Israel is a close and attractive target for migrants
Despite its more modest area and small population, Israel, itself created by Jewish repatriates, since the middle of the 2000's. became the object of large-scale illegal immigration from Africa. For obvious reasons, migrants do not go to the countries of the Arab East to Israel, preferring the countries of Europe. But on the other hand, the absence of Arab and Turkish migrants is more than compensated by immigrants from African states - Eritrea, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Chad. The Israeli press even introduced a new term - “the infiltration of Africans into Israel”, by which they mean the permanent penetration of tens of thousands of African migrants into the country. The horrific living conditions in poor African countries, civil wars and ethnic cleansing all contribute to the ongoing waves of migration. Of course, most African migrants seek to get to Europe, where obtaining refugee status gives the right to receive good social support from government bodies and, in principle, guarantees a comfortable life (for African migrants, benefits paid to refugees in Europe are fantastic amounts). But many African migrants prefer not to get involved in a long, expensive and unsafe road to Europe, but go to Israel, since this “island of European prosperity” is in close proximity to the African continent. The same Sudanese or Eritreans get to Israel much easier than to the countries of Europe.
Currently, the population of the African continent is over 1,1 billion people (according to 2013 of the year). Hundreds of millions of Africans survive literally because their daily income is less than one dollar. At the same time, the countries of Northeast Africa, despite the most ancient history, are the least prosperous on the continent. Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan, Ethiopia are not only poor, but also extremely unstable politically. Somalia in fact does not exist as a single state, and the civil war in this country has not stopped since the very beginning of the 1990's. The situation in Ethiopia and Sudan is not much better, but in the latter there is also a civil war between the central government and the Darfur separatists. In Eritrea, a dictatorial regime has been established, which, together with the total poverty of the state, makes living for most of the country's population almost impossible. Naturally, people from these countries are trying to escape from poverty in more prosperous countries. At the same time, it is hardly possible to call them refugees, since the main motive for their resettlement is still economic. It is almost impossible to earn money at home, but in Europe you can either get a grunt job, or interrupt by casual earnings and criminal activities, or receive a refugee allowance altogether and not work (if lucky). Approximately also those Africans argue who, instead of Europe, choose the state of Israel as the ultimate goal of their migration. And if, say, the migration from Algeria or Morocco to France can still be explained by the fact that the French had colonized North Africa in their time, and now, they say, receive a “reward” for the not always peaceful conquest of the Maghreb, than Eritreans, Ethiopians, or Sudanese are not clear. In any case, thousands of migrants regularly arrive in Israel from the countries of North-East Africa, most of whom never find any work, but are housed in special camps equipped and maintained by the Israeli authorities. The fact is that, for example, people from Eritrea are almost impossible to deport, since the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has repeatedly noted that unacceptable conditions have been created for people to live in Eritrea.
Sudanese went first, then Eritreans pulled up
The beginning of the mass African migration to Israel put the Sudanese. In the middle of 2000's. In Sudan, armed confrontation intensified between residents of the Darfur province in the west of the country — representatives of the Negroid peoples of the Fur, Mab, Masalit and several others, and government troops and the Baggara tribes of the Arab-Sudanese tribes that were on their side. Thousands of Darfur men became victims of the attacks of Baggar troops, many of the Darfur peasants were forced to leave their homes and flee the country. But Libya, where Muammar Gaddafi was then in power, and Egypt under the leadership of Hosni Mubarak, treated the Sudanese refugees very coolly. In search of a better life, the Sudanese began to penetrate the Egyptian-Israeli border into Israel. It is noteworthy that then, in the middle of 2000, the Israeli leadership and public figures did not see the seriousness of the problem of African migration. Moreover, the Israelis, remembering the hardships and tragedies that the Jewish people had to endure during the two thousand years of “exile,” decided to accept Sudanese refugees. Especially since the first 200 people arrived in Israel is an insignificant figure for any normal country. Sudanese were placed on the territory of Israel, tried to provide food, clothing, shelter. However, soon after the relatives of the first migrants from Sudan were pulled. Residents of Eritrea have heard about the possibility of obtaining asylum in Israel, where there is a forced life mobilization in the Eritrean army. Numerous Eritrean draft dodgers from military service (which is actual slavery there, because people called for life in the “army” are used as free labor in agriculture and construction) also decided to try their luck on Israeli soil. As a result, by June 2007 of the year no less than 600 people crossed the border of Israel and Egypt every month. On average, only 150 of them were real refugees - residents of Sudanese Darfur. Eritreans, Sudanese and other Africans found themselves in Israel without means of livelihood; many of them became involved in criminal offenses and soon found themselves behind bars. By the end of 2007, the number of Eritrean and Sudanese migrants in Israel was already eight thousand. The Israeli police were faced with the difficult task of rewriting all visitors, giving them documents and establishing observation of their behavior. After all, the presence of migrants associated with international terrorist organizations of a fundamentalist nature was not excluded.
