Israelis want solution for African asylum seekers, though few want them to stay


JTA — When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu walked back an agreement with the United Nations last week to resettle abroad at least half of the African migrants seeking asylum in his country, it did not play well with the majority of Israelis.

But don’t assume that means the public wants the migrants to stay in Israel, pollsters warn. While most knocked Netanyahu for a lack of leadership, the Israeli public overwhelmingly rejects the idea of granting residency to all or most of the migrants.

“They are not ready to have 40,000 people being recognized,” said Tamar Hermann, the academic director of the Guttmann Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research at the Israel Democracy Institute, which has done surveys on the issue.

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