Poll: Two-Thirds of Israelis Support Deportation of Illegal African Migrants

African migrants demonstrate against the Israeli government's policy to forcibly deport African refugees and asylum seekers from Israel, at a protest on January 22, 2018 in the Israeli city of Herzliya

TEL AVIV – The majority of Israelis support their government’s campaign to deport illegal African migrants to an unnamed third country, a new poll released Wednesday found.

Two-thirds of the public (65.9%) support the plan, the poll released by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University’s Peace Index showed. However there were large gaps between rightwing and leftwing support for the plan as well as between Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs. 69% of Israeli Jews back the deportation campaign compared with 50% of the country’s Arab population. Only 25% of people on the left support the plan while 78% of those on the right back it. 35% of those who define themselves as centrist are in favor.

Approximately half (49.8%) agreed that authorities should speed up the process of reviewing requests for asylum by migrants from Sudan and Eritrea, and allow those whose applications are approved to stay in Israel, while 43.2% were against that idea.

More than half (55.2%) disagreed with the argument that “Israel, as the state of the Jewish people, who, over the course of history, suffered from violence and persecution and sought asylum in different lands, should show more generosity toward other nations and allow the asylum-seekers to stay in Israel.”

The Peace Index also included questions about the US-Israel relationship.

The poll was conducted on January 30-31 by the Midgam Research Institute, among a representative sample of 600 Israeli adults, with a margin of error of 4.1%.

Also on Wednesday, Breitbart Jerusalem reported that the deportation campaign may not progress any further, since Jerusalem has begun negotiations with the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHRC) to relocate a percentage of African migrants to third countries deemed “safe” by the UN – possibly to include Western countries such as the U.S. and Canada – in exchange for a portion of them to remain in Israel permanently.


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