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NGO threatened with arson and violence for helping Africans

A human rights organization that assists foreigners received threats of arson and rape within hours of Interior Minister Eli Yishai’s remarks that African asylum seekers are “infiltrators” and most are “criminals” who “damage the Zionist project.” The NGO has filed an incitement complaint against Yishai.

The Hotline for Migrant Workers received three phone calls yesterday from unknown individuals who threatened to burn the office and seemed to threaten sexual violence against volunteers and employees. The calls came less then three hours after Yishai’s remarks on Army Radio.

According to the Hotline, the first caller asked, “Is this the hotline that helps sons of whores Nazi infiltrators who rape Jewish women?”

Another caller demanded to know where the office was located; during the third call, a Hotline volunteer was told, “I want to know your address so I can burn [your offices and] to do to your girls what [asylum seekers] do to our girls, you daughter of a whore.”

The threats against the Hotline come amid heightened tensions between Jewish Israelis and African asylum seekers in South Tel Aviv. The past month has seen two incidents in which a total of six African residences in South Tel Aviv were firebombed. One of the apartments doubles as a daycare.  A 20-year-old Jewish Israeli resident of South Tel Aviv was arrested in connection with five of the attacks.

Earlier in May, an unknown caller threatened to set fire to Mesila, another organization that provides assistance to the migrant community.

Haaretz reports that on Tuesday this week, four African asylum seekers were arrested in connection with the rape of a 19-year-old South Tel Aviv woman.

After yesterday’s phone calls, the Hotline filed a complaint with the police and lodged one against Yishai as well, accusing him of incitement. In a statement issued today, the Hotline said that Yishai and other government ministers are responsible for the threats made against it and other human rights organizations.

A number of human rights groups say that the government incites against African asylum seekers rather than addressing the real problem, which is a lack of policy towards the group.

Israel does not process the refugee claims of the majority of asylum seekers residing in the country. While it does not deport Eritrean and Sudanese citizens, it also does not grant them or any other asylum seekers work permits. The state has, however, committed before the High Court of Justice that it will not enforce the work prohibition on asylum seekers.

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    1. Kolumn9

      Oh those poor African migrants and the kind souls who help them. Everyone should support the right of these innocent angels to illegally enter Israel, work in Israel, and of course rape and steal in Israel. Any mention that they are an obvious crime and hygiene problem here is dismissed as racism. Mya, planning any solo trips to south Tel Aviv in the near future?

      Reply to Comment
    2. Jack

      Like the other debate we have, muslims arent the only ones you are generalizing, also blacks.

      On topic.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Kolumn9

      I don’t care if they are black white or green. They are in Israel illegally and are committing the most horrific of crimes. There have been three horrific cases of rape in Tel Aviv in the past two weeks. In one case the girl was 15. In two cases they made the boyfriends watch while they took turns raping the girls. In another 5 surrounded a girl and raped her. Clearly it is racist to argue that there is a problem here.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Kolumn9

      The government incites against them? Are you serious? How much incitement do you think is caused by rape and theft that is carried out on a daily basis? It is true there is a lack of policy. Which is surprising because the policy is pretty obvious. Deport them all now.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Who do we have here engaging in incitement? It’s Eli Yishai, head of Shas. Now what do we know about Shas at this precise point in time? We know that it is (a) semi-paralysed because its Litvak advisors are labouring under one of those characteristic succession crises, owing to Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv having been, as Yair Ettinger puts it, “moribund for the last three months,” and a succession battle raging between Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman and Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach, and (b) in somewhat of a cleft stick regarding the replacement for the Tal Law, regarding which, to again quote Ettinger, “MKs Litzman and Gafni (UTJ) and Ariel Atias (Shas) are working to draft a replacement that would “save the Torah world” while also placating Netanyahu and others who speak of a new, historic law.” So I think we can infer that Yishai is trying to play the race card for political advantage.

      Reply to Comment
    6. mya guarnieri

      kolumn9: is your question to me about solo trips to south tel aviv a joke? because i had a good laugh… a good troll–and i took you for a good troll, maybe even a paid troll–would have realized that i spend a lot of solo time there, as evidenced the first article in my south tel aviv series, published just a few days ago: http://972mag.com/south-tel-aviv-stories-a-single-working-mom-without-permit/45446/

      oh, and there’s this one about the government’s policy of non-policy towards asylum seekers. yup, those interviews were conducted in south tel aviv. yes, i was alone: http://www.irinnews.org/Report/95472/ISRAEL-Growing-tensions-between-locals-and-migrants

      and, if you’d read my bio, you would know that i am writing a book about migrant workers in israel and, yup, you could guess that i spent a lot of solo time in south tel aviv.

      oh, and i used to live there.

      as far as whether or not it’s racist to call asylum seekers criminals… whenever you take the actions of a few and then generalize about the group, yes, that’s racism.

