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Friday, June 08, 2012

Undercover among Israel's illegal immigrants

Sorry about the break - I was wiped out.

The area around Tel Aviv's old central bus station was seedy before the new station ever opened. Since the 'new' station opened a number of years ago, it has only gotten worse. YNet reporter Danny Adino Ababa spent a week in Levinsky park near the old bus station. It's a place where many illegals stay. Here are some highlights - they sound a bit like the Occupy movement in the US.
I enter the park wearing my new Saharonim shoes. Welcome to the State of Levinsky. Two slides and three swings, but this afternoon there are no children here; only infiltrators, most of them in their first days in Israel. My cover story has not been finalized yet, but luckily I run into Jeremiah, who’s been in Israel for three years now. “What do I tell those who ask how I got into Israel?” I ask him. “Lie,” he says. “Don’t tell the whole story. The Israelis, and mostly the non-profit groups working with the infiltrators here, like to be lied to.”

“Say you were a soldier, and that if you return to Eritrea you’ll get a death sentence. Keep in mind that you must be consistent with your story. The bottom line is that everyone uses the story I’m telling you here, and this way they fool everybody,” he says. “Almost none of them arrived on foot from Egypt to Israel. None of us crossed any deserts…it’s all nonsense.”


Three Eritreans position themselves nearby. “How long have you been here?” asks one of them. “Not long,” I reply, and sigh. “I’m looking for an apartment, but I don’t have much money. “I’ll teach you how to make a quick buck here,” he says. “You can’t sleep here at Levinsky Park with these Sudanese; you’re humiliating yourself. An Eritrean does not sleep with Sudanese. The best thing to do if you want to make money is to steal cell phones…they’re sold like hotcakes here. There’s a market over there where you bring your cell phone, and that way you have a little money for food and drink.”


I decided to expand my walks and enter more corners in Levinsky State to see from up close how things really work around here. Quickly I discovered that here too there is a clear hierarchy, especially among the infiltrators who chose to turn to crime (this certainly does not all of them). For example, look at what takes place at the corner of Bnei Brak and Neve Shaanan Streets. Hundreds of people arrive in this area using the State of Levinsky’s official vehicle: Bicycle. The infiltrators refer to this area as the “Sudanese Quarter.” Nobody messes with them; they are exclusively in charge of the stolen bicycle market. Dozens of bikes, some of them brand new, are arranged in rows and sold for ridiculous sums.

I try to purchase a new bicycle, a well-known brand that must have cost its owner thousands of shekels. Here, their starting price stands at NIS 180. If one haggles, one can get it for less. They also make sure to provide good service: A mechanic is nearby and ensures that the brakes work properly and that every flat tire is taken care of. A big Sudanese man stands to the side and watches over. Someone quietly tells me that he is “one of the heads of the bicycle mafia.” The thieves bring him the bike, he pays them and sells the bicycle for a profit. All of this takes place in the middle of the street, out in the open.

Meanwhile, I’m told that the Eritreans control two other markets: Stolen bags and stolen cell phones. I went to look for a phone. The “sales center” is at the corner of Rosh Pina and Neve Shaanan Streets. Improvised stalls boast an impressive array of cellular devices. Some of them still contain family photos and the personal text messages of the victims they were stolen from.

On Friday morning, my Eritrean friends tell me that I must go see Nagasi, or things will get messy. I ask them to explain it. Nagasi is apparently the representative of the Eritrean government, or the unofficial Eritrean ambassador in the State of Levinsky, if you will. They tell me that Eritrean authorities don’t care why and how you arrived in Israel: They only want you to keep paying taxes to the homeland. How much? Two percent of your income. As there is no way to find out your income, most Eritreans pay a regular monthly fee of $100. “What will happen if I don’t pay?” I ask. “Bad things will happen, to you and to your family,” was the reply.
Sorry to anyone who disagrees but I have NO guilt feelings about sending these people back to their homes in Africa. None whatsoever.

Read the whole thing.

After Thursday's court ruling that allowed the government to deport 1,500 South Sudanese, the government announced that those affected have a week to leave voluntarily, and that those who do leave will receive a plane ticket home and 1,000 Euros (I doubt the US gives the Mexicans or Guatemalans that much). After that, they will be deported. Somehow, I doubt there will be a lot of takers for the free tickets. Under these circumstances, they can probably stay here for months.

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At 9:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely despicable! What is bibi waiting for? Stop listening to the left wing traitors and Obama DOS anti-Semities and deport them now? Can't deport some of them because of U.N. concerns? Put them in the Negev! Put a call out for laborers to finish the facility in record time. These invaders will destroy Israel. Their women are already have children at an alarming rate, after which it becomes 10 times harder to deport them.


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