R A Frazer / Israel faces a genuine dilemma about the best way to handle the influx of African refugees and migrants. Many people are already debating the policy decisions that will need to be made in this regard. Of greater concern to me than the specific arguments in this debate, is the shocking naked racism and hatred for Africans that it has exposed across all levels and sectors of Israeli society. From elected officials to people in the street, from the highly educated secular upper class to yeshiva students to the working poor, numerous Israelis seem to share a lexicon and intellectual framework which denigrates and dehumanizes Africans, belittles their suffering, and trivialized their plight. This in and of itself should sound an alarm for all of us that something is seriously amiss in the core of our culture and society. When the tone set by such speech boils over into outright acts of physical brutality, how can we fail to realize that we must, as a society, engage in introspection and self-evaluation?

The Soul of the Stranger

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Guest post by R. Aharon Frazer

Rabbi Aharon Frazer lives in Alon Shvut, Israel, and is an active volunteer supporting How To Guide For Rebuilding Toyota Prius Hybrid Battery >Blessing’s Day Care.

Israel faces a genuine dilemma about the best way to handle the influx of African refugees and migrants. Many people are already debating the policy decisions that will need to be made in this regard.

Of greater concern to me than the specific arguments in this debate, is the shocking naked racism and hatred for Africans that it has exposed across all levels and sectors of Israeli society. From elected officials to people in the street, from the highly educated secular upper class to yeshiva students to the working poor, numerous Israelis seem to share a lexicon and intellectual framework which denigrates and dehumanizes Africans, belittles their suffering, and trivialized their plight. This in and of itself should sound an alarm for all of us that something is seriously amiss in the core of our culture and society. When the tone set by such speech boils over into outright acts of physical brutality, how can we fail to realize that we must, as a society, engage in introspection and self-evaluation?

I hesitate to write the following lines because I believe everything I have to say should be self-evident. There is something inappropriate about writing a formal religious discourse about a matter of values that should be so elementary as to require no explanation. In light of the apparent need for this article I have elected to compose it; I do so with a heavy heart. I also regret that I have little novel to write. Most of what can be said on this subject should be familiar to anyone with a passing familiarity with Jewish texts.

The Torah tells us that God chose Abraham because he was confident that he would instruct his descendants to follow a path of righteousness and kindness (Genesis 18:19). The midrash (Devarim Rabba 3:4) takes this further, and says that there are 3 distinctive characteristics of the Jewish people: they are meek, merciful, and perform acts of kindness.

The Torah reiterates on many occasions that Jews should be especially sensitive and caring towards the stranger in their midst, for we ourselves were once strangers in the land of Egypt. Rashi (Exodus 22:20) understands that the salient feature of a “stranger” is that he is displaced from his homeland. That is why he is deserving of special compassion, and that is the basis of the comparison between strangers in Israel and the Jews’ status in Egypt. Other rabbinic interpretations focus this message on the convert to Judaism, but Rashi’s simple reading of the verse stands: in a majority Jewish country, we must be especially sensitive to the rights and feelings of minority groups, because of our own unique history of oppression in alien societies.

Performing acts of kindness in a discriminatory manner is seen as a sign of corruption. The chasida (commonly translated as stork) is singled out as a non-kosher bird, even though its name means “the kind one”, because, according to our rabbis, it is kind only to its own species. The kindness for one’s own species is transformed into a perverse act when it is part of a pattern of abuse towards outsiders.

Above and beyond imploring us to perfect our actions, our rabbis were concerned with the nature of our speech. They repeatedly implored us to speak respectfully to, and of, every person. In tractate Avot, they reminded us to greet every person first and with a welcoming face, and that the most honored person is the one who accords others honor. The right path that a person should choose, they instructed there, is one which engenders the respect of God by those who observe it.

In tractate Yoma (86a) they went much further, singling out the public disgrace of God’s name as one transgression that cannot be atoned for, even through repentance on the Day of Atonement. What constitutes such a transgression? A person known to be devout and pious, who does not speak gently with others and conduct his affairs with integrity. Outrageous racist statements, parroted from the most disgraceful historical antecedents, certainly run afoul of this teaching.

