Three years ago, a young man in Sderot got a phone call from his landlord to vacate his rental apartment in Sderot, one mile from Gaza.
The landlord explained to his surprised tenant that a Bedouin tracker was bringing in ten Sudanese to rent his Sderot flat.
I met that Bedouin, an Israeli citizen and IDF veteran, who spoke with me about his job, on the condition of anonymity.
He had been hired by a kibbutz to recruit ten Sudanese from the Sinai desert and to accompany them to the Kibbutz, where they were to work a 12 hour day, under minimum wage, with no social or medical benefits. It was also the job of the Bedouin recruiter to find his ten work clients a place to live, in nearby Sderot.
To carry out his task, the Bedouin tracker crossed the Israeli Negev desert into the Egyptian Sinai desert, where he met another Bedouin tracker who had been hired by Sudanese emigrants to guide them on the long trek from Sudan into the Sinai and then to meet a fellow Bedouin from Israel who would accompany the job seekers for the final miles of their arduous journey.
The Bedouin tracker whom I met performed his task for more than five years, until a little less than two years ago, when the fence between the Sinai and Israel was finally completed. But that Bedouin tracker has succeeded in “delivering” workers to hotels, restaurants and kibbutzim and was well remunerated by all of these employers.
If there were will be an Israel commission of inquiry into the import of illegal migrant workers into Israel, the question of “who profits” will be foremost in the minds of the judges.