Jerusalem, Israel, October 19, 2010 … The head of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today visited the Rogosin-Bialik School in Tel Aviv, a diverse inner-city school with students from nearly 40 countries, where he met with children of migrant workers who are threatened with deportation.
"We care about you, and in the spirit of Jewish values, we will do all we can to ensure that you remain in Israel," Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, told students at the school, some of whom are under direct threat of deportation. They are among nearly 400 children of migrant workers presently living in Israel who could be deported under newly established criteria by the Israeli Cabinet.
"On an issue like this, where the well-being of 400 children is at stake, it is important for American Jews and American Jewish leaders to weigh in," said Mr. Foxman, a Holocaust survivor. "And so I am here with you today in solidarity, not against the government of Israel but in standing up for what is best in the Jewish people, what is best in Jewish values, what is best in the Jewish and democratic state of Israel."
Mr. Foxman also raised the issue of the migrant workers' children yesterday in meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman. He plans on raising the issue again tomorrow in a meeting with Israel's Minister of the Interior.
Mr. Foxman also met privately at the school with two 11th grade students from Nigeria and Turkey threatened with deportation.
In August, ADL called on the government of Israel to extend, on humanitarian grounds, the protection of legal status to all of the children of migrant workers now in Israel.
ADL's Israel Office has offered to undertake joint projects with the Rogosin-Bialik School, which Mr. Foxman described as "a magnificent laboratory of diversity and respect and integration," with an inner-city student body comprised of students who are Christian, Muslim, Buddhist and Jewish.