Tony Greenstein | 04 June 2012 | Post Views:

A State of Judenrats and Pogroms
Interior Minister Eli Yishai.
Photo by Alon Ron

The pogroms that are now taking place in Israel are occurring with the permission and incitement of government politicians, including Prime Minister Netanyahu, who has previously been on record as stating that the existence of 60,000 African refugee ‘problem’ threatens the very existence of an ethno-racial Jewish state in Israel.

In Britain, politicians beat about the bush until Enoch Powell made an overt attack on Black immigration, for which Ted Heath sacked him from the Conservative Shadow Cabinet.  In Israel the Prime Minister and his government’s ministers queue up to see who can make the most racist and inflammatory attack on asylum seekers.  The state’s basic and founding ideology serves to reinforce the racist tendencies inherent in capitalism.   But whereas in Britain there is an officially anti-racist culture, and as we saw with the EDL in Brighton this weekend, Police made arrests for racially motivated chanting, in Israel it is the Prime Minister himself who is shouting from the rooftops with his even more racist Interior Minister, Eli Yeshai.

Last week there was a pogrom against African immigrants in  Tel Aviv.  Last night there was an attempted arson attack on the Jerusalem flat of Africans.

A Jerusalem firefighter
stands outside a torched migrant workers’ apartment. Graffiti reading
‘leave the neighborhood’ led authorities to believe the fire was
Photo by Olivier Fitoussi

What was the response of systemically racist government?  Netanyahu promises to deport 25,000 African migrants and Yishai promises to fine employers who allow asylum seekers to work.  Not word of condemnation of the arsonists nor any attempt to recollect that Jews were the first victims of pogroms in Europe.  

Israel has managed to achieve a ‘normal’ state only much more so.  By seeking a Jewish state in which privileges were accorded according to religion, Israel has become worse than Apartheid South Africa.

Rudolph Vrba, the Jewish escapee from Auschwitz who the Zionist historians, prostitutes to the state all, of Yad Vashem attempted to erase from history, described Israel as a ‘State of Judenrats’ i.e. a state based on collaboration with anti-Semitism.  Now Israel is also the State of Pogroms.

4 injured in suspected arson attack on Jerusalem migrants

Ten Eritrean migrant workers trapped inside apartment, four of whom sustain injuries due to smoke inhalation and burns; graffiti found at site reading ‘leave the neighborhood.’
A Jerusalem firefighter stands outside a torched migrant workers’ apartment. Graffiti reading ‘leave the neighborhood’ led authorities to believe the fire was intentional.

Two Eritrean migrant workers were injured overnight as a result of a fire that erupted in their central Jerusalem apartment. An investigation raised suspicions of arson.

Three firefighting units arrived at the apartment, located on Jaffa Street in central Jerusalem slightly after 3 A.M. Ten Eritrean migrant workers were trapped inside the apartment, two of whom sustained injuries due to smoke inhalation and burns. The firefighters quickly put out the fire and opened an investigation into the incident.

Firefighters say that an initial investigation revealed that the fire was a result of arson, pointing at graffiti found at the scene which read “leave the neighborhood.”According to a Magen David Adom medic who arrived on the scene, the residents of the apartment attempted to put out the fire themselves. They were later taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem.

Jerusalem Police District Chief Niso Shaham instructed a special team to investigate the incident.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat condemned the alleged arson, and along with Shaham discussed plans to fight violence in the city.

Sudanese and Eritrean migrants at the site of the old bus station.
Photo by Daniel Bar-On

The incident came hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered his ministers to accelerate efforts to deport citizens of South Sudan, the Ivory Coast, Ghana and Ethiopia who are living in Israel illegally.

Netanyahu stated that while it is not possible to expel citizens of Eritrea and Sudan, whose lives would be at risk in their home countries, holding facilities for them must be built in the Negev as quickly as possible.

Interior Minister: We will fine mayors who employ African migrants

Eli Yishai tells Israel’s Channel 2 news: Fines will make ciy mayors hire Israelis; more than 1,100 people signed a letter petitioning Attorney General for legal action against MKs in anti-migrant rally.
By Ophir Bar-Zohar and Jonathan Lis | May.24, 2012

Interior Minister Eli Yishai said on Thursday that he plans to fine mayors of Israeli cities who employ migrant workers.

Yishai told Israel’s Channel 2 news that authorities that employ infiltrators will be “personally fined.”

“We will also start to enforce this so that they do not employ infiltrators. They will employ Israelis instead, the place of infiltrators is in the countries that they came from,” the interior minister said.

Yishai added that he condemns the behavior of members of Knesset over the past day: “The struggle would have been handled much better without the unnecessary fervor of politicians over the past day,” he said.

Those close to Yishai explained that until now, the policy of fining city mayors had only been used against municipal heads who were found guilty of unlawful expenses, such as embezzlement.