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    7. Jack

      Arent blacks allowed in Israel? These are immigrants and asylum seekers, hes not talking about illegal immigrants. Your generalizing of people because of their ethnicity and/or color is disgusting.

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    8. Kolumn9

      Yes, I am generalizing. These people that commit these crimes are in the country illegally. This is indeed a generalization, which also known as a fact. Some of these people that are in the country illegally are committing horrific crimes against the citizens of the state on multiple occasions and in the most brutal fashion. None of these people have the right to reside in Israel. This too is also one of those generalizations known as facts. All those people that are in the country illegally should be deported immediately. This approach is another generalization known as the rule of law. Where the racism comes in I have no idea. Clearly another situation where presenting a situation in the most blatantly obvious terms is considered racist.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Jack

      You make zero sense. First I tell you that you are wrong (that the minister talked about all black immigrants, not the illegal immigrants as you claimed), then you changed without acknowledge your false argument, now you are saying that people that commit crimes are in the country “illegally”. You have obviously no knowledge whatsoever on this topic, I doubt you even know what you are typing or what your argument really is.
      Generalizing people and in negative terms is predjudice and even beyond that. The fact that you think its perfectly normal to have prejudice views show how detached you are from reality. Havent you learned anything from the history?

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    10. Kolumn9

      Jack, you have no idea what you are talking about. Yishai was talking about the infiltrators. If you think that he was talking about Ethiopian Jews you are either blatantly lying or are misinformed.

      Generalizing that the Eritreans and Sudanese are in the country illegally is a statement of fact. Expressing that members of that group have raped three women in the past two weeks is a statement of fact. Demanding that the illegals be expelled is a demand that the rule of law be respected in securing the borders and ensuring that the government controls who is and who isn’t allowed in the country. All the rest of your garbage is just smoke and mirrors typically used when it is obvious that the only reasonable approach is one that doesn’t coincide with the global borderless utopia spouted by the Left.

      Reply to Comment
    11. caden

      What Israel needs to do is crank up the mossad and give every one of these people false documentation. Then send them on to Europe. Sweden would be good. Rowans home town would be better.

      Reply to Comment
    12. Jack

      Why then does Israel speak of sending ALL asylum seekers back? The minister even admit that the refugees (legal ones) are too few to be a problem, the problem of generalizing is there again. The problem is how many blacks that are living in Israel, because this is an alleged “threat” demographically according to the minister in question.

      Reply to Comment
    13. “Where the racism comes in I have no idea.”
      Declaring an entire group of people as ‘an obvious crime and hygiene problem’ is racism. Saying that all these people have arrived to ‘rape and steal in Israel’ (even qualifying it with ‘of course’) plays on another racial stereotype about black people as vicious rapists – the implication being that the violation is even more shocking because they prey on non-black women. This exact same language can be found about Jews in the exhibits at Yad Vashem.
      In 2010 the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel reported that one in three Israeli women has experienced rape or sexual assault. Do you honestly think that this was the work of a rapacious legion of migrant workers and asylum seekers? Statistically we know that most rapists are known to their victims. And it is sad, frightening, but factual that the vast majority of child sexual abuse doesn’t involve teenagers being pounced on in the park and raped as a one-off occurrence, but children being groomed and subjected to multiple assaults by people who are in authority in their lives and whom they trust. Teachers. Relatives. Family friends.
      Now, of all the sexual assaults that were committed in Israel in the past fortnight, what percentage do you suppose were committed by migrant workers? The irony is that such people are more likely to have been victims of sexual violence themselves than to have inflicted it – the women in particular are at particular risk of assault during their journey.

      Reply to Comment
    14. Kolumn9

      Vicky, REALLY? Another comparison of African economic migrants and Holocaust era Jews. What kind of ridiculous nonsense is this?

      They are illegal. That is enough to deport them. That they also seem to partake in petty crime and brutal rape only makes the case for their deportation stronger.

      The rate of most diseases are higher among the infiltrators from Eritrea, Sudan and other African countries. THIS IS A STATEMENT OF FACT, NOT RACISM. There were THREE cases of BRUTAL RAPE carried out by infiltrators from Africa. THIS IS A STATEMENT OF FACT, NOT RACISM.

