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Ghetto rising in Tel-Aviv
forcathighs.com ^ | March 7, 2008 | Amir Mizroch

Posted on 03/07/2008 1:35:27 PM PST by Nachum

The area between the old and new bus stations in south Tel-Aviv is on its way to becoming a ghetto made up of African refugees living in the most squalid of conditions and turning the already run-down area into a time bomb the municipality can no longer ignore.

The few blocks adjacent to the new bus terminal are crawling with close to a thousand African refugees, with the lucky ones crammed into 8 dilapidated bomb-shelters while hundreds more sleep out in Lewinsky Park bordering Lewinsky, Har Zion, Levander, Matalon and Golomb streets. The area is already home to about 40,000 foreign, mostly illegal, workers from all over the world who provide cheap labor for a variety of contractors, and many headaches for the Israeli immigration police.

In Lewinsky Park, hundreds of refugees from Eritrea, Sudan and the Ivory Coast, mostly men between the ages of 20 and 35, but also several dozen children, spend all day sitting in small groups on the park grounds with nothing to do. At night, many of them cram into the small underground bomb shelter on the park’s premises. The few plastic mobile toilets provided by the municipality adjacent to the shelter have long ago filled to the brim with feces, bottles and newspapers used as toilet paper. The stench around the toilets is intolerable and only getting worse the longer the municipality leaves them in that condition. It is impossible for anyone to use them in their current state. Flies swarm all over the area and harass the men who sit close by.

The park is now completely taken over by African refugees, drug users, pushers, petty criminals and some hawkers. Police cars make the rounds every half hour or so. People don’t come here with their children anymore. For anyone familiar with the ghettos of Johannesburg and Sao Paolo, it is no great leap of the imagination to envision how a small area inhabited by desperate refugees, left to fester in appalling conditions by the state, swells in size and numbers to a point where the refugees control the streets and even the police don’t enter.

Lewinsky Park and its surrounds still have a ways to go before turning into unruly ghettos, but the warning signs are clear. There are about 200 refugees in the park at any given time, with more arriving daily. At night, many of them roam the surrounding streets. Once the park overflows, the municipality will have to make a decision on what to do with these people, as there is scarcely any room left in the shelters around the park. With nowhere to sleep and no food, the refugees will make their own arrangements.

In the eight [known] converted bomb shelters underneath buildings surrounding the park, close to a thousand African refugees eat, sleep, and wash in squalid and unsanitary conditions. Scabies is rampant, and other diseases are starting to take hold. In one shelter inhabited by a group of about 150 refugees, mostly young men from the Ivory Coast, share a tiny, dirty kitchen in which they cook the rice donated to them once-weekly by Israeli volunteers. Bread is delivered once a day. Dishes are washed in a small bucket, also used by some in the shelter for their bath. The showers and toilets are dirty and run down, and filthy water covers the ground up to about 10 centimeters. The mattresses are dank and dirty, with up to five people sleeping on the same one. There are no windows in the shelters and the air is bracken. In these conditions it won’t take long for diseases to start and spread. Across the hall from the Ivorian shelter is a smaller room where a group of young Eritrean women live. The conditions are slightly better but neither they nor their Ivorian neighbors have any work and wander around the old Tel-Aviv bus station, waiting for something to happen. Volunteer workers fear unwanted pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. The shelters are being rented out by African organizations helping refugees, but the municipality, realizing the growing social and health problems these shelters pose, wants to close them down. The plan is to provide as many refugees with employment as possible, in coordination with the hotel association and the agricultural workers association.

The plan is good on paper, but the numbers at this stage don’t add up. Of the close to one thousand refugees in the shelters, only several dozen have been provided with employment in Eilat’s hotels and on farms. The refugees are coming faster than the authorities can find housing and work for them. This is not stopping the municipality’s director of welfare, public health and humans services, Zeev Friedman, from overseeing the plan, because, as he puts it, “the problem is not going away and is only getting bigger.” There are reports of similar shelters popping up in north Tel-Aviv around the Basel Street area, as well as in neighboring Bat Yam to the south.

What worries volunteers helping these refugees most are about 200 youths, aged 12-20, who are the most vulnerable and could easily be enticed to enter the world of drugs and crime. One organization is trying to establish, together with the Tel-Aviv municipality, a youth center not far from Lewinsky Park to provide a place where these youths can be educated and helped.

