Visit the new AsenaTv Website

Lapid says Israel should deport 40,000 Eritrean ‘economic migrants’

At English-language town hall in Jerusalem, Yesh Atid head says his party may try to step up deportations, stresses Israeli obligation to harbor refugees from 'places like Darfur' Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid on Wednesday said

At English-language town hall in Jerusalem, Yesh Atid head says his party may try to step up deportations, stresses Israeli obligation to harbor refugees from ‘places like Darfur’

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid on Wednesday said Israel should deport the majority of illegal migrants from Africa, while harboring the “small group of refugees” who fled persecution in their home countries.

Speaking at a town hall meeting in Jerusalem to a crowd of 500 English-speaking immigrants, the opposition MK lamented the “horrible” situation in south Tel Aviv, in neighborhoods that have seen a large influx of Sudanese and Eritrean asylum seekers.

He also signaled he may support government-backed legislation to step up deportation measures.

“What we need to do is we need to expel those who came here only to seek a job,” said Lapid. “There are two groups. There’s a small group of refugees, people who come from places like Darfur, where there was something that’s not a Holocaust because nothing is like the Holocaust, but it’s almost there,” he continued.

“And we as Jews have an obligation to shelter those” being persecuted, he said, and can’t be “indifferent to what happened in Darfur and other places.”

“But it’s not our problem to deal with forty or thirty-five thousand people who came here from Eritrea looking for a job. We need to expel them, whether they agree or not. And if laws should be changed, laws should be changed,” Lapid added.

He also said there was “no clear-cut solution,” and “none of those things are going to happen tomorrow, because it’s complicated.”

Calling for a national plan to rebuild the southern Tel Aviv neighborhoods, the opposition MK, who grew up in south Tel Aviv, described the situation in the residential area as “horrible.”

The crowd of some 500 immigrants from English-speaking countries, many of them religious, applauded when Lapid laid down his proposal on fighting corruption, and cheered his vows never to divide Jerusalem and to push for the draft of the ultra-Orthodox into the IDF.

The varied questions from participants ranged from the high cost of living in Israel, to neglect of Arab towns in the south and north, Jerusalem municipal affairs, Israel’s chief rabbinate and government bureaucracy, elder abuse, the Gaza power crisis, Hezbollah, and the peace process.

Lapid’s comments on the migrants were in line with the government stance, which has stated that most of the illegal migrants are economic migrants and should be deported.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said the tens of thousands of Africans who are living in Israel illegally are not legitimate refugees or asylum seekers, but instead are economic migrants.

“They aren’t refugees,” Netanyahu told his ministers at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. “Or at least most of them aren’t.”

“Most of them are looking for jobs,” he asserted.

Netanyahu, who last week announced the establishment of a ministerial committee to deal with the influx of largely Sudanese and Eritrean migrants to Israel in recent years, vowed to “remove [the] illegal aliens who don’t belong here.”

The prime minister’s remarks come on the heels of a Supreme Court ruling that said the government could continue its controversial practice of deporting undocumented migrants to an unnamed third country, but also said it could no longer jail for more than 60 days those who refuse to leave.

Israel has for several years been pressuring migrants to relocate to Uganda and Rwanda, through incarceration in detention facilities and the promise of financial incentives. Following the ruling, Israeli officials said they would amend the law so that migrants could be deported without their consent as well.

According to the African Refugee Development Center, there are approximately 46,437 Africans in Israel who consider themselves asylum seekers. The majority, 73 percent, are from Eritrea, and approximately 19% are from Sudan. The refugees say they fled persecution and even genocide in their home countries.

The ruling — effectively hobbling the deportation program — was met with outrage by many lawmakers and residents of south Tel Aviv, an area that has seen a large influx of illegal African migrants in recent years.

Many local residents have protested the asylum seekers, who they claim engage in crime and have overrun their neighborhood. On Saturday, hundreds of residents protested outside the home of Supreme Court President Miriam Naor, demanding “human rights for citizens too.”

During a solidarity visit to Tel Aviv last Thursday, Netanyahu, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Culture Minister Miri Regev toured south Tel Aviv and vowed that the government would “give back” the neighborhood to its Israeli residents.

