UPDATE 1:05 am Israel time Friday: At 11:24 pm–an hour and a half ago–there was an incoming terrorist rocket alarm for the northern Negev. At 11:31 pm, a Qassam rocket was fired by Hamas terrorists at Sderot. At 10:58 pm there was an incoming rocket alert for Sderot.
UPDATE 7 pm Israel time Thursday: No major terrorist events reported thus far today after the rash of missile fire from Gaza yesterday.
Anybody who has been to Israel lately can see the problem in a second. In virtually every town and city, illegal migrants from Sudan and Eritrea crowd on street corners and in parks. In some cities such as Eilat and Mitzpe Ramon, as much as 25% of the population is now Sudanese and Eritrean. South Tel Aviv has become home to one of the largest migrant neighborhoods in the country.
And, despite the rush to build a fence to stem the migrant tide along the Israel-Egyptian border, the Sudanese and Eritreans continue pouring into Israel at the rate of 2500 per month. What the illegal migrant population of Israel is today is anybody’s guess; estimates range from 50,000 to 75,000. Most of these illegal migrants are Muslim.
Once in Israel, the migrants intermarry among their own groups and have children with the result that there are now Sudanese and Eritrean nursery schools and kindergartens springing up everywhere.
While many of these migrants earnestly seek work–Israeli construction sites are full of migrant workers as are hotels around the country–, the Israeli media has been increasingly reporting the crime emanating from the migrant neighborhoods, crimes such as rape, theft, and even murder.
As a result, numerous marches have taken place around the country in the last few weeks demanding that the government deal with the problem. However, these illegal migrants have found friends in the so-called “human rights” NGOs such as the New Israel Fund which have been fighting to force the Israeli government to provide the migrants with citizenship benefits, and going to court to stop the country from deporting them by claiming that they are not actually economic migrants but political refugees.
The situation has reached a tipping point.
This morning, a Jerusalem district court rejected a petition by NGOs to stop the deportation of migrants back to South Sudan, stating in its decision that the NGOs had failed to demonstrate that the migrants would be in physical danger were they to be returned to their country. In short, the court ruled that the migrants are migrants, not refugees.
Immediately thereafter PM Netanyahu convened an emergency meeting of his security cabinet in which he outlined a four-pronged plan to deal with the problem:
1. completing the fence along the Egyptian border
2. building new holding facilities in the Negev and expanding existing ones
3. transferring illegal migrants captured on the border directly into the holding facilities
4. levying heavy fines on employers who hire illegal migrants
It is expected that the deportation of “south” Sudanese–who only number about 2000 of the total number of migrants–will begin immediately. But, as you know dear reader, nothing happens immediately in Israel. Groups such as the New Israel Fund will fight the government tooth and nail every step of the way.
Nevertheless, your humble servant is pleased to see that the government is finally doing something to reverse a potentially catastrophic demographic trend. As Interior Minister Eli Yishai said today: “This is not a war against infiltrators. This is a war for the preservation of the Zionist and Jewish dream in the land of Israel.”