Building Israel as a utopian Jewish nation should not entail inflicting suffering on others. Rambam (Hil. Melachim 12:4) writes that the sages and prophets did not desire the messianic era of Israel “in order to conquer the entire world, or to oppress the gentiles…”, rather only “to be free to study the Torah and its wisdom without persecution and interruption, and thus merit the world to come.”

Our character as a Jewish nation depends not on our contempt and disdain for non-Jews living in our midst. On the contrary, it depends on our fulfillment of our own tradition, which calls on us to accord them respect, support, and compassion. It is a unique and tragic sign of our times that such basic lessons must be based on scriptural and Talmudic evidence rather than on common sense and human compassion.

We must rededicate ourselves to listen to the basic truth written in our Torah and our hearts. Human compassion, for all humans, and especially for disadvantaged groups, is a core component of our identity which we must embrace and cultivate. Rather than weakening our identity as Jews, it strengthens and affirms it.

How To Guide For Rebuilding Toyota Prius Hybrid Battery

About Aharon Frazer

57 comments

  1. To quote President Harry Truman in 1947 and again in 1951:

    “The Jews, I find, are very, very selfish. They care not how many Estonians, Latvians, Finns, Poles, Yugoslavs or Greeks get murdered or mistreated as D[isplaced] P[erson]s as long as the Jews get special treatment. Yet when they have power, physical, financial or political neither Hitler nor Stalin has anything on them for cruelty or mistreatment to the under dog.”

    “I had faith in Israel before it was established, I have in it now. I believe it has a glorious future before it – not just another sovereign nation, but as an embodiment of the great ideals of our civilization.”

  2. This should not need saying, but it does.

  3. This analogy is sick, and a favorite of anti-Semites. Nobody complains about Hitler because of the way he treated Germany’s enemies. People complain about him because he tortured and killed a Jewish nation that meant no harm to Germany whatsoever and that had never attacked Germany.

    If the Jews in Germany had blown themselves up in marketplaces and dreamed of the day that they could drive the Germans into the sea, then Hitler, indeed, would have been justified in killing the Jews of Germany (but only of Germany). In fact, though, the Jews loved Germany and never harmed it one iota.

    Are you really comparing the Jews in Germany to the Palestinians in Israel? Give me a break.

  4. I am of course reacting to G. Pickholz’s comment.

  5. Just because the question should be posed to anyone who writes a self-righteous article of this nature:

    I wonder how many African refugees R’ Frazer is putting up in his house, and eagerly await the day he leaves fenced-in Alon Shevut to move to South Tel Aviv to actively demonstrate his desire to live among them.

    We’re told by the Gemara that geirim were not accepted into the Jewish people in the days of David and Shlomo, when Israel had it good. Historically true or not, that’s a powerful statement about our attitude toward asylum seekers.

    By the way, originating in a country of political correctness, R’ Frazer may not realize this, but Israelis generalize about every ethnic group. Equal opportunity bigots, if you will, although it usually doesn’t translate into actual acts. The biggest culprits, horrors, are non-Ashkenazim.

    Oh, and accusing someone with a different point of view of “racism” is soooo tired. Bibi is deporting Africans by the planeload. No one can accuse him of racism, not that it stops people.

  6. “Historically true or not, that’s a powerful statement about our attitude toward asylum seekers.”

    What relevance does this have to asylum, as far as I know this only applied with regards to a ger tzedek, not a ger toshav?

  7. Nachum is absolutely right. This is just so much self-righteous prattle.

    The other day, as I was entering a train station is Israel, the security guard stopped an African who was trying to enter the station. He had no papers (passport or ID card) and was turned away. He started a tirade in broken English about how the Jews come to his country to look for diamonds, and made it quite clear what he thought of us.

    A good portion of illegal immigrants are Muslims who may well harbour sympathy for our enemies. Apart from this, they pose a demographic threat to the Jewish majority in this country. This has nothing to do with the colour of their skin.

    The only sad thing is that Ethiopian Jews are also being victimized.

