Israel to Replace 6,000 Africans, Palestinians with Foreign Workers
Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved to bring in 6,000 foreign workers to work under official permits, which will effectively lead to the deportation of tens of thousands of African asylum-seekers.
The decision was made at the end of a cabinet session on Sunday after a heated debate that refused to grant work permits to Palestinian workers.
Negev and Galilee Minister of the Development Aryeh Deri, also one of the Shas party founders for Oriental Jews, had put forward a proposal to bring Palestinian workers to work at construction and industrial sites in Israeli towns.
“It is better and less costly for Israel to bring workers from our neighbors in the West Bank and even the Gaza Strip. They know us and we know them. They are close. While providing foreign workers with a place to stay and expensive working conditions, the Palestinians could return to sleep at home,” Deri explained.
“Many of them (Palestinians) are fluent in Hebrew. And bringing them here contributes to improving their economic and social conditions, and this helps us to improve security conditions for us and them.”
“Bringing the Palestinians, while expelling African workers, is more understandable for the countries of the world-- but expelling Africans and bringing workers from Eastern Europe will result in world countries accusing Israel of racism against blacks," Deri added.
“This accusation will not apply if we bring in Palestinian workers,” he suggested.
Israel needs 20,000 foreign workers by next summer. There has been a long debate within Israeli society about bringing workers from China, Europe or the Palestinian territories.