Knesset member and J14 advocate: Jail all human rights activists who support African migrant workers and send them to work camps

Israel/Palestine
on 25 Comments
yulia sb
MK Yulia Shamalov-Berkovich speaking to Tel Aviv’s J14 social protest movement, 2011. This week the minister called to round up leftist who support African migrant rights and dump them into work camps. (Photo: Lahav Harkov/The Jerusalem Post)

On Tuesday during a Knesset meeting a Kadima member and advocate for Tel Aviv’s social protest movement intensified an anti-African debate by proposing to round up leftists sympathetic to migrants in work camps. The remarks were made by Yulia Shamalov-Berkovich who stated the rights activists should be “jailed,” due to circulating an image on Facebook of fellow Knesset member, Miri Regev’s face doctored onto a saluting uniformed Nazi.  The Photoshop picture went viral after Regev made anti-migrant remarks during a Tel Aviv protest that turned violent last week.

doctored regev
(Photo: The Jerusalem Post)

In today’s Bradley Burston column, “A Special Place in Hell,” Haaretz reported on Shamalov-Berkovich’s statements:

Shamalov-Berkovich called the Africans’ supporters phonies – who would happily deport Jews they did not like, settlers and the ultra-Orthodox – and keep the Africans here in Israel.

‘These phonies – first of all I would jail them all for incitement of Jews against Jews. This is Solution Number One: to jail all human rights [activists].’

‘We can transport them afterwards to those same places that we’re building, the camps. Let them work there.’

According to Shamalov-Berkovich, ‘There are human rights organizations which, if you’d allow them today to take planes or buses and carry out a ‘transfer’ on Haredim and settlers, they would – all of them – be the first to load them onto the buses.’

‘They’d be the first to give them a sandwich with bread and chocolate and transfer the Haredim and settlers out of the state of Israel.’

‘There are leftist MKs who speak about Haredim and settlers in an atrocious manner,’ she continued. ‘This is incitement and bottomless self-hatred. They’d be delighted to carry out a transfer [forced expulsion] of Haredim and settlers, and to leave the infiltrators here.’

Shamalov-Berkovich’s call to imprison leftists comes one week after Regev called African migrants a “cancer.” Following backlash from Holocaust survivors and cancer patients, yesterday Regev issued an apology (in Hebrew) on YouTube. In the video the minister said she did not intend to compare the “infiltrators [African migrants] to people.”

Today the Alternative Information Center published a translation of the explanation:

‘Infiltration is a phenomenon spreading throughout every place in Israel. South Tel Aviv, Arad, Eilat, Or Akiva, Pardes Hanna. I spoke about the phenomenon of infiltration spreading like a cancer in the human body. God forbid, I was not talking about people or comparing them to people. If someone feels hurt from this declaration or misunderstood my words, or my words were not interpreted correctly, I apologize for that. I repeat, infiltration is a phenomenon that we must limit. We must deal with it because it represents a demographic threat to the state of Israel and constitutes an infringement of the personal security of our citizens.’

Yet, unlike Regev, Shamalov-Berkovich does not have remorse for her inflammatory language. Yesterday, speaking to Arutz Sheva the Knesset minister affirmed, “Those organizations severely harm Israel and so I will continue to treat them in a negative way and expose their hypocrisy and their true nature.”

About Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Mondoweiss.net. Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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25 Responses

  1. Daniel Rich
    May 31, 2012, 7:50 pm
  2. petersz
    May 31, 2012, 7:51 pm

    Shamalov-Berkovich and people like her should be put into re-education camps until they have been thoroughly de-Zionised.

    • Theo
      June 1, 2012, 9:16 am

      It seems most of these ultra-zionist persons come from Russia, judging from their names. Sibiria has great places for re-educating them, usually called gulags.

  3. Krauss
    May 31, 2012, 7:51 pm

    But but but… the MSM in America keeps telling me that Kadima is the leftist alternative who wants peace… we all know that Bibi is blackmailed by an extreme rightist fringe which have hijacked the national discourse… right?

    After all, as Beinart’s book angles it, the struggle for Israel is all about deposing Bibi and then everything will be solved. This story confuses me!!!!1

  4. Daniel Rich
    May 31, 2012, 7:54 pm

    Q: God forbid, I was not talking about people or comparing them to people.

