More and more woman workers have been coming to us recently, with the exact same story: they paid astronomical brokerage fees in order to be able to work in Israel. They arrived here only to face an alienating, hard and sometimes depressing employment situation, caregiving the disabled and the elderly. They left their children and families behind. In Israel, they met a migrant worker, just like them and formed a romantic relationship with him. When the Ministry of Interior found out, they were demanded to leave the state.

The State of Israel is taking this basic right of forming relationships from migrant workers. One worker asked, very puzzled: I arrived in Israel at the age of 27, did they really expect me not to fall in love with anyone? Is falling in love illegal? An innocent, shy question. These are narrow remainders of privacy and a personal life they still have, and the state polices, withholds, restricts, freezes even that. It seems that for the state of Israel the caregivers are simply a tool – is there no limit to the objectification?

Read Ilan Lior’s full Haaretz article, “How Israel Regulates Foreign Workers’ Love Lives Through Work Permits”