Here is a shocking fact from a poll conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute and reported by the Times of Israel: fully one-third of Israelis say that unlawful, vigilante violence against non-Jewish African immigrants is fine with them.
Equally, 86 percent of Israelis who voted for the right-wing Shas party and 66 percent of Likud voters agree with the statements of far-right Israeli politician Miri Regev that African immigrants, mostly from Sudan and Eritrea, are a “cancer” in the Israeli body politic.
The IDI poll analysis says :
A “cancer” in the body of the nation? More than half (52%) of the Jews agree with the statement of Member of Knesset Miri Regev that the unauthorized Africans living in Israel are a cancer in the body of Israel. Only 19% of the Arab respondents agreed with the statement.
How much support is there for the demonstrations against the presence of Africans by residents of south Tel Aviv? Here we practically found a “national consensus”: an overwhelming majority of 83% of the Jews expressed support for the demonstrations; among the Arabs, the number came to only 25%.
Israel is building refugee camps—let’s not use the loaded term “concentration camps”—for many of the estimated 55,000 Eritrean, Sudanese and other African refugees from civil wars and conflicts who’ve entered Israel, mostly undocumented, over the last decade or so. Reports The Washington Post, “Between 2005 and 2012, African migrants came in a trickle, then a flood, pouring across Israel’s border with Egypt, with a peak of 17,258 in 2011.” The paper adds:
The newly constructed “open facility” is designed to hold up to 3,300 illegal immigrants. It is not a prison, but not exactly a shelter, either. Residents will be required to answer roll call three times a day. They are not allowed to seek work. The facility is surrounded by a fence topped with spools of razor wire, and the migrants will be locked down at night.
Israeli Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar bluntly links his concerns to the fear of losing the “Jewish” nature of Israel:
“There are currently around 30 million people moving around Africa, people who have left their home countries and are looking for a place to be. We can all understand that pressure, but if we are too liberal, then we will lose the country. We will lose the only Jewish country that exists.”
Israel is seeking to deport the African migrants to Uganda, an ironic notion, since in the early days of Zionism Uganda was once held out as a long-shot possibility to host the creation of a Jewish state for European Jewish refugees.
Tensions and protests by the migrants, along with anti-African violence by vigilante citizens of Israel, has been on the rise. Reports Al Jazeera: