Refugees’ fear of arrest, torture, and death should be sufficient justification for their inability to return their countries of origin. So why is the Israeli government refusing to grant African refugees asylum status? A personal story. By Guy Josif and Anna Rose Siegel For the past three weeks, tens of thousands of African refugees in Israel, along with Israeli activists, have participated in demonstrations, hunger and labor strikes, and continual political engagement in opposition to intensified efforts by Israeli officials to detain refugees without due process. In response to these actions, Prime Minister Netanyahu stated that these people are not refugees,…Read More... | 5 Comments
African asylum seekers are holding their second of a three-day national protest. On Monday, thousands of asylum seekers, most of whom are employed by hotels and restaurants, went on strike and held large rallies in front of Western and African embassies. The protesters are calling on the international community to make sure Israel respects its commitments under the UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, thus ensuring that the Israeli government ceases rounding up and imprisoning asylum seekers without trial, and that it releases inmates already held under the revised anti-infiltration bill. In a press release sent on Sunday , the protest…Read More... | 20 Comments
Israel is now bombing the strategic interests not only of its preferred targets – Syria, Lebanon, Sudan, Iran or other vastly inferior military powers – but of Russia. When I think of Israel’s continual acts of military "preemption," I think of a cocky kid who believes he can run across the freeway, so he tries, and he makes it, which makes him even cockier, so he tries again, and he makes it again, and by now he thinks he’s invincible, he’s invulnerable, so he’s running across the freeway whenever he feels like it. He’s become the hero of his…Read More... | 18 Comments
Israel is unique in one very important way: for other malefactors like Syria and Sudan, there is no need to convince the international public of their wrongs. If it wasn’t a persuasive argument, Israel’s defenders wouldn’t keep using it, like they are now against Alice Walker: Why are these left-wingers singling Israel out for boycott, not to mention condemnation, when so many other countries are committing far worse injustices and causing so much more suffering? Why aren’t these people boycotting Syria, or Iran, or the Taliban, or Sudan, or Eritrea, or Zimbabwe, or China, or Saudi Arabia, or any of…Read More... | 37 Comments
Every once in a while I get a comment on one of my posts along the lines of: 'Why don’t you do anything about Syria, huh? If you’re such a human rights activist, why don’t you care about places where people are suffering much more right in your neighborhood? Huh??' or 'You know, the Arabs have it much better in Israel than anywhere else! They should count their blessings!' And it makes me wonder... Ring, ring! Ring, ring! Operator: Atrocities Unlimited, how can I help you? Palestine: Hello, my name is Palestine. Operator: Hello Mr. Palestine, what can I do…Read More... | 61 Comments
On Thursday, I traveled to the south with a group of journalists and bloggers to view the construction of new detention facilities around Ketsiot, near the Egyptian border. When completed, the four prisons in the area are meant to be able to hold more than 16,000 inmates, making them, together, the largest detention facility for immigrants in the West. The trip was organized by ASSAF - Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel, with the participation of Physicians for Human Rights, the Hotline for Migrant Workers and Amnesty International. Aid workers and reporters are not allowed into the…Read More... | 11 Comments
Refugees in Egypt face regular threat of arrest, torture, and deportation to their countries of origin. The revolution has not changed that reality. On the life of one Darfuri refugee in search of protection. By Amir Heinitz "No one cares about what happens to refugees anyhow. Last week 300 Egyptians were detained without cause," expressed an employee at a Cairo-based refugee organization in response to the arrest of Monim Atron Soliman, a Darfuri refugee activist, just weeks before Egypt’s first democratic presidential elections. Fear runs deep. Publicly expression of political views constitutes a gamble. Unencrypted phone calls, emails or Facebook…Read More... | 1 Comment
When it comes to the issue of refugees, or 'infiltrators,' emotions often get the best of those who are defending one term or another. But facts are facts, apples are apples, oranges are oranges. I was reminded of the above when reviewing Oren Ziv's images of the mother and daughter being arrested at a kindergarten in the Hatikva neighborhood of Tel Aviv. Naturally, no human can deny the human emotions as evident in the photos. Some will say that the Left is exploiting such images to make those who are for deportation feel and look bad. The Left will use…Read More... | 5 Comments
After facing brutal treatment at the hands of Sinai smugglers, an Eritrean mother and her baby daughter - who did not intend to go to Israel - have found themselves victim to Israeli policy, despite not having done a thing to deserve such a fate. By Anat Ben-Dor There are things one can do only when no one else is looking. Detaining a baby girl a year and three months old for a period of three years, for instance. We met Ambat* yesterday in Saharonim prison - an active child, she was dressed in red and was held in her mother's…Read More... | 6 Comments
The real challenge facing the Muslim world today is how to stop violent protesters from becoming the face of the religion. In order to do that, we need more Muslims to get rid of their indifference and speak against the misrepresentation of Islam. Research shows that the people behind "Innocence of Muslims," the film which disrespects Islam and the Prophet Muhammad and set off riots across the Middle East after it was uploaded to YouTube, are nothing more than a few Islalmophobic individuals. They produced a very a low cost, low quality film which aims to mock the Prophet Muhammad, and…Read More... | 28 Comments
International organizations warn of a humanitarian disaster and pending war in South Sudan. Israel, however, has seized the new state's independence as an opportunity to deport South Sudanese nationals, who formerly enjoyed the temporary protection Israel extends to Sudanese citizens. Authorities on Sunday began arresting South Sudanese asylum seekers in Israel ahead of their deportation. This is one asylum seeker's plea for just treatment. By Joseph Monyde Malieny This is a genuine, heartfelt letter to the great Israeli society, and an expression of the pain in my soul to Israeli authorities, due to their unethical attitude toward African communities in Israel. We, the…Read More... | 10 Comments
An optimistic proposal, inspired by an interview with the UN refugee agency's man in Israel. Last Friday, a couple of days after the south Tel Aviv riot, I interviewed William Tall, representative in Israel of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and came away thinking that there is a way to settle the crisis decently, which I didn't think there was before. Not that I believe Israel will settle it decently, just that there is a solution that would be fair to the African refugees, to the Israelis in south Tel Aviv, and to the State of Israel. (Point of information: The current rate of Africans crossing from Sinai…Read More... | 16 Comments
What's going on between Israelis (including Israeli Arabs) and African refugees, and the prospects for more vigilante violence. Here's my suggestion for preventing more vigilante riots like last night's in South Tel Aviv's Hatikva Quarter. One, put lots and lots of older, cooler-headed cops and soldiers on the southside, and in Eilat, Arad and every other place where there are large concentrations of African refugees. The main purpose is to deter further attacks on them, the other is to cool the locals' grotesquely inflated - though not entirely imagined - fear of getting murdered, raped or mugged by them. Two, the refugee population in south Tel Aviv and Eilat has to be drastically thinned out and relocated throughout the country, to…Read More... | 58 Comments
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When will Israelis start speaking Arabic in public? by @myaguarnieri http://t.co/vyPJk3pKnd
Family members mourn Saji Sayel Darwish who was killed by IDF fire. More @activestills photos: http://t.co/WMgkgH5LDd http://t.co/Q3eyXx0ceM
'It's the occupation and Israeli bigotry, not boycotts, that are anti-Semitic' http://t.co/HivkM6y0j0
Two dead Palestinians and a law limiting Arabs' access to Knesset remind us what really shames the Jewish people http://t.co/HivkM6y0j0
'The occupation has turned Israel into a nation that tramples the weak – the mirror image of history’s anti-Semites' http://t.co/HivkM6y0j0