Israel to Deport Hundreds of Children preserve the 'Jewish character' of the country
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Suggested by outofsorts
Posted Aug 2, 2010 8:29 AM CDT
Ethiopian Jews arrive at Ben Gurion airport early Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2010.   (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
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(Newser) – Israel announced yesterday that it would deport about 400 children in an effort to preserve the country’s Jewish identity and discourage illegal immigration—though all their parents are legal migrant workers. “We all feel and understand the hearts of children,” said Benjamin Netanyahu. “But on the other hand, there are Zionist considerations and ensuring the Jewish character of the state of Israel.”

Israeli law does not automatically grant legal foreign workers' children, most of whom speak Hebrew and have never seen their parents’ native countries, residency status, the LA Times reports. The policy may allow another 800 children to stay, if they have spent at least five years in the country and attended grade school, but child advocates still condemned the move. “It’s the deportation of children that threatens Israel’s Jewish character,” said the chairwoman of Israeli Children, noting that compassion towards foreigners is the most oft-repeated commandment in the Torah.