With all the hysteria surrounding the illegal immigrants from Africa, it is very important to hear those who put the problem into proportion. For example Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor and Minister of Environmental Protection Gilad Erdan who both believe that the illegal African immigrants are not a source of violence. The handling of illegal African immigrants is reminiscent of the way some countries made Jews their scapegoats.
It doesn't take much to create the impression that a certain group is responsible for the violence. A few sinister headlines pointing out the country of origin of criminals and offenders immediately generate a public atmosphere of "let's get them." Of course, there are always politicians who are not slow to ride the populist wave. Today the finger is being pointed at the African just as yesterday it was the Russian immigrants and before them the Moroccans and a long list.
Who is more violent
Violence is far from being an orphan. It has many mothers and fathers although not all of them are easy to see. It is very easy to identify violence in the underworld, for example, where the characteristics are clear and known. The question is whether all the violence is down to those who commit the violence or perhaps it is necessary to look for and seek out those behind the violence in places where educators work and encourage the violence.
Who is more violent, the yeshiva student who throws rocks or even hits the secular Jews who are annoying him or those who gave him the support and inspiration to do so? Who is more violent the settler who cuts down an olive tree or the religious leaders who encourages him and sends him out to commit the act? Who is more violent the Palestinian who blows himself up or the religious and secular leaders who send him on his mission? Who is more violent, the youth who kills out of drunkenness and drugs or the TV producers and managers who imitate such deeds? The crimes we see in reality or those we view on the screens?
The sources of violence
The illegal immigrants from Africa are pitiful people. They move around from place to place because nobody wants them. They cannot return home to their own country where they would face starvation. So they look for somewhere with food and a roof over their head. They're not looking for much more than that.
That is no reason to allow them to build their lives here. But this is a fact we must remember when we transform these wretched people into the heads of organized crime. If they rape then clearly they must be punished just like anyone else. But it is unclear why we must see them as the solution for all Israel's violence, which is at the end of the day pure blue and white. We cannot delude ourselves, if we really want less violence, then we must tackle the roots of the problem.
Let's be practical. Meridor doesn't have very much to do in the government today so why doesn't he take it upon himself to handle the problem and turn words into deeds. He will presumably deal with the problem effectively and in a humane and sympathetic way.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 20, 2012
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