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Hypocrisy in Action: The Jewish Lobby, Asylum Seekers in Israel and America

haaretz-asylum-01New Observer Online

OCTOBER 25, 2014

The announcement by the Israeli government that it will introduce a new law which will impose a special tax on those companies or individuals who give work to asylum seekers is in direct contradiction to the demand by Israel-supporting Jewish organizations in America which demand that that latter nation unconditionally accept the “asylum seeker” invasion from central and South America.


In Israel, the official tax on employing asylum seekers has—until now—been the same as that on legal foreign workers. The new law will however significantly increase the tax to be paid by employers—with the obvious intention of denying asylum seekers any employment opportunities. Employers in the agriculture industry will soon have to pay 20 percent of the asylum seeker’s salary in tax to the government, compared to 10 percent for normal foreign workers. Employers in the construction industry who give work to asylum seekers will have to pay a 25 percent levy, compared to 15 for normal foreign workers. That figure is replicated in the industrial and “ethnic restaurants” employment market, while in all other employment sectors, the new levy will be 30 percent. The law states that employers would not be allowed to deduct the tax from an asylum seeker’s salary, and would have to pay it over and above what they are already paying the workers. The Israeli government is quite open about its intention with the law: in its explanatory notes to the “Economic Arrangements Bill” which forms part of the annual budget currently before the Knesset, it is stated that it “seeks to increase the cost of employing asylum seekers, both to encourage employers to hire Israelis and to discourage asylum seekers from settling here.” It added that currently, asylum seekers can be hired more cheaply than legal foreign workers because various fees must be paid to obtain a permit for a legal foreign worker. There are an estimated 44,000 asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan in Israel.


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