Dr. Mike Naftali, President of Brit Olam, the International Israeli-Jewish Volunteer Movement, is coordinating efforts together with the municipality’s social affairs department to deal with the growing problem in south Tel-Aviv, and on a larger level, to convince the government to adopt a strategy that will deal with the constant influx of African refugees. “Israel is part of the new world, the globalized world, characterized by the sudden and large movement of people seeking asylum and immigration,” Naftali says. Referring to the growing number of refugees in Lewinsky Park, Naftali says a solution to their situation is urgently needed. “In six months time they won’t be sitting in this park at night wondering where they’re going to get money and food. They’re going to be thinking of ways to break into my house. There is going to be crime, prostitution and disease,” Naftali, an expert in refugee camp issues says. “It costs the government US $25,000 annually to keep a young refugee in jail,” Naftali says, making a point that volunteers, working with the authorities, could help refugees find work and defuse the social time bomb their current condition represents.

There are currently about 8,000 African refugees in Israel, 6,000 of which arrived in 2007. Over 1,000 African refugees made their way to Israel in the three months of this year alone. Many of them are in the Ketziot refugee transit camp in the south, where they are provided with adequate conditions, but no prospect of employment and development. Naftali argues that a smart government strategy would be to put these people in some of the empty or near-empty absorption centers scattered throughout the country, and not leave them in Ketziot or the open parks and underground shelters. Ketziot, unlike many absorption centers, is in open desert in the south and nowhere near any industrial parks or places of employment. If placed in these centers, the refugees could find employment much easier, and this would take the financial burden off the government, which uses NIS 250 of tax-payer money per day per refugee at Ketziot. “If they were working the government wouldn’t have to feed them or clothe them, just provide a roof over their heads. This would mean however that Israel is allowing African refugees to stay, and that alarms many who want to keep the Jewish state’s fragile demographic balance steady,” Naftali says. While acknowledging that in the modern era it is very easy for African refugees to phone home and encourage others to come to Israel, Naftali argues that Israel can handle several thousand refugees without that being a threat to its demographic makeup.

Africa is always going to be a problem area and this is the latest wave of refugees.

Even if the government built a fence along the border with Egypt, the refugees would still come from the Jordanian side or via the sea. There is a big wall dividing Mexico and America, and still the refugees come. Spain has millions of them. Israel is part of this globalized world and will have to learn how to cope with this phenomenon,” Naftali says. Exasperated with the Israeli government’s slow response to the problem, Naftali has held meetings with African officials, including countries Israel has no diplomatic relations with, to try and create the conditions for voluntary repatriation. “Many of the refugees here can’t go back to their home nations because they will be persecuted for coming to Israel, so Israel can’t send them back,” Naftali says, adding that while the refugees are here, they need to be treated like human beings. “Like it or not this is the world we’re living in. Europe has ten million refugees. Jordan and Syria are absorbing refugees from Iraq. If there were peace in the Middle East we would be absorbing the Iraqis. The situation in Africa is not improving and we have to prepare ourselves to keep the refugees here for anywhere up to 20 years,” Naftali says.

Israeli arms dealers are also “heavily involved” in some of the armed conflicts in Africa, says Naftali, and so Israel as a nation cannot “escape responsibility to care for some of the refugees it itself helped create.”


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Israel
KEYWORDS: downtown; ghetto; rising; telaviv

1 posted on 03/07/2008 1:35:28 PM PST by Nachum
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To: Nachum

Why would Africans go to Israel and why would they be let in?


2 posted on 03/07/2008 1:39:35 PM PST by Resolute Conservative
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To: Nachum
Lewinsky Park

I know it has nothing to do with BJ Clinton dream girl, but that is still funny to read.

3 posted on 03/07/2008 1:39:45 PM PST by MNJohnnie (http://www.iraqvetsforcongress.com ---- Get involved, make a difference.)
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To: Nachum

“...There is a big wall dividing Mexico and America, and still the refugees come.”

________________________________________________________________________________________

Someone needs to do a little research: “Big wall”? “Refugees”?


4 posted on 03/07/2008 1:40:07 PM PST by sinanju
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To: sinanju

why doesn’t Israel just get rid of them before there’s too many of them and they become a problem like they have in many countries in Europe


5 posted on 03/07/2008 1:43:03 PM PST by manc
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To: Resolute Conservative

If we try to deport them, we have the same screams of racism from the socialists that you do over here.


6 posted on 03/07/2008 1:43:19 PM PST by forkinsocket
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To: Nachum

The first step to be taken is to rename the park.


