About 1000 protesters gathered in Tel Aviv’s Hatikva neighborhood on Wednesday, calling for the expulsion of African asylum seekers from Israel. The agitated crowd was at times violent, attacking Africans walking by, setting garbage cans on fire, smashing car windows and looting stores, resulting in 17 arrests. The protest was inspired in part by a series of rapes that had occurred recently, all involving young Israeli women and Sudanese and Eritrean assailants as well as a marked increase in crime in the South Tel Aviv neighborhoods. Likud MK Miri Regev spoke at the protest and declared that “the Sudanese were a cancer in our body.” Likud MK Danny Danon called on the government to deport the Sudanese, saying that he spoke to the President of Sudan who said to him “no problem, send them back to us.” Ynet reports that:
Earlier Wednesday, Interior Minister Eli Yishai said the construction of a fence along the border with Egypt would not stop the influx of foreigners into Israel. “The fence has been breached in the past and it will be breached many more times in the future,” he said during a Knesset session…. The minister said that if given the mandate, there will not be a single infiltrator left in Israel in one year’s time. “I would change the law so that every infiltrator is put in jail. Then he can decide whether he wants to remain imprisoned or go back to his home country,” he said.
But this is politicking at its most grotesque. MKs have no business inciting crowds at rallies. And what can one say about the stupidity of their words? Miri Regev is simply disgusting. Danny Danon is delusional, ignoring refugee related commitments Israel has under international law. So does Eli Yishai who completely ignores the fact that there are no facilities in Israel capable of detaining 60,000 refugees. Danon said that the refugee problem threatens to end the Zionist Dream. I think every time Danon opens his mouth, the Zionist Dream actually dies a little.
Furthermore, of the 60,000 refugees in Israel, only 1,500 are Sudanese. What makes this so rich is that Schunat Hatikvah has always been a shit hole. When Israel was flooded with prostitutes, the government cynically allowed a flourishing sex trade in the neighborhood because, well, who gives a shit about a bunch of poor Mizrachi Jews? And the only reason these Likud clowns give a shit now is because we’re about a year away from an election. I should change the title of this post to shit goes to South Tel Aviv.
Whatever. Don’t get me started. In the meantime, enjoy this video from Balkan Beat Box, shot in the embattled neighborhood, featuring its diverse residents. Called “Part Of The Glory” it emphasizes our shared humanity. And it also rocks…