South Sudanese migrant
Photo: EPA

Israel faces anxiety attack

Op-ed: Instead of panic-stricken response to migrant issue, Israel needs real immigration policy

Again we are seeing the headhunters being sent to the streets. Again they return with dozens of skulls, apparently ones that can be expelled. Families are being broken up again, and the fear of expulsion is again making its way through the streets of south Tel Aviv, Eilat and Arad. Xenophobia is no longer the only ruler.


The argument here is not that we must not expel people from Israel. Every state has the right to expel those whom it decided have no right to stay in its territory. However, the expulsion of South Sudan citizens this week is not a way to address the problem, but rather, a panic-stricken and violent response to the problem.


There is no such thing as an “expulsion policy” that is not part of an “immigration policy.” Yet even though it contends with an illegal alien rate that is similar to that in the rest of the world, Israel insists on reinforcing some kind of unique status of itself that only Israel sees.


According to estimates, there are some 45 million people like our Sudanese migrants around the world right now, constantly searching for security and a livable life. The entire Western world is coping with this problem, in ways that are sometimes better and sometimes not as good. Nobody is happy about it. Yet every state had set quotas as to the number of immigrants it can deal with on a regular basis, and then decided what to do with the rest.


Expulsion to make no difference

Israel is the only state that as a rule does not examine each case and does not grant refugee status. Israel is unwilling to set quotas or initiate cooperation agreements. Instead, it offers other countries a dubious deal: Take our migrants and say thank you.


Indeed, Israel owes itself a real immigration policy, which addresses reality and not only anxieties.


Only a state suffering an anxiety attack can look at the sights of expulsion and think that this is how it will save itself from anything. The citizens of South Sudan constitute a miniscule number that can somehow be expelled out of the African immigrant community, which itself constitutes a small part of Israel’s foreign community.


This expulsion will make no difference; it won’t even satisfy those calling for this eviction. Should one of these expulsion fans face a father separated from his wife and children, apparently forever, it is very likely that humanity and logic will overcome the hatred and fear.



פרסום ראשון: 06.13.12, 00:39
 new comment
This will delete your current comment