18. September 2014 · Kommentare deaktiviert für „Till when will the Arabs throw their children in the sea?“ Al-Quds al-Arabi · Kategorien: Italien, Libyen, Malta, Mittelmeerroute · Tags: ,


„Till when will the Arabs throw their children in the sea?“

On September 18, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following lead editorial: „With the fall of hundreds of victims, most of whom are Palestinians this time around, after an illegal immigrants boat sank near the Island of Malta a few days ago, shock is renewed over this ongoing tragedy that is causing the death of thousands of Arab citizens every year.

Clearly, there is a direct correlation between the rates of illegal immigration and the tragedy it is causing on one hand, and the escalation of the economic crises and military and sectarian conflicts and civil wars in our countries on the other, thus rendering the risk of death along the way to the „promised European heaven“ much better for many than a life that has become similar to death, or worse. This may be true in many cases, although it does not deny the existence of a large portion of economic immigrants, seeking the betterment of their quality of life and paying massive sums of money to smuggling networks… to reach the European shores.

„Yesterday, Egypt officially recognized the presence of a „mafia of smugglers“ on its territories, smuggling illegal immigrants to Europe. This happened one week after the boat sank in the Mediterranean upon leaving the Egyptian shores, while carrying 500 passengers. Only 10 people survived…, knowing that some of them said they paid $3,500 to migrate from Gaza to Europe. For its part, Hamas denied yesterday the accusations made against it by Fatah of being implicated in the smuggling of hundreds of youth from the Gaza Strip to Europe and the drowning of dozens among them at sea, thus assuring that what happened was a „double disaster“ and holding Israel responsible for it. But far away from the disputes, the illegal immigration tragedy now needs a more comprehensive approach that is not limited to the security facet and tackles the political, economic and cultural roots…

„Firstly, no drastic solution to illegal immigration can be found unless an alternative is given to those fleeing a life that is similar to death and heading towards death in some cases. Hence, new European economic programs or policies should be drawn up, to create jobs and offer a decent living in these immigrants‘ countries. Regardless of the cost of such programs, they would be lesser than that of the massive economic burdens generated by the latter immigrants on the depleted European budgets… Secondly, as the most damaged party from the waves of illegal immigration, the European Union should have a political approach that is more independent from the United States, which is distant from the region and its political and economic catastrophes. This necessarily requires a more efficient European role in ending the Israeli occupation, civil and sectarian wars and the spread of terrorist organizations…

„Thirdly, the Arab governments should facilitate legal immigration, especially for the youth, by helping them legally communicate with the countries that need permanent or temporary migrants or those in need of a specific type of workforce, which requires better cooperation with the European states… Fourthly, the Arab youth wishing to migrate should be informed about the reality of the difficult situation faced by most migrants upon their arrival to the „fictive European heaven,“ whether in terms of the difficulty to find a job, housing or legalize their status, thus pushing many of them either to return or regret their step… Fifthly, a regional security organization should be established to face the networks of smugglers, which have apparently infiltrated local authorities and security bodies. This would explain why only a few smugglers have ever been arrested, knowing that some of them are operating with quasi-official cooperation from authorities and states.

„But the question remains the following: Is there a real political will to face this ongoing tragedy, or are we in the presence of governments that do not mind seeing their citizens traveling „their own way“ to alleviate their problems and earn them hard currency transfers from abroad?“

Al-Quds al-Arabi, United Kingdom

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