Day after violent anti-African protest, Likud MK calls to ‘distance infiltrators’ immediately
Police extends remand of 17 Israeli protesters arrested during rally for attacking African asylum seekers; Danny Dannon calls to remove African migrants from city centers.
Following Wednesday’s violent protest against African migrants in Tel Aviv, Likud MK Danny Dannon called to remove African asylum seekers from population centers in Israel.
Speaking to Haaretz, Dannon said that the immediate solution for calming the situation and for putting a stop to the violence requires the evacuation of the African migrants from south Tel Aviv.
“The infiltrators must be distanced immediately,” he said. “We must expedite the construction of temporary detention facilities and remove Africans from population centers.”
MK Michael Ben Ari (National Union), who makes regular appearances at protests against the migrant population of Tel Aviv, nonetheless said he was “very upset by the violence.” Ben Ari pointed out, however, that “there are things that are outside of my control, that’s the reality.”
Ben Ari expressed satisfaction that his campaign to remove the migrant population from Tel Aviv has begun to gain momentum. “Suddenly we see MK’s from Likud and Kadima showing up at protests. Suddenly I hear the Interior Minister saying things I’ve said myself,” said Ben Ari.
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, called for public officials to stop encouraging passionate reactions. “When the masses are furious, public leaders must try to contain that anger and offer a solution, not to fan the flames. We must not use the same language anti-Semites use against us. We are a people that suffered a great deal of incitement and harassment, and we have an obligation to be extra sensitive and moral,” said Rivlin.
On Thursday, 17 demonstrators who were arrested during the protest were brought before the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court for an extension of their remand.
Several of those arrested were detained while beating African migrants who passed on the street and shattering windows of businesses that tend to the foreign worker community.
Some 1,000 protesters rallied in Tel Aviv’s Hatikva neighborhood on Wednesday and called for the ousting of African asylum seekers from Israel.
Protesters launched attacks on African migrants who passed by, while a group of demonstrators stopped a shuttle taxi and searched for migrant workers among the passengers, while banging on the windows.
The crowd cried “The people want the Sudanese deported” and “Infiltrators get out of our home.”
Also on Thursday, the remand was extended of two members of a gang suspected of systematically targeting African migrants in south Tel Aviv. Police suspects that the 11-member gang, comprised of residents of south Tel Aviv, was set up in order to attack African migrants, in particular citizens from Sudan and Eritrea. The nine other members are minors, who will be tried in juvenile court.
Danny Dannon, who participated in Wednesday’s protest, told Haaretz that he condemns the violence.
“Violence is not the answer and it cannot be justified,” he said. “The government neglected the residents and they are frustrated and that must be addressed. It is a ticking time bomb on the part of the infiltrators as well as on the part of the margins of society.”
“I arrived at the protest relatively early. The crowd was pretty irritated – also toward me. I spoke for several minutes and the main message was deportation.”
Dannon said that the immediate solution for calming the situation and for putting a stop to the violence requires the evacuation of the African migrants from south Tel Aviv. “The infiltrators must be distanced immediately. We must expedite the construction of temporary detention facilities and remove Africans from population centers.”
Meanwhile, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai began a campaign on Thursday that calls to imprison and deport illegal migrants.
The campaign was initiated and funded by Huldai, who has called for implementation of the government’s decision to expel migrants to their home countries, or to relocate them to holding facilities. In addition, local authority heads are claiming that they are carrying the burdens of dealing with infiltrators, such as funding the “Mesila” organization, an acronym in Hebrew for “center for information and assistance for the foreign community.”
Six mayors have pledged to take part in the campaign, including Yehiel Lasry, Mayor of Ashdod, Yaakov Asher, Mayor of Bnei Brak, Ashkelon Mayor Benny Vaknin, Petah Tikva Mayor Yitzhak Ohayon, and Eilat’s mayor, Meir Yitzhak-Halevi.