South Tel Aviv citizens afraid to leave their homes after dark.
Last week, a 29 year old illegal immigrant from Eritrea was charged with the attempted rape of an 80 year old woman in South Tel Aviv. The victim, in describing the attack, said “he beat me and dragged me across the floor.” Later in the week, a 40 year old woman was brutally raped near the Old Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv. The perpetrator is still on the loose.
Over the past few years, urban neighborhoods throughout Europe have been overtaken by refugees and illegal immigrant populations. Crime has risen, local populations have lost their sense of security, and areas have become no-go zones for police. South Tel Aviv is on the precipice of becoming like these European cities. Yet the media remains silent, and the ruling class are oblivious to the situation.
Last week’s violent acts in South Tel Aviv are not sporadic instances, but tragically have become the norm. Last week, during a protest involving illegal immigrant groups, residents of South Tel Aviv and local police were ridiculed and berated by illegal immigrants who screamed ‘the police are ISIS’, ‘this is not your country’, ‘your country is sh-t’, ‘you are not a Jew’. Many police were needed to quell the demonstrations, which turned violent towards the end, as illegal immigrants began attacking residents filming the protest. In previous documented cases, illegal immigrants are seen hitting an elderly Israeli with a wood plank, while in other instances saying “the Nazis should be thanked” and showing admiration for Hitler.
Sheffi Paz, a resident of South Tel Aviv and a leading activist against illegal immigration, has received death threats on her Facebook account on more than one occasion.
The rapes, violence, intimidation, and the lost sense of security, intensify the feeling that South Tel Aviv is losing its Israeli character. This feeling is backed by a report published by the Knesset Research and Information Center (KRIC) last June which estimated that the illegal immigrant population in South Tel Aviv is greater than the Israeli population. This assessment was based on information received from different branches in the Tel Aviv municipality. It estimated that at the beginning of 2016, the illegal immigrant population in South Tel Aviv numbered between 48,000-60,000 people, whereas the Israeli population in that area is 39,150 according to 2014 statistics, with those numbers declining annually.
Yet, it is possible that the gap is even greater.
In response to KRIC’s request for additional information, the Tel Aviv municipality admitted that it lacks statistics regarding births and deaths among the illegal immigrant population as well as a realistic count of the children. In an effort to reach an accurate number of illegal immigrant children, KRIC crosschecked information from the Tel Aviv municipality and statistics from the Ministry of Health, and concluded that there were an estimate of 3,600 illegal immigrant children below age six, as opposed to Israeli children in that same age group numbering 2,960.
But the statistics from the Ministry of Health express the reality of the illegal immigrant takeover of South Tel Aviv. The Israeli government runs medical care clinics for children throughout the country monitoring children’s progress and providing all necessary vaccinations and other treatment. Throughout Tel Aviv, 3,512 illegal immigrant children were treated at these clinics, which represent 12% of all children treated in Tel Aviv. On the surface, this number may seem negligible. However, of these 3,512 children, only 111 of them were treated at clinics located outside of South Tel Aviv. For example, in one South Tel Aviv clinic, 1,698 illegal immigrant children were treated, which accounted for 94% of the children treated at that clinic. Thus a situation has been created where South Tel Aviv has begun to look like Africa, while residents in Central and North Tel Aviv are completely oblivious to the situation.
The increase in percentage of illegal immigrants than Israelis in South Tel Aviv has also been a result of Israelis fleeing the area. Between the years 2010-2014, 3,000 Israelis moved out of four South Tel Aviv neighborhoods.
The KRIC could not provide a reason for the migration, however conversations with residents have turned up one reason: the illegal immigration population.
A resident who refused to be identified said that she left the ‘Tikva’ neighborhood of South Tel Aviv due to the lawlessness. “It’s as if we don’t live in Israel. My daughter experienced sexual harassment almost on a daily basis. Her friends from school were afraid to come to our house. After 7 pm, we are confined to our house, and if we have to leave for whatever reason, our hands shake with fear. I’m not even referring to the fact that illegal immigrants have completely taken over public areas, shout obscenities at us on a daily basis, make sexual comments to my daughter, or that they disrespect our Jewish traditions. Since we have moved out, my kids are flourishing and are happy again. We were saddened that we had to leave, this was the neighborhood that I grew up in.”
While the demographics issue can be quantified, the personal sense of security cannot. In 2015, the police commissioned a survey of residents in South Tel Aviv. Although surveys are not always reliable, the results were jaw dropping. 62% of Israelis in South Tel Aviv are afraid to leave their homes at night, 40% don’t feel safe in their homes, and 34% worry they will be a victim of assault, whether it be physical or verbal threats. 20% of victims don’t even report crimes due to lack of faith in the police. In 2012, at a time when the illegal immigration population was much smaller in number, the Tel Aviv police chief testified that illegal immigrants were involved in more than 60% of robberies and sexual assault cases in South Tel Aviv.
The illegal immigrant population is also becoming an economic burden on the residents of Tel Aviv. In 2015, the Tel Aviv municipality allocated approximately $18,000,000 for taking care of illegal immigrants, a 40% increase from 2013. According to Haim Goren, a member of Tel Aviv’s city council, the figure will be close to $30,000,000 in the 2017 budget. This money is used primarily for creating daycare centers for the thousands of illegal immigrant children. Goren mentions that the conversion of many buildings to daycare centers is coming at the expense of the other needs of Israeli residents. For example, a recent request for a center to help teens at risk could not be granted due to lack of building space in the area.
This isn’t the first time this issue has been raised. In 2013, Arye Shua, a senior member of the Tel Aviv municipality, testified in the Knesset that public funds are being spent on illegal immigrants at the expense of the local residents, which is causing much frustration. He added that the municipality is unable to invest in South Tel Aviv’s infrastructure, since all plans needed to be canceled due to the ongoing need to allocate more funds to the illegal immigrant population.
The illegal immigration population is far from only being a South Tel Aviv problem, the recent numbers of illegal immigrants settling in Petah Tikva, a few miles east of Tel Aviv, has begun to become a problem. Many of the recent illegal immigrants to that area have been from Ukraine and Georgia. The Interior Ministry has created a set of directives to facilitate returning these immigrants to their country of origin, yet any attempt to return illegal immigrants from Africa to their country has been met with numerous appeals to the high court by left wing organizations, and the judges have accepted most of these appeals. These judicial rulings have in essence facilitated the creation of a permanent illegal immigration population in the heart of Israel.
Soon the Israeli Supreme Court will decide on a recent appeal by left wing organizations against an Israeli government decision that would permit authorities to transfer illegal immigrants to a third country. A court ruling against the government in this case will signal the creation of an extra-territorial Sudanese-Eritrean enclave only a 15 minute walk from Independence Hall, the building where the State of Israel was declared 70 years ago.
This revolution is happening in the heart of Israel and only a mile from its central business hub. The refusal of the mainstream media to report on the plight of South Tel Aviv residents, and the ruling class turning a blind eye, has left a majority of Israelis in the dark as to the severity of the situation. Those who have urged the government to take action have been overcome by a judiciary system bending over backwards to facilitate the illegal immigrant population and erode the Jewish identity of the state. If this can happen in Israel, a country whose Jewish national identity has never been in question, then no country is immune.
Gideon Israel contributed to this article.