Wednesday, November 11

The Law of Return may not be Fair

Recently, JackTeitel, a US Jewish immigrant of the extreme right wing, religious persuasion, was arrested for the murder of Palestinians and acts of terror against Jews he did not like. He had been involved in smuggling arms and hiding them over a period of 12 years. He acted on his own and the police never batted an eyelid until Teitel acted against Jews he hated.

If one reads the resume' of this violent criminal, it reads like a script for a horror movie. It also brings in the question of whether the Law of Return which grants every Jew the right to immigrate to Israel (or to make "aliya") without undergoing any form of screening as is the case in most countries. People with criminal records of violence ought to be barred from entry into Israel, let alone the automatic right to Israeli citizenship.

Jack Teital had the theoretical "ideal credentials" for coming to Israel. He came from a middle class American Jewish family. His father is a dentist and the family is steeped in the ultra-Orthodox tradition. He, himself, wears the religious trappings of his faith - "tzizit" (fringes) under his shirt and a "kippa" - surely the picture of a religious Jew observing "mitzvot" (God's Commandments).

After the blip on the TV announcing that Teital has been arrested, another blip occurred on the TV screen. A murder suspect, Damien Karlik, was arrested as well. There is evidence that the latter had murdered the entire Oshrenko family in cold blood. How did this monster manage to be allowed to immigrate to Israel under the Law of Return?

Apparently the only criterion to be allowed to immigrate to Israel is to be Jewish. Within two days two dangerous suspects were arrested - two suspects with a dubious past record were welcomed into Israel as new immigrants. Time has proved that there are flaws in the Law of Return which automatically bestows Israeli citizenship on all and sundry of Jewish descent.

One cannot help but ponder on the attitude of the Minister of the Interior who is carrying out a campaign against foreign workers who arrived in Israel legally under contract to work in the building industry, agriculture and to care for our aged. These people were brought into Israel to work in jobs that Israelis are not prepared to do. They are certainly no threat to Israelis because they do not compete for jobs that Israelis seek.

Many of these people have made a positive contribution and their offspring were born here. Their children are Hebrew speaking and have friends in Israel as well as attending Israeli schools. Many of them are patriotic and wish to serve in the army. This is not good enough for the Interior Ministry that decides their fate.

Instead of being treated fairly, the Minister of the Interior has justified the deportation of these workers by stating that they are harbingers of AIDS, Hepatitis B, TB and various other diseases. Worst of all, they create assimilation problems and are therefore a threat to the existence of Jewish People. We all know, of course, that these remarks by the Interior Minister are racist and xenophobic! The Oz Unit of the migration police was established for the purpose of deportation of foreign workers whose contract had expired. They are viewed as a threat to the well being of Israel's citizens as mentioned. These people have been bluffed by various agency cartels that bring them out to do essential jobs that Israelis are not prepared to undertake. In many cases their salaries are poor and the caregivers are made to do general housework as well as work close to 18 hours a day! They hardly have any recourse to any body that protects their interests. The threat of deportation always hangs over their heads like the Sword of Damocles. They are exploited according to the whims and fantasies of their employers.

What about the Palestinians who lost their homes? Many of these people left much of their property behind as a result of the War of Independence (Al Naqba - the Catastrophe as the Palestinians refer to it) and became the eternal refugees. These people have no right of return or claims to compensation. Of course, compensation is a two-way street. Jews who were banished from the Arab lands of their origin are also entitled to compensation as their property was also confiscated by the Arab governments ruling at the time. A Jewish refugee problem was also created but many of these Jews immigrated to Israel and the Jewish refugee problem from Arab lands was alleviated.

However, criminals of the like we have witnessed at the beginning of this article have preferential treatment and are even welcomed initially despite their shady past record. This is all because they are viewed as part of the Jewish People under the Right of Return law.

Of course there are many people claiming successfully to be Jews such as many oligarchs of the ex-Soviet Union. Despite their dishonesty and swindles they managed to hobnob with members of the Knesset sewing their dubious influence. The Gaidemaks, Lerners and many others are examples of this. Money buys influence irrespective of how it was made. Nobody seems to ask but the photo scoops are there with the Israeli establishment rulers.

It somehow does not seem just to allow everybody of Jewish descent to immigrate to Israel without screening. Palestinians, who have been forced to flee because of numerous wars between Israel and the Palestinians, do not receive compensation for their material losses or are not permitted to return.

In the 1990s a wave of immigration arrived from the ex-Soviet Union. Unfortunately, this immigration was overrated as a positive element to Israel. Many highly talented people arrived in the country and were a positive contribution but there were also a high proportion of immigrants with dubious pasts.

Along with this unfiltered immigration came drug trafficking, prostitution including trading in women, alcoholism and violent criminals. These problems were almost unknown in Israel prior to the 1990's. The handwriting already appeared on the wall and the weaknesses inherent in the Law of Return were felt in the increasing violent crime rate. Family violence accompanied by grotesque murders had increased considerably.

Surely a double standard exists which is promulgated by the Law of Return creating a situation where many immigrants with a criminal record arrive in Israel unchecked. There were even extreme cases of neo-Nazis arriving that have beaten up defenseless people in the streets.

All these problems occur because of the liberal Law of Return which welcomed every Jew irrespective of his past record.