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Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Israeli politics look strange from here

It must have been a mis-print... or perhaps I'm just tired. 

But does anyone else find it just a tad ironic that Defense Minister and Labor Party chairman Ehud Barak announced that he is against deporting illegal immigrant children because, "expulsion is anti-Jewish".

Excuse me?!  And where was your Jewish soul in 2005?

I need to get some sleep... I must be hallucinating.

Posted by David Bogner on August 4, 2010 | Permalink

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Good call, Trep. Ironic how it's so close to the anniversary of the Gush Katif expulsion, and Ehud's memory didn't even get a little jogged.

Posted by: rutimizrachi | Aug 4, 2010 7:53:50 PM

Liberal Jewish souls are only awakened by the pain of Non-Jews.

They are immune to the pain of Jewish children.

Posted by: Yossi | Aug 4, 2010 9:27:51 PM

No no no! That was an 'inpulsion'! Not an expulsion.

That weren't kicked out, they were kicked back in.

It's all about the words, Trepp, all about the words.

Posted by: At The back of the Hill | Aug 4, 2010 11:06:56 PM

Oh puh-lease. How can you compare the two?

Posted by: Simon | Aug 5, 2010 12:00:08 AM

If it's any consolation, they look just as strange from here!

Posted by: zahava | Aug 5, 2010 9:58:59 AM

Dave writes "...illegal immigrant children..."

Okay, now I'm confused... My understanding is that they're talking about the children of foriegn guest workers. NOT "illegal immigrants." Were not these workers (primarily Asian if I've got it right) invited in to replace Palestinian/Arab workers? (I recall an old New Yorker Mag profile of Ariel Sharon where it pointed out that the workers on his farm were mainly Filipino).

Clarification please...

Posted by: Mike Spengler | Aug 5, 2010 6:30:17 PM

Like. Oh, wait, is this not Facebook?

Posted by: RaggedyMom | Aug 6, 2010 4:00:42 AM

rutimizrachi... He has no conscience... what possible use would he have for memory?

Yossi... An over-generalization. But sadly, it has the ring of truth.

At The back of the Hill... While I know you were being sarcastic, many here might not be familiar with your politics. Far too many people (including one commenter on this thread) seem to have trouble understanding that when you forcibly evict someone from their home and destroy their community just because of their religion or race... it is called ethnic cleansing, no matter where you send them or why.

Simon... You are correct. In one case, the Israeli government is exercising its right to deport foreigners who it can ill afford to absorb. In the other, Israeli citizens, who were living legally in towns that the government helped establish, were suddenly vilified, branded as criminals, and deported to defacto refugee status in their own country. Good call.

Zahava... Thought it might.

Mike Spengler... There is a fine line between illegal and legal in this scenario. Yes, many of the workers we are talking about here were (and in some cases, still are) legal. They came here as manual laborers on limited visas. However, many have overstayed their visas, and some have created families (a violation of their visas) here which the State of Israel is under no legal obligation to support (we'll leave the moral obligation argument for another day). Picture an Indian software programmer who gets a limited work visa to come to the US and work for a sponsoring high tech start-up. He meets another foreign worker, they overstay their visas... start a family and their children need medical care, education, etc. Is the US really responsible for these people or should they be deported? I can argue both sides, so don't think for a moment that the issue is cut and dried. But some very savvy political types have crafted the argument to focus only on the children while ignoring how those children came to be in Israel (i.e. their parents who are no longer living within the strict lines of the law). In my humble opinion, Israel can ill afford to become the refuge of every foreign national who decides that a temporary work visa is an invitation to immigrate permanently.

RaggedyMom ... You crack me up. :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Aug 6, 2010 6:48:19 AM

David, perhaps you missed the day in basic training where the officer taught you about a strategic withdrawal and expelling people. Now we can discuss whether or not pulling out of Gush Katif was a good idea, and probably agree on much of the issue, but it is a form of rhetorical slight of hand to use the freighted language of the most extreme elements of that debate as the starting off point for a specious comparision between a possibly misguided shortening of lines in a political-military situation and throwing innocent third parties out of your country.

Posted by: Jordan Hirsch | Aug 6, 2010 5:53:54 PM

Jordan... if we were talking about troops, I would be right there with you. But when you are talking about a civilian population, there are laws governing what may and may not be done. What was done in Gaza was ethnic cleansing by every definition.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Aug 6, 2010 6:16:01 PM

Well, that is true technically, but the residents of Gush Katif were also players in a geopolitical game that the state decided was no longer cost effective. Was it callous? Yes! Was it ethnic cleansing? No, unless all you are interested in is winning the argument as opposed to statecraft, however ineptly played. Now, if you are asking whether Israel did a good job removing them, or whether the residents were appropriately warned about the risks involved in moving there to begin with, obviously the answer is no. It is also patently true that the compensation has been criminally bungled.

Posted by: Jordan Hirsch | Aug 6, 2010 6:33:51 PM

Okay Dave, thanks for the clarification. Its a situation not dissimilar from a debate here started by some GOP senators who want to hold hearings on the opening phrase of the 14th Amendment. And, yeah, it can be a sticky argument on both sides...

Posted by: Mike Spengler | Aug 6, 2010 7:08:38 PM

To disengage isn't the same as to expel. The govt has an entire department for Orwellian Language.

Posted by: Batya from Shiloh | Aug 9, 2010 9:41:59 AM

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