Thousands gathered in Levinsky Park in southern Tel Aviv Saturday evening (March 20, 2010) to protest against the possible deportation of 1,200 children of foreign workers at the end of the current school year. Demonstrators, among them hundreds of Hadash (the Democratic Front of Peace and Equality – Communist Party of Israel), held signs reading “Israeli born children – Israeli citizenship” and “I want to stay”, and chanted “There are no illegal children” and “No to deportation”.
An inter-ministerial committee formed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to decide soon on what will happen to the children when the school year ends.
Leading Communist Party of Israel member MK Dov Khenin (from the Hadash fraction in the Knesset – the Israeli parliament), who is active in the effort against the deportation of children, said: “In ten days we will celebrate Passover and on this holiday we are supposed to remember our lives as slaves in ancient Egypt. The question is what happened to us that allowed us to forget?”
“This protest is the final step before the fate of these children is set. If there is someone who thinks we have fallen asleep or that we’ve tired, it is not so. We will not rest and not end our struggle. We are telling the decision makers to end the ongoing threat to these children.”
If the deportation of the children is approved, MK Khenin expects a wide civil movement against the decision to develop in Tel Aviv, where most foreign workers live.