+972 Magazine » south sudanese http://972mag.com Independent commentary and news from Israel & Palestine Sat, 30 Apr 2016 18:55:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8 WATCH: Left, Right come together against arms exports to S. Sudan http://972mag.com/watch-left-right-come-together-against-arms-exports-to-s-sudan/109264/ http://972mag.com/watch-left-right-come-together-against-arms-exports-to-s-sudan/109264/#comments Sat, 25 Jul 2015 10:30:29 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=109264 As recently reported in +972 Magazine, Israel is exporting arms to South Sudan, despite an EU embargo and a decision in Washington to halt military aid. In Israel, activists from both sides of the political map are coming together to say ‘enough is enough.’

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Court prohibits detention of Sudanese refugees days before mass arrests begin http://972mag.com/court-prohibits-detention-of-sudanese-refugees-days-before-mass-arrests-begin/57681/ http://972mag.com/court-prohibits-detention-of-sudanese-refugees-days-before-mass-arrests-begin/57681/#comments Fri, 12 Oct 2012 13:47:50 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=57681 A Jerusalem court issued a temporary injunction on Thursday, prohibiting the detention of Sudanese refugees. The group was slated for arrest and forced transfer to a prison camp in the Negev desert beginning on October 15.

The court’s move comes in response to an October 3 petition, filed by the Clinic for Migrants’ Rights at the Academic Center of Law and Business, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), the Hotline for Migrant Workers, ASSAF Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel, the African Refugee Development Center (ADRC), and Kav La’Oved, as well six African asylum seekers. The petition was filed against Interior Minister Eli Yishai, Defense Minster Ehud Barak, and the government’s legal counsel, and requested the court to issue an injunction stopping Yishai and the others from jailing refugees.

Yesterday’s ruling–which was issued by Jerusalem District Court Judge Nava Ben-Or, and which comes just three days before the arrests were scheduled to begin–means that the detention of Sudanese asylum seekers is temporarily delayed, pending a final decision on the petition. A hearing on the matter will take place October 30.

According to ACRI, “the Minister of the Interior’s policy would result in thousands of Sudanese asylum seekers along with their children being hunted down, arrested en masse, and detained indefinitely in extreme conditions in the desert.  Included among these people are survivors of genocide in Darfur and atrocities in other areas.”

ACRI attorney Oded Feller remarks:

The asylum requests of Sudanese citizens are not even checked, and in any event, it is not possible to deport them from Israel in a way that will safeguard their welfare. The decision to imprison asylum seekers from Sudan and their children for indefinite terms in extreme desert conditions is exceptionally cruel. Regrettably, the Prime Minster and Attorney General are not willing to restrain the Minister of the Interior, and therefore a petition must be brought to the court.

Israel is home to approximately 60,000 African refugees, most of whom are from Sudan and Eritrea. Israel began deporting South Sudanese refugees this past June.

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LISTEN: The song of the ‘threat’ to the Zionist project http://972mag.com/listen-the-song-of-the-threat-to-the-zionist-project/49600/ http://972mag.com/listen-the-song-of-the-threat-to-the-zionist-project/49600/#comments Thu, 28 Jun 2012 13:30:24 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=49600 A few weeks ago, I was in south Tel Aviv on a Friday night conducting research. As I walked down Salame Street, I heard a chorus singing above me. It was coming from the second story of a low-slung, dilapidated apartment building.

I saw a few latecomers entering the building — Eritrean women draped in white; Eritrean men, also wearing white, and carrying what looked like large walking sticks. As I listened to the music, I realized the sticks were being struck against the floor for percussion. I guessed that the singing was probably some sort of prayer.

There was something deeply moving about the hope and devotion I heard in the voices. Amid the poverty and desperation of south Tel Aviv; amid the growing threats to and violence towards the refugee community; as the government incites against Africans; on the eve of the deportation of south Sudanese–still, these people had faith. No, it was more than faith. Their voices carried joy.

The singing gave me goose bumps and I stood on the street corner, transfixed. I managed at some point to get my recorder out–I’d just been conducting interviews–and took the following audio:

EritreanChurch by 972mag

When the singing ended, the clerk at the kiosk adjacent to the building told me that there is an Eritrean church there. It’s packed every Friday night and Saturday morning, he added.

A Filipino woman singing during an prayer session against the deportation (photo: Mya Guarnieri)

It reminded me of the hidden Filipino churches I’d been to in south Tel Aviv–tiny, bare bone chapels without signs. There, I watched women weep as they begged God to stop the deportation of Israeli-born children of migrant workers. I saw these same women cry out of gratitude for the life they have, no matter how difficult their circumstances.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is the big threat to, as Eli Yishai calls Israel, “the Zionist project.” Men and women and children who–when faced with violence and detention and deportation–lift their voices in prayer.

