African migrants at Lewinsky Park in Tel Aviv, January 9, 2014..
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post))
After a week-long strike and days of protests in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, the
African migrant community has vowed to continue pushing, with members saying
they don’t believe the end of the protests is in sight.
Isaac, who has long taken part in protests and activism in the migrant
community, said Thursday that while they didn’t know what the next step would
be, they planned to remain on strike indefinitely.
He said people weren’t
worried that their jobs wouldn’t be waiting for them when the strike was
“We aren’t thinking about this at the moment. We believe
that so far, the protests have been a success, and we expect things to change on
the ground,” he said.
On Thursday morning, thousands of African migrants
gathered again in south Tel Aviv’s Lewinsky Park to discuss the next step in the
Isaac said he still didn’t know what they would do next, but
that there were plans to hold a march of women and children from the migrant
community outside Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar’s house in Tel Aviv on Saturday
Orit Marom of Assaf, an NGO that assists African migrants and has
helped support the protests, said she, too, did not know what next week would
hold, and was just waiting to hear from the activists in the migrant
She added that personally she would be going to the Knesset on
Tuesday, where her organization and others have been invited to testify before
the Interior Committee about the source of funding for the protests.
have nothing to hide, its fine,” she said.
“We can barely pay our own
Asked if the protests have been a success, she said,
“Of course – these protests reached every household in Israel. The big problem
with this issue was that people weren’t familiar with it. Now, no one can say
The demonstrators have focused on two main demands – that the
state stop jailing migrants based on the anti-infiltration amendment, and that
it begin comprehensively examining the migrants’ asylum requests.