Israel has an immigration problem. As the only state in the region with a sense of decency, Israel is a magnet for the dispossesed and persecuted from all around. Right now the influx is from the Sudan where the Muslim majority is busy oppressing the Chrisian and animist minority into oblivion. Even as they wax indignantly about human dignity and the rights of the so-called Palestinians, every Arab state in any kind of proximity to the Sudan has barred its refugees from entering their borders. The only country not to force them away when they arrive is Israel.
Unfortunately immigration of this kind is problematic for Israel. A large wave of migrants with no employable skills, no familiarity with the local culture or knowledge of the language is a tremendous burden on any country, all the more so a small country's. Israel's government has every right to be concerned as more and more refugees arrive, especially since most of those refugees had to cross other countries to get there, countries which deliberately refused them entry and instead pointed them towards Tel Aviv.
However, if you say anything negative about the situation, you risk being tarred as a racist. This is foolish. Every single country in the world has a right to maintain its borders and control who crosses them. It is also the responsibility of the national government of a country to do what is best for its citizens, socially and economically. Demanding that Israel accept unlimited numbers of refugees is something that any other country would find unacceptable.
And, as Yair Lapid wisely points out, this has nothing to do with racism:
Ignore for a moment the infiltrators’ skin color and inferior Knesset members like Michael Ben-Ari who got on the bandwagon. Close your eyes and try to imagine that the migrants were blond. Tens of thousands of blonds from Norway who entered Israel illegaly.
Sturdy blond men who arrived here without their families, blond laborers who are willing to do any job and never heard about the concept of minimum wage, and blonds who mostly drink alcohol at night. Blonds without healthcare insurance, without income supplements, and without any civil rights.
Miserable blonds whom the police doesn’t want to deal with and nobody wants to admit that he’s responsible for them.
Because had the infiltrators into Israel been blond, nobody would have accused southern Tel Aviv residents of racism, and we could have engaged in a genuine discussion about the fact that these migrants cause a real problem.
The participants in the rally held in Tel Aviv Tuesday tried to explain to the media, almost desperately, that their motives have nothing to do with whether the migrants are white or black. These demonstrators are nothing like the bunch of racism rabbis who signed a petition against leasing apartments to Arabs. Their problem with the infiltrators is not their origin, but rather, what they do to their neighborhoods. They did not come out to protest against the refugees, but rather, against the State of Israel.
Perhaps the timing is bad. We are, after all, dealing with the recent psak din regarding selling or renting domiciles to Arabs and seen in juxtaposition, one can easily be confused into thinking this is the same issue. It's not.
I am not advocating that the refugees be expelled but Israel's government does have a responsibility to maintain the integrity of its borders and control who gets across and declares himself a refugee. It is not racism to insist that a responsible policy be established instead of allowing the country to be swamped by people who will bring its social services system to collapse from the weight of their needs.