Yishai will send out a letter this coming week to city mayors, in which he will instruct them pay heed to an interior ministry circular from 2011 over the employment of migrant workers.

The Tel Aviv municipality said in response that, “The municipality does not employ illegal infiltrators and has even approached contracting companies it works with to request they act according to the law, and not employ infiltrators.”

Meanwhile, more than 1,100 people signed a letter distributed by the head of the Peace Now organization Yariv Oppenheimer, demanding a criminal investigation of the MKs who addressed the anti-migrant protest in in Tel Aviv’s Hatikva neighborhood on Wednesday.

The letter, which was addressed to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, urged a criminal investigation against Likud MKs, including Miri Regev, Danny Danon and Yariv Levin.

“It is clear to us that our request is unusual, but the situation is unusual….. and dangerous,” the letter said. “Without the active and decisive action of law enforcement agencies, including starting proceedings against the members of Knesset who stand at the top of the wave of agitation, the speeches and slander will translate into real harm to human life.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyhu condemned the actions of demonstrators and Knesset members on Wednesday, when demonstrators attacked African migrants in South Tel Aviv.

President Shimon Peres said on Thursday that “hatred of foreigners contradicts the foundations of Judaism.”

Meanwhile, dozens of Israelis and Africans demonstrated in south Tel Aviv against Wednesday’s anti-migrant violence on Thursday evening.

In Jerusalem, some 150 people demonstrated outside the Prime Minister’s Residence. An additional protest against incitement to violence against migrants is planned to take place on Friday.

Netanyahu orders swift deportation of 25,000 illegal African migrants

 Orders acceleration of holding facility construction for citizens of Eritrea and Sudan who cannot be deported due to conditions in their home countries.

By Barak Ravid | Jun.04, 2012
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered his ministers to accelerate efforts to deport citizens of South Sudan, the Ivory Coast, Ghana and Ethiopia who are living in Israel illegally on Sunday.

Speaking at Sunday’s cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said that while it is not possible to expel citizens of Eritrea and Sudan, whose lives would be at risk in their home countries, holding facilities for them must be built in the Negev as quickly as possible.

African migrants after crossing border from Sinai Photo Mori Chen

A senior Israeli official said that two different groups of infiltrators were presented during Sunday’s cabinet debate. The first was infiltrators from countries with which Israel has diplomatic relations, and with regard to whom there is no barrier to repatriating them under international law, he said. This group numbers some 25,000 of the approximately 60,000 African migrants now in Israel.

The second group comprises infiltrators from Eritrea, Sudan and Somalia, who cannot be repatriated because their lives would be at risk, according to the official. This group comprises some 35,000 people.

Sudan is classified as an enemy country, another reason that infiltrators can’t be returned there, he said, while Eritrea, though it has diplomatic relations with Israel, considers those who fled the country to be AWOL soldiers, and upon their return home they could be severely punished. Eritrea has a mandatory conscription law for all men aged 17-45, and demands reserve duty up to age 55. There are no exemptions.

With regard to the first group of infiltrators, Netanyahu said, “Whoever can be sent away should be sent away from here as quickly as possible.”

With regard to the second group, he said, “It’s clear that we cannot return Sudanis and Eritreans to their countries.”

During the cabinet debate, Netanyahu appeared impatient and dissatisfied with the conduct of the relevant ministries and banged on the table several times, according to sources who were present. He ordered a substantial expansion of the Saharonim lockup in the Negev so that it could hold the tens of thousands of people who can’t be repatriated.

He also ordered a team of interrogators put together to interview all those who will be brought to the Saharonim facility to determine whether they are indeed entitled to refugee status.

The Foreign Ministry has been conducting intensive discussions for several months with the governments of those countries whose citizens can be repatriated, a senior ministry source said.

For example, Israel is exerting heavy pressure on Ethiopia to begin returning its citizens who are in Israel illegally. Ethiopian diplomats have visited the Saharonim facility and interviewed Ethiopian nationals.

The Foreign Ministry has also been in regular contact with South Sudan, whose nationals are being given a chance to return voluntarily. On June 17 a plane carrying some 200 South Sudanese will fly from Israel to Juba, the South Sudan capital. In mid-July there will be another plane of South Sudanese who agreed to leave but asked to do so after the school year ends.

A senior Foreign Ministry source said that Israel has made it clear to countries like the Ivory Coast and Ghana that the government plans to deport their nationals, by force if necessary, and that if their governments don’t issue the migrants travel documents, then Israel will do so.

“We told them, ‘Either we do this together, or we will just put them on planes by ourselves,'” the senior official said.

The Foreign Ministry also said that over the past five years it has approached third countries to ascertain whether any of them would be willing to accept refugees from Eritrea or Sudan. Israeli diplomats were in touch with 30 African countries and 10 Western countries but were categorically refused.

“All the African states and many European ones are dealing with the same problem,” a senior source said. “Everyone to whom we addressed a request slammed the door in our faces.”

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Tony Greenstein

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