Barak: Revote on foreign workers' kids

Defense minister calls decision to expel 400 children "scandalous."

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
August 25, 2010 21:06
1 minute read.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

ehud barak 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Defense Minister and Labor chairman Ehud Barak announced Wednesday that he intends to initiate another cabinet discussion on the fate of foreign workers children on Sunday.

Barak was not present at last month's cabinet debate on the issue, due to a visit to Washington. A decision to expel 400 foreign workers' children while granting residency to 800 passed by a thin margin at the meeting.

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"The decision to grant residency to 800 foreign workers children was proper and justified, but the decision to expel the remaining 400 was
scandalous. Sights of police raiding the homes of the workers and forcibly removing children, of jail cells full of families, and of Interior Ministry inspectors forcing Hebrew-speaking children onto planes would cause irrevocable damage to all of us both internally and externally.

Barak rejected the argument that the 400 children and others like them constituted a demographic threat. He called for drafting new, firm, and clear guidelines for foreign workers and their families.

"In the history of this country, the authorities here have never forcibly expelled Hebrew-speaking children just because their parents sinned by living here against the law," Barak said.

National Union MK Arye Eldad responded that Israel did indeed forcibly expel children from their homes when it evacuated Gaza five years ago.

"They didn't expel the children of Gush Katif because parents sinned but because they were Jewish," Eldad said. "In that case, it was the Knesset and the government that sinned."


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