In further remarks on migrant workers from Africa, Interior Minister Eli Yishai said Thursday that many Israeli women have been raped by migrant workers “but do not complain out of fear of being stigmatized as having contracted AIDS.”
In an interview with Israeli newspaper Maariv, Yishai stated that the solution to the current problem is “more prisons and migrant detention camps," and that Israel must “prepare more military bases where we can jail all of them without exception.”
Yishai further stated that the “infiltrators, along with the Palestinians, will bring a quick end to the Zionist dream,” adding that “there is not another country that is as sensitive as Israel is to the rights of foreigners.”
“We have enough worries with issues of health and welfare in this country, and we don’t need to import more worries from Africa,” Yishai said.
Yishai also told Maariv that “south Tel Aviv has turned into the garbage can of the country” and implored all those who speak out against him to “take the infiltrators and put them in their neighborhoods so that they see them every day, so that their children will try and play in the same pre-schools.”
In response to Yishai, the head of the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, Michal Rozin, said that reports reveal that 87% of the referrals they receive report that the rape was committed by someone close to them, rather than by a stranger.
According to Rozin, most of the women that are sexually abused do not report it nor ask for help, adding that the reasons usually have to do with “feelings of guilt, shame, loneliness and fear, rather than the worry of contraction AIDS.”
“Politicians must not cynically use rape in order to express their positions on refugees and asylum seekers,” Rozin said.
Reut Michaeli, the head of the Hotline for Migrant Workers also responded to Yishai’s comments, stating that the Interior Minister has “found the magic formula for making it to the headlines every other day without any parliamentary achievements.”
Yishai’s comments came a day after dozens of protesters gathered near the central bus station in south Tel Aviv demanding the deportation of African migrants from Israel.
The protesters were calling “leftists are traitors” and holding up signs saying “south Tel Aviv, not South Sudan.” The right-winged activist Baruch Marzel said that they hope to hold demonstrations on a daily basis, adding that they will not stay quiet “until the Prime Minister and the Foreign and Interior Ministers will start to act, rather than talk.”
At one point of the demonstration, the protesters attacked Hananya Vanda, an Israeli citizen of Ethiopian origin who they mistakenly identified as an immigrant. After they realized Vanda is Jewish, the protesters said that they did not mean to attack him.