Interior Minister Eli Yishai has been an outspoken opponent of the illegal immigrants who have overrun southern Tel Aviv, those fleeing Eritrea and Sudan, warning that the government must take extreme measures to prevent them from continuing to infiltrate into the country and to expel those present in Israel. Yishai stated the threat from the illegal aliens is more serious that the Iranian threat in many ways, and anyone who walks the streets of southern Tel Aviv can attest to change in the area as a result of their presence.
Yishai sent a letter to Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai in which he cites the damage to southern Tel Aviv shuls as a result of the illegals, citing how they commonly urinate in the area of the shuls and simply have a total disregard for the houses of worship, compromising the status of the shuls in his city.
A Ynet translation of a portion of the letter sent by Yishai states “the stench, the disrepair, synagogues converted into pubs, bars and sometimes even toilets by the migrants and illegal aliens while local Jewish worshippers are banished. It’s almost unheard of to find enough people to form a minyan for prayer in the area.
“I’m certain that had similar news been broadcast about neglect in synagogues abroad, the world and surely Israel would be shocked and act immediately to fix the situation,” he added.
“As Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yaffo who is entrusted with safeguarding the synagogues within its municipal area including south Tel Aviv, I ask you to act to preserve them as small temples and give them the respect that they and we deserve.”
City Hall officials report the minister’s letter has been forwarded to the city’s religious council, adding the issue of the shuls falls under the responsibility of the Ministry of Religious Services and not City Hall.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)