New York, NY, May 24, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed serious concern about the growing tensions in Israel over the issue of African migrants, the reported incidents of lawlessness and violence committed by and directed against the migrants, and the inflammatory rhetoric being expressed by some politicians. ADL called for all parties "to work to calm the tensions," and welcomed the statement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemning the rhetoric and violence and pledging to work for a solution.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
We are seriously concerned about the growing tensions in Israel over the issue of African migrants, and reports of lawlessness and violence committed by and directed against the migrants. We call on all parties to work to calm the tensions, and welcome Prime Minister Netanyahu's condemnation of the inflammatory comments and the violence and his commitment to resolving this crisis responsibly.
While we recognize the complexity involved in properly addressing this issue, and sympathize with Israeli citizens whose personal security has been compromised by the lawlessness and violence of some migrants, we are disturbed by inflammatory public statements made by certain Israeli officials, some of which has veered into racism. These statements are counterproductive and only serve to further inflame tensions.
The role of Israeli law enforcement officials is vital in ensuring the safety of all, controlling lawlessness and violence and enforcing the rule of law.
It is imperative that reasonable solutions be found to confront these challenges, one that humanly treats the migrants while ensuring the security concerns of Israeli citizens are properly addressed.