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Deportation of kids redolent of British Mandate

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Demonstrators in Tel Aviv slam State's plan to deport children of foreign workers; 'our behavior reminds me of how the British treated the Jews before Israel's inception,' protestor says

Yael Branovsky
Some 200 people protested in Tel Aviv Wednesday evening against the plan to deport Israeli-born children of illegal foreign workers and the government's "revolving door" policy, whereby foreign workers are deported and others are brought into the country to replace them.

Demonstrators chanted, "We are all against deportation and intimidation" and carried signs reading, "Stop the deportation."

One protestor told that the deportation policy was redolent of the era in which the British would deny Jewish immigrants' entry to the Land of Israel.

"As a child my heart would ache each time I heard that boats carrying Jewish immigrants were not allowed to dock," Lilya Peter said, "Our behavior (towards the foreign workers) reminds me of how the British treated the Jews in those days."

Peter said she had heard of a Filipino who was forced to hide her child in a convent in north Israel for fear that he would be deported.

"This brought to mind the time when Jews were forced to hide their children in monasteries throughout Europe during the Holocaust," she said.

Minorities Minister Avishay Braverman also attended the rally. "I thought that this issue had been resolved. It is obvious that the foreign workers and their children should be allowed to remain in Israel," he told.

Braverman criticized the proposal to offer financial compensation to deported families and said he would make every effort so that the foreign workers' children would not be deported.

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