  8. Moshe Shoshan

    I am shoced by the negative responses to R. Frazer’s post, especially coming from those who should know better. R. Frazer makes it clear that he is not advocating or opposing any course of action. Perhaps immediate deportation is the proper response in some cases. But one can take a hardline on this problem with out being racist, callous and just plane hateful? Does any one here disagree with that?

    Can you only see your side? No one leaves there home to risk their lives walking hundreds of miles in the desert of their current circumstances aren’t pretty bad.

    Nahum comment about politically correct americans not realizing that here in Israel prejudice and stereotyping is commonplace among and with regard to all groups is most disturbing. Since when is being against racism the preserve of the politcaly correct left? One thing that I admire George W Bush for is that he was a very conservative Texan who has not the slightest whiff of racism about him. HE showed that being conservative or a southerner does not involve being racist. And what different does it make if Israelis are prejudiced not just against Africans? it only makes the problem worse.

    Racism is a serious problem in the frum world in america today as well. I see it as a blight on our community.

    Also, did any of you self righteous folks bother to follow the link and see that R. Farazer does indeed volunteer to help African kids in Tel- Aviv?

  9. shachar haamim

    “Also, did any of you self righteous folks bother to follow the link and see that R. Farazer does indeed volunteer to help African kids in Tel- Aviv?”

    I did. Does he also volunteer to help the children of the poor Israeli in the neighborhood who are now locked in their homes and can’t go out to play in their parks because they have been overrun with criminal, illegal aliens (sure a few are “refugees” but no one who was a “refugee” decided to stay in Egypt or to cross over into Gaza, rather than into the Israeli Negev).

    I do agree with Nahum’s first point though. I wonder how diffuclt it would be for an Ethiopian Israeli couple which practices Ethiopian minhagim – rather than, say what’s done by graduates of Har Etzion – to pass the residency acceptance committee of Alon Shvut. I wonder how the Vaad of Alon Shvut would handle an influx of Sudanese refugees who camped out in Frazer’s back yard?

  10. for we ourselves were once strangers in the land of Egypt

    But the Israelites didn’t rape Egyptian women while they were there.

    This whole controversy arose after it was reported on several consecutive days that a migrant had raped an Israeli women. At the time it seemed like the pattern of one rape a day would go on indefinitely. This, in a country that has virtually no violent crime (with the exception of mafiosos killing each other). As soon as it became clear that the cluster of rapes was an isolated incident, everyone except Eli Yishai forgot about the issue, as far as I can tell.

    All the migrants I have met seem like very friendly people – I have not seen the coolness and veiled hostility I get from many Arabs. Contrary to some opinions, and unlike the Arabs, reducing Israel’s Jewish majority is not one of the migrants’ goals. But they do have a very different culture from ours. Rape is extremely widespread and accepted in much of sub-Saharan Africa (see links below). And there are are 800 million Africans living in poor dictatorships, compared to 7 million Israels. These facts cannot simply be ignored in favor of political correctness. Luckily, the expected completion of the border fence should soon make this a non-issue.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_violence_in_South_Africa#Report_and_conviction_rates
    http://edition.cnn.com/2011/11/24/world/africa/democratic-congo-rape/index.html

  11. Nahum comment about politically correct americans not realizing that here in Israel prejudice and stereotyping is commonplace among and with regard to all groups is most disturbing. Since when is being against racism the preserve of the politcaly correct left?

    Since when are stereotypes the same as racism? One of the most prevalent stereotypes in Israel is of the effeminate Ashkenazi. The annoying, stupid American immigrant is a close second. Are those oppressed groups?

  12. Yirmiahu: If it’s true for gerei tzedek, I’d think kal v’chomer for gerei toshav, no?

    “R. Frazer makes it clear that he is not advocating or opposing any course of action.”

    Come on, Moshe. People who take the time to write posts like this are pretty much broadcasting where they stand on deportation. Or is that stereotyping too much? The weird thing about stereotypes is that, by definition, they’re usually true.

    “But one can take a hardline on this problem with out being racist, callous and just plane hateful?”

    Of course not. Racism is bad. But you don’t have to write a whole piece explaining that.

