Netanyahu Regime Offers African Migrants $3,500 to Leave Israel
Not even one month into his sixth term as Israel's Prime Minister, the chaos that marred Benjamin Netanyahu's last term in the office has already reared its ugly head. Although his term at the head of the 24th Knesset only just began on December 29th, the return of the familiar face at the helm of the State of Israel has not calmed the turbulent waters of a legislature that has seen its ruling governments falter time and time again since the ouster of Netanyahu in June of 2021.
From the onset, critics of Netanyahu's newest government have characterized his hardline ruling coalition as one of the most far-right in the world. Those tensions have led to policy making directed to implement expansive judicial reforms in order to solidify the reign of Netanyahu's latest administration. The totalitarian tenor that has enveloped the political discourse across Israel has led to the emergence of a constitutional crisis centering on proposed judicial reforms. That agenda has evoked a fervent outcry from opponents who fear that Israel has come under the rule of extremists. Netyanyahu's latest proposal will do little to qualm that criticism.
Following public remarks from Netanyahu in which he recounted his previous efforts in 2013 to rein in illegal immigrants entering the country from Israel's border with Egypt, the Prime Minister announced a plan to expel the remaining entirety of the 60,000 Africans who entered the country before it was able to erect a barrier to prevent them from doing so. Since then, Israel has already deported a third of that number - 20,000. Despite that, Netanyahu has doubled down on his hardline immigration rhetoric by going as far to announce a policy which will offer African migrants a payment worth $3,500 and free air travel to return to the nations they emigrated from. “We have expelled about 20,000 and now the mission is to get the rest out,” Netanyahu said in remarks embodying how hardlined his ruling faction has become.
Further details on the policy elucidate how Israel will partner with alternative destinations to expel African migrants to. Migrant rights groups have surmised that Rwanda and Uganda have joined forces with Netanyahu's government to facilitate the mass deportation scheme. Israeli Immigration officials conveyed that there are presently 38,000 migrants freely living illegally in Israel along with 1,420 being held in detention centers. While the $3,500 incentive to leave Israel is on the table now, those officials have stated that that monetary award will shrink after March until it's eventually weened down to zero and any migrants found to be in the country afterward will face incarceration.
Netanyahu's latest immigration crackdown isn't the first instance in which a Knesset under his rule has been maligned for policy making its critics have characterized as a xenophobic violation of human rights. in 2013, a report emerged that African migrants coming to Israel had been unknowingly subjected to mandatory contraceptive injections. Depo-Provera injections administered in three month periods drew comparisons to forced sterilization campaigns like those conducted during the Holocaust. That human rights abuse affected over 130,000 Ethiopian migrants who themselves were Jewish and had repatriated to Israel under the tenet of Aliyah, which Jews acknowledge as the birthright of their religions adherents to seek refuge in Israel.
To garner support for his current proposal to initiate a mass expulsion of African migrants, Netanyahu stoked fear in his citizens nationwide by characterizing the illegal immigrants as an existential threat to Israel, an oft-repeated line he has aimed at his opponents throughout his decades in Israeli politics. Netanyahu expounded on the premise that his impetus to deport migrants was rooted in populist support, painting a picture in which he illustrated how residents of Tel Aviv live in fear due to the presence of Africans who have come to settle there. “So today, we are keeping our promise to restore calm, a sense of personal security and law and order to the residents of south Tel Aviv and those in many other neighborhoods,” he said.
In classic Netanyahu fashion, the Prime Minister has deflected away from the controversies his government lies at the center of by courtesy of the coincidental timing of an attack against Jewish residents of Israel by Arab extremists. During the last days of his fifth term as Prime Minister, Netanyahu led a military campaign in Palestinian territories which he likely envisaged as the vehicle he needed to evoke the popular support to prevent the dissolve of Likud's ruling coalition at the time, albeit to no avail. Now, in the wake of a fatal synagogue shooting in which a 21-year old Palestinian gunman killed seven Jews, Netanyahu has turned to the familiar posture as the self-avowed sole savior capable of preserving Israel's right to exist.
Idf raid on the synagogue shooting yesterday pic.twitter.com/do745triDj— Hans (@_Heisenbvrger_) January 28, 2023
In issuing calls to calm the outrage following the synagogue shooting, Netanyahu discouraged any vigilantism against Arabs on behalf of Israelis. “I call again on all Israelis – don’t take the law into your hands,” he said. “We have a sovereign state with an army, a government and excellent security forces.”
That directive embodied the repugnant tendency of Netanyahu to advantageously seize any crisis facing Israel as a means to further consolidate his power. With an increasingly authoritarian political climate sweeping across the whole of Israel targeting Arabs and Africans alike, it is clear that Netanyahu looks to achieve the unrealized aims of his previous terms as he embarks upon his latest tenure as Prime Minister. Seemingly hellbent on this mission, if Netanyahu is to succeed then he will sew his radical Zionist vision irrevocably into the fabric of his nation's future.