Meanwhile, the growth of African migration has caused a real panic among the Israeli population. Protests began, especially since only 2008 to 2011. at least 45 thousand people arrived on the territory of little Israel. The main part of the migrants were Eritreans, and not Darfurs at all. The situation was aggravated by the fact that Egypt refused to place migrants on its territory, since the social situation in Egypt itself was always also very tense. Therefore, the Eritrean migrants were threatened with expulsion to their homeland, which they did not want. An important role in the entry of migrants into Israel was played by the Arab Bedouins wandering in the Sinai desert. Using their knowledge of the territory and border security features, the Bedouins were engaged in sending illegal migrants and taking money from them. Human rights organizations have also repeatedly reported that African migrants were victims of crimes by the Sinai Bedouins (especially women who are sexually abused by conductors) are often affected. The number of illegal migrants grew every year. So, in 2006, the Israeli authorities detained about 1000 illegal migrants, in 2007 - about 5000 people, in 2008 - 8700 people, in 2009 - about 5000 people. In the 2010 year, in just the first seven months, Israeli law enforcement authorities detained more than 8000 illegal migrants. However, it should be borne in mind that not all illegal migrants were detained, therefore, in fact, we are talking about much more impressive figures. In 2011, the number of migrants arriving in Israel from Eritrea continued to grow. In the first six months alone, about 3 000 African migrants arrived in the country. In September, 2012 African immigrants arrived in Israel.
Illegal migration from Africa has led to a significant increase in the African population in Israeli cities. As of May 2010, 24 339 lived in Israel from African countries, including 13 310 of them were Eritrean refugees who cannot be deported in accordance with international law, 5 649 people came from Sudan, the rest were Somalia, Ethiopia, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire and Nigeria. In 2011, 16 766 received special visas (ס 2 א 5), giving the right to asylum in Israel. Despite the fact that these visas formally only give the right to stay in the territory of Israel, in fact, the state closed its eyes and that the majority of migrants were able to work with this visa. The vast majority of African migrants who settled in Israel were represented by men of working age - they accounted for the majority of migrants. According to some data, 94% of African migrants are men aged from 18 to 64 years, and it is the younger age groups that prevail in the general structure of visitors from African countries. This, according to supporters of the tightening of Israeli immigration policies, suggests that the natives of African countries for the most part are not refugees. Among refugees at all times women and children prevailed. For example, among immigrants from Syria who flee from the war, it is women, old people and children that make up the main part. Therefore, the prevalence of young men in the structure of African migrants indicates that these are labor migrants who arrived in the country for economic reasons. They left their families back home, and they themselves went to Israel in order to earn a living - it does not matter from work or criminal activity. In 2011-2013 Of the 64 thousands of immigrants from African countries residing in Israel, only 14 thousands of people applied for asylum as refugees. After reviewing the applications, only 24 people received official refugee status, while the rest were recognized as labor migrants.
African enclaves in Tel Aviv and cultural incompatibility
The growth of the African population in Israeli cities has become one of the major concerns of many Israelis. According to the report of the State Comptroller, in 2014, 13% of the population of Tel Aviv were foreign citizens. Most visitors settled in five blocks in the south of the Israeli capital, where they make up 61% of the population. At least 25% of the total number of foreign nationals residing in the Israeli capital is accounted for by illegal migrants from Eritrea, Sudan and a number of other African states. In Tel Aviv, an imposing community of Eritreans and Sudanese lives in Neve Shahanan quarter. Greek Jews settled here before, then Jews who arrived in Israel from Iran. Now the area is inhabited by African migrants, and the Israelis of Iranian and Greek origin, who are forced to live with them in the neighborhood, are dissatisfied. Iranian Jews call Eritreans and Sudanese “Wahshis,” that is, “savages,” accusing migrants of provoking street fights, looting and stealing bicycles. Naturally, the behavior of visitors becomes one of the most important reasons for the general irritation of Israeli society by the very fact that African migrants live on the territory of the country.
The current situation causes discontent of a significant part of the Israeli population, in the first place - the electorate of right-wing political parties. The presence of such a significant number of African migrants on Israeli territory is considered undesirable for the following reasons, which are generally common to all countries forced in the modern world to turn into receiving for migrants from third world countries. Firstly, it’s about the cultural incompatibility of visiting migrants and the indigenous population. It should be noted that people from Eritrea, Somalia or Sudan are carriers of East African Muslim culture. Their traditions and customs, lifestyles, value systems and behavioral attitudes are contrary to those generally accepted in Israel, which is becoming one of the main reasons for mutual misunderstanding and contradictions between residents and visitors. African migrants, of course, are not going to integrate into the cultural environment of the host Israeli society and, moreover, even follow the accepted norms of the hostel and the legal norms of the host country. Instead, migrants create enclaves of compact living, where they try to reproduce traditional patterns of behavior and lifestyle for their ethnic groups. In addition, migrants demonstrate their disregard for the citizens of the country, emphasizing in every possible way claims to possess the same rights as the indigenous Israelis. Plays a big role and the fact that deep down most African migrants, especially those who came from Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia, perceive the state of Israel and its population negatively and even hostilely, since the Israelis for them are only representatives of the “white world of colonialists”, causing negative emotions . Due to the over-conflict and problematic nature of Eritreans, Sudanese and Somalis, most Israelis prefer not to have business with them and not to rent an apartment to them. As a result, areas of compact residence of migrants, characterized by disadvantage and increased criminality, are formed.
Cultural incompatibility is one of the main reasons for not only domestic conflicts, but also the second important point that causes hostility from the local population - the active criminal behavior of migrants. So, many residents of Tel Aviv - both Jews and Arabs - talk about the constant fights that are provoked by African migrants. Many fights occur because African migrants simply do not want to pay in cafes, restaurants and shops. For Eritreans and Sudanese, a typical form of behavior is to go to a cafe, order lunch, and then not pay. If the waiter or the owner of the institution begins to demand payment, the African snatches a knife. When the boyna manages to be turned out, he calls his fellow countrymen and in a few minutes twenty - thirty Africans pull up to the institution. “These guys are different from other people not only in skin color, but in a different mentality. They strive to get everything for nothing - products, services, drinks, ”says one of the cafe owners in the southern district of Tel Aviv (quoted in: http://russian-bazaar.com/ru/content/16532.htm). And this behavior of African migrants demonstrate not only in relation to the Israelis, but also to their own tribesmen, who manage to open a small cafe or shop. By the way, Tel Aviv residents constantly emphasize their lack of conflict and hospitality - according to the Israelis, it is the Eritrean, Sudanese and Somali migrants who are prone to criminal behavior to the greatest extent. They are very different even from people from other parts of Africa, for example - from Nigerian Christians who give the impression of much more cultural and law-abiding people.
Crime - satellite of illegal migration
The increased criminality of the migrant environment is the second important factor that critics of illegal migration pay attention to. Due to a completely different mentality, sociocultural and social norms and rules, lack of profession and work, African migrants turn into a potentially explosive and criminogenic environment. Back in October, 2011 was reported by Israeli researchers that the number of crimes committed by migrants is relatively small. However, statistics show that if Israeli society is characterized by a decrease in crime by 17,6%, then for African migrants, on the contrary, there is an increase in crime by 68%. At the same time, a significant part of the crimes committed within the migrant diasporas themselves remains unknown to the police and, accordingly, not disclosed, since migrants prefer not to turn to Israeli law enforcement agencies, including fear of being expelled from the country. In 2012, the Israeli police were forced to strengthen the protection of public order on the streets of Tel Aviv, above all - in places of mass gathering and residence of African migrants.
