Ethiopian Jews arrive at Ben Gurion Airport in January, part of a pro-Jewish immigration ideology that would deport children of non-Jewish migrants.
Q: What do Arizona and Israel have in common? A: An uncanny disregard for immigrant rights. Two weeks ago the Israeli Cabinet voted to deport 400 children of migrant workers, and even after the wife of the Israeli prime minister wrote a letter pleading for amnesty for them, the Cabinet has refused to reconsider.
As in most immigration paradoxes, Israel needs labor—it has encouraged thousands of foreign workers to take jobs after it barred most Palestinians from employment inside Israel—but many Israelis also insist on “ensuring the Jewish character of the state of Israel,” which migrant workers would necessarily dilute. —JCL
The wife of the Israeli prime minister has protested over a decision by her husband’s cabinet to deport 400 children of migrant workers, adding her voice to an emotional debate about the nature of the Jewish state.
Sara Netanyahu wrote a letter to Eli Yishai, the hardline cabinet member in charge of the deportation programme, appealing for a review of the controversial decision, which is backed by her husband, Binyamin Netanyahu.
“I appeal to you as a mother of two young boys and a psychologist in the public service,” wrote Mrs Netanyahu. “I am asking you, from the bottom of my heart, to ... allow the vast majority of the 400 remaining children to stay in Israel.”