Interior Minister Eli Yishai..
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
With the fates of hundreds of foreign workers’ children hanging in the balance,
the government delayed Sunday a key decision regarding whether or not they
should be expelled. Before deciding to not decide, the government heard the
recommendations submitted by the inter-ministerial committee established to
examine the issue.
Foreign workers, their children and their supporters
protested opposite the Prime Minister’s Office, where the meeting took place.
But the highly-publicized and controversial issue was the final item in the
weekly cabinet meeting’s agenda, and as a result, Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu told ministers following a short discussion that there was
insufficient time to conclude the debate, and that it would be continued next
C'tee: 800 foreign workers' kids to stay ‘Send them back where they came from’
Support and opposition within the government for the expulsion of
the children is still not entirely clear. Interior Minister Eli Yishai (Shas) is
expected to support their deportation, and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz
hinted Sunday that he too will support such a move.
“No one is deporting
children,” complained Yishai during the meeting. “The parents of these children
that are here illegally are invited to return to their countries after an
extended vacation here. They are using their children as human
“There are no good guys and no bad guys here, there is just a
lot of hypocrisy,” continued Yishai, blasting his colleagues who intended to
vote to allow the children to stay. “The same ministers that will vote in favor
of the report have to ask themselves if they would want these children to study
at the same schools as their own children.”
The government was expected
to approve the recommendations of the inter-ministerial committee
children of foreign workers, which will minimize the number of children
deported to their parents’ country of origin.
Representatives of the
Finance, Welfare and Social Services, Justice and Interior Ministries
participated in the special committee.
The committee recommended that
children be allowed to stay in the country if they arrived before age
spent five consecutive years in the country, and are enrolled in primary
secondary schools in Israel.