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Israel’s ultimatum to refugees: Indefinite detention or danger

An Israeli court upholds the government’s policy of indefinitely imprisoning African asylum if they don’t agree to ‘voluntary deportation’ to third countries with no legal status. The xenophobia driving Israel’s policy is top-down, but there is another way.

By Anat Ovadia-Rosner

African asylum seekers in Israel prison. 2014 (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

African asylum seekers in Israel ‘s ‘open prison’ facility, Holot. 2014 (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

The Be’er Sheva District Court rejected a petition filed by human rights organizations earlier this month, thereby green lighting the indefinite imprisonment of asylum seekers unless they agree to leave Israel for a third country. The term “voluntary deportation” has always described a dubious state of affairs: people who risked their lives to get to Israel, whom the state did everything in its power to make miserable, are said to depart of their own “free will.” Following this ruling, the indifference and cynicism suggested by this term will only grow as those humans who fled dictatorship and genocide are forced to choose between indefinite detention and a dangerous journey, during and at the end of which, their safety is not guaranteed.

Sadly, the court failed to grant sufficient weight to testimonies presented to it, collected by the human rights organizations whose researchers actually went to visit those destination countries, witnessing reality there first hand. Asylum seekers leaving Israel for Rwanda (the only country offered to asylum seekers over the last few months, according to what we are told) discovered a reality drastically different than the prospects promised to them by Israel. The travel documents provided upon departure from Israel were taken from them upon their arrival to Rwanda; they were led to an enclosed compound and told they could not leave it unless they pay human smugglers the entire stipend given to them by Israel in order to illegally cross the border to Uganda. Those crossing the border embark on a treacherous journey, on which they are forced to hide from Ugandan authorities and are vulnerable to robbery and violence. (Read more on the fate of those who ‘voluntarily’ leave Israel here.)

Uganda too has nothing in store for asylum seekers: accessibility to asylum proceedings is limited, and asylum seekers have neither papers nor ability to work legally. This means that many of them try to move on. Some individuals who had left Israel were lucky enough to make it safely to countries in Europe, but others, like those executed by ISIS in Libya this past April, were not so lucky. They were forced to leave Uganda for other countries, searching for a safe place. For them, the journey commences all over again. Israel, which has driven them to embark again on this dangerous journey, indifferently casting them away to a country where they cannot settle, cannot absolve itself of responsibility for their fate. With the ever-increasing refugee influx to Europe, Israel has a duty to behave as any nation in this world should, rather than trying to transfer asylum seekers who have reached it to Europe, across a long, risky road.

A Sudanese woman shows her UNHCR Refugee card from Egypt as Sudanese refugees protest in front of the government's offices in center Tel Aviv against the plan to imprison refugees, October 14, 2012. Israel is building a new facility that could house thousands of additional asylum seekers in the Negev Desert. (photo by: Oren Ziv/ Activestills.org)

A Sudanese woman shows her UNHCR Refugee card from Egypt as Sudanese refugees protest in front of the government’s offices in central Tel Aviv against a plan to imprison refugees in Holot, October 14, 2012.  (photo by: Oren Ziv/ Activestills.org)

Israel’s agreements with the third-party countries remain classified. Nevertheless, information about the arrangements has been released by the media more than once. Yet despite the fact that this information comes from asylum seekers who were sent to those countries, the state has yet to admit that the destinations are indeed Rwanda and Uganda. Nor does it specify the protections to be provided for those arriving there and the guarantees for their safety. Asylum seekers, therefore, are requested to sign an agreement the contents of which they do not know. The ruling earlier this month means that thousands of people will be detained only because of their legitimate fear of leaving for a place where no one can guarantee their safety. Can anyone blame them? The fact that many of them have indeed yielded to this dubious deal only demonstrates the despair they have been reduced to by Israel. It is not just the threat of being detained at Saharonim and the detention already underway in the Holot ‘open’ prison. The pressure is manifested in every mundane and daily detail: the absence of any social rights, the fact they can only plan their lives a few weeks at a time and the deliberate imposition of tortuous bureaucratic hurdles at every turn.

The indifference to the lives of asylum seekers emerging from this arrangement cries out to heaven. It is the same indifference that facilitated Habtom Zarhum’s lynch and that has enabled their detention in Holot for almost two years now. This indifference did not materialize out of thin air. We haven’t always been devoid of compassion. In 2007, the press and public at large referred to asylum seekers from Darfur as “refugees” and they received a very different kind of treatment. The indifference and hatred we see today are the product of years-long instigation and scare-mongering, of re-casting asylum seekers as “infiltrators” and their inclusion under a law originally designed for national security threats. It is top-down xenophobia, orchestrated by decision-makers.

The time is now ripe for other solutions, solutions based on compassion, and appropriate and effective policy. Israel cannot detain the entire asylum seeking community currently living in Israel, roughly 45,000 people. Nor can it deport them – otherwise there would be no need to invest millions in their detention and secret arrangements for their departure. The present solutions are costly, ineffective and socially dangerous. Instead of a detention-and-despair kind of policy, suitable alternatives must be found, alternatives that benefit all communities living in Israel. Accordingly, for example, the hundreds of millions of shekels being spent each year to detail asylum seekers could be redirected for the benefit of the underserved residents of south Tel Aviv’s neighborhoods. Asylum seekers should be given health insurance, to ease the burden placed on hospitals, and they must be allowed to work, to protect their own rights, but also to benefit the Israeli labor market. Regulated work should also lead to a natural dispersal of the asylum-seeking communities around Israel.

Anat Ovadia-Rosner is spokeswoman for the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants. This article was first published in Hebrew on Haokets. Translated from Hebrew by Noam Benishie.

