Immigration Policy and the Rise of Anti-Democratic Liberalism—the Case of Israel

Yes, this is an article about illegal immigration in Israel. But the issues and the tactics of the open border groups and illegal immigrant supporters also apply to the United States.

An array of NGOs self-described as human rights watchdogs immediately sprang into action. They petitioned the courts against the return policy as they would against almost any policy intended to curb illegal immigration. The courts issued a decree nisi, which had an instant cooling effect on “Hot Return.” Meanwhile, the dominant agenda-setting media mobilized, especially the left-leaning dailies Haaretz and Yediot, along with the leading TV news shows. The news filled up with comparisons between today’s African immigrants to Israel and Jews fleeing Hitler’s Germany. Shrill accusations of cruelty and racism abounded. The government finally caved in and abandoned the return policy.

Detention also came under attack. The Supreme Court—which holds sweeping powers in Israel—repeatedly struck down legislation intended to facilitate the detention of migrants, eventually reducing the maximum incarceration time to three months.

This points to a unique aspect of the Israeli case, which sets it apart from Europe: International NGOs have an exceptionally strong presence in Israel, because of the particulars of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Thus when illegal immigration appeared on the political agenda, there was already an entire infrastructure in place which made it possible for NGOs to fight for their preferred policy through the legal system. These organizations are an essential part of the international atmosphere which holds the Jewish nation state to a set of standards demanded of no other country. Flush with foreign money these organizations have built a cadre of young, highly motivated lawyers, ready to support illegal immigrants in myriad ways: legal battles against policies, criminal cases, and asylum requests to name a few. (See, for instance, The Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Hotline for Refugees and Migrants, African Refugee Development Center, Physicians for Human Rights, Workers Hotline, and ASSAF–Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel. And there are more.)

With all of the hue and cry from the left about the racism and other immoralities of Israel and the United States, these countries are still very popular destinations for migrants. And in neither country do the "human rights watchdogs" have to deal with the fruits of their efforts - yet.