As in European countries, the set of major crimes committed by African migrants in Israel is quite standard. First, it is robbery and robbery in the streets of Israeli cities - most often, Africans commit street crimes against Israeli citizens, trying to get money or things. Secondly, these are crimes of a sexual nature committed by African men against Israeli women. Given that the absolute majority of African migrants are young men, it is necessary to understand that they are deprived of the necessary level of sexual comfort, and local women and girls do not seek to enter into relations with migrants. Therefore, young migrants commit rape of local girls and women. At the same time, Africans do not even pay attention to the age of the victims. So, in Israeli media you can see the following messages: “the central district police detained an 16-year-old illegal from Eritrea, who attempted to rape an 51-year-old resident of Tel Aviv”. As it turned out, the Eritrean youth specifically tracked down his victim and attacked her at the entrance of a residential building. And this is not an isolated case. On the night of 26 on 27 on April 2012, a group of Africans attempted to rape a girl, after which incendiary bottles were thrown at unknown migrant houses. In addition, many Israelis fear the spread of extremist ideas among migrants. After all, most of them came from the Muslim countries of Northeast Africa, whose population is characterized by significant religious fanaticism. Moreover, radical fundamentalist organizations associated with the international terrorist underground are active in Sudan, Eritrea, and Somalia. The Israeli media are adding “fuel to the fire”, which periodically report identifying among African migrants those associated with extremist religious circles. Thus, in 2012, citizens of Eritrea were detained, who transferred part of the money they earned in Israel to support terrorist organizations. Another serious problem is the involvement of African migrants in the criminal business. Illegal migrants from Sudan participate in the organization of drug trafficking from Egypt to Israel, working with the Sinai Bedouin clans, which play a key role not only in drug trafficking, but also in the transfer of illegal migrants. Narcotism and even alcoholization (despite the prohibitions of Islam) of the migrant environment are of great danger, since in an inadequate state, migrants tend to commit criminal offenses - robbery and rape.
Fighting for refugee status as a chance not to work
The third important factor causing hostility towards African migrants is their arrogance and assertiveness in their attempts to ensure their legalization in the territory of Israel. So, in January, 2014. Several thousand African migrants from Eritrea and Sudan held a demonstration on Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, demanding that they be granted official refugee status. African protesters declared that they were “prisoners of Zion” because the state did not grant them official refugee status, and raised “Freedom, not prison” posters, referring to the camp for illegal migrants stationed in the Israeli Negev. It should be noted here that in 2012, the protected complex Sakhronim in the Negev desert was allocated for the accommodation of migrants. The majority of adult migrants were accommodated there, while minors were sent to a training center in Nitzan. At the beginning of 2012, almost all detained illegal immigrants who were in Sakhronim were transferred to a new center for the maintenance of illegal migrants Kholot. On the territory of Kholot there is a polyclinic, canteen and even sports grounds - that is, such an infrastructure that Eritrean and Sudanese migrants could not even dream of at home. In addition, each camp inhabitant received 500 shekels per month for personal needs (food provided by the state). At Russian prices, 2012 of the year is about seven thousand rubles. Repeat, pocket money. However, this situation did not suit migrants and they still characterized the camp for the placement of illegal immigrants as a prison. African migrants living in Tel Aviv and other cities of the country, although formally do not have an official work permit, almost all are employed, receive more or less subsistence money, and their children use the services of kindergartens, schools and medical institutions with Israeli taxpayers' money. Naturally, in Eritrea or Sudan, not to mention Somalia, migrants could only dream of such conditions, but, once in Israel, prefer to show dissatisfaction with the low, as it seems to them, level of social security and the lack of formal rights. In this, they find support from the Israeli left-liberal organizations, which, in their criticism of the country's political course, can perhaps outweigh even Arab anti-Zionists.
