Hatikva residents call on gov't to deport all illegal foreign workers

Hatikva residents call o

Roughly 50 residents of south Tel Aviv demonstrated in the Hatikva market on Monday evening, calling on the government to implement its policies regarding the deportation of illegal foreign workers. The protest, organized by the Hatikva-Shapira action committee, called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his cabinet to stand firm on the decision to deport illegal migrants and not back down in the face of "leftist and media-driven propaganda." Demonstrators waved Israeli flags and carried signs that read, "Stop the hypocrisy" and "Move the workers from the south to the north." "We've decided to put an end to all the suffering that has been caused by presence of illegal migrants who are here in our neighborhood," said Oren Zargari, chairman of the action committee. "They take up jobs and residences, but most of all it's because of the fear. People, especially young women, are afraid to walk around at night. The feeling of personal safety has really diminished," he said. Zargari explained that the demonstration was also against human rights activists who were oblivious to the damage foreign workers did to the southern neighborhoods. "If they want to be humane, they should do it in their northern neighborhoods and bring the foreigners there. It's hard for us, our neighborhoods are already in bad shape," he said. "It's time to clean up the neighborhood from all the foreign workers. I have to send my son to a different school because there is no room left in ours. All the students are black, Filipino, Thai, Chinese or Turkish. People think we're stupid or mentally ill because we are silent in the face of what's going on," said local resident Aviva Mordechai. "It also leads to a lot of assimilation, because Jewish women go out with Sudanese men and Jewish men go out with Filipina women. This never used to happen," Mordechai said. "Today, we can't go out at night and feel safe. I used to go out until two in the morning, today I'm afraid to walk out after eight," said Zmira Levy. When asked how long it has been like this, Levy said things had gotten bad in the last six or seven years. "It would be better if instead of bringing in foreign workers, they'd give the jobs to recovering drug addicts. That way something good would come out of it," she said. "I'd be willing to do the job of a foreign worker," said 17-year-old Netanel Sofer. "I could do the job of a Filipino care-giver." Taking a megaphone, Zargari once again called on the prime minister to implement the deportation policy. "The foreign workers have a country of their own. They have families waiting for them there. Send them back," he said to the cheering of the crowd. Earlier on Monday evening, the Labor Party called on the government to grant Israeli citizenship to the 1,200 children of foreign workers who were born in Israel and are scheduled for deportation. "It is our Jewish, national and moral duty to allow the children to stay," Labor chairman Ehud Barak said during a discussion in the weekly faction meeting. The motion was suggested by the party's Minority Affairs Minister Avishay Braverman.