Israeli Likud MK calling for internment camps for African Refugess



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.

African migrants with car windows shattered by demonstrators in south Tel Aviv, May 23, 2012.

African migrants with car windows shattered by demonstrators in south Tel Aviv, May 23, 2012.Moti Milrod

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.


Racist Mob, Incited by Israeli Leaders, Attacks African Refugees in Tel Aviv

An Israeli mob in Tel Aviv burns garbage and sings, “The people want the Africans to be burned.”



Southern Tel Aviv is home to a number of blighted and struggling neighborhoods – areas where Israel’s income inequalities and economic disparities are acutely on display in the shadow of the city’s high rises. And it is here – in the neighborhood of Shapira – where large numbers of African refugees and asylum seekers from Sudan and Eritrea have sought shelter from forces much more dire than poverty.

On Wednesday evening, that shelter was shattered by a 1,000-strong protest which turned violent and, ultimately, into a race riot targeting those seeking relief from violence.

How did this happen?


The short answer begins by examining the protest, which was organized by Likud activists and attended by several Knesset members, who (for obvious political reasons) stood before the masses and blamed their hardships on African refugees with incendiary catch phrases.

Addressing the “infiltration problem,” Knesset Member Miri Regev (Likud) criticized the Israeli government for not sending the African refugees from whence they came, calling them “a cancer in our body.” Danny Danon (Likud) followed up his incendiary speech by posting on Facebook, “Israel is at war. An enemy state of infiltrators was established in Israel, and its capital is south Tel Aviv.” And Michael Ben-Ari, a former member of the racist Kach party, incited the crowd by tapping both into their economic despair and xenophobia, warning them that the Africans would take all available jobs and leave everyone else with nothing.

A woman with a shirt that reads, “Death to the Sudanese.” Photo by Tomer Neuberg.

The crowd, already gathered to vent their rage, in part, at the African community – blaming them for a rise in crime and the theft of opportunity – suddenly turned violent and streamed into the Shapira neighborhood, attacking Africans on the street, in cars, smashing storefronts belonging to migrants and vandalizing shops.

Eritrean refugees react moments after their shop was attacked by an angry mob.

“A mother with her baby cries minutes after she was attacked by a mob, with the baby thrown to the ground, following a protest against African refugees and asylum seekers in Tel Aviv’s Hatikva neighborhood.” – caption by Activestills

The violence and rampaging through Shapira happened spontaneously, as though a tinder box had suddenly been set alight by a flint’s sparking surface. And Israeli parliamentarians are to blame for creating that spark, for setting alight a crowd already on the edge of combustion.

Regarding the refugee community in Israel targeted last night, Noam Sheizaf writes:

According to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, there are presently some 60,000 African asylum seekers in Israel. Most entered the country by foot through its southern border. While they are termed “infiltrators” by the government, some 85 percent are from Eritrea and Sudan, to which Israel has agreed until now not to return them in light of the situations in those countries. They fall under a form of group protection from deportation, but their individual refugee claims are not processed.

A few recent crimes against Israelis that were linked to the African community have recently received considerable attention in the local media. They led to a wave of protest and declarations by politicians against the refugees and asylum seekers. MK Ofir Akunis, a member of Likud and a Netanyahu proxy, is set to promote a Knesset bill which will criminalize Israelis who employ, drive or give shelter to refugees.

Aside from a deeply-rooted racism that exists within segments of Israeli society, last night’s race riot occurred because of corrupt economic policies and the rising gap between the rich and poor in Israel – a situation which has left many teetering on the economic precipice. The root cause of what occurred last night is partially the same root social justice activists targeted last summer when they crippled Tel Aviv, chanting, “The people demand social justice.”

Last night, poverty-stricken Israelis focused their rage (and racism) on a community of dark-skinned scapegoats. And several Israeli leaders were only too happy to help an angry mob push them off the cliff.