Go East, Young Man

Gene Schwimmer
Today's Jerusalem Post reports one million Africans sitting on the Israeli-Egyptian border, waiting for their chance to enter Israel illegally.  They come not to suicide bomb, nor to kidnap.  They simply want to work.  They come seeking not vengeance, but jobs.

Of course, to get from Africa to Israel, one must go through Egypt.  And once in Israel, as the article makes clear, the Israelis would be happy to let, indeed help, the Africans continue on, to Lebanon, Syria, Judea, Samaria, Jordan, or Gaza.  But these African workers and their families apparently have no desire to remain in Egypt or to settle down in any other "Third World" country that the Left loves to praise with one breath while condemning the "Apartheid state" of Israel with the next.  Apparently, they much prefer the "Apartheid state."

Voting with their feet, these poor, jobless people have eschewed their Third World brethren in their Third World states, with their Third World economies, in favor of just one state, and the only Jewish one:  Israel.

But why?  Why don't these poor, jobless Africans simply stay and work in Egypt or use Israel as a transit route to the rest of the Middle East?

To revive a hoary cliché, they trek across Egypt to reach Israel for the same reason Willie Sutton trekked across Philadelphia to reach the Corn Exchange Bank and Trust Company:  That's where the money-and the jobs that pay the money-are.

And why, to the probable consternation of Israel-haters and "illegal Jewish settlement" harpers-on worldwide, do many Palestinians want those settlements to stay?  Could it be because, not only do those settlement provide jobs to the surrounding Palestinian community, but those jobs pay almost three times the salary a Palestinian employer would pay?  Assuming, of course, that a job even exists-which explains why, for all the Palestinian anti-Israel (and anti-Semitic) threats and bluster,

... the [Palestinian Authority] does not object to Palestinians working in settlements...

"We can't tell the workers to stay at home without providing them with solutions," admitted a Palestinian official in Ramallah.  "We're talking about thousands of families in the West Bank that rely on this work as their sole source of income."

It's also kind of hard for Hamas to punish Palestinians who work for the Israelis when some of those workers are in Hamas.

The current situation also provides a sterling example of how, in their zeal to hurt Israel, "Palestine's" wannabe "liberators" end up hurting their own people, instead.  One objective of the wave of suicide bombings that terrorized Israel in the opening years of the 21st century was to force Israel to take measures to bar Palestinians-and Palestinian workers-from entering Israel, with the intent of wrecking the Israeli economy.  But what actually happened, as one Palestinian settlement worker points out (emphasis mine):

"...the leaders of the intifada later realized that depriving the laborers of their livelihood would have a boomerang effect on the Palestinians."

[...]

"Look how many foreign workers there are inside Israel today," complained Jawdat Uwaisat, 44. ...  "There are about 150,000 workers from different countries who have taken our places of work inside Israel."

I leave you with the words of Ibrahim Abu Tair, a 42-year-old Palestinian father of eight:

We're not doing anything wrong.  "We're not collaborators and we're not terrorists.  We just want to work."

We just want to work.  Point taken, Mr. Tair, but don't tell us.  Or the Israelis.  Or the UN.  Tell your own leaders.

Today's Jerusalem Post reports one million Africans sitting on the Israeli-Egyptian border, waiting for their chance to enter Israel illegally.  They come not to suicide bomb, nor to kidnap.  They simply want to work.  They come seeking not vengeance, but jobs.

Of course, to get from Africa to Israel, one must go through Egypt.  And once in Israel, as the article makes clear, the Israelis would be happy to let, indeed help, the Africans continue on, to Lebanon, Syria, Judea, Samaria, Jordan, or Gaza.  But these African workers and their families apparently have no desire to remain in Egypt or to settle down in any other "Third World" country that the Left loves to praise with one breath while condemning the "Apartheid state" of Israel with the next.  Apparently, they much prefer the "Apartheid state."

Voting with their feet, these poor, jobless people have eschewed their Third World brethren in their Third World states, with their Third World economies, in favor of just one state, and the only Jewish one:  Israel.

But why?  Why don't these poor, jobless Africans simply stay and work in Egypt or use Israel as a transit route to the rest of the Middle East?

To revive a hoary cliché, they trek across Egypt to reach Israel for the same reason Willie Sutton trekked across Philadelphia to reach the Corn Exchange Bank and Trust Company:  That's where the money-and the jobs that pay the money-are.

And why, to the probable consternation of Israel-haters and "illegal Jewish settlement" harpers-on worldwide, do many Palestinians want those settlements to stay?  Could it be because, not only do those settlement provide jobs to the surrounding Palestinian community, but those jobs pay almost three times the salary a Palestinian employer would pay?  Assuming, of course, that a job even exists-which explains why, for all the Palestinian anti-Israel (and anti-Semitic) threats and bluster,

... the [Palestinian Authority] does not object to Palestinians working in settlements...

"We can't tell the workers to stay at home without providing them with solutions," admitted a Palestinian official in Ramallah.  "We're talking about thousands of families in the West Bank that rely on this work as their sole source of income."

It's also kind of hard for Hamas to punish Palestinians who work for the Israelis when some of those workers are in Hamas.

The current situation also provides a sterling example of how, in their zeal to hurt Israel, "Palestine's" wannabe "liberators" end up hurting their own people, instead.  One objective of the wave of suicide bombings that terrorized Israel in the opening years of the 21st century was to force Israel to take measures to bar Palestinians-and Palestinian workers-from entering Israel, with the intent of wrecking the Israeli economy.  But what actually happened, as one Palestinian settlement worker points out (emphasis mine):

"...the leaders of the intifada later realized that depriving the laborers of their livelihood would have a boomerang effect on the Palestinians."

[...]

"Look how many foreign workers there are inside Israel today," complained Jawdat Uwaisat, 44. ...  "There are about 150,000 workers from different countries who have taken our places of work inside Israel."

I leave you with the words of Ibrahim Abu Tair, a 42-year-old Palestinian father of eight:

We're not doing anything wrong.  "We're not collaborators and we're not terrorists.  We just want to work."

We just want to work.  Point taken, Mr. Tair, but don't tell us.  Or the Israelis.  Or the UN.  Tell your own leaders.