protestors said the refugees "chase our daughters," while others called the Africans "beasts" and claimed they "spread diseases, drink and steal."
City officials say landlords subdivide flats, cram refugees in them with 'total disregard for general population'
The conference was held just a few days after a migrant from Eritrea allegedly murdered his pregnant wife in the neighborhood.
"Today a refugee stole the purse of an elderly woman I take care of," neighborhood activist Pnina Cohen said. "They walk around in robes with nothing underneath and chase our daughters. This is a war we must wage, or else we'll lose our home."
Irna, who lives near the murdered woman's apartment, said, "I lived in fear even before the murder. I made aliyah from Russia to this neighborhood because I like it, but I don’t leave the house at night. It's very scary."
Gidi Aharoni from the Kfar Shalem neighborhood said, "They spread disease and mingle with our children; they drink and steal. Those who say I'm racist can go to hell in their black-free buildings and neighborhoods. "
City Council member Shlomi Maslawi (Likud) said, "Demographically speaking, they have already surpassed us, and we have become the minority in our own neighborhood. This is a national problem. They take away our housing, jobs and receive welfare at our expense. We demand that the government reinstate the 'Gedera-Hadera policy' and scatter them across the periphery."
Knesset Member Michael Ben-Ari (National Union), who was accompanied by extreme rightist Baruch Marzel, told the meeting that the infiltration of African migrants through the Egyptian border is akin to the "Midianite raids on Israel in biblical times.
"They too arrived from Sinai, with their large numbers as their weapon. They also stole," he said.
The MK criticized fellow lawmakers "who are afraid to speak their minds for fear of being accused of racism.
"People mention Iran and the Palestinians as being the main threats to Israel, but here there is a tangible danger, and the Cabinet is not convening to try and find a solution," Ben-Ari added.
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