African ‘infiltrators’ should live in camp, MK says

Katz warns Sudanese, Eritrean migrants "every day are advancing dozens of meters closer to Dizengoff on their way to Akirov and Ramat Aviv.”

By
March 24, 2010 03:22
3 minute read.
National Union MK Ya'acov Katz.

yaacov katz 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
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The problem of African migrants in Israel is so dire that it requires the immediate building of a labor camp for asylum-seekers in the South, MK Ya’acov Katz (National Union) said on Tuesday.

Katz, chairman of the Knesset’s Committee on Foreign Workers, presented his panel with a proposal on Tuesday to build a city for migrants a “reasonable distance” from the border with Egypt, which will be the only place in Israel that infiltrators are legally allowed to live in Israel. Katz said the refugees will be employed in the construction of the city and the recently approved border fence with Egypt, as well as road construction projects in Israel’s south.

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Such labor will be a burden on the infiltrators and will “encourage them not to recommend to their relatives to follow them to Israel,” he said.

“They might even ask to pay another $2,500 each to the smugglers who brought them here, so that they will take them back home,” Katz added.

In a press release issued on Tuesday titled “Tel Aviv: Wake up!” Katz said the Africans infiltrating the Sinai border threaten the state’s Jewish character and could negate its existence.

“Over the course of 100 years the people of Israel have built a Jewish state here. Over the next 10 years, the African infiltrators could change this forever,” Katz said.

“We are all together in the same boat which is in danger of sinking. The Titanic was a strong ship as well, but it also sunk in the end,” he said.

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In the press release, Katz – without giving a source – cites figures showing that between 1,000 and 2,000 people illegally enter Israel through the southern border each month and between 22,000 and 25,000 already live here.

According to Katz, in six or seven years, that last figure will be between 75,000 and 100,000.

Katz said he recently visited Arad with his committee and “we couldn’t believe our eyes. The entire city has been conquered. The schools in Arad and Eilat are filling with Eritrean and Sudanese children. As of today, some 10 percent of the residents of Arad are Sudanese or Eritrean, Muslims and Christians.”

The “infiltrators” constitute an enemy “surprising us from the rear” and are part of a plot by “the leaders of Sudan and Eritrea, in cooperation with Egypt, to take over the State of Israel,” he said.

Katz warned that the “infiltrators” had already “penetrated [Tel Aviv’s] Hatikva neighborhood, have flooded south Tel Aviv and every day are advancing dozens of meters closer to Dizengoff on their way to Akirov [luxury towers in north Tel Aviv] and Ramat Aviv.”

“A long time ago, people stopped being surprised that the majority of Tel Aviv residents are willing to sell off Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. But surprisingly, in my eyes, they aren’t bothered that their city is turning into an Eritrean and Sudanese city,” Katz said, adding that it “boggles his mind that the secular, liberal and elitist public has lost the will to live.”


Also on Tuesday, Katz toured farms in the Arava along with other MKs, where he called on the government to drop limits on the number of foreigners allowed to work in agriculture.

Shevy Korzen, executive director of the Hotline for Migrant Workers, called Katz’s statements “appalling, racist, and xenophobic” and said she was “shocked that someone could say such things in Israel.”

Korzen also said that Katz’s figures were “baseless” and that over the past four or five years a total of 20,000 refugees entered Israel. She said Katz’s figures are “simply not true and are only meant to put fear into the hearts of Israel.”

“I think it’s extremely ironic that on the eve of Pessah, Ya’acov Katz, who is a religious person, seems to be missing the irony that he is suggesting that people who are running from persecution and are asking for asylum in Israel should be placed in camps that they will be forced to build themselves and be forced to work in hard labor. It seems he followed Pharaoh’s guidebook and is doing what was done to Jews in Egypt,” Korzen said.

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