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South Sudanese child abuse victims face expulsion with families http://972mag.com/south-sudanese-child-abuse-victims-face-deportation-with-families/48223/ http://972mag.com/south-sudanese-child-abuse-victims-face-deportation-with-families/48223/#comments Wed, 13 Jun 2012 13:50:03 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=48223 Among the hundreds of South Sudanese slated for deportation is a group of children who have been removed from their parents’ custody due to severe domestic violence. The authorities have not taken steps to ensure their protection, and they risk not only immediate deportation, but a forced return to abusive families.

South Sudanese victims of child abuse who have been removed from the custody of their parents by Israeli welfare services are being targeted for deportation along with their families.

Yedioth Ahronoth reported today that immigration authorities arrived this week at several boarding schools at which South Sudanese refugee children were placed following court orders separating them from abusive parents. In one case, the authorities attempted to remove two panicked young girls – sisters who had reportedly suffered severe abuse at the hands of their father – but were stopped by school administrators upon consultation with local Welfare Ministry representatives.

In another case, a boy was removed from his boarding school and returned to the custody of his parents, without the involvement of welfare representatives. A Ministry of Interior spokesperson claimed the boy was not in the care of welfare services, but had resided in the boarding school upon his parents’ request. She told +972 that he would not be deported without a welfare assessment. However, he is now in Saharonim detention center with his family – all of them in deportation proceedings.

Roughly 20 South Sudanese children – belonging to 10 or so families – have been removed from their homes upon court order, as a result of child abuse. When the government announced several months ago its intention to deport all of the South Sudanese nationals residing in Israel, refugee advocates appealed to the Ministry of Interior on behalf of the children and their families, requesting it stay their deportation pending the conclusion of family treatment.

The MOI spokeswoman told +972, however, that the ministry has no list of the children in question, and that immigration officials went to the boarding schools “randomly” after they arrested South Sudanese parents who told them they could not fly without their children. She also said that the deportation of children removed from their parents’ care would be examined by welfare authorities on a case-to-case basis. A representative from the Aid Organization for Refugees, however, told +972 that she had been contacted by welfare officials asking her “what to do,” raising concerns of ineffective coordination between the Welfare Ministry and the Ministry of Interior.

After a court ruling last week removed the last hurdles to deportation, immigration authorities began an aggressive campaign to arrest South Sudanese nationals in Israel. Refugee advocates are now scrambling to account for those children in boarding schools, to intervene on their behalf and prevent their deportation to a new country on the brink of war without institutions that can effectively monitor the families.

The South Sudanese population in Israel numbers between 700 and 1,500, and is among the most veteran of Israel’s growing African refugee population. The community includes many families, some of which have resided in Israel since 2006, with Israeli-born children.  Until recently, South Sudanese nationals in Israel were afforded the same protection from deportation extended to Sudanese citizens. South Sudanese departures from Israel were carried out on a voluntary basis only, monitored by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Israel.

Noa Yachot is the managing editor of +972. 

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Israeli radio host: ‘Islam is most terrible disease in the world’ http://972mag.com/israeli-radio-host-islam-is-most-terrible-disease-in-the-world/48194/ http://972mag.com/israeli-radio-host-islam-is-most-terrible-disease-in-the-world/48194/#comments Wed, 13 Jun 2012 10:47:14 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=48194 Just a few thoughts on stuff that’s been “bothering” me… to say the least

1. My tax shekels pay too many idiots

I read a column today by Ofer Shelach [Heb], who writes for the daily Ma’ariv, and pounded my desk rather hard. Shelach was angry, rightfully so, for the words spewed by Army Radio talk-show host Avri Gilad on his morning show with Jacky Levi, called “The Last Word.” Unfortunately, they won’t be his last words on that show (no, I’m not calling for his death, for Christ’s sake). Shelach brings an excerpt:

Levy said that the fact that Israel is a special case does not exempt it from considering the tragedy of others, and “demands us to check how much available space we have.”

And this is what Gilad said in response, which I have shortened but kept things in context still: “It’s true we have to check how much available space we have, but let us not forget that those knocking on our doors belong to Islam, and Islam today is the most terrible disease raging around the world. It poisons its believers and poisons every place it reaches.

The people that come here, especially the South Sudanese, are very moderate people, the real beautiful face of Islam… the problem is that when you carry the virus, you don’t know when it will explode inside you…. every Muslim who enters here might become the flag carrier of the global Islam…. and therefore we must take care of our lives.”

Among many other stupid things, I pay for this crap with my taxes.

2. Don’t mess with us

So, apparently the thought police is here. I know, I know. You must think I’m exaggerating. “Ami, no need to compare to dark regimes immediately, come on, lay off it.”