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    1. Average

      Well I don’t know how any country can just absorb limitless numbers of people. Assuming it’s economic and not ethnic reasons (like the Jewish State is only for Jews) for not absorbing them. There are too many people in the world and too few jobs, homes, etc. Many countries handle it purely economically (not ethnically): if you can’t do something no one else already here can do, you can’t work here (meaning you won’t have the means to live here). Now what about the people who illegally sneak in? They’re not working, what are they doing, stealing to live? No county can have that, including countries that might accept some of the refugees from Israel. Nor can any country maintain the expense of detention camps. What do the refugees do in the detention camps? Do they make something? Use them as labor at least. Make the camps into refugee ghettos where at least they have a job and a life.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Sherman

      Give me a break. Israel is already a crowded and tiny country with a fragile demographic balance. It doesn’t need a subculture of poor African Muslims thrown into the mix.

      Since Ms Ovadia-Rosner is so fond of these people I wonder how many live in her neighborhood.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        Seriously? So you’ve decided what *you* “need” and that entitles you to treat others, asylum seekers, with striking cruelty and racism? With really striking coldness and indifference to their fate? Because it’s all about you? The very definition of narcissism. What so entitles you? You already decided that they must be turned into a marginal “subculture” instead of integrated? People you could easily absorb as Ms. Ovadia-Rosner describes.

        Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          Yes Benny, we decide who to take in and who we don’t take in.

          We are a sovereign country and like all other sovereign countries we decide. Get it?

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Let’s see Benny…

            How many Arab Muslim refugees do the Arab Muslim gulf states take in? ANSWER: None!!!!

            Have you uttered a single criticizm against the Arab Muslim Gulf states for not facing up to their humanitarian duties, Benny?!

            ANSWER: No of course you didn’t. So I’ll tell ya what Benny, if you want to us take notice of your preachings to us, stop being holier than thou and hypocritical. Then we may listen to what you have to say to us. Ok, Benny?!

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            The question wasn’t jurisdictional it was psychopathological and ethical. Get it? But then again, that you didn’t get it kind of answers the question all by itself. You don’t get that either? Never mind.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Ethical, Benny? This is what you mean by ethical, Benny…

            If you are Israeli, everything you do is unethical according to YOU at least, Benny dear. If you are Arabic, then you either don’t talk about anything unethical that Arabs do, or you just deny that they do ANYTHING unethical.

            That is your definition of the word “ethical” you hypocritical propagandist!

            To any non biased reader who may happen to read the pointless endless verbal tussles between me and Benny…

            Notice how Benny glossed over my point about how the Gulf Arab states and other Arab states point blank refuse to honor any humanitarian norms for refugees. That is why Benny trots out the 5 million descendants of Palestinian Arab refugees who live in Arab countries everytime he wants to manipulate the emotions of westerners about the “Poor Palestinian” refugees, implying that we are obliged to solve that problem, not the Arabs.

            Hey Benny, where are YOUR ethics when you need to preach to Arabs about refugees? Are they gone?! What kind of an “ethical” person are you? Why do you only preach to us and not to your Arabs? What kind of a hypocrite are you?!

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            First, this is a site about Israel and its successes and problems. Israel is acting in the most miserable way towards 50,000 African refugees. What’s your excuse? Secondly, Turkey has taken in 1.8 million Syrian refugees. Iraq, 248,000. Lebanon 1.2 million, Egypt 133,000, Jordan 630,000. You want to make some hay about the Gulf states. I don’t know what their excuse is but I’m sure it’s not a good one. I’m sure your excuse is not good either. You craftily limited your fulmination to the Gulf states because you know that other Muslim and Arab states in the region put Israel to shame on this. Tell me what the behavior of the Gulf states in particular does to exonerate Israel of its terrible treatment of the African refugees? Please be specific and logical about African refugees in Israel. Your attack on me here is a variation on a reprehensible Bibi-ist technique that unifies all your fulminations. To be brief, “Hamas = Isis = lone teens with knives reacting against brutal occupation.” “Eliza = Average American = Eva = Laura = Ben = ignorant liar.” “Israel = Saudi Arabia = a not so bad thing cuz what the heck they sort of kind of do it too so we can be bad actors too, what’s the problem?”

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN:”First, this is a site about Israel and its successes and problems blah blah blah….

            Thank you Benny, you just confirmed what I said about you in my previous post. Let me quote again what I said…

            GUSTAV:” If you are Arabic, then you either don’t talk about anything unethical that Arabs do, or you just deny that they do ANYTHING unethical.”

            BEN:”Secondly, Turkey has taken in 1.8 million Syrian refugees. Iraq, 248,000. Lebanon 1.2 million, Egypt 133,000, Jordan 630,000.”

            Yea? And how many Palestinian Arab refugees and their descendants did they integrate into their societies over the last 67 years? ANSWER: none!!! They keep them all in squalid refugee camps in order to keep them as cannon fodder who keep the war going against Israel. Where have your ethics gone about that, Benny, you hypocrite?

            BEN:”You want to make some hay about the Gulf states. I don’t know what their excuse is but I’m sure it’s not a good one.”

            Yet I don’t see Benny on a dedicated site demonizing the Gulf Arab states, day in day out, like you demonize us non stop, you hypocrite!

            BEN:”I’m sure your excuse is not good either. You craftily limited your fulmination to the Gulf states because you know that other Muslim and Arab states in the region put Israel to shame on this.”

            I don’t owe excuses to hypocrites like you Benny.

            BEN:”Tell me what the behavior of the Gulf states in particular does to exonerate Israel of its terrible treatment of the African