Netanyahu has previously said the government would take a three-pronged approach to the issue: a security fence along the Egyptian border, which has already succeeded in significantly reducing the number of migrants who cross into Israel from African countries; increased enforcement against those employ illegal migrants and migrants who break the law; and the ministerial committee, which the prime minister said he will lead himself.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

Review overview
  • haki September 8, 2017

    1.why Eritreans are facing this hell if they have a responsible leader?
    2.why people in their right mind decide to take the route to Israel or pay a halluva lot of money to traffickers to be smuggled to the hell on earth?
    3.Are those 40k-50k so-called Eritreans in Israel real Eritreans?why am i asking this question is that because there are those black jewish from Ethiopia who resemble Eritreans.So by tricking Eritreans and the world, easly they can create another jewish state in Eritrea.If they are Eritreans no one has right to prevent them from going back to their country but prior to that the regime must do a thorough screening on their identity.As the proverb goes, when 2 elephants fight it is only the grass that suffers,it is Eritreans the victims and it is our foults .Because we were not smart enough to protect ourselves from evils.

  • amanuel September 8, 2017

    While israel or any country has the right to not harbour refugees, no country has the right to twist facts to suite its intention to expell them. In this case forced endless national service is modern day open slavery and should have been condemned with Strongest term possible. Countries like israel who claim to democratic should have expelled all eritrean authorities fro israel along with the refugees to show their credibility to core values of humanity.

    • kokhob September 9, 2017

      You are a disgraceful muslim ghost changing his freaking names, identities, religion and etc…
      Yes indeed, countries like Israel are more democratic than your disgraceful barbarian Arabs.
      You have no moral or legal rights to speak on behalf of our unfortunate refugees in Israel or anywhere else. Your evil ELF ghedli is the main cause of all the refugees shames and problems.

      • Tesfaldetabraha September 9, 2017

        You are talking to Amanuel Eyasu he is the one talking abaut israel

        • kokhob September 9, 2017

          Tesfaldet BegiE Seraye, keep eating your filthy Canadian/Seraye grass and keep chewing it all the time! Politics is too unhealthy for you tesfu BegiE.
          This poser muslim ghost should be using his stinky moslem pen names.
          Amanuel Eyassu is a hard working honest gentleman. Tersfu hatela get lost.

      • amanuel September 9, 2017

        Elf is not ruling eritrea, where this refugees are fleeing from. They are fleeing eplf or hgdf to be accurate. So talking about jeha that does not exist is nonsense like u are.

    • Alamz September 12, 2017

      Greeting all. The state of Israel has every right to expel (not deporting to Eritrea) all these economic migrant. National service should not be a blanket and the only case to grant asylum. By the way, no other country knows the purpose of having a mandatory national service better than Israel and that is why Israel granted protection to less than 1% of the 55k so called Eritreans.
      I am glad Europian finally start to come to the moment of truth. They are making it at least asylum more difficult. A fake story for an asylum application cases will not go forward unchecked.

  • haki September 8, 2017

    I do not believe this 40k-50k so called Eritrean refugees are Eritreans.I suspect they are Ethiopian black jewish Isrealis.. May be the Israelis are manipulating things and creating bogus stories to resettlle them in Eritrea in order to create another jewish state in the horn of Africa. ,they could also be Eritreans but the suspision outweighs the reality.Because it is hard to believe that there are people on this earth who go to Israel to live in peace voluntarly.My gut feeling tells me to be very suspicious in such occasions because as Eritrea has not a viable,transparent,responsible government and the exodus of the mass accompanied with it…as the people are already uprooted scattered all over the world and only the elderly the sick and kids are left behind it is an easy prey for any predator.

  • senkam September 9, 2017

    Lapid is repeating what the Isreali government has been saying for years now. They often pick it as issue to lower the temprature some other domestic issues that boiled to threaten their political power. Despite that some of Lapids arguments are from the stupid corner. He doesn’t consider offering protection to anyone from Africa if the presecution and torture rate iin their respective countries is less than that of the hollocust. That point is like hitting the jack pot of stupidity. Isreal overall though is a land of law. Given its own history it better know what it means to escape slavery, torture and killings and head wherever fate takes you. If Lapids and those other right wing politicicians were serious about the issue they can analyze the countries from where the refugesss are coming, Definetly they will have the answer written in the wall. They should not base their denial to give protection on the number of people killed arbitrarily in their country,( that info is only known by few like MOSAD). But it is easy to know about what is going on in a country that is dominating the world chart in refugee production. Does it has consititution, how many leaders it had in the last 25 years, did it ever had election, what is its human rights record, if it has no constitution how does it run, what industries it built over that 25 year period, does it allow freedom of speech, what is its relation with the world and its neighbors, does it has civic societies, any functioning institutions, does it allow alternative ideas through political participation, any prisoners, ……