    “No one leaves there home to risk their lives walking hundreds of miles in the desert of their current circumstances aren’t pretty bad.”

    First of all, no one is “walking hundreds of miles” here. Second, the bulk of the problem here are actual political refugees from South Sudan. Well, guess what: South Sudan is independent and strongly allied with Israel, no one’s being oppressed there, and the country has said that it is happy to take everyone back.

    “Nahum comment about politically correct americans not realizing that here in Israel prejudice and stereotyping is commonplace among and with regard to all groups is most disturbing. Since when is being against racism the preserve of the politcaly correct left?”

    I’m actually pretty opposed to racism, even though I have some fairly unrespectable views on the subject of race. I by no means think such concerns should be limited to the left, although they used to be called “manners” before the left came and messed them up with ideals of PC. I’m just pointing out a fact when it comes to Israelis.

    “Racism is a serious problem in the frum world in america today as well. I see it as a blight on our community.”

    True. But it doesn’t help when any Orthodox Jew who doesn’t like Obama is accused of racism (as happens). Some may be motivated by racism. Most have really good reasons not to like him.

    “Also, did any of you self righteous folks bother to follow the link and see that R. Farazer does indeed volunteer to help African kids in Tel- Aviv?”

    That’s very noble of him. See what the others have said.

  13. Hadardai:

    “. . . This has nothing to do with the colour of their skin.

    The only sad thing is that Ethiopian Jews are also being victimized.”

    well perhaps then it in fact it does have something to do with the color of skin?

    SHLOMO:

    “reducing Israel’s Jewish majority is not one of the migrants’ goals”

    if indeed it alters the demographic balance (either locally or nationally), does it matter whether or not it is their goal?

  14. NACHUM:

    “Racism is bad. But you don’t have to write a whole piece explaining that.”

    sometimes you do.

    “Most have really good reasons not to like him.”

    being a racist wrt obama and having race-independent reasons to dislike him are not mutually exclusive. and indeed that is what you will find in many parts of the orthodox community.

  15. “Yirmiahu: If it’s true for gerei tzedek, I’d think kal v’chomer for gerei toshav, no?”

    No, the point is we didn’t let them join the Jewish people because they would join for benefits and not practice the religion sincerely. Same reason Rebbi Yehuda said all those people who converted at the end of Esther were ultimately rejected. If they didn’t join the Jewish people, it was a non-issue.

  16. Moshe Shoshan

    Nachum
    Actually I think that anyone who enters the country illegally should detained, those who are determined to be refugees should be sent ot a refugee camp under the administration of the of the UNHCR until a just solution can be found for them either repatriation or re-settlement. Israel should only take in a small number. vI country cannot exist with out control of its borders.

    This does not stop me from condemning racism and xenophobia. The fact that some should be deported has nothing to do with their skin color or origins. Neither does it prevent a feeling of compassion for these. The idea that they are only sorry because etheopians Jews have been hurt, suggests a rather disturbing position. I dont give a damn about these people. This is not darkah shel Torah.

  17. “Take the stranger. Trustful does he enter your country, your city, your community, confident of finding people who will respect him as their fellow-man and not begrudge him a place among themselves where he can live, and live like a human being; he has no other letter of recommendation than his human countenance, nobody to introduce him but God, Who presents him to you as His child, and says: ‘He is like you, may he do as you do – grant him equal rights- he is My child, My earth is his home; I have called on him, just as I called on you, joyfully to fulfil his task as a human being; do not curtail that right of his do not spoil his joy of life, do not abuse his helplessness; show that you feel that your soil is God’s soil, and that man is God’s child.”
    Horeb Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch 1837

  18. MOSHE SHOSHAN:

    sounds sensible. why is this not the policy? why isn’t the UN involved?

  19. Moshe Shoshan

    Abba

    I dont really understand this whole situation, especially from a legal point of view, neither do any of the generally well informed people that I have asked.

    I think that part of the issue, is that very few people seem to know enough to have a really intelligent opinion on the matter.

  20. Those who comment should be informed as to the current situation in Tel Aviv. It was not just one rape, but several brutal rapes and murders that have created an atmosphere of fear. Unfortunately, as pointed out above – this is part of African culture. It’s something they have run away from in Sudan and something they have brought with them, here.

