In my third post about publishing--or, rather, not publishing--my book about migrant workers and African refugees in Israel, I examine the role of violence in the media and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And then there was a ray of light. In the wake of the May 2012 race riot in Tel Aviv, the mainstream media was suddenly paying attention to African refugees in the Jewish state. My agent called to say that we might be able to ride the wave of violence to sell my book about migrants in Israel. There’s something wrong with an industry that only sits up and takes…Read More... | 10 Comments
African asylum seekers
In the second post of my three-part series about media and publishing, I examine some misconceptions about the Israeli-Palestinian 'conflict,' and the ways in which the media feeds into a binary that leaves non-Jews and non-Palestinians out of the spotlight. When my agent and I shopped my book about Israel’s migrant workers and African refugees around, we got a lot of those “We love it but it’s not right for us” and “This is an important book that needs to be published. But there’s no audience for this” kind of responses. But perhaps the most common response was, “Where are…Read More... | 18 Comments
Haim Mula, a resident of the Shapira neighborhood in south Tel Aviv who was arrested last April in connection with the nighttime arson attack of several African asylum seeker homes and one kindergarten in his neighborhood, has signed a plea bargain that exempts him from jail time. Mula, 20, was originally accused of committing the attacks himself, admitted only to having prepared the firebombs for the actual arsonist, an offense for which he is expected to receive only a few months of community service and no jail time. It will be up to the court whether to approve this fairly…Read More... | 5 Comments
Israeli-Jewish identity should be one that pursues justice for the collective and perseveres in the fight against oppression. Plans to destroy hundreds of homes or imprison thousands of refugees defile and contradict all that is good in that very identity. By Moriel Rothman Scenario One. Imagine: You wake up in a place that is not familiar. You are disoriented: this is not your home. And then, it floods over you like a wave: your home was destroyed. So was your brother's home. And your parents' home. And the place that you worked. And your children's school. And your entire village. And the…Read More... | 11 Comments
Last week, asylum seekers and their Israeli supporters traveled south to the Saharonim prison near the Egyptian border, where thousands of asylum seekers are held. The prison is presently under expansion to hold thousands more - new Israeli legislation, coming amidst a package of moves to put pressure on refugees and asylum seekers, now enables detention for years at a time, even if the detained asylum seekers cannot be deported under international law. Eritrean activist and asylum seeker Isayas Teklebrhan spoke during last week's protest. His speech is reprinted in full, below. By Isayas Teklebrhan Dear Brothers and Sisters. Thank you all…Read More... | 12 Comments
The following is an expanded version of my contribution to a group blog post by +972 writers, in response to Israel's refusal to take in a group of Eritrean refugees who were left to bake in the desert sun for a week without food or medical help, while the army prevented activists from bringing food or a physician to examine them. In 1977, Prime Minister Begin authorized citizenship for 66 Vietnamese refugees. The captain of an Israeli freighter in the South China Sea found them huddled on a leaky boat, low on food supplies, and took them in, bringing them…Read More... | 18 Comments
A group of twenty people who fled the horrors of Eritrea was being prevented from crossing the fence to Israel at gunpoint. The army also prevented doctors and volunteers from supplying the refugees with food and medicine. UPDATE: Around 6:30 P.M., it was made known that two women along with the 14-year-old boy will be allowed into Israel to receive medical treatment. The rest of the asylum seekers will be left on the Egyptian side of the fence. Prime Minister Netanyahu has confirmed that three of the "infiltrators" will be let in, while the rest will turn back. According to initial reports, the rest of the group has…Read More... | 17 Comments
A group of some 20 Eritreans has been trapped for seven days between the Israeli and Egyptian fences in Sinai. Until Wednesday, soldiers were ordered to give them some water but no food. Activists who went there over the last several days were prevented from reaching the asylum seekers by soldiers. UPDATE: A delegation from Physicians for Human Rights traveled to the border today [Thursday], and reported the following (translated by Sol Salbe): A battalion commander named Dolev has come to meet the PHR delegation. He only agreed to speak with two doctors - Dr Kobi Arad and Prof Mick Elkan.…Read More... | 18 Comments
Text by: Rami Gudovitch All photos by: Activestills.org “Do you know, Rami, that I was in 'Mustafa Mahmoud?'” Regina, a 12-year-old South Sudanese girl, asked me after she and her family were released from 27 days in an Israeli prison. Her father, a tall man with noticeable facial scars from the torture he underwent in Khartoum, affirms her words, handing me an old newspaper clipping from Egypt, dated 2005. I cannot read Arabic, but I can see her mother, laying on the ground, surrounded by police officers in one photo, and the little body of a child covered by a…Read More... | 11 Comments
Report: Jerusalem's Bikur Holim Hospital refuses to treat a number of African asylum seekers under the premise that they don’t have health insurance. In the past week, the Bikur Holim hospital in Jerusalem has turned away at least three Eritrean asylum seekers, according to a report in Maariv (Hebrew). After experiencing severe stomach pains, Nestah Ibrahim, a 21-year-old Eritrean woman who arrived in Israeli legally, was transported to Jerusalem’s Bikur Holim by ambulance. There, hospital workers asked her if she had money to pay for the visit. When she told them she did not, they told her to go somewhere else.…Read More... | 13 Comments
Approximately 50 south Tel Aviv residents protested last night against the presence of African asylum seekers in their neighborhoods. Protesters waved Israeli flags and held signs that read "I voted for Bibi and I got screwed," "We want a solution here and now," and "Bibi, you asked [for us] not to take the law into [our] hands. What have you done?" Another sign punned on the Hebrew word for minister (sar) to declare Interior Minister Eli Yishai a "Tzar" who will face "Judgment Day." The group marched to the police station in Jaffa and called on the state to deport…Read More... | 26 Comments
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Children under occupation
The effects of occupation on minors.
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