Opinion: UN migration agreement could pose threat to Israel

The U.N. text will transform unrestricted migration into a human right. Will  it increase pressure on Israel to open its borders to illegal immigrants?

By Daniel Krygier, World Israel News

The U.N. drafted a text that will transform unrestricted migration into a human right. It’s called the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and it seeks to promote and protect migration as a human right.

Most countries, including possibly Israel, are expected to sign the non-binding text in December in Morocco. Will this U.N.-initiated agreement then be used to apply pressure on Israel to open its borders to all migrants?

Israel is one of very few advanced countries that can be reached directly from third world economies without crossing any body of water. By contrast, illegal migrants in Africa or the Middle East who want to reach Europe need to first cross the Mediterranean.

Most of the tens of thousands of illegal migrants living in Israel illegally entered from the increasingly lawless, Egypt-controlled Sinai Peninsula.

As a result, Israel built an expensive, comprehensive border fence along its border with Egypt. Since the border fence was completed in December 2013, the illegal influx of migrants to Israel practically stopped.

Immigrant crime

However, Israel is facing numerous challenges with the illegal migrants already in the country. The vast majority hail from Eritrea, with a smaller percentage from Sudan. They are concentrated in neglected neighborhoods in southern Tel Aviv.

Crime has spiked dramatically in those neighborhoods with an increasing number of violent attacks on women and elderly Israeli citizens. Robberies have also increased, mainly in the areas where the illegal migrants reside.

Israeli attempts to deport the illegals to third countries in Africa or in the West have been largely unsuccessful. Israel’s Supreme Court, often at odds with the government, has shot down several Knesset-passed laws to deal with the problem.

Local and international human rights groups have done their share to stymie solutions, accusing Israeli authorities of “racism” and “discrimination.”

Liberal Jewish political groups in America, Israel and elsewhere have invoked “Jewish values” and pressured Israel to let the migrants stay. Some leftists have argued that the Jewish people with its history of bigotry and persecution, has a “moral duty” to accept illegal migrants to the Jewish state.

There have even been radical and factually incorrect comparisons between illegal migrants in Israel and Jews fleeing persecution during the Holocaust. Most of the liberals in Israel and America who support unrestricted migration live far from problem areas in comfortable middle class neighborhoods.

It remains to be seen whether Israel will sign this U.N. text. If it does, it would contradict Jerusalem’s current policy to decrease rather than increase the number of illegal migrants in Israel.

Unlike other democracies, Israel is surrounded by hostile neighbors seeking her destruction. Due to its unique security challenges, the Jewish state has to put its national interests ahead of multicultural, left-wing slogans about “human rights.”

The Jewish tradition to be welcoming towards strangers must not be allowed to be turned into a political weapon to undermine the very existence of a nation-state of the Jewish people.