Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar (Likud) spoke to Arutz Sheva on Tuesday, saying that by opposing the recently passed law to prevent infiltration by illegal immigrants, the leftist factions in the Knesset have taken a "mistaken outlook" that endangers the future of Israel.
The law was officially passed on Monday after a heated debate. It allows police to jail illegal migrants for up to 12 months in special detention facilities, after the previously existing law allowing 3 years of internment was overturned by the Supreme Court in September.
Sa'ar expressed confidence that the law would stand up to any petitions in the Supreme Court, as it was checked by the attorney general.
In particular Sa'ar criticized the Labor party for opposing the law, and thereby turning into a "car in the train" of far-left MKs Dov Khenin (Hadash) and Zehava Galon (Meretz). In doing so Sa'ar claims Labor is opposing the will of the majority of Israel's public, as well as the position of its voters.
The divide of opposing or supporting the law has followed the political divide of left and right, notes Sa'ar. He comments that by opposing the law, "the left expresses a mistaken outlook that wants to place us as the most liberal place in the world regarding infiltrators," a position which endangers Israel's character.
Sa'ar opined that the leftist factions "want a 'country of all its infiltrators,' everyone will infiltrate here because its easier to get here," as there is no ocean to cross. If such a course is taken, Sa'ar warns "we will lose the only country we have."
MK Galon claimed that 53,000 illegal infiltrators are not an amount that endangers Israel. However, Sa'ar says the figure is an enormous number which constitutes a huge burden in terms of Israeli welfare and crime, posing a definite threat to the state and its residents.
Israeli cities, and particularly southern Tel Aviv, have seen a remarkable increase in crime committed by infiltrators. Just last week two Jewish youths were beaten by infiltrators who had been following a girl after the youths tried to help her. Police later arrested the two youths on suspicion of attacking the infiltrators.
Sa'ar warned that infiltrators need to be removed from urban centers to normalize the situation, and that their numbers will merely grow if the law does not succeed, because the economic situation in Africa does not look to be improving anytime soon.
The Interior Minister argued that the recently built border fence between Israel and the Sinai desert is not stopping illegal entry; rather the effect comes from the law that prevents infiltrators from finding work in Israel and provides the deterrence of jail time if they do illegally enter the country.
An additional leftist attack on the law came from MK Eitan Cabel (Labor), who said the Jewish people with its unique history can't pass such a law. Cabel's denunciation hints that the law mirrors the situation by which Jews fleeing the Holocaust were denied entry to Israel by the British Mandate.
Sa'ar rejected Cabel's words, calling them a double injustice to both the past and the future of the Jewish people.
The Interior Minister reminded that the Jewish people in that period was fleeing total annihilation. He mentioned that African infiltrators are checked thoroughly and individually, with those meeting the criterion being treated as refugees, and those who don't meet official refugee conditions also being treated properly.
"That's similar to what the Jews suffered?" Sa'ar asked rhetorically.