Israel lets Strangers No More pupils stay for now

By Jennifer Lipman, March 10, 2011
Strangers No More won the Best Documentary Short Oscar

Strangers No More won the Best Documentary Short Oscar

The pupils featured in an Oscar-winning film about a Tel Aviv school for the children of migrants can remain in Israel for the time being.

After filmmakers Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon won an Academy Award for their short Strangers No More about the Bialik-Rogozin school, it emerged that 120 of the 400 pupils were from illegal immigrant families facing deportation by the Interior Ministry.

But Interior Minister Eli Yishai has now announced that the families, and others with children at similar schools, will not be deported yet. The decision will instead be postponed until at least next September.

Mr Yishai said the decision had been taken “with the utmost care”.

The Israeli Children praised the postponement but added: “Sadly this declaration doesn't remove the threat of deportation and adds more anxiety to the daily lives of the families and kids.

“The time has come to address the real problems such as the lack of immigration laws in Israel. The children are not the problem and their deportation is not the solution.”

The school educates children from almost 50 different countries, including from Nigeria and the Darfur region of Sudan.

Last updated: 10:54am, March 11 2011