High Court Chief Justice to Get Some New Neighbors – Illegal African Migrants

African migrants wait in line for the opening of the Population and Immigration Authority office in Bnei Brak. (Reuters/Nir Elias/File Photo)

Israeli residents of south Tel Aviv have for years been complaining of the disorder brought to their neighborhood by illegal African migrants – but now it’s the turn of residents of the city’s tony northern neighborhoods to experience what it is like to live in an “African neighborhood.” And among those who will feel it most, according to Yehoshua Hame’iri, head of the Bereishis Organization, will be High Court chief justice Esther Hayout.

A group of New York millionaires, who are behind a group called the Bereishis Fund, recently bought two apartments in the Ramat Hachayal neighborhood of Tel Aviv, adjacent to the home of High Court chief justice Esther Hayout, Hame’iri told Channel 20 in an interview. “The objective is to house Eritreans who are working in the area in those apartments. The fund decided to purchase the apartments so there could be no question as to its right to allow anyone it wants to live there.” A third apartment is currently under contract, he said. “We just want to place them in the neighborhood and see what happens.”

The Bereishis Fund, Hame’iri said, does the exact opposite of the far-left New Israel Fund.” The group has been operating since 2001, and has funded, among other things, kollelim in hyper-secular areas such as Ramat Hasharon and North Tel Aviv. In this case, the backers of the Fund want to provide Hayout and other residents of her neighborhood with the same “opportunity” that residents of other neighborhoods where illegal African migrants congregate – given her history of striking down any government effort to remove the illegals, he said.

Earlier this month, an appeals court in Yerushalayim recommended that the state begin the process of deporting illegal Eritrean migrants back to their home country. The court made the recommendation in the context of a case in which migrants appealed the government’s rejection of their claims to be allowed to remain in Israel as political refugees. If they are not refugees, the court said, they were illegal migrants, and could be deported without issue.

The recommendation, in the decision written by appeals court judge Menachem Pachitsky, said that the migrants had caused Israelis “many years of suffering. Crime is raging in the streets in cities where the migrants live, and law enforcement has few – and mostly ineffective – tools to battle this. Solutions that have been tried, including the Holot detention center in southern Israel, sending them to a third country, requiring them to deposit cash as an incentive for them to leave, and others have not worked,” with most of the solutions struck down by the High Court.

With the recent implementation of a peace treaty between Eritrea and Ethiopia – which will remove the threat of forced lifetime service in the army that many Eritreans claim they fled from – along with several international precedents, such as the recent decision by the Swiss federal court that Eritreans no longer had a basis to claim political refugee status, there was no reason not to deport them, the court said.

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