This week: A pattern of Israeli arrest raids resulting in the death of Palestinians continues, as do housing problems in Tel Aviv, resistance against the separation wall, and settlement construction in occupied Palestinian territory.Read More... | 3 Comments
south tel aviv
Aside from emergency services, Israel doesn't provide asylum seekers with an adequate solution to health and medical problems. This year, however, the Health Ministry established a limited medical clinic designed for the refugee population. While the clinic is a small step in the right direction, the question remains: In a country with a public health system, why can't refugees simply receive treatment in public hospitals along with Israelis and other residents? http://youtu.be/b84GPsjIeskRead More...
Amid efforts to deport, imprison and segregate African asylum seekers in Israel, real estate agents are now marketing 'clean' apartment blocs, meaning no foreign workers or asylum seekers will live there. Last week Army Radio reported that real estate agencies in south Tel Aviv are advertising “clean apartments.” According to Army Radio's web site, a real estate agent said, “we don't let foreign workers rent the apartments. If there are foreigners, then they're Nepali or Filipino – normal people.” Whoever listened to the radio broadcast could hear the agent say, “not blacks.” For some unknown reason, those two words were omitted…Read More... | 24 Comments
Although organized anti-African protests and attacks seem to have become less frequent in south Tel Aviv, a group of friends encounters a new type of organized racism during the city's "White Night" celebrations. By Leah McDonnell and Rebecca de Vries Racial tension in south Tel Aviv is not a new phenomenon, generally taking the form of xenophobic marches, protests and anti-refugee demonstrations. Although the number of protests and participants seems to have diminished, there is a new, developing trend. As of late, there appears to be an increase of smaller, more individualistic attacks against refugees in the south of the…Read More... | 20 Comments
Since 2001, June 20th is celebrated globally as World Refugee Day. In Israel, there are 55,000 asylum seekers, mainly from Eritrea and Sudan, two of the main source countries for refugees worldwide, a new UN report shows. Text by: Yotam Gidron, photos by: Keren Manor, Yotam Ronen, Shiraz Grinbaum / Activestills.org Last Thursday, refugees and Israelis gathered in Tel Aviv to mark World Refugee Day, in an event initiated by different organizations of the refugee community and Israeli human rights organizations. Taking place in Gan Ha'Hashmal, where neglected south Tel Aviv meets the richer and more fashionable parts of the…Read More... | 3 Comments
Respected Israeli journalist Ben Caspit recently launched an attack against African asylum seekers in Israeli national newspapers 'The Post' and 'Jerusalem Post.' A response to the racist incitement and damaging factual inaccuracies. By Natasha Roth and Leah McDonnell A recent article in The Post's Sof Hashavua magazine, which was subsequently translated into English and published in The Jerusalem Post, addressed the topic of asylum seekers in south Tel Aviv. Unfortunately for all concerned, the piece was extraordinarily inflammatory and heavily speculative. Additionally, a great deal of the information used to support the arguments put forward in the piece was factually and…Read More... | 4 Comments
The Mizrahi Jewish community is Israel’s largest ethnic group, and its historic links to the Middle East, along with its class position make it a critical component in any revolutionary coalition. Thus, running a Mizrahi candidate will be a clear sign to the residents of south Tel Aviv that they are a central priority. By Matan Kaminer Although municipal political party Ir LeKulanu is not considered “left” in Israeli terms, it embodies one of the greatest successes of the non-Zionist left in Israeli history. In national elections, the non-Zionist or “radical” left keeps slamming into the brick wall of privileges enjoyed by…Read More... | 8 Comments
Dozens of Tel Aviv municipal officers, border policemen and private movers raided several businesses run by African asylum seekers around Tel Aviv's central bus station, confiscating goods and welding the doors shut. Officials also poured bleach into food in a Darfur refugee's restaurant. Is city hall preparing for the upcoming municipal elections? A group of municipal officials led an operation to close African asylum seekers' illegal businesses in the south Tel Aviv neighborhoods of Neve Sha'anan and Shapira at around 7 p.m. Sunday night. The municipal officers were accompanied by Border Police officers, a photographer and several large moving trucks…Read More... | 21 Comments
Despite a demonstration led by MK Michael Ben-Ari calling for mass deportations, and alongside a heavy police presence, south Tel Aviv's immigrants celebrated the new year. As 2012 came to an end, the situation of the thousands of migrant workers and asylum seekers in Israel remains as uncertain as ever. As a grim reminder of the past year and an omen for what is yet to come, MK Michael Ben-Ari and his extreme-right supporters held another protest calling for the immediate expulsion of all "infiltrators" as a supposed solution to all of South Tel Aviv's problems, leading to the deployment…Read More... | 1 Comment
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
Although the recent incident on Israel's southern border involving Eritrean asylum seekers received international attention, structural violence against African refugees has been going on for over five years now. It is important to remember that those who make it in face enormous difficulties due to state policies. Earlier this month, 21 Eritrean asylum seekers, including a 14-year-old child and two women, spent over a week trapped between fences on the Israeli side of the Israeli-Egyptian border. As the temperatures soared, the group was not provided with any shelter; the "most moral army in the world" gave the refugees only small…Read More... | 1 Comment
Angie Robles, a 52-year-old migrant worker from the Philippines, recently caught her 15-year-old grandson M. smoking. While it seems like a normal act of teenage rebellion—and a small one at that—Robles says it was a sign that her grandson has lost all hope. When Robles confronted M. about his smoking, she explained to him that she felt it was a step down the wrong path. His answer, according to Robles: “What future will I have with this situation, with the deportation?” Robles left Laguna, a province next to Manila, in 1987 for Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. Her sister…Read More... | 1 Comment
The apartment of an Eritrean couple in Jerusalem went up in flames last night, in what looks like another arson attack. Haaretz reports that at around 3 a.m., the man and the woman, who is seven months pregnant, awoke and tried to stamp out the fire with their feet. There are times when events are so horrible, it's hard to find any words and easy to feel paralyzed with misery. *** The Hebrew Haaretz story adds that the 32-year old man suffered second-degree burns over 20 percent of his body. And because of the woman's advanced pregnancy, both will be…Read More... | 6 Comments
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