  • Bazen September 9, 2017

    What are you talking about? tiny Jewish Israel that our Jebha-shaebia leaders taught us “… our struggle is anti imperialism and zionism” when we were fools?
    Our Arab-muslim “brothers” or is it masters are snatching our kidney and robbing millions of dollars or selling us to Arab slavery as we hand them our Assab and Massawa ports for nothing and dying with then in Yemen as their hired Abeeds, Still they are deporting us to Issaias Afewerki. Checkout this week’s news:

    “Sudanese courts deported 104 Eritrean refugees in August, and sentenced others to imprisonment for their ‘illegal infiltration into the Sudanese territory’. A group of refugees was detained on its way to Libya more than a month ago.

    Forty-four of the 104 Eritreans deported by courts in Khartoum and Kassala were women, sources informed Radio Dabanga. 43 people remain in Omdurman, awaiting trial.”

    • amanuel September 9, 2017

      Kemey hadirka?
      Entatie izerie aleku.
      Halewlew milkit himam riesi eya. Fleta bsheaka fewsi dileyela

      • Dawit September 9, 2017

        Wedi Halima the savage evil moslem rootless saHab gimel AbduroboSaho whore snake, why don’t you start a jihadi/taliban comedy show with your camels as your supporting crew and calling it the savage Abdurobo Saho and his stinky camel’s circus show?? You don’t have any guts, you are only full of stinky Islam’s hot air.
        You simply not good enough to shine/to clean as a “listro” the great Bazen’s shoes.

    • andom September 10, 2017

      U must be very old to remember jebha and what they taught u.

  • AHMED SALEH !!! September 9, 2017

    Eritrean problems solution lies at the hand of natives.
    Sudan , Israel and others have not any obligation to
    accommodate our people .
    Our ego , empty pride , denual plus arrogance has been the root cause for this predicament . At the end
    we created corrupted military government that don’t
    respect rule of law except material exploitation .
    These young generation are product of totalitarian
    system of HGDF that produced a big number of refugees to seek better future .
    I hope to see a turning point in Eritrean politics sooner
    than latter which can bring calm atmosphere that may
    give promising future to those young age generation .
    Otherwise forced indefinite national service will only
    worsen the situation .

    • Dawit September 9, 2017

      Sheikh ahmed bin saleh al Yemeni,
      You say so much to mean so little!!!! Shall we simply say garbage in garbage out!!!!!!
      Once again, please enlighten us with your tremendous knowledge/wisdom as to who you
      referring “to accommodate our people”, are you talking about your Sudanese or Yemeni people?
      Indeed the young poor generation are the victims of your savage evil Islam’s alien revolution.

      • Dawit September 9, 2017

        Mr Ahmed, reading again your comment truly well said brother.
        I was just mad with your compulsive liar cheat cousin Abdurobo posing as amanuel.
        Once again, very sorry and please keep it up exposing HGDF’s brutality.
        Most of all I admire you being levelheaded about the empty pride, denial & arrogance.

        • andom September 10, 2017

          Shermutan ewalan fetiromuka kikonu alewom. Amhara nkemaka entay yibluwo mesleka dawt-asadagi yebedelew!

          • sami September 10, 2017

            Wedi shermuTa akur komal aslamy abdu,
            Kab humumat aKalib Areb’ya welidatika Kelbi FaTuma adeKha.
            The amhara may also say ‘Yabedech wisha yebedelachu’.
            MaAkorika teHatsibka, tegibiHiKha sheyinka dekis kem kelbi areb.

      • AHMED SALEH !!! September 9, 2017

        Anta negheregna , I am not angry .
        Seriously your foolish comments make me laugh .
        Truth to be told ;
        These young generation are victims of
        your alike . And spare us from your
        fake Christian advocacy after you ruined their life . KEZABAT

        • Dawit September 9, 2017

          Anta Tibebegna buda, I am truly amazed…
          How could a foolish ignorant man like you read my foolish comments?????
          If the truth to be told….
          You have absolutely nothing better to do in your boring lonely beggars life.
          It is the inferiority complex that is compiling you to be part of us.
          We do not want you, you’ve never been and will never be part of us.
          Get this reality and facts into your brick desert sand filled muslim pig’s head. You are and will always be the poisonous muslim CANCER to Eritrea.

