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Danon to Illegal Aliens: Passports First, Then Talks

Deputy Defense Minister says the government will be happy to hear illegal aliens’ complaints – after they go through passport control.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 1/8/2014, 1:15 AM

Illegal aliens march through Jerusalem, December 2013
Illegal aliens march through Jerusalem, December 2013
Flash90

Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon (Likud Beytenu) has announced that the government will happily meet illegal aliens’ demand to speak to the Prime Minister – but only if they are willing to go through passport control.

“They want to negotiate? After they get their passports checked at Ben Gurion Airport we’ll hear their demands,” Danon suggested.

Danon criticized the recent mass protest by illegal aliens as “the height of absurdity.” Illegal entrants have protested a new law under which hundreds of illegal entrants have been ordered to spend nights in an open detention center in southern Israel.

The law is both democratic and relatively lenient, Danon argued. “In ‘enlightened’ Europe they take a much tougher approach toward illegal entrants,” he said.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has declared that deportations will proceed despite protests. Netanyahu reiterated that those being deported are not refugees, but illegal migrant workers.

Protests ‘gave away the bluff’
Meanwhile, a long-time activist added his voice to those wondering how the recent rallies were funded and organized, noting that the events, while designed to appear spontaneous, clearly required significant financial resources.

“Organizing a protest like that costs hundreds of thousands of shekels,” Yonatan Yaakobovich of the Center for Israeli Immigration Policy NGO told Arutz Sheva. “They brought in 30,000 people. Who is really funding them?”

The protests show that the government’s policies are working, he suggested. “The government policy has proven effective, in December alone another 300 illegal aliens left Israel. I predict that the tougher the approach, the more big protests there will be,” he said.

Yaakobovich argued that the recent rallies hurt illegal aliens’ cause. “It gave away the big bluff, because a person who is genuinely seeking refuge would thank the country, not oppose it, even if it meant staying in a detention center,” he said.