Yishai on FM criticism: Liberman unhelpful on migrant issue

June 18, 2012 15:49
1 minute read.

Interior Minister Eli Yishai on Monday responded to criticism leveled at him by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman on the issue of African migrants, saying that "there are those who are busy with commentary and there are those who are busy with doing. The Foreign Ministry should find a country to send the Eritreans instead of fighting for respect."

Liberman -- in an apparent reference to Interior Minister Eli Yishai -- said the overheated rhetoric over the issue was damaging his ministry’s efforts to find solutions to the 51,000 Eritrean and Sudanese migrants who cannot be deported, as well as harming Israel’s image in the US.

"We are waiting for responses from Foreign Ministry about whether the migrants from Eritrea and Sudan can be sent home or whether a third country can be found to take them," Yishai said. "There has been no effort at all from Foreign Ministry to find a solution for the migrants. I hope the foreign minister will help, which it hasn't until now. Of course the world will clap for us if we don't expel the migrants and we allow more to come in, but I will gladly give up on that applause."

"The pictures from yesterday can be used by the Foreign Ministry to show how humane Israel is being to the migrants and improve our public relations," Yishai added. "But what really matters is not what the world will say but what we do for the citizens of Israel."

Yishai also denied his campaign had anything to do with the State Comptroller's report on the Carmel Fire.

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