How about I lay off it when the police stops investigating citizens on their future plans to protest? I repeat: “protest.” Which is my right in a democracy. Which is what we did last summer during #J14. Which was also the most peaceful #Occupy protest in the world last summer (not a single window smashed – and that, even though the Israeli protests were not only the largest in the world percentage wise, but also in absolute numbers).

Here’s what Haaretz reported:

Some activists received summonses in the mail, while others have been visited personally by officers. One such visit yesterday caused some anxiety at the home of Tamir Hajaj, who said his 17-year-old daughter called him in a panic to tell him police officers had come to their home looking for him. Hajaj told his daughter to give the officers his cellphone number.

“They phoned and said I was being called in for investigation,” Hajaj said. “When I asked why, they said they want to know my plans for the summer.” Hajaj said that last year he kept in touch with police, briefing them on events and demonstrations he organized.

So how about I stop comparing when this place stops interrogating me about my thoughts?


Or, is this what happens when we “mess” with you…

3. Stem the meme

There’s a war going on on Facebook, and the right wingers are winning. A page called “All of us against the radical left” has managed to shut down profiles of people they don’t agree with (thought police, anyone?). One of the more well known figures is Amir Schiby, famous for his witty and provocative memes.

Schiby is on and off of Facebook now, because a large number of the 15,000 people who are fans of that page have reported him to Facebook administrators.

Counter-attacks by leftwingers (myself included) reporting the racist (and that’s an understatement, trust me) page to Facebook have resulted in a resounding failure.

4. I hate Arabs, but…

A Facebook friend posted a screenshot of a status update [Heb] he saw on a woman’s page, which demonstrated her love of others:

With all my hatred for Arabs, I must say there a few of them who are real aces in medicine!!! One of them is Prof. Abu Shakra who saved my life and I am grateful for him every day!!!

This Facebook friend of mine later posted a message saying that he forwarded her kind words to Prof. Shakra, who he happens to know.

This is the kind of racism I fear the most. The way she says it so easily, without giving it any thought. It’s acceptable to her, because it’s acceptable to so many others. She’ll never be reprimanded by those around her. Who are the majority. Who think like her.

And to all you trolls who plan to say “she doesn’t represent Israelis,” I say to you: “The hell she does doesn’t!”

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South Sudanese get last-minute reprieve from deportation http://972mag.com/south-sudanese-get-temporary-reprieve-from-deportation/39866/ http://972mag.com/south-sudanese-get-temporary-reprieve-from-deportation/39866/#comments Sun, 01 Apr 2012 08:19:11 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=39866 On Thursday, a Jerusalem District Court judge issued a temporary injunction preventing the Ministry of Interior from revoking the group protection of South Sudanese. The move effectively delays the deportation of South Sudanese refugees, which was set to begin today.

Families, including Israeli-born children, are among those facing deportation to South Sudan. Human rights organizations say thousands of South Sudanese face expulsion; the number cited at a recent protest against the deportation was 700.

The judge, Yigal Marzel, issued the order in response to a petition filed by the Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel (ASSAF), the African Refugee Development Center (ARDC), the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), the Hotline for Migrant Workers, and Physicians for Human Rights Israel (PHR-Israel).

Due to the volatile situation in South Sudan, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also recommended to delay the deportations.

As I reported for the IPS last month, ethnic clashes between the Murle and Lou Nuer tribes continue in the Jonglei region of South Sudan, where fighting has claimed thousands of lives since the country gained independence from Sudan in July 2011. According to the United Nations, more than 300,000 South Sudanese were displaced due to internal violence last year.

South Sudanese also fear that fighting with Sudan could break out again. Although a peace treaty was signed in 2005, Sudan has bombed the pro-south stronghold of South Kordofan in recent months. And tensions with Sudan over South Sudan’s oil reserves remain high.

South Sudan faces additional problems: one in three children suffers from malnutrition; almost 50 percent of South Sudanese lack access to clean water.

After visiting the country in February, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos remarked, “The situation in the country is extremely precarious, and the risk of a dangerous decline is very real. Food insecurity has already increased, and 2012 will witness an earlier, and a longer, season of hunger.”

Speaking of the Jerusalem District Court’s decision and the MFA’s recommendation, Orit Marom, Advocacy Coordinator at ASSAF, remarked: “We are pleased with the court’s decision and welcome the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ recognition of the hard realities in South Sudan – that deportation at such time would be tantamount to a terrible sentence for the families and children. The South Sudanese refugees in Israel are taking a brief sigh of relief and hoping that in the coming days the Prime Minister will decide to continue granting them protection and thus spare their lives from war, violence and hunger.”

Israel is home to approximately 35,000 African asylum seekers, many of whom are Eritrean and Sudanese. Israel does not grant  them refugee status, nor will the state process their claims. The state, however, does not deport most asylum seekers, thus giving them a sort of de facto recognition. 

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