          • Danilo September 9, 2017

            ጠበቂኖ dawit, you are not serious man. You don’t even care what your microchip guide you through. ኣብታ ዘለኻያ ጸባብ ዳኣ ንስኻስ።I wouldn’t expect from abnormal mind guidance on refugees issue. Be honest with your self. For sure you are looking the war of crusade but why? Are you also confident to win the war? Only your masters knows .By the way , robot is very accurate to shoot mouth to mouth insult.

          • kokhob September 10, 2017

            Danilo Scarico,
            Should we cry or laugh with your pathetic muslim gimmicks?
            Why don’t you just wash your stinking evil muslim ass five times, wash your poisonous muslim snakes and camels about ten times then bend over and keep praying for 72 snaky muslim virgins and at last rest disgracefully as a piece of muslim garbage in your snaky Islam graves. In short muslim scarico, too much halewlews will seriously damage your already damaged snake existence.

        • amanuel September 10, 2017

          Ahmed saleh
          Please ignore the person who is using d/t names postings. Look at the comments of everybody else. The discussion is diverted into back and forth hellowlew. That means this bastard is winning. He is nothing but unpaid hgdf agent or a disgruntled person suffering from identity crisis. So lets focus on teaching / informing each other with emphasis on developing tollerance, defending the rights of all eritreans. That is what worries me with those who call themselves opposition but preach hate based on narrow regionalism as their best hidden/ open ajenda. Although narow regionalism is not going to get them any where and they are the ultimate loosers, they will continue to cause damage to the country atleast in short term.

        • andom September 11, 2017

          Sami afaf
          Makorey kulu gizie eye zihaxba.kemaka shikak endacheneku aykeyidin eye. Xiriyet win tixela eka. Bedan. Amhara kemaka resah- gimatam yibluwo.

      • Sol September 11, 2017

        ሳሚ ተኽላይ
        ዕብዳን ወይስ ምውሳኽ ደሞዝ ኣብዚ ደረጃ ናይ ሕስረት ኣውሪዱካ ዘሎ????

  • Danilo September 10, 2017

    ኣብሽር ኮኾባይ፡Assenna is due to publish your IP very soon. I hope you are not near by to me

    • kokhob September 10, 2017

      Danilo Scarico, for the first time you genuinely made me laugh loud, really a good one!!
      Get your Italian and Arab slave masters to help Assenna with their investigation or disclosures!!

      • Danilo September 10, 2017

        Okay, be ready! assemble your wheelchair, collect your personal belongings. remember not to forget calming drugs and good luck.

        • kokhob September 10, 2017

          Danilo Scarico shito, you are really and sadly letting me down drastically with your sheer ignorance “tesita de galo – reisi miraKh” or more like reisi useless toothless moslem TebeK!!!!
          The freaking wheelchairs are only for your kind evil ELF’s losers foot soldiers and the collection of personal belongings is also for your type illegal immigrants and stinky moslem nomads.
          Next time make sure you first grasp what exactly we talking about before you rush to your ignorant Italian/Arab slave scribbling. Get lost dumb pig.

  • Simon G September 11, 2017

    The topic is about Israel trying deport Eritreans you two riffraff cousins (HGDF + TPLF remnants). Get lost.

    • Dawit September 11, 2017

      Did your barbaric Islamic ELF criminal shefatu/bandits deKalu sibling die like dogs to make poor Eritrea a spare market, toilet, wash their stinking camels, misuse our ports, cheap prostitutes, make our youth as refugees and to be raped and beheaded by your savage evil muslim Arab slave masters????? Your dumb criminal shefatu/bandits sibling were just used up as condoms.

      • Simon G September 11, 2017

        Why are you concerned in Eritrean affairs you useless riffraff? Don’t you have a country to worry?

        • Lingo September 12, 2017

          Suleiman bin diKhala Ghebreaneniya al Hatelaguzay, Can’t you throw me a better or heavier punch so that I would respond to you with lots heavier and killer punches!! As you’ve really disappointed me with your mosquito punch/bite, yes I did have a country but it is infested, poisoned, raided, savaged by your type deKhalu mercenaries, the evil lowland moslem illegal immigrants the remnants of the savage barbaric evil Islamic ELF mendef shit.

          • Simon G September 12, 2017

            ሓተላ ናይ ትግራይ! Get lost. ቁርዲድ ዋሒድ!