Sunday, July 18, 2010

Protecting immigrant rights

American readers are no strangers to the plight of migrant workers (often referred to as "illegal immigrants" or simply "illegals"). Many workers in Israel, usually people who take care of our elders, clean our homes, build new ones and help raise our crops, are subject to persecution as well.

Unlike the United States, however, children of such workers are not immune from harsh treatment, including the threat of deportation, even if they were born in the country. Thus, thousands of children, who were born in Tel Aviv (and elsewhere in the country), who have acquired Hebrew as their native language, who have never visited any other country, are now being forced to "return" to places they have little to no attachment to.

Yesterday I attended a small demonstration in southern Tel Aviv, one of the poorest areas of the city, where many immigrants, both "legal" and "illegal" live in dire circumstances. Just a few days ago, my father and I happened to have seen Jeremiah, a documentary focusing on the "legal" (i.e., Jewish) component of that equation. I have just learned that the director of this film, Eran Paz, has one the Jerusalem Film Festival prize for best director of an Israeli documentary.

Photos from last night's demonstration are available here:

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