Shades of Gray

Charlotte Proudman, a blogger at The Independent, addresses Israel’s handling of illegal African migrants after one stole her purse in Tel Aviv. Yes, it’s a hotly-debated issue among Israelis, but three things struck me about her righteous indignation:

1. Proudman never entertains the notion that the Israeli-Egyptian border fence doesn’t just keep out African asylum seekers. It keeps out Sinai jihadis too. Period.

2. Proudman never wonders why — of all the countries African migrants could conceivably go to — they come specifically to Israel. For all of Israel’s faults, the Africans know they’ll still be treated better here than anywhere else.

3. Proudman’s tone suggests that if she were an African migrant, she’d snatch her own purse too. That’s the kind of moral ambiguity trail-blazed by another Indy columnist, Robert Fisk. The only difference is that Fisk was nearly killed and his most infamous column was far more straightforward:

And I’ll say it again. If I was an Afghan refugee in Kila Abdullah, I would have done just what they did. I would have attacked Robert Fisk. Or any other Westerner I could find.

I, along with most Israelis, wish there was an easier way to handle the migrant issue. But the problem isn’t as black-and-white as Proudman makes it out to be.

(Image via YouTube/StefanellaStef)

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