    R: Oh, c’mon! Acting like a retard doesn’t mean everyone else is. Infiltration is done by people, but by comparing infiltration to cancer I don’t mean people are cancer…
    cringe, cringe, cringe…

  5. radii
    May 31, 2012, 8:03 pm

    you just can’t make this stuff up – it’s like a Mel Brooks sketch gone wrong because it’s real … and don’t you love people who “apologize” by saying I’m sorry if you misunderstood me oh the hubris – we’ll need and industrial laser to cut through it pretty soon

  6. edwin
    May 31, 2012, 8:03 pm

    In the video the minister said she did not intend to compare the “infiltrators [African migrants] to people.”

    She’s a really nasty piece of work.

  7. Mooser
    May 31, 2012, 8:56 pm

    “On Tuesday during a Knesset meeting a Kadima member and advocate for Tel Aviv’s social protest movement intensified an anti-African debate by proposing to round up leftists sympathetic to migrants in work camps”

    Yes, sir, I just don’t see how anything can be done until we have that big Jewish conversation.

    • seafoid
      June 1, 2012, 7:40 am

      Yeah Mooser

      We need to get the Jewish family around a table and issue a statement

  8. eljay
    May 31, 2012, 9:23 pm

    >> We must deal with [infiltration] because it represents a demographic threat to the state of Israel …

    It represents a demographic threat to Jewish supremacism in the supremacist “Jewish state” of Israel.

    If Israel were a secular, democratic and egalitarian state of and for all Israelis, equally, the “infiltrators” could/would become naturalized Israelis and the demographic of Israel as 100% Israeli would remain unchanged and unthreatened.

  9. Annie Robbins
    May 31, 2012, 11:18 pm

    “They are black, they have diseases”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/protesters-attack-israeli-of-ethiopian-origin-in-rally-against-african-migrants-1.433435

    At one point of the demonstration, the protesters attacked Hananya Vanda, an Israeli citizen of Ethiopian origin who they mistakenly identified as an immigrant. After they realized Vanda is Jewish, the protesters said that they did not mean to attack him.

    • Elliot
      June 1, 2012, 9:12 am

      Eljay states the obvious. You can’t make a state “Jewish” without it costing you something on the “democratic” side. American Jews want their tribal getaway to be just like the U.S. only a little extra special, because it’s “Jewish”. Unfortunately, the American Jewish fantasy doesn’t work.

      Annie – the odd things about Ethiopian Jews is that they weren’t even Jewish until they were converted. This was a process that begin in the 17th century, but really took off with the arrival of French Jewish emissaries (the Jewish equivalent of Christians missionaries). If Christian Orthodox Ethiopians can become Jewish, Sudanese should be able to become Israeli. The problem is that Israel refuses to be an Israeli (see Shlomo Sand among others) state. It insists on being a Jewish state. Since the Sudanese refugees don’t know from Judaism, they can’t become Israeli.

      • eljay
        June 1, 2012, 10:40 am

        >> Eljay states the obvious.

        Somebody’s gotta do it…and I think I do it pretty well. :-)

        It’s surprising, though, how many people (choose to) remain oblivious to the obvious, even though it’s only an ell-eye away.

      • homingpigeon
        June 2, 2012, 9:13 am

        “Annie – the odd things about Ethiopian Jews is that they weren’t even Jewish until they were converted. This was a process that begin in the 17th century, but really took off with the arrival of French Jewish emissaries (the Jewish equivalent of Christians missionaries).”

        Elliot Habibi, we may need to do some fact checking on this one. My understanding is that the Falasha have been Jewish for more than two millenia and were what Ethiopians were before most of them converted to Christianisty. The issue for them was being rejected as Jews by many Israelis because (1) they were black and (2) because of their isolation they missed out on having the Talmud. If they had been converted three centuries ago that wouldn’t have been a problem. In fact their position was that they were more authentic ancient Jews and the position of the Orthodox rabbis was that they had to go through a conversion process in Israel to make sure they were Jewish – a process that Russian quasi-Jewish athiests didn’t have to go through.