It is noteworthy that the Africans themselves could hardly have organized for this speech, do not assist them with Israeli human rights organizations. Israeli left-wing politicians believe that Israel violates international legal norms and does not provide refugees with asylum in the country. Such allegations are thrown into the environment of African migrants, which, in fact, can be seen as inciting poorly educated, disadvantaged and aggressive people to participate in mass actions and riots. It is significant that even those African migrants who got a job in Israel, and therefore the opportunity to receive enough tolerable money, took part in mass protests. It was just that they found few jobs, they demanded the granting of refugee status. By the way, Africans simply do not want to be labor migrants - after all, it deprives them of a large number of social benefits that are synonymous with the word "refugee" in the modern world. 5 January 2014. African migrants quit their jobs and gathered at Rabin Square, and the next day, January 6, went to foreign embassies in Tel Aviv. The largest group of migrants gathered at the Embassy of the United States of America, sending a letter to US Ambassador Dana Shapiro to influence the migration policy of the Israeli state and support the campaign for granting refugee status. Impressive groups of Africans also gathered at the Tel Aviv Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, at the embassies of Great Britain, France, Canada, Italy, Sweden and, for some reason, Romania. In Rabin Square, African migrants clashed with the Israeli police. Migrants began to throw stones and glass bottles, as well as stun grenades, into law enforcement officers. Several people were detained. Dozens of Africans then attempted to break into the city hall, where the country's Minister of Internal Security and the Chief of Police of the Central District of Tel Aviv were located. The police had to disperse the crowd of migrants gathered in front of the municipality with the help of truncheons and special means. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has demonstrated firmness and inflexibility on the situation and status of African migrants in the country. In particular, the Israeli Prime Minister stressed that “today there are no refugees in Israel, but there are illegal immigrants who have entered our country in search of work. We intend to send violators of the law to the countries from which they came, and no rallies and strikes will help them ”(cited at: http://cursorinfo.co.il/news/novosti1/2014/01/06/binyamin-netaniyagu- otricaet-nalichie-bezhencev-v-izraile /).
Many Israeli media write about the presence of some external forces interested in the presence of African migrants in the country. Among them are the structures of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, as well as the EU countries. It is possible to understand the politicians of the European Union - they are trying to protect their countries from the invasion of migrants, therefore the more Eritrean and Somali migrants settle in Israel, the more calm the authorities of European states will feel. In other words, European countries are trying to redirect the main flows of migrants to Israel, for which they specifically encourage Eritrean, Sudanese and Somali migrants to enter Israeli territory, and after entering, to settle in Israeli cities and not to leave this country. It is known that in 2012, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Israel transferred 25 thousand shekels to ASAF, which organizes assistance to African migrants. Another 35 thousand shekels gave the Embassy of Switzerland. But the most impressive amount came directly from the government structures of the European Union - about 250 thousand shekels. Note that this is not the full amount spent by European states to stimulate the stay of African migrants in Israel. Thus, the organization "Kav le Oved" received in the same year 2012 from the government funds of Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland about 200 thousand shekels, and from the leadership of the European Union - about a million shekels in general. It is known that a number of Israeli left-wing and left-wing organizations participate not only in organizing assistance to African migrants who are already in Israel, but also directly ensures the penetration of African migrants from Egypt to Israel. Some leftist structures in general openly provoke the entry of migrants from Egypt into Israel. For example, in the Israeli press, publications have slipped about how Israeli human rights activists are acting in Egypt, where they convince Eritrean and Sudanese migrants in Egypt to move to neighboring Israel - they say, working conditions there are much better than in Egypt, and there is also the option of obtaining status refugee and, in this case, the general possibility of living on social benefits. Israeli right-wing politicians call this activity a threat to national security and the very existence of the Israeli state.
Illegal migration provokes unrest
The stay of African migrants in Israel is becoming an important factor in internal destabilization. Indeed, a significant part of the country's population, to put it mildly, does not welcome the presence of Eritrean, Sudanese and other immigrants, especially after regular reports of recent crimes. The behavior of African migrants provokes a response from the Israelis. Periodically, in the same Tel Aviv, local residents go to rallies with placards that speak quite well - “Infiltrates, get out!”, “Israel is our land.” In Jerusalem, unknown right-wing radicals set fire to an apartment where African migrants lived. There have been repeated instances of attacks by nationalists on African migrants. At the same time, disproportionately more Israelis suffer from the actions of criminals from the migrant environment, than migrants from the hands of nationalists. In the summer of 2013, residents of the southern areas of Tel Aviv held a massive protest against migrants. A spokeswoman for the Likud party, Miri Regev, called migrants no other than “a tumor on the body of the country.” After the rally, the unmanaged demonstrators moved into areas where African migrants lived, where they began to crush Eritrean and Sudanese cafes and shops and beat oncoming Africans. It is significant that the overwhelming majority of Israelis generally agree with the opponents of migrants. Thus, 80% of the country's inhabitants oppose the penetration of migrants from African states into the territory of Israel, while 52% of Israelis are even more radical and agree with the statement about “migrants as a cancer of the Israeli state”.