7 posted on 03/07/2008 1:43:47 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: sinanju

Yes, yes, you know, victims of the US’s “global oppression” in the liberals mind.


8 posted on 03/07/2008 1:43:58 PM PST by Rush4U (unnamed source)
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To: Resolute Conservative
Why would Africans go to Israel

To find jobs.

and why would they be let in?

Because Israelis used to use Arabs from the Occupied Territories as construction and agricultural workers, but now, for security reasons, are not letting most of those Arabs enter Israel proper.

9 posted on 03/07/2008 1:44:58 PM PST by Lurking Libertarian (Non sub homine, sed sub Deo et lege)
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To: Resolute Conservative
Why would Africans go to Israel and why would they be let in? - could it possibly be because they are Jewish?
10 posted on 03/07/2008 1:44:59 PM PST by SF Republican (Conservatives wanted all or nothing, and they got it.)
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To: forkinsocket

Bummer.


11 posted on 03/07/2008 1:45:18 PM PST by Resolute Conservative
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To: SF Republican

I doubt that.


12 posted on 03/07/2008 1:46:07 PM PST by Resolute Conservative
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To: SF Republican

they’re not but if you have evidence to the contary then I would be interested to see it

Israel and eevry country in Europe, Australia, NZ , Canada and America needs to stop this third world immigration before it’;s too late and these countries end up looking like a third world country


13 posted on 03/07/2008 1:50:30 PM PST by manc
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To: Resolute Conservative
Economic reasons. Unlike the Ethiopians, they're not Jews and come to Israel for safety and secondly in search of a better life. The Africans are Israel's Mexican migrant problem.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

14 posted on 03/07/2008 1:51:35 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: Resolute Conservative

time to ignore the name calling and protect our countries as they are alreay in parts turning into what these third world people left from


15 posted on 03/07/2008 1:51:55 PM PST by manc
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To: Resolute Conservative

Because King Solomon diddled the Queen of Sheba (present day Ethiopia), and she had a kid when she returned home. Geometric increase being what it is, that makes for a bunch of Ethiopian Jews, today.


16 posted on 03/07/2008 1:56:25 PM PST by Tree of Liberty (Islam delenda est)
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To: manc

The Jews of Africa

http://www.mindspring.com/~jaypsand/index.htm

Now I do not claim that this is or is not true, it is just the article I recalled reading.


17 posted on 03/07/2008 1:57:27 PM PST by SF Republican (Conservatives wanted all or nothing, and they got it.)
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To: manc

By the way, how do you know they are not?


18 posted on 03/07/2008 1:59:16 PM PST by SF Republican (Conservatives wanted all or nothing, and they got it.)
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To: SF Republican
The only African Jews with a history going back as far as the Middle Ages are the Beta Israel - the Jews Of Ethiopia.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

19 posted on 03/07/2008 2:01:31 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: SF Republican

I would be interested in numbers.


20 posted on 03/07/2008 2:01:32 PM PST by Resolute Conservative
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To: SF Republican

it states that jews are in Sfrcia that I do not disagree with but I bet the majority or infact all are not jews and are there looking for a freebie like we get in Europe, actually I have seen it first hand compliments of the labour govt.

About a hundred blacks got moved into an area which was all white and had a high crime rate, a high vilent rate and a high unemployment rate

These blacks straight fromAfrci got given housing, free electric, free everything infact even got nearly 3,000$ to pout towards a car and help the to get around

of course this has caused resentment in the area

No matter if they are jewish or not which I don’t think they are countries in Europe , Australia, Canada, America needs to stop third world immigration and the handouts what come with it, you only have to look at France, England, Denmark what happens when they get sizeable numbers.

Getto’s are formed, drugs are run there, then the police are scared to go into there and then there is a massive problem for the country

If these countries told third world countries they will not be taken in then they will stop trying to get into those countries


21 posted on 03/07/2008 2:05:45 PM PST by manc
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To: SF Republican

from experience of living around the world

Israel needs to stop what is going on right now before it’;s too late

next it will be riots from them demanding what Israel can give them


22 posted on 03/07/2008 2:10:19 PM PST by manc
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To: Nachum
desperate refugees, left to fester in appalling conditions by the state,

Ah yes, another writer advocating the nanny state.

23 posted on 03/07/2008 2:12:55 PM PST by squidly
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To: manc

to carry on

people are moving into Europe , Australia etc etc etc because they know suckers in those countries will try and give them what they want .

