An Integrated Jewish World Response to Israel’s Migrant Challenge
In this JPPI policy proposal, Dov Maimon and I examine Israel's challenge of what to do with 38,000 illegal African migrants - a dilemma between Jewish humanitarian values on the one hand and Israel’s raison d’etre as the nation state of the Jewish people on the other.
We recommend that world Jewish decision makers should consider their first priority to be ensuring Israel’s capacity for future Jewish immigration given expected mass migration waves from distressed countries to the West.The decision regarding the illegal migrants creates a conflict. Mass deportation is perceived to contradict the ethos, legacy and tragic lessons of the Jewish experience. At the same time, their absorption could establish a precedent and be perceived as an open invitation to further waves of migration, family reunification, and Palestinian claims. This would challenge Israel’s Jewish character, given its limited geography and demographic profile.
After analyzing solutions taken by Western countries, we recommend balanced policy options to navigate both the interests and values so essential to Israel and the Jewish People.Finding the right balance between Jewish humanitarian values and Israel’s Jewish character is critical and urgent for Israel and for many in the Jewish Diaspora.
Furthermore, our policy recommendations seek to engage and partner world Jewry with the Israeli government in their implementation.