Daily Israel Report

'Tel Aviv Waking Up to Illegal Entrant Danger'

Tel Aviv activist Oren Zargari says the city is waking up to the danger posed by illegal entrants.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 3/25/2010, 7:34 PM / Last Update: 3/25/2010, 7:37 PM

Flash 90

Tel Aviv activist Oren Zargari spoke to Arutz Sheva's Hebrew-language news service this week following a brutal anti-Semitic attack on Saturday. Zargari said that the city is beginning to wake up to the danger posed by illegal foreign workers and other illegal entrants.

Those living in southern Tel Aviv are dealing first-hand with the problems caused by a massive influx of foreigners, and have long understood the importance of dealing with the issue, Zargari said. However, he said, now the traditionally leftist residents of northern Tel Aviv “are starting to understand” as well.

Tel Aviv has experienced a rise in violent crime, perpetrated largely by illegal entrants from Sudan and Eritrea. On Saturday night, an elderly Jewish resident of the city was viciously attacked by Sudanese men as he left synagogue. The men, who voiced anti-Semitic insults during the attack, stopped beating their victim only after they were spotted by police.

Lobby for Transfer of Illegals
Zargari has founded the Lobby for the Transfer of Illegal Foreigners, and has organized several protests in southern Tel Aviv in support of removing illegal entrants from the city. The Lobby calls for both illegal entrants from Egypt and foreign workers who have overstayed their visas to be returned to their countries of origin. 

While not all foreign workers are violent, illegal entrants in general are behind a massive increase in the number of anti-Semitic incidents in Tel Aviv, as well as a rise in the number of sexual assaults on young Israeli women, Zargari said. In addition, he said, illegal workers take jobs that would otherwise go to Israeli citizens.

The Lobby is tackling a problem that city officials and police have failed to deal with, he said. Zargari said he has “no idea why” the city of Tel Aviv has not done more to handle the problems caused by illegal workers.

Zargari has called on those leftist residents of northern Tel Aviv who still insist that foreign workers and illegal entrants be allowed to remain in the country to take foreigners into their own neighborhoods. “Since they are so worried about [foreign workers], since they are such moral people acting in the name of justice, let them take them,” he said.