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Fortress Israel – Before the trend of Thai workers into Israeli agriculture, the country counted on cheap Palestinian labor as farmhands. Since the latest Intifada about 10 years ago,  there has been a shortage of Palestinian workers, causing an influx of Thai workers (an agreement to simplify this process has been signed by the two countries) that Israeli hands will not. A lower wage and back-breaking work, the average Israeli, even those desperate for work, a recent TV show in Israel showed, is not happy working on the farm. Thai workers after all will work harder and do it for well below the minimum wage. Despite offering those out of work Israelis a go at working on the farm, it turns out that they don’t have the will and stamina that Thai workers offer, causing a serious demand for migrant workers into the country. Despite these facts, the Israeli government wants to limit migrant workers to Israel. So hundredsof them gathered in front of Ministry of Interior offices in Tel Aviv on Saturday to protest the deportation of families whose petitions for residency permits were rejected. The protest, near Tel Aviv’s HaBima Square, marched on to the government office building across the Street from Tel Aviv’s Azrieli Center, was made up of social activists and other concerned Israelis, but mostly of migrant Thai workers and their families carrying signs reading “I have no other country,” “There is no such thing as an illegal child,” “Israel my home,” and “Yishai – let us stay.”

Racism Facts – Additional to this situation with agricultural Thai workers Israel is living another issue with immigrants that has a much deeper and darker mark: the racism. Last December in Tel Aviv there’s been a rally by the religious right-wing supporters to ask the government the expulsion of Sudanese immigrants from Israel. Here below (after the Italian version) we publish an extract of the post by Ali Abunimah’s Blog, Electronic Intifada.

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Italian Version

Fortress Israel – Prima che iniziasse l’ondata dei lavoratori agricoli  tailandesi in Israele, il paese contava sulla manodopera palestinese a basso costo. Dall’Intifada di 10 anni fa in poi, c’è stata una mancanza di lavoratori palestinesi che ha di fatto causato un flusso di lavoratori tailandesi (è stato siglato un accordo tra le due nazioni per simplficare il processo) che potessero fare quello che gli israeliani non volevano più fare.  Un lavoro spacca-schiena a basso salario, l’israeliano medio non lo vuole più fare, nemmeno se disperato per un lavoro, come si è visto recentemente in televisione, non è comunque contento di lavorare nelle aziende agricole. I lavoratori tailandesi alla fine lavorano di più e lo fanno per un salario ben più basso dello stipendio minimo. Nonostante tutto ciò il governo israeliano vuole limitare la manodopera straniera nel paese. Così centinaia di immigranti si son riuniti sotto il Ministero degli Interni a Tel Aviv sabato scorso per protestare contro la deportazione dei familiari la cui richiesta dei permessi di soggiorno era stata rifiutata. La protesta vicino alla centrale Piazza HaBima è stata fatta anche da attivisti israeliani ma soprattutto dagli stessi immigrati che hanno mostrato cartelli quali “Non ho un’altra nazione” “Non c’è nulla di peggio di un bambino illegale” “Israele è la mia casa” “Yshai facci restare”.

I fatti di Razzismo – Oltre a questa situazione coi lavoratori tailandesi Israele sta vivendo un altra situazione con gli immigrati che ha un risvolto più cupo e preoccupante: il razzismo. Lo scorso dicembre a Tel Aviv c’è stata una manifestazione degli attivisti della destra religiosa che chiedevano al governo l’espulsione di immigrati sudanesi da Israele. Qua sotto abbiamo pubblicato a riguardo un post di Ali Abunimah sul suo Blog Electronic Intifada.

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Written by MarcoPres

Follow him on Twitter @MarcoPresz https://twitter.com/#!/marcopresz

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Israeli Jewish hate rally against Africans in Tel Aviv caught on video as Haaretz deletes article about it

Submitted by Ali Abunimah on Mon, 12/12/2011 – 23:03

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz mysteriously removed from its website an article exposing atrocious Israeli racism against black people just hours after it was published.

The article by David Sheen – a copy of which was made by The Electronic Intifada before Haaretz deleted it – reported on a rally by Israeli Jews on Sunday in Tel Aviv against African immigrants, demanding that they be sent home because Israel is a “Jewish state.” The rally was addressed by Michael Ben-Ari, a member of the Israeli parliament from the National Union party which also favors expelling Palestinians.

The deleted article stated:

The demonstrators chanted “The people demand the expulsion of the infiltrators,” “We have come to expunge the darkness,” and “Tel Aviv is for Jews, Sudan is for Sudanese.”

Ben Ari criticized Prime Minister Netanyahu for allowing African migrants to remain in the county after they had already entered in recent years. He called Netanyahu’s cabinet “the blackest government ever for Tel Aviv.”

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Shocking video of hate rally

Video taken at the rally and posted on YouTube by Sheen, shows some of the vile racism, including by Knesset member Michael Ben-Ari. Protesters can be heard chanting such slogans as, “Sudanese to Sudan, Tel Aviv is for Jews” and “Their place is in Sudan, not here. This is a Jewish state!”

“Restrict their movements”

Ben-Ari apparently referring to some nearby counter-demonstrators said: “I can see them over there, those who want to destroy our country. I see those who are setting up a welcome tent for the millions of Africans who are on their way here and I tell them it’s no use, our response is the Jewish nation lives!” Ben-Ari and several protesters then broke into singing the nationalist refrain, “The Jewish nation lives.” Ben-Ari then praised the mayor of the Red Sea port city of Eilat for his alleged harsh treatment of Africans. The mayor, Ben-Ari said, “is doing a great job with the Africans there. I only wish we did the same here in Tel Aviv. He doesn’t allow them to attend schools, he restricts their movements, he knows what to do.

Africans ‘bad for property values’

The handful of counter-demonstrators calling for an end to racism are confronted by some of the protestors and one woman shouts: “Disgusting! Why should my son go to school with 30 Sudanese in a class?” The same woman adds, “Let’s see you take them back home to your neighborhood and then we’ll see you complain that your property values are dropping.”

Why did Haaretz delete the article?

It is very unusual for a publication to delete an article without explanation after it is published. Responding to my questions on Twitter, Sheen suggested it was because the article was no longer “newsy,” coming 24 hours after the rally. While this may be what the Haaretz editors told Sheen, it is far from convincing. In a professional publication, such decisions are made before an article appears, not after.

The video of the Racist Rally:

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