    The other week, my wife and I were horrified to read about a young woman found dead in the bathroom of Tel Aviv’s Central Bus Station, just one day after my wife had travelled through there alone.

    This is in addition to the threat they pose to the Jewish charachter of the Jewish State.

    As one very great man once said, “They must go!”

  21. “Yirmiahu: If it’s true for gerei tzedek, I’d think kal v’chomer for gerei toshav, no?”

    As Elon pointed out already, no. The motives of a ger tzedek are an issue, the motives of a ger toshav, who is already obligated in those mitzvos, is not.

  22. shachar haamim

    The situation in the South Tel Aviv neighborhoods is VERY bad. People are simply afraid to walk the streets. I don’t think that the people in the garin torani who were willing to go into a poverty stricken neighborhood with its attendant crime rates, are now “racist” because they are suggesting that things have gotten worse due to the influx of “refugees” and the spike in violent crimes and the atmposphere of fear which now pervades the Israeli residents.
    I’m also wonder how much “racism” there was behind R. Frazer’s decision to live in a lilly white community with an acceptance committee (and these types of acceptance committees are often times prejudicial to mizrachi couples, mixed race couples and many other problematic issues – I am against them on principle) and then volunteer for black, non-Jewish “refugee” kids. I wonder just how much “racism” lies behind this.

  23. SHACHAR:

    i find such acceptance committees to be distaseful and in general i think israel would be better off with intergrated neighborhoods (secular/masorati/dati/haredi, ashkenaz/edot mizrah, olim/sabras, etc.). but is alon shvut’s committee in particular guilty of racism?

  24. G Pickholz on July 4, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    The full quote from Truman would be appropriate and I am not sure what point you think it makes:

    6:00 P. M. Monday July 21, 1947

    Had ten minutes conversation with Henry Morgenthau about Jewish ship in Palistine [sic]. Told him I would talk to Gen[eral] Marshall about it.

    He’d no business, whatever to call me. The Jews have no sense of proportion nor do they have any judgement on world affairs.

    Henry brought a thousand Jews to New York on a supposedly temporary basis and they stayed. When the country went backward-and Republican in the election of 1946, this incident loomed large on the D[isplaced] P[ersons] program.

    The Jews, I find are very, very selfish. They care not how many Estonians, Latvians, Finns, Poles, Yugoslavs or Greeks get murdered or mistreated as D[isplaced] P[ersons] as long as the Jews get special treatment. Yet when they have power, physical, financial or political neither Hitler nor Stalin has anything on them for cruelty or mistreatment to the under dog. Put an underdog on top and it makes no difference whether his name is Russian, Jewish, Negro, Management, Labor, Mormon, Baptist he goes haywire. I’ve found very, very few who remember their past condition when prosperity comes.

    Look at the Congress[ional] attitude on D[isplaced] P[ersons]-and they all come from D[isplaced] P[erson]s.
    http://www.trumanlibrary.org/diary/page21.htm

  25. I assume that there is a delicate balance that needs to be struck between keeping non jews and jews separate (so as to prevent inter marriage and other undesirable consequences) and the need to reach out and help every “stranger in their midst”. Maybe it is that balance that is plaguing Israelis at the moment.

  26. MiMedinat HaYam

    not mentioned — these are “economic” refugees, not social / ethnic / other fears refugees. the civil legal standard (at least in us INS cases, and i believe UN definitions) is well founded fear of persecution. not poor economy.

    the jewish standard should relate to this, and develop a system.

    note too, that these refugees do NOT come from blood diamond countries, but from poor economy countries. so the diamond tirade is plain old anti semitism. also, their fear of persecution is from egypt, gaza, libya, possible jordan. not their original countries.

    a solution must be found fast, before their children and children’s children become refugees, too. (under intl law, children of refugees are not refugees, with one exception — palestinians.)

  27. Dude — Rape may also be a “cultural issue” in existing Israeli society. How many former country presidents are in jail after having been convicted of rape.