If these countries made a stand and sent them straight back then they would soon say I am not going there as I get sent back or know of others hwo have and then they will look elsewhere


24 posted on 03/07/2008 2:13:47 PM PST by manc
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To: sofaman

Please help me understand this.


25 posted on 03/07/2008 2:51:57 PM PST by AliVeritas (DEUS VULT - 0311)
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To: Resolute Conservative
Why would Africans go to Israel and why would they be let in?

They flee their native countries, reach Egypt, Egypt won't tolerate them, so they flee across the Sinai and gain entry, illegally. Israel will tolerate them to some extent.

Like Central and South Americans who reach the USA through Mexico.

26 posted on 03/07/2008 2:53:36 PM PST by SJackson (It seems to me that it is entirely proper to start a Zionist State around Jerusalem, T Roosevelt)
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To: Resolute Conservative

BTW, I should have mentioned most are driven from their homes by members of the Religion of Peace.


27 posted on 03/07/2008 2:55:09 PM PST by SJackson (It seems to me that it is entirely proper to start a Zionist State around Jerusalem, T Roosevelt)
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To: SF Republican
could it possibly be because they are Jewish?

No, that's done legally.

28 posted on 03/07/2008 2:55:50 PM PST by SJackson (It seems to me that it is entirely proper to start a Zionist State around Jerusalem, T Roosevelt)
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To: Lurking Libertarian
Because Israelis used to use Arabs from the Occupied Territories as construction and agricultural workers, but now, for security reasons, are not letting most of those Arabs enter Israel proper.

I don't think so, I think these are mostly illegals fleeing the Islamic genocide of non-Muslims currently taking place.

29 posted on 03/07/2008 2:58:48 PM PST by SJackson (It seems to me that it is entirely proper to start a Zionist State around Jerusalem, T Roosevelt)
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
If you'd like to be on this middle east/political ping list, please FR mail me.

High Volume. Articles on Israel can also be found by clicking on the Topic or Keyword Israel. or WOT [War on Terror]

----------------------------

30 posted on 03/07/2008 3:02:29 PM PST by SJackson (It seems to me that it is entirely proper to start a Zionist State around Jerusalem, T Roosevelt)
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
If you'd like to be on this middle east/political ping list, please FR mail me.

High Volume. Articles on Israel can also be found by clicking on the Topic or Keyword Israel. or WOT [War on Terror]

----------------------------

31 posted on 03/07/2008 3:02:29 PM PST by SJackson (It seems to me that it is entirely proper to start a Zionist State around Jerusalem, T Roosevelt)
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To: SJackson

What is done legally?


32 posted on 03/07/2008 3:02:53 PM PST by SF Republican (Conservatives wanted all or nothing, and they got it.)
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To: MNJohnnie
In [the unfortunately named] Lewinsky Park, hundreds of refugees from Eritrea, Sudan and the Ivory Coast,

Fixed

33 posted on 03/07/2008 3:05:21 PM PST by Lonesome in Massachussets (The women got the vote and the Nation got Harding.)
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To: SF Republican

Emmigration of Jews to Israel. If they were Jewish, they’d have no problem entering Israel, and would be helped in their resettlement. These are mostly Africans fleeing ROP deprivations in the Sudan and elsewhere, lucky enough to make it through Egypt and the Sinai to Israel


34 posted on 03/07/2008 3:10:04 PM PST by SJackson (It seems to me that it is entirely proper to start a Zionist State around Jerusalem, T Roosevelt)
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To: Nachum

Sounds a lot like Detroit or Philly.


35 posted on 03/07/2008 4:16:39 PM PST by cquiggy
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To: sinanju

“...There is a big wall dividing Mexico and America, and still the refugees come.”
—Amir Mizroch

Sounds like Amir has been smoking crack. Or is just plain FOS.


36 posted on 03/07/2008 4:30:13 PM PST by Levante
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To: Cicero

“Lewinsky Park”

That would explain the loud sucking sound heard nightly by the residents.


37 posted on 03/07/2008 4:32:14 PM PST by Levante
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To: Levante

That would explain the stds and scabies


38 posted on 03/08/2008 12:43:19 AM PST by rmlew (Grievance politics is a mental illness)
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To: Levante

I nearly spat my drink over my keyboard reading that
LOL


39 posted on 03/08/2008 7:42:25 AM PST by manc
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To: rmlew

LOL!


40 posted on 03/08/2008 11:06:50 AM PST by Levante
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To: manc

Sorry about that near accident! ;)


41 posted on 03/08/2008 11:07:45 AM PST by Levante
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