        There is also another group of Falasha who converted to Christianity in the last few centuries (maybe you are reversing the story) and have been an Ethiopian version of the Spanish “conversos” with the same suspicions from Christians that their conversion was fake. Many of these have been trying to revert to Judaism and emigrate to Israel and so have two sets of controversies to deal with in the face of the Orthodox rabbis. (Someone help me and say what they are called – memory fails me).

        Now, if you want a group of recent African converts to proper Orthodox certified kosher Judaism you have the Ugandan Abayudaya who live in Mbale, Uganda. They go back about a century.

  10. Woody
    June 1, 2012, 8:00 am

    Yulia is not a J14 advocate. This is silly slander of the J14 movement. It makes the reportage look amateur and sectarian. Would you REALLY describe Romney as an Occupy “advocate” because he made supportive statements of the movement? Obviously no if you are a serious news source. So why this unrelated link to J14 to Yulia? Is your audience really so unaware of Israeli politics that you can get away with such references for the purpose of – well, I havent figured out why you hate J14 so much. It’s clear the website isn’t populated by activists and this is just more hack. -yours truly, previous contributor

    • seafoid
      June 1, 2012, 5:57 pm

      Romney is a sociopath, Woody. He believes in American exceptionalism too. So he couldn’t ever support Occupy. I think your effort was lame.

      J14 is pointless because it doesn’t address the key problem facing poor Israelis – the occupation.

      • Woody
        June 2, 2012, 6:02 am

        If you don’t think Yulia Shamalov-Berkovich is a sociopath, then you’re missing out on reality. And Romney DID say “I understand those people there,” at Occupy. My point is that Yulia has nothing to do with J14. It’s ridiculous to headline and article with this, given that there is NO information about her actual positions. It’s just an attempt to smear J14, which seems to be some sort of obsession here. Yes, J14 needs to address key problems including the occupation. It doesn’t mean it’s pointless if it doesn’t. You do realize that the movement is inchoate, right? Mass movements with fully formed political world-views don’t just spring out of nowhere – they must be built.

      • seafoid
        June 2, 2012, 11:24 am

        Woody

        Yulia is what passes in Israel for a leftwinger.
        Leftwinger in Israel = Southern Democrat 1956

  11. seafoid
    June 1, 2012, 8:27 am

    J14 is a waste of space. It’s about redistribution of wealth amongst Israeli Jews.
    It doesn’t dare go near the systemic issue that guarantees inequality amongst Jews- the occupation.

  12. Woody Tanaka
    June 1, 2012, 9:45 am

    “Jail all human rights activists who support African migrant workers and send them to work camps”

    Good Idea!!! As someone once said, “Work will set you free!!!”

  13. Taxi
    June 1, 2012, 11:51 am

    LOL! The Apartheid-brained israelis have moved their racism from the basement to the rooftop for all and even for the birds to see.

    Keep up the nasty work oh zios from holy hades!

  14. lysias
    June 1, 2012, 12:19 pm

    There was a lot of discussion this morning about the race riot in Tel Aviv on the Community Comment show on WPFW (89.3 FM), the local Pacifica Radio station in D.C., which has a large black listenership.

  15. Talkback
    June 2, 2012, 4:26 am

    It was Theodor Hertzl who coined the phrase “Judeninfiltration”. Would she say that Jews spread out ‘like cancer’ in pre-48-Palestine, too?

  16. homingpigeon
    June 2, 2012, 9:17 am

    This is a teachable moment for Israelis. How about if these Africans claim that they are the original inhabitants of the land, that the land is theirs, and that their intention is to settle it and establish their own state there, and displace the Israelis, except for some who will be kept to catch snakes (yes Herzl said that), and they raise their own army and are supported by the US, Britain, and Russia, among others. Now the Israelis might have a sense of how the Palestinians felt.

  17. Basilio
    June 2, 2012, 9:48 pm

    American Jews long supported Israel though Israel’s actions sort of contradicted the liberal views of many American Jews. However, the gap has become too, too, too huge. I figured this would happen even back in the 1990s. I thought eventually supporting Israel would become more and more difficult. Israel is shooting itself in the foot, and when so many Russians came in, many (definitely not all) were hard-core people who like militant nationalism.

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