    I want to be clear, I do NOT dismiss the issue out of hand — and I have spent time walking around the Tachana Mercazit area — but, lets also remember that fear of rape has been used in the US to stir up anti-black racism and in Europe to stir up anti-Semitism.

    For the US context see also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo_Frank

    Nachum — Regarding “I’m actually pretty opposed to racism, even though I have some fairly unrespectable views on the subject of race” — you do know that Charles Murray has walked backwards from his earlier view, right? See, e.g. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2012/may/10/white-plight/

  28. Horeb Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch 1837

    As an anti-Zionist (to the extent that that can be said before the official birth of the Zionist movement), R’ Hirsch did not have to consider the issues involved in running an actual country.

  29. R’ Shachar Haamim,

    Thank you for your illuminating comments. You write “The situation in the South Tel Aviv neighborhoods is VERY bad. People are simply afraid to walk the streets.”

    Wow, I’m sorry to hear this. But is this problem not directly addressed by David ha-Melekh in Psalms 144:14, where he writes “ein peretz ve-ein yotzeit ve-ein tzevachah bi-rchovoteinu”? Maybe open a Kollel in South Tel Aviv, and teach this chapter of Psalms. Be-hatzlachah…

  30. The situation in the South Tel Aviv neighborhoods is VERY bad. People are simply afraid to walk the streets.

    In context, these South TA neighborhoods are in the process of gentrifying after many years of decay. On Florentin, for example, see: http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/business/florentin-s-slumdog-millionaires-1.3132.

    Even Sderot Rothschild which was like 5th Avenue in the 40s, 50s and 60s went through a dismal period in the 70s through 90s where people were afraid to walk the streets. Such is the life of cities. Harlem too is gentrifying again, here in NYC.

  31. MiMedinat HaYam

    the rape charges of politicians is akin to (but not exactly) date rape. (i’m not justifying it, but …)

    as opposed to the substantiated violent particularly repugnant rape charges in south tel aviv.

    yes, its gentrifying, but i wouldnt walk in harlem at night, either. (or let my wife walk there.) but thats expected. south tel aviv is not expected.

  32. Michael Merdinger

    Yasher koach to Rabbi Frazer.

  33. Control of one’s borders is a key to sovereignty, although I know that the idea of sovereignty doesn’t count for much in fashionable circles these days.

  34. Hirhurim-

    The animosity towards the illegal African immigrants in Israel is motivated not by racism, but by the cultural,economic, and demographic dangers which such populations cause in Israel. R’ Gil I never cease to be amazed by your accepting of the post-World War II “anti-racism ethos” which compels you to see things through the lens of the eleventh commandment- “Thou shalt not be a racist”. Israel has more than enough demographic problems with her Arab enemies. Is it not obvious what the problem with having this population infiltrate into Israel? R’ Gil, their presence in Israel is not good for the Jews.

  35. That wasn’t me, but I agree.

  36. I’d like to see the statistics, because it seems to me that the reporting of rapes in Tel Aviv was itself a bit racist. I saw that a smaller percentage of the infiltrator population is involved in violent crime than the non-infiltrator population of Tel Aviv.

    It’s really quite disgusting how the acts of a few people are attributed to all people of a specific skin color, when there is no evidence that a majority of those people act in any particular way.

    I travel through south Tel Aviv almost every day, and I don’t feel any bit of danger or hostility. I see people walking around with their cell phones out, texting away, with no fear of having their phones stolen. People ride bikes and lock them up, or the rent bikes from the city, with little fear of having their back stolen, anymore so than they might have their bikes stolen in Rechovot. (I friend of mine had his bike stolen there three times)

    People might have been agrivated by the newspaper articles, but that doesn’t mean the news paper articles aren’t racist in nature. Did they do a study of crime reports to see if it’s statistically significant? Or did they just quote big mouthed politicians who will happily make claims without any data to back it up?

    The lack of facts in this entire “story” is what to me, points to all the terrible racism and poor behavior of not just the media, but the general population as well. People are willing to act and make wild claims based on no data at all, and would be terribly offened when people make claims about Israel with no data to back it up either.

