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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/3/10

Israel Moves To Deport Children of Invited Workers

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On Sunday, Israel initiated a policy to deport the children of migrant workers, most of whom were "young, born in Israel, speak Hebrew and have never seen the native countries of their parents."[1]

Incredibly, this new policy is aimed at the children of foreign workers who were invited to work in Israel. They arrived legally, "brought to the country to work, plow the fields, build houses and take care of the elderly"[2], essentially the work Israeli citizens refused to do.

Unlike U.S. law which grants automatic citizenship to anyone born in the country (including those born to illegal immigrants); Israel does not automatically grant "residency status" to all children born in their country. In all fairness, other countries have similar policies so Israel is not establishing something that is unique only to them. But what is startling is they are establishing this policy after the fact i.e. deportation of children of aliens was not Israeli law before these invited workers were brought to Israel and known by these people before they came. Some child advocates suggested the new rules should apply to new generations of migrant workers who would know the restrictions before agreeing to come to the country. This would make sense and be fair minded (apparently two ideas the Israeli government seems incapable of and appears stone deaf to).

By deporting these children (and obviously their parents) are you not implementing a policy that is a slap in the face to their parents you legally invited to perform the labor your citizens will not take on? It would seem you owe them a debt of gratitude!

It is one thing to try to maintain the Jewish character of Israel but is this new policy not one that invites legitimate ridicule and derision, another example confirming the country as an apartheid state?

But as we have seen with the Israeli occupation since 1967, its tortured and discriminatory relations with the Palestinians, the siege of Gaza and before that its disproportionate and lethal attack of the enclave in December 2008, the piracy on the high seas of the Gaza bound relief flotilla, the endless and illegal expansion of settlements on Palestinian lands in the West Bank (not to mention its continuing refusal to sign the nuclear non proliferation treaty) and now this new deportation ruling (to name a few of the issues) Israel often acts in defiance of international law and institutes policies abhorrent to other civilized, Western democratically elected governments.

Returning to the focus of this short piece, it must be said every country has its own peculiarities regarding guest workers, immigrants, their legal status, eligibility rules for citizenship, rules determining deportation et al. No two countries will act alike and agree on every issue regarding their foreign workers.

But Israel's latest ruling smacks of ham handedness, reactionary myopia and irrational fear, further solidifying its place as a stand alone nation.

[1] "Israel to deport kids of migrant workers", by Edmund Saunders, "The Baltimore Sun", August 2, 2010.

[2] See footnote #1

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