50 people rally for cooperation between Israelis, African migrants in Tel Aviv

Activist says event meant to show real problem is not migrants, but municipality, gov't policies, lack of resources.

Pro-African migrants rally in south TA 370 (photo credit: Ben Hartman)
Pro-African migrants rally in south TA 370
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
Calling for greater cooperation between native Israelis and African migrants, a group of around 50 people held a rally and march in south Tel Aviv on Sunday night.
Organized by the group “Koah L’kehila” (“Power to the Community”), the rally was attended by a crowd that was predominantly young and Israeli, with some African migrant adults and children holding signs calling for an end to the neglect in south Tel Aviv.
The main theme of the rally was the need for greater personal security in southern areas of the city, said Oscar Olivier, a long-time resident of Tel Aviv originally from the Congo. Olivier said that the organization, which is supported by the New Israel Fund, wanted to stress that the issue of personal security is of importance both to native Israelis and foreigners, and not one that pits the two communities against one another.
“We want to say that we’re all victims of the lack of security in south Tel Aviv. We want to come and ask for these things together, because the situation affects us all.”
He added that the event, the first of its sort held by the organization, is meant to issue a statement that “south Tel Aviv isn’t only violence and xenophobia, there is a different south Tel Aviv, one of dialogue and cooperation.”
Another activist, south Tel Aviv native Chen Cohen Sharabi, said that the message is that “the real problem isn’t the foreigners it’s the policies of the municipality and the government and the insecurity and lack of resources.”
He added that part of the goal of the organization is to encourage people to vote in the upcoming municipal elections for parties that are in opposition to Mayor Ron Huldai.