    This article here, backs up their points with facts. If the facts are wrong, please point out how.

    http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/the-africans-in-tel-aviv-and-jewish-values/

  37. Yah, here’s one:

    “There may be grounds to expel illegal immigrants from a country.”

    *May* be? What part of the word “illegal” doesn’t he get?

  38. What part of the word “illegal” doesn’t he get?

    I have a relative buried in Mauritius because she was an “illegal” immigrant to Mandate Palestine. See: http://tinyurl.com/c5mkcga

  39. Cool, IH. So laws have no meaning. Give your address, and I’ll relieve you of some of your material goods.

    Wow, deconstructionism at its logical and disgusting result. But of a part- political, religious, it’s all what makes us feel good. No thanks, I’ll survive and be good with God.

  40. “*May* be? What part of the word “illegal” doesn’t he get?”

    Probably the part where unjust laws are not to be kept or supported.

    It’s illegal for Jews to enter Hebron in certain places. Should they be deported?

  41. More importantly, it’s always important that people don’t blindly follow the law, unless the law is reasonable, Just, and or follows halacha. Just because its on the books, doesn’t mean its a good idea, or needs to be perpetuated.

  42. Nachum — My point is that it is a complicated situation and throwing about one-liners about “illegal” and “sovereignty” doesn’t add much light given what Jews went through in the 20th century. Argue the public policy though reason not bumper stickers.

    Or do you think the death of my relative due to deportation as an illegal by the State with sovereignty was justified?

  43. No, because I believe in objective truth. Namely, the British were wrong, Israel is right, and just because you and Avi think the situations are analogous doesn’t mean they can be compared. Down that path lies such nonsense about terrorists and freedom fighters.

    (By the way, your very analogy is fallacious, as Britain was an occupying power and the Eritreans have no historical, religious, or legal claim to Israeli residence.)

    It’s perfectly rational for a state to have a law restricting entry. It’s more than rational; it is the definition of a sovereign state that it have such. Following that, it is logical for those in violation to be deported.

    And if you want to play the personal sob stories game, boo hoo. I had cousins put in detention camps on their way to Palestine too. It doesn’t affect my level-headed view of this situation one bit.

  44. Nachum — the British were not an occupying power; they undeniably had sovereignty as granted by The League of Nations. That is the objective truth.

  45. No, the League of Nations gave them mandate power for a future Jewish state.

    But that’s irrelevant. Whatever the League (and kal v’chomer the UN) is irrelevant. Jews have a right to the land. If the UN declared Israel to be illegitimate tomorrow, it would make not a whit of difference.

  46. the League of Nations gave them mandate power for a future Jewish state.

    Really? Can you point me to the document, please. I’ve already checked Wikipedia which links to the covering League of Nations charter amendment.

    If the UN declared Israel to be illegitimate tomorrow, it would make not a whit of difference.

    Actually, in your arguement of “illegal” and “sovereignty” it would. But, of course none of this is necessary since there is a legitimate debate about what to do that is not cloaked in unhelpful hyperbole.

  47. The only reason they are “illegal”, is because they can’t be deported even if Israel wanted to. It’s a legal loophole, where the beaucracy doesn’t want to waste time approving people that they can’t disapprove.

    Trust me, the cheap labor is very much needed in Tel Aviv. Israel’s unemployment is only about 6% and many people are searching for jobs that will give them more money to compensate for the insane housing and food costs.

    Israel wants them, and they want to be here. There’s some false reporting and racism causing ruckuses however.

  48. I am simply appalled at the racism, hatred and fundamental violation of all halachic hashkafa towards the stranger expressed here l’ Shaym shamayim. Rav Ronen Neuwirth of Bet Hillel Rabbinic Organization & Ohel Ari shul in Raanana is leading fact finding missions to southern Tel Aviv to address the very complex situation. No one comes out of this looking good. At least one major Rav & organization is actively engaging in the politic of the matter

  49. “Rav Ronen Neuwirth of Bet Hillel Rabbinic Organization & Ohel Ari shul in Raanana is leading fact finding missions to southern Tel Aviv to address the very complex situation”

    To quote Tom Wolfe, he’s accompanied by a chorus of horse laughs or nausea from his congregation, depending on their weltanschaung.

