Saturday September 5, 2015
Israel Hayom
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African migrant demonstrators bring protest to Jerusalem
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Dr. Haim Shine

Israel has done its part

The infiltrator issue poses a true moral dilemma. Socrates, the great Greek philosopher, taught us to not decide moral dilemmas based on emotion, because emotion is a very bad guide when one is dealing with significant existential issues. It is very easy to be captivated by the tears of a young girl or the shouts of people seeking asylum and work. The fact that we are Jews, with our own agonizing historical baggage, should not influence how we treat this complex problem, which has far-reaching implications for the lives of Israeli citizens. One who self-righteously pities the illegal border infiltrators is being cruel to the many Israelis who have to cope with these infiltrators on a daily basis.

The vast majority of migrant workers who demonstrated on the streets of Tel Aviv are not refugees according to the definition of the international refugee convention. They passed through several countries on their way here, faced no real threats to their lives in their countries of origin and their entry into Israel was clearly illegal. Their entry was facilitated by a well-oiled human trafficking network, which smuggled them into Israel in exchange for money.

No sensible person would agree to host and provide for the needs of a robber just because the robber is from a disadvantaged socio-economic background. Little Israel is our home, and there is no justification for welcoming into our home tens of thousands of illegal border infiltrators. If there are some among us who are sensitive to their hardships, then it is they who should host the infiltrators in their homes or exploitative restaurants, rather than leaving them to roam the streets of south Tel Aviv.

Israel is dealing with the infiltrators with great sensitivity. In U.S. states near the border with Mexico, illegal border infiltrators are shot at and during U.S. President Barack Obama's time in office, more than 1 million illegal migrants have been deported from America. In Italy, Greece, France and Spain, illegal migrants are fined, imprisoned and speedily deported. Little Israel, on the other hand, is giving them financial aid and trying to make agreements with other countries to absorb them -- agreements that sometimes are of great cost to Israeli taxpayers.

The Israeli government, at the expensive cost of a new border fence and increased law enforcement, has succeeded in almost completely cutting off the flow of incoming infiltration. Now, with sensitivity and determination, it must move the infiltrators who are here to other countries that will also contribute to solving the problems of Africa. Israel has already made the contribution of absorbing millions of immigrants who were forced to leave their home countries. Now it is the world's turn to prove that it is willing and able.

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