Last week the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, ordered the expulsion of over 25,000 African immigrants from Israel.
Although there are claims that the deportations exclude the political refugees from Sudan and Eritrea, majority of the deportees hail from Ethiopia, South Sudan, Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana, and are in Israel to seek for better economic opportunities.
Tensions have been flaring in Israel’s financial center, Tel Aviv, over the growing population of African immigrants who remain largely undocumented.
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Things turned violent last month when several hundred people demonstrated against the presence of the immigrants, hurling racial slurs and proceeding to breaking windshields of cars that some immigrants were in.
Only five demonstrators were arrested, and the Prime Minister had nothing to say except “…the phenomenon of illegal immigrants from Africa is extremely serious and threatens the foundations of Israeli society, national security and national identity.”
Unfortunately, this violent clash of anti-Black racism is hardly the last to be seen from Israel, especially since the protestors have the support of the Israeli government.
Israel is building a large detention complex that when completed, will be able to hold as many as 11,000 people. The Israeli government’s spokesman, Mark Regev, said that the detention center will help curb economic migration to the country. He said, "We are currently the only first-world economy and the only democracy in the region. But for people coming from countries like Somalia and Sudan, we cannot be the solution."
This blatant racially-fueled lack of support for people in need of asylum and a wider range of opportunities for development will only hurt the nations that these immigrants come from. If people do not have access to a safe space where they can seize opportunities that can enable them to help the conflicts in certain areas of their countries, how can any nation grow?
Israel’s policy is a thinly-veiled discriminatory form of individualism, one that enables first-world countries to grow while being supported by third-world countries, who in turn suffer from economic suffocation.
Photo credit: Getty Images Europe