Anti-refugees rally in Tel Aviv
Yaron Brenner

Don't blame Tel Avivians

Op-ed: Objections to south Tel Aviv refugee influx have nothing to do with racism

First, let's try to leave behind the hypocrisy and bleeding heart tendencies: Each and every one of us, had we faced a situation whereby hundreds of work migrants and refugees are dropped off on the streets of our neighborhood every week, would speak, write and certainly feel differently.


That is, differently than the noble and refined feelings one feels when sitting at the comfort of his northern Tel Aviv home and watching on television these miserable souls who have nothing and came here seeking a sanctuary.


Some, a very small minority, truly care about the state of the refugees and the struggle these caring people wage on behalf of the migrants is truly inspiring and touching. As to all the rest, they will fight for the status of refugees to the last drop of blood of southern Tel Aviv residents.


As to those who click their tongues and express disgust over the conduct of southern Tel Aviv residents, who on a daily basis face the implications of thousands of refugees living under their homes (in a state of hunger, dirt, over-crowded conditions, crime, disease and despair,) let’s see these critics living like this for one week.


Hurting the weak

Let’s see the Tel Aviv mother who would go out to the street with a daughter en route to a ballet class and have to go through a group of refugees gathered on the sidewalk outside her home. Or the parents who would agree to see their children heading to a nearby park that is home to dozens of homeless men.


Or how about those who come down from their luxury apartments on the way to a concert, fearing that someone is lying in ambush to rob them, or worse. Let’s see all the well-protected residents in their nice neighborhoods and gardens suddenly losing the sense of security, their quality of life, and their daily routine.


Here too, as is the case in other areas, it’s happening at the expense of the weak. Those dealing with this problem are not the well-to-do citizens of the state, but rather, the weaker residents, who see the development of their southern Tel Aviv neighborhoods and the improvement to their standard of living being curbed by the thousands of refugees sent to their streets every week.


Some 61,000 people have been sent there in the past seven years, and those in the know refer to figures as high as 80,000 and even 90,000.


Tel Aviv becoming Sudanese

So here is some good news to all the hypocrites who are outraged in the face of the un-neighborly relations displayed by residents of southern Tel Aviv: These refugees are on their way to your neighborhoods too.


Some 1,500 refugees arrive here every month on average. The wave keeps growing and the areas where they are heading to keep expanding. In the city of Petach Tikva there are some 3,000 refugees, and in Ramat Hasharon too there is a large group already. Those who want to see 200,000 refugees here within a year, please stand up.


Tel Aviv, the first Hebrew city, will soon become the second Sudanese city.


And as to those who accuse south Tel Aviv residents of racism: Even if 200,000 jobless Norwegians would have arrived here and settled at city centers under difficult living conditions, the situation would not be any different.


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פרסום ראשון: 05.27.12, 20:58
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