(photo credit: Channel 2)
Calling on people to harbor foreign workers families who face deportation is not an act of revolt and is not prosecutable by law, Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein decided on Monday.
Weinstein wrote in a letter to Interior Minister Eli Yishai that he failed to find grounds for a criminal investigation of social activists who had called on the public to hide children of foreign workers facing deportation. The letter was submitted in response to a request by Yishai, in September, to prosecute activists who advocated actions that went counter to cabinet decisions.
In September, at the height of the public debate over the deportation of children of illegal foreign workers, several activists, including the head of the Kibbutz movement action committee, Yoel Marshak, called on the public to protect the children and their families by opening their homes to them, out of the belief that inspectors from the Interior Ministry’s Oz Unit would be reluctant to look for them in the homes of ordinary Israelis.
At the time, Marshak said that kibbutzim would be willing to hide the children to make the immigration police’s task more difficult.
Weinstein wrote that while the calls to hide foreign workers and their
children were severe and out of place, in light of the cabinet’s
decision to deport those of the children who do not meet certain
conditions, the prosecution’s policies on issues related to free speech
are, as a rule, limited and only used in extreme cases.
Weinstein said that if the calls to harbor the children turn into actions, they ought to be dealt with on an individual basis.