The Sudanese refugee community gathers in south Tel Aviv to remember their homeland, celebrate their culture, music and dances and share them local Israelis. Text by: Adam Bashar Photos by: Activestills.org The idea behind The Cultural Day of the Sudanese refugees community, held at the Goren Goldstein Country Club in south Tel Aviv, was to expose local Israelis to the tradition of our uprooted community. We worked jointly with representatives from the different tribes living in Israel to create an event that will tell the story of the harsh situation we as refugees experience, while sharing our culture through dance, music…Read More... | 4 Comments
The Interior Ministry declared Sanait Tesfauneh, an asylum-seeker from Eritrea, a 'threat to public security' and placed her in administrative detention after she was suspected of purchasing a forged work permit. Now, several organizations are attempting to challenge the detention system that deprives asylum seekers of their civil liberties. Victor Hugo's Les Misérables was published in 1862. Over the years the book became the most famous indictment against the treatment of the weak by society, authorities, and the law. Hugo tells the tale of Jean Valjean who was unable to find work to support his family, so he smashed a…Read More... | 16 Comments
Sudanese refugees from the Nuba Mountains are being registered by Israel's Interior Ministry as South Sudanese, making it difficult for them to find and keep work, pay for rent, bills, or food, and subjecting them to potential arrest and deportation. By Natasha Roth How would you react if someone told you that your name was no longer your name? Even though you had an official, government-issued identity card with it written on? Or that your nationality was now different from the one you've held all your life, though your passport proved where you were from? Now imagine that this unilateral change to…Read More... | 1 Comment
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
Three months ago, Interior Minister Eli Yishai deported several hundred families from Israel to South Sudan, despite unequivocal statements by human rights group that mere fact of the established state is far from the offering the safety that would allow for these families' return; the request was at least to extend the group exemption from deportation - Israel's mechanism of neither denying nor granting asylum - a few months longer. Even that demand was ignored. The deportees' baggage, all 14 tons of it, was delayed for two months and kept at a warehouse in Israel, simply because the state felt…Read More... | 20 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
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…Read More... | 24 Comments
Sudanese refugee Abraham Alu saw his parents killed by militiamen when he was just seven years old. He discusses life in Israel and how he ended up here. The latest installment of the South Tel Aviv Stories. Abraham Alu, a 35-year-old refugee from what is now South Sudan, was on his way to the store last Wednesday night when an anti-African protest in south Tel Aviv turned violent. Jewish Israelis chased and beat African asylum seekers, broke the windows of a car full of African men, and smashed storefronts of African-owned stores in south Tel Aviv. Alu, who was headed…Read More... | 8 Comments
"Infiltrators" is the government and media's name for the African refugees crossing the Egyptian border into Israel. "Survivors" is more accurate, but no matter; we're going to war. “How will the program for the war on work infiltrators be funded?” read the subhead in today’s Yediot Aharonot story. “The war on work infiltrators is being stepped up…” the opening sentence began. The war on work infiltrators. This is what “the newspaper of the nation” calls the government’s program to deter refugees, mainly from Eritrea and Sudan, from crossing the Egyptian border into Israel. (In Yediot's English-language website, ynet, they're referred to as…Read More... | 10 Comments
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