Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Taking a Page From Israel on Immigration Enforcement

By Debbie Schlussel

One of Israel’s biggest failures is that it never deported “Palestinians” from Israel. Virtually every Arab Muslim nation deported its Jews, beginning from the time Israel became a state in 1948 and in the years thereafter. They lost their homes, in most cases their belongings, and all claims to any property in those countries. About a million Jews were expelled from these nations, including Iraq, Egypt, Tunisia, etc. But the Israelis–ever worried about international public opinion–did nothing, as Arab Muslims from Africa, Jordan, Kuwait, and elsewhere came to Israel seeking paid jobs, and calling themselves, “Palestinians.” And despite that concern, the world hated Israel anyway and looked the other way on the Jewish deportations and expulsions.

Now, though Israel continues to refuse to deport any of these Muslim immigrants, the country is doing something that should be a hint to the U.S. about what we need to do to those claiming birthright citizenship under a Constitutional amendment aimed solely at legitimizing Black slaves and their children as Americans. I applaud what Israel is doing, as U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Jon Kyl are just giving it lip service. However, there is a danger that as these people are deported, more Palestinian Muslims will take their place in the labor force.

The migrant workers in Israel are much like many of those in the U.S. They do a lot of agricultural and construction labor, the work an Obama/Bush-like government would say is “the work some Americans [or, in this case, Israelis] won’t do.” But, in fact, just like in America, Israelis could and would do it, if the wages were right. And part of the Israeli “chalutz” (pioneer) movement of Zionism was to do the work yourself with your own hands, as was often done on Israeli kibbutzim (collective agricultural settlements).

Israel on Sunday approved a compromise ministerial plan to deport 400 children of foreign workers while allowing another 800 to remain in the Jewish state, the prime minister’s office said.

A majority of cabinet members approved the recommendation of a commission created by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in November 2009 to decide the fate of the children, all of whom were threatened with deportation.

According to the government’s decision, children of migrant workers who have lived in the country for more than five years and who speak Hebrew will be allowed to remain in the country with permanent residency permits.

Hey, sounds just like amnesty. But Israel is dealing with a few hundred kids in this case. America will deal with an onslaught of millions. Good luck with that.

The remainder will be deported to their home countries along with their families.

The issue of the migrant children, many of whom have attended Israeli schools, learned Hebrew and come to see the country as their own, has provoked heated debate, especially since they are eligible for social benefits.

Netanyahu warned too much leniency would create additional incentives for more illegal immigration, which he called a “tangible threat to the Jewish and democratic character of the state of Israel.”

Ditto, America.

There are more than 220,000 foreign workers in Israel, including some 100,000 who are in the country illegally, according to official figures. The total population is about 7.6 million, with a Jewish majority of 75.5 percent.

Like I said, the danger here is that as the migrant workers and their kids leave, Israelis will allow more Palestinian Muslims into the country to work as laborers, and often, that’s how terrorists get in. We saw something similar when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raided the Iowa Agriprocessors plant and deported hundreds of Catholic Latino workers, who were mostly replaced by extremist Muslim Somalian immigrants. Plus, it encourages the growth of the Palestinians as more and more Muslims come to the region and claim that faux-ethnic description, which has few distinctions from just being any other Arab Muslim.

Still, I admire that Israel is taking a stand on this, a stand the U.S. should take. Sadly, just like the U.S.–where the majority of deportees are relatively harmless Latinos–Israel still doesn’t have the guts to deport the far more harmful Muslims on its soil. Just like America.