Daily Israel Report

MK Moallem: State Must Remain Strong on Illegals

MK Shuly Moallem added her voice to the growing numbers demanding aggressive action to deport illegal immigrants.
By David Lev
First Publish: 1/5/2014, 8:50 PM

African protest in Tel Aviv Sunday
African protest in Tel Aviv Sunday
Yoni Kempinski

MK Shuly Moallem (Jewish Home) on Sunday added her voice to the growing number of MKs and ministers demanding that the government take more aggressive action to remove illegal immigrants to Israel. Commenting on the large demonstration by African infiltrators in Tel Aviv Sunday, Moallem said that “the State of Israel must continue with the process started by Eli Yishai when he was Interior Minister, and that is being continued by current Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar, to remove the Africans wherever possible.”

Thousands of the illegals gathered in Tel Aviv for the demonstration, going on strike to demand that they be allowed to remain in Israel. In recent weeks, Israel has begun rounding up illegals whose work visas have expired and detaining them at a new facility in southern Israel built to hold them as the government worked on ways to deport them. So far, some 300 illegals have been detained. Protests also took place in Eilat, with illegals who did not attend the protests taking a day off from work in solidarity with the protesters.

A new security fence on Israel's southern border has successfully halted the mass illegal invasion of several years ago, but estimates say that some 60,000 illegal immigrants who managed to get into the country in previous years remain. The infiltrators demand that Israel grant them the status of political refugees, who according to UN regulations, cannot be deported to their countries of origin. Israel has said that it considers nearly all the illegals to be economic migrants who are searching for work, and as such can be deported.

According to Moallem, “the problem is not the very small number of legitimate refugees, but the much larger number of migrants looking for jobs. They are causing Israel to lose its Jewish identity. We must prevent new illegals from getting into Israel, and return the ones who are here to their countries of origin. We must also convince Israelis not to hire these people.”

Commenting on the protest, Yishai said that “Israel stands at a crossroads – will we remove the illegals, or stop being a Jewish state? The 'chutzpah,' the arrogance, of these protesters, with the assistance of leftist and anti-Zionist 'human rights' groups who are encouraging them, is worrying, and also enraging. I call on the government to deal with them harshly and uncompromisingly, as I did when I was Interior Minister. They should all be detained until arrangements can be made for their deportation.”