Sunday, October 18, 2009
It says “Caution” – it should say “Keep Out”.
Or so say Beduin Arabs in Rahat, one of Israel’s Beduin cities. It seems Rahat is plagued by illegal immigrants.
Rahat is a Beduin city of about 50,000 located just north of Beersheba. It was created in 1972 in an attempt to draw the area’s quasi-nomadic Beduin into permanent homes where they could more easily be supplied with utilities, schools and other municipal services. Up until recently, Rahat was 100% Beduin Arab.
Not so anymore, says Rahat’s mayor, Faez Abu-Sahiban. He recently launched a “total war” against illegal immigrants.
Illegal immigrants? Who would illegally immigrate to one of the Beduin villages? According to the Beduin who live in Rahat as well as seven other “recognized” (government-built) Beduin villages, they are pits of economic disaster, plagued by crime, hopelessness and despair. Who would want to immigrate to one of those much-beleaguered villages?
Israeli Arabs, that’s who. The people who like to call themselves “Palestinians”.
According to city officials, illegal Arabs have moved into Rahat, rented houses and stores and are looking for work, usually in the construction business.
Digression: The fascinating little secret no international news media cares to mention is how prosperous some of the Israeli Arabs are becoming by doing construction work in Judea and Samaria – the very places where the Community Organizer has insisted NO CONSTRUCTION at all must take place. Hussein Obama’s supremely ignorant edict -- “I don’t want to see a single cement mixer” -- doesn’t hurt just the Jews who live there, who want to build or expand their homes. It hurts the Israeli Arabs who do most of the construction work. If the Community Organizer and his French, Spanish and British allies would just shut up and leave “the settlements” alone, what would probably evolve, of its own accord, is an area where both Jews and Arabs could live in relative peace. But no, they all insist the Jews must leave. No one wants that less than the Israeli Arabs. If the Jews leave, who will employ them?
In any event, there is a problematical -- according to the Beduin – illegal migration of Israeli Arabs into Beduin cities, and the Beduin city fathers don’t like it one bit. “I have received reports from hundreds of young men and women complaining of harassment of the young women by the illegals,” he said. “This behavior contradicts our religion and tradition. We will not let those who want to trample our values stay in our town.”
Estimates indicate there are about 2,000 illegal Arabs in Rahat, which is enough, the city fathers say, to damage the traditional lifestyle of the Beduin families.
Abu-Sahiban announced that he’s giving the illegal immigrants a two week grace period, after which he intends to use a “heavy hand” together with the police and to kick the migrants out. Anyone who cooperates with the illegals would be an accomplice to a crime, he warned. He’s doing this, he says, because the illegals have caused a spike in crime, arms dealing and drug trade.
And then there’s Eilat, Israel’s Red Sea paradise at its southernmost tip. Illegal immigrants are pouring into Eilat from Egypt. Eilat is slightly bigger than Rahat, with some 65,000 residents, and now, city officials say, about 7% of them are illegal immigrants. Worse than that, the IDF is warning that there are at least 1,000,000 more Africans who are in the pipeline, planning their illegal immigration into Israel through Eilat.
Eilat is unprotected by any border fence, so gaining entrance to Israel by crossing at this southern point is even easier than trying to pass through Aza, where there is a low fence, and where both the IDF and the Egyptian army (to some extent) try to slow down the flow of illegals into Israel.
Again, these would-be immigrants, who will seek refugee status, are not from Darfur, or any other war-torn area. They are economic immigrants, hoping to improve their futures – little different, in that sense, from the Mexican illegals who try to make their way into the US through California and Arizona.
Now here’s the interesting contrast: when Israel tries to keep out illegal immigrants, we’re called ‘racist’ and ‘inhumane’ for not wanting to welcome the world’s ‘wretched refuse’, as Emma Goldman wrote, into our country.
But when the Beduin city fathers announce to the world that they plan to use a “heavy hand” in getting rid of their illegal immigrants, no one makes a peep.
And remember, in the case of Rahat and its illegal immigrants, we’re talking about one Arab group working to keep out another Arab group. Yes, they consider themselves different, and indeed they are, in tradition and lifestyle.
But why does the world communally denounce Israel, the Jewish State, for not wanting to accept millions of Arab Muslim refugees?
Where are all those same ‘human rights activists’, when it’s Beduin Arabs who don’t want Israeli Arabs in their cities?
There. Can you smell it? The stench of a double standard – by George, I think it’s there.