By Jock L. Falkson
“ Israel will work toward the deportation of all illegal African immigrants”. Minister Yishai, April 16, 2012”
Minister Yishai has declared his intention to expel some 58,000 illegal immigrants from Southern Sudan presently living in Israel in bad conditions. While they represent less than 1% of the Jewish population – they are not permitted to work. In fact would-be employers face stiff fines if they employ these hapless people. Yet it is known they would happily do the kind of work Israelis don’t want to do.
If permitted to remain in Israel and become naturalized citizens, their young men and women would in due course become soldiers in our military. Unlike most of our deeply religious counterparts who are so experienced in the art of draft dodging.
Yishai has made hair raising history by announcing that Israel will pay any country which would take in any of these unfortunates. While it is doubtful that there are any such countries, how come the minister does not realize that his policy would provide the only true evidence that Israel is an apartheid state? Such worldwide, negative PR would undoubtedly besmirch Israel as never before and cost us dearly.
How odd that the strictly religious minister Yishai is not in the least concerned about the numerous biblical edicts which commit the Jewish people to befriend and care for the strangers in our midst? Here are just a few quotations:
“If a newcomer lives in your land and abides among you, do not reproach him, but let him be among you like one native born. And you shall love him as yourselves. For you were also newcomers in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:33/34
“You shall not exploit or harass the stranger, because you were strangers in [a foreign] land.” Exodus 22:20.
“Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.” Exodus 22:21
“You shall not harass the stranger; you know the soul of a stranger…because you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” Exodus 23:9
“But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God”. Leviticus 19:34
“Love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.”
“He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing. Love the stranger, therefore, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” Deuteronomy 10:18
How is it possible for Israel’s religious politicians to ignore God’s abundant specific injunctions not to harass, hurt, or be cruel to the strangers in our midst?