“Israelis appreciate Berlin’s refugee policy, new poll finds” reports The Times of Israel:
Israelis generally support Germany’s welcoming of refugees from the Middle East, according to a new poll.
Fifty-six percent of Israelis said that Berlin’s acceptance of refugees from Syria positively influences their view of Germany, while 36% view the policy negatively, the survey, released last week, found.
A quarter of respondents said they have a “much more favorable” view of Germany due to the government’s intake of more than a million refugees, while 31% had a “somewhat more favorable opinion. Only 17% judge Germany “much less” favorably.
On Sunday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right CDU party took heavy losses in three regional elections, presumably over her open-border policy. At the same time, the elections saw the steep rise of the anti-migrant Alternative for Deutschland party.
The country’s Jewish community has taken a somewhat ambivalent position on the refugee question, officially supporting Merkel’s policy and recognizing the moral imperative to help those in need, but at the same time remaining wary of anti-Semitic sentiment the migrants might import to Germany.
Meanwhile, from Haaretz (“Israel Raising Height of Egypt Border Fence to Keep Out Asylum Seekers“):
Defense officials said Tuesday Israel would increase the height of its fence on the Egyptian border, following an uptick of incursions by African asylum seekers over the past year.
The fence will be raised by one meter over dozens of kilometers, making it six meters (19.7 feet) high. The current fence was built between 2010 and 2014.
The barrier has worked – according to the army, 14 people made it across the border in 2014, compared with 12,000 in 2010. But over the past year the number has ballooned to 200; some of the migrants used ladders.
In one case, Israeli soldiers opened fired on Africans who had reached the border, wounding three. The Military Police opened an investigation and the head of the army’s Southern Command at the time, Maj. Gen. Sami Turgeman, ruled that the shooting was unwarranted.