I like reading Haaretz, an Israeli English language newspaper, because it writes up stuff that Canadian and American newspapers and magazines don't dare to as it will disrupt the public's perception of Israel as a beacon of democracy.You learn more about Israel than meets the Western fiction of Israel.
Closing borders, beefing up security, and building more prisons are increasingly the pastimes of states like Canada, the US, and Israel. Defining who doesn't belong is part of this nation building through exclusion. As if Israel hasn't created enough tent "cities" of refugees in the past through the creation of the state of Israel, through the war of 1967, the removal of Palestinians from Palestine, the bombing of Gaza and other injustices, now I read that Israel is going to erect 20,000 - 25000 tents for African migrants who have entered its borders.
Where will the they be built? Five tent cities will be built at five different detention centers.Three of them will be built near a prison. Like the coils of barbed wire and crowded men in the image above foreshadow: "The centers will be run by the Israel Prison Service." Say, what?
Haaretz reports that
The objective of the plan, according to the ministry, is to ensure that all African migrants who enter Israel will be directly transferred to a detention center where they will stay for long periods of time, in order to prevent their entry to Israeli cities.
I have bolded the lines that ring alarm bells of incarceration, exclusions. Does anyone still believe that Israel is a democracy? Criminalizing migrants and refugees has a long history in Israel and this seems to be ramping up again, but this time addressed to another group of people, also with brown faces and, for many, non-Jewish origins, who are "the issue". Why does that term seem to ring with the term Canada once invented for its own issue: "the Indian problem"? (Indian was the word created for the First Nations people who lived on the land that Canada claimed as its dominion). I wonder if Israel's earlier plans to replace the exploited Palestinian work force with other exploited day / migrant labourers has backfired for Israel? It seems they have another demographic problem at hand that will expose the lie of their democracy.The plan was presented to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier on Thursday after his bureau ordered a quick and efficient response to the migrant issue.