  50. By strange coincidence:

    “The Israeli government decided on Sunday to accelerate the immigration of some 2,000 Falashmura, bringing a close to a 30-year effort of organized immigration from Ethiopia.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/israel-to-accelerate-falashmura-immigration-from-ethiopia-ending-30-year-operation.premium-1.449704

  51. Now *that* is good news.

  52. Lawrence Kaplan

    IH and Nachum: Re the Mandate, Nachum is basically right. See the League of Nations’ Mandate for Palestine of July 24, 1922. It states explicitly that, in accordance with the Balfour Declaration, the purpose of the mandate is to provide for the establishment of Jewish National Home (not a State though).

    IH: I’m surprised you could not find this.

  53. Thank you. I stand corrected on the tangental point. The URL for others interested is: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1922mandate.html

  54. Nahum, you dismiss Rabbi Frazer’s statement that his essay applies no matter what the ultimate policy decision is or should be by saying that he is “broadcasting” his policy preference, and then go on to attack that alleged policy. But let’s take the stated premise of the post seriously: that no matter your views om the priopper policy there are right and wrong ways to think and talk about deporting thousands of people whose lives are, by all accounts, worse than yours. Do you disagree? And do you believe that there is no problem in Israel today of people talking about this issue in the wrong way?
    Let’s say all your arguments are correct and the africans should be removed immediately. I submit it would still be immoral, and contraindicated by the various sources Rabbi Frazer cites, to say, as you load a 6 year old onto the plane, something outrageous like “good riddance you smelly blackie, i hope all you africans die of aids.” No?

  55. I think that we can all agree that racism in the Orthodox community exists, but to view the same as the motivating factor behind what appear to be legitimate concerns about crime does not answer the question. Tolerance of rape and sexual assault because of an immigrant’s social background raises questions of how far PC should be used as a means of political discourse. Would anyone tolerate female genital mutilation of an immigrant female for such reasons?

  56. “that no matter your views om the priopper policy there are right and wrong ways to think and talk about deporting thousands of people whose lives are, by all accounts, worse than yours. Do you disagree?”

    I agree with you.

    “And do you believe that there is no problem in Israel today of people talking about this issue in the wrong way?”

    I believe there is such a problem.

    “Let’s say all your arguments are correct and the africans should be removed immediately. I submit it would still be immoral, and contraindicated by the various sources Rabbi Frazer cites, to say, as you load a 6 year old onto the plane, something outrageous like “good riddance you smelly blackie, i hope all you africans die of aids.” No?”

    I think that that would be very immoral.

    So let me submit:

    1. I’d like to think the audience of this blog is not a group of crazy racists. Therefore, to make arguments of this sort in this forum is not to call on people not to be crazy racists (like that would ever work) but to make a coded plea not to deport at all- much as your comment is, more explicitly.

    2. Sad to say, but well known, is that those decrying the racism are usually the ones who have the least cause to, and are really trying to win people over to their larger point. I had similar feelings when all those people who never opposed Oslo in the first place condemned the Rabin assassination.

  57. “I think that we can all agree that racism in the Orthodox community exists, but to view the same as the motivating factor behind what appear to be legitimate concerns about crime does not answer the question. Tolerance of rape and sexual assault because of an immigrant’s social background raises questions of how far PC should be used as a means of political discourse. Would anyone tolerate female genital mutilation of an immigrant female for such reasons?”

    There is no tolerance of rape or other crimes. There is a question of where the outrage is of the other number of rapes NOT committed by infiltrators in Tel Aviv. Where are the demands to deport those people?

    If this was about crime, people would be asking for MORE immigrants to enter Tel Aviv.

    “Official police data presented in the Knesset in March indicates the crime rate among foreigners is less than half that of Israeli citizens nationwide. Foreigners committed 2.24 crimes per 100 people in 2011, less than half the 4.99 figure for Israeli citizens, the figures show.”

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter


The latest weekly digest is also available by clicking here.

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter

Archives

Categories

%d bloggers like this: