Education minister and Chairman of the Jewish Home Party Rabbi Rafi Peretz wants to leave the children of about 100 illegal foreign workers in Israel.
Yediot Aharonot published a document from Peretz's Chief of Staff, Yuval Tzur, to Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, requesting he "seriously consider" letting the children stay.
Tzur, the person closest to Peretz, wrote: "Given the sensitivity of the case, I am ready to ask the Interior Minister to seriously consider the request, with reference to the special circumstances in which children who have integrated into Israeli society for many years are involved."
The surprising position of the education minister and his chairman is completely different from the position of Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich, chairman of the National Union, who wrote on his Twitter account last week that "the Filipinos should return to their country. They came for a set time to work, not to become citizens.”
"If the appeals court frustrates the move, or if the immigration authority delays, there will be a precedent according to which children are a means of obtaining citizenship. Hundreds of thousands of infiltrators, tourists and foreign workers will take advantage of this and the State of Israel will no longer be the nation-state of the Jewish people," Smotrich warned.
This is not the first time that Minister Rafi Peretz has expressed opinions unusual within the nationalist camp regarding illegal immigration. Last March, the chairman of the Jewish Home said that infiltrators in southern Tel Aviv and their children should be taken care of.
"The State of Israel's investment in illegal immigrants is our way, this is our people, we are a people who treat others with kindness," Peretz said during a tour of southern Tel Aviv.
"It does not contradict the fact that we know that we have to find good solutions to get them out of the country, but as long as they are here, we have to take care of their welfare, especially the children and the babies. There are wonderful children's homes and wonderful children's daycare centers here, and this is a badge of honor for the State of Israel," added the Chairman of the Jewish Home.