By the way, Israeli Arabs demonstrate an unfriendly attitude towards migrants from African countries. By their behavior, Eritrean and Sudanese migrants "got" even co-religionists from Arab villages. In June, 2012, in the Arab village of Kfar Manda, located in the northern suburb of Nazareth Ilit, mass unrest occurred. They were caused by the behavior of African migrants and labor competition with local Arab youth. Arabs expelled migrants from Northern Sudan who settled there from their village. As a result of clashes on the streets of the village suffered at least fifteen people. Policemen of the special forces were introduced into the village, who tried to pacify the raging Arabs, but in vain - in the end, the authorities had to rush several roomy buses to the village in a hurry. Sudanese, who lived in the village of Kfar Manda, were evacuated to other localities, as it should be understood, until the riots erupted by the indignation of the indigenous people in the new places of their residence.
Israel solves the problem
An important measure taken by the Israeli government to minimize the migration flow from African countries to the country’s territory was the construction of an impressive 140 wall of kilometers that separated Israel from Egypt. The construction of the Great Israeli Wall cost the country 400 million dollars, but the Israelis are convinced that thanks to these costs they managed to save much more impressive money. After all, the number of migrants arriving in the country after the construction of the wall has been reduced hundreds of times. If in September 2012, 6357 immigrants from Eritrea, Sudan and other African countries arrived in Israel, then a year later the number of African migrants dropped to some 36 people. By the way, according to international standards, it was Egypt that had to assume the obligations of accommodating migrants, since they arrived on its territory and only then came to Israel, taking advantage of the gaps in the protection of the Israeli-Egyptian border. However, Egypt, due to a multitude of internal problems, is not only unwilling, but also unable to resolve the issue with Eritrean and Sudanese migrants. Egyptian authorities are ready to deport all foreigners arriving on its territory back to Eritrea and Sudan, where many of the migrants may face criminal prosecution. Israel, in turn, cannot deport migrants at all. In Eritrea, deportation is impossible due to the appropriate decision of the UN - there the migrants who left the country could even face the death penalty, and with Sudan Israel is in confrontation - for a long time Tel Aviv actively supported the national liberation movement of the Christian negroid population in the south of the country, leading to South Sudan Branch. By the way, most South Sudanese refugees were deported to South Sudan immediately after the declaration of independence and the opening of an air link with Israel. And they, in the overwhelming majority, left voluntarily, since the Israeli government gave everyone a thousand Sudanese who voluntarily agreed to be deported. Currently, the number of immigrants from South Sudan who are in Israel does not exceed 60 people. Much more complicated is the issue of solving the problems of migrants from Northern Sudan, in particular from Darfur. To achieve their departure from Israeli territory, the government has to go to significant tricks and cash costs.
In recent years, Israel has been seriously using the strategy of “voluntary departure” to third countries. To this end, according to some sources, the relevant agreements were concluded with Rwanda and Uganda. These East African countries, in exchange for monetary assistance from the Israeli government, agreed to allow Eritrean and Sudanese migrants arriving from Israel to enter their territory. Last, if they agree to leave the country, the Israeli authorities promise a one-way ticket and 3,5 thousands of American dollars. Since the beginning of 2014, thousands of African migrants have taken advantage of offers to move to another country, and about 10 000 people have been deported to their home countries. Meanwhile, human rights activists are persistently spreading rumors that the African migrants sent to Uganda have a hard time at the new place. Uganda is not Israel and there is no ceremony with foreign migrants, placing them in well-guarded camps, which are much more like a real prison than Israeli centers to accommodate illegal migrants.