      They are in the country illegally and that is enough to deport them. Where you find racism I still don’t know.

      Jack, I have no idea what you are talking about. Yes, the illegal residents should be sent back. I don’t care if they are from Romania, India or Eritrea. They must leave.

      Reply to Comment
    15. Jack

      As always you ignore the questions.
      I repeat them for you.
      “Why then does Israel speak of sending ALL asylum seekers back? ”

      Stop talking offtopic you are so obvious, I already proved you wrong about what group they are refering to.

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    16. “Vicky, REALLY? Another comparison of African economic migrants and Holocaust era Jews. What kind of ridiculous nonsense is this?”
      I was referring to the language and stereotypes that were used about Jews in the run-up to the Holocaust. Jews as dirty carriers of disease. Jews as thieves. Jews as rapists who threatened non-Jewish women. You have used all three of these against migrant workers and asylum seekers – before saying that their illegality is the only reason needed to deport them. So make that illegality your only argument. Do not resort to disgusting racial stereotypes based on hygiene and rape.

      Reply to Comment
    17. JG


      And if you cry it a hundred times, what you call ‘facts’ are just the racist crap in your h your small minded brain

      Reply to Comment
    18. Kolumn9

      Vicky, their illegality is sufficient. That there is a higher proportion of carriers of disease among the migrants is something that no Israeli doctor will deny. That there is increased theft and rape in Israel due to their presence is entirely self-evident due to the events from the past two weeks. I have no idea how any of these statements are racist, or how it is racist to demand the expulsion of illegal migrants when it is clear that they are contributing to the problems listed above. Or is it that these are not allowed to be used as factors in determining policy because acknowledging them is ‘racist’?

      Reply to Comment
    19. aristeides

      K9 flunks logic again: “This is indeed a generalization, which also known as a fact.”

      No it isn’t. A generalization is an inference, not a fact.

      Now, what is a fact, despite the racist assertions of K9, is that the African asylum-seekers in Israel are NOT illegal. If they were illegal, they would be deported. Israel has an active deportation police. The fact that they are living openly in Tel Aviv is due to the fact that Israel has accepted them as asylum seekers, which legalizes their presence.

      What does this make K9? A racist liar or a racist ignoramus?

      Reply to Comment
    20. XYZ

      There is an easy solution to the problem…
      instead of having the illegal workers living in crowded, dirty, old apartments in south Tel Aviv, we should rent or buy spacious townhomes in Herzliya Pituah, Savyon or get large apartments in the Akirov Towers. We could easily house 30-40 of these illegal immigrants in each of these apartments or homes and as an extra benefit, the existing wealthy Israeli neighbors, most of whom are Progressive and multicultural, would welcome having their neighborhood become multicultural, multiethnic and they would love having themselves and their children, particularly their daughters given the opportunity to socialize with people from a very differant culture and economic level. This would lead to the whole problem being solved in a very short time.

      Reply to Comment
    21. XYZ has a particular fondness for right-wing populism. This is the myth that ‘leftists’ are in fact well-heeled liberal elitists, trying to impose hypocritical conditions like ‘multi-culturalism’ on the masses that they do not need to tolerate themselves, being wealthy enough to avoid them. This has worked quite well on the masses elsewhere, but it won’t work here, because it bears no particular relation to the facts.

      Reply to Comment
    22. ABC

      The sad thing about this is that it will not make the evening news, few will here about this and even fewer will continue to discuss it in the US. The truth is that the US public is able to ignore such moments in Israeli society because it reflects the history of the US. The US kicked natives off of their land. The US made it seem like they were the true owners of this land. The US placed natives in reservations, and then settled their lands as “colonies.” The US brought scores of Africans to their country, and then demonized them, set their homes on fire, and discriminated against them. The US needed those immigrants, and then yells that they must go, that they hurt the society in which they live. The terminology changes, but history merely repeats itself. I don’t mean to encourage hatred or blame, but just look at it.

      Reply to Comment
    23. please think twice

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    24. do you mean that the refugee onlly are doing such type of criminals.what a bulsheet tought do u have .first of all you need to think about ur back ground. u the jewish are the first refugees in the world how come u forget ur history plzzzz.and also why need to threaten the ngos.u know also that u will be a refugees tomorrow.and why u discrmnate the refugees. they did not beg u. they are working to lead their life. most of them also they respect the law of israel.one of ur donkey minister elishay also talks what unecessary things with out feeling shame.is he real minister.has he ever gone to school before.he know nothing how to speak and to let the people uinderstand.

      Reply to Comment
    25. caden

      Let me put it another way. Unless you live in the area your not qualified to make judgments on the people who do.

      Reply to Comment
    26. first off, caden, where is the judgment in this article? second, i live in israel and, yes, i lived in south tel aviv, when there were refugees and migrant workers there. (not only did i live in south tel aviv, i volunteered in the foreign community). third, i don’t buy that you have to live somewhere to comment on the events there. and if you truly buy that logic of only being able to comment on events in places where one lives… well… if i’m not mistaken your IP is in new york city? 😉

      Reply to Comment
    27. max

      Haaretz has a short and – to me – well balanced article on the subject, going beyond the NGO threat.
      As if addressing the discussion here, one of the caring and socially active residents of Shapira says “My romance with the media is over,Whatever happens, even in the most positive articles, we come out as racists.”
      I heard a similar story from a French friend who lived in Paris, in a high-rise full of nice Vietnamese immigrants. She explained that the sheer number of them, setting her as minority in her homeland, caused her to turn ‘anti’.

      Reply to Comment
    28. ABC: good point, actually.

      Reply to Comment
    29. max

      ABC seems to have lost proportion… The issue – a threat to an NGO – will not reach the US because it’s a non-issue as an international item.
      But going on and comparing the situation of mostly/partly (choose your preferred value) illegal job seekers in Israel to the Africans brought as slaves to America is incredulous
      Mya, is this indeed your view as well?

      Reply to Comment
    30. goodness, max, i just said it’s a good point. no reason to conclude it’s my view.

      okay, people, i’m headed out and am off the thread. shabbat shalom.

      Reply to Comment
    31. Eritrean

      To all of the Israeli citizens, as an asylum seeker in your country Israel i would like to say something regarding this issue,

      i am sorry whether you like it or not your country is number one in the field of racism, not only to blacks but to every none Jews. (FACT)

      your Leaders ,
      I hope there will be some hidden ones that can save your future,

      The people,
      I would say they are lost, and confused in their internal social matters and to the presence of asylum seekers from Africa.(sorry if i generalize it)

      Its a natural human character, in the issue of rape its all in all false, its a tool of a poor political game. Israelis rape refugee women after they offer them a job.

      if we are illegals,
      You now the answer, your government has it.

      if we like life in Israel,
      99.999% no, it is an open prison for us. go and see the mistreatment that your country is offering us.

      99% people from Eritrea are Christians and 99% from sudan are muslim.

      so those are the facts, and i recommend you to stop hurting your mind thinking about the hate you already conceived,

      The good experience is that i realized Israel is way back than the third world countries, so you don’t have any first world country, just thank for wealth of America. you are exactly like the rest of the middle eastern countries.

      Thank God we at least have home, today or tomorrow we will leave you, think about your future.

      Reply to Comment
    32. Ha ha, perfect. Tell the truth and shame the devil.
      By the way, shabbat shalom to you too, Mya.

      Reply to Comment
    33. caden

      Your free to hit the road my friend.

      Reply to Comment
    34. aristeides

      Last time I looked, doesn’t Caden live in the US? If so, according to his own words, he has no standing on this issue.

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    35. Rafael

      Israel’s image as a liberal and tolerant country is indeed a sham. This obviously false concept, I’m led to believe, could only be sustained by means of a very successful PR campaign, combined with self-censorship on the part of the Western media. If only the world knew.

      Reply to Comment
    36. max

      @RAFAEL, while I agree that Mya reports is troubling, I fail to see how this projects on Israeli society as a whole.
      I dare say that if you would let us know your country – assuming that it indeed is regarded tolerant and liberal, we’ll all be able to find issues many times worse, without people projecting on your country.
      Are you up to it, or shall we agree that you’re full of yourself?

      Reply to Comment
    37. Jack

      Is that your best argument? That you always want to speak of other nations clearly show you acknowledge israeli wrongdoings.

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    38. caden

      Where do you live Aristeides?

      To all the rest of you. How many Africans is enough. Give me a number

      Reply to Comment
    39. Jack

      Thats what troublesome for the lobby, the image is about to crack, thats why the lobby is more furious and warmongering than ever because they think that if they could divert peoples attention from Israel, the myth could live on. But people today know too much about Israel.

      Reply to Comment
    40. aristeides

      How many Jews is enough, Caden? America is overrun with Jews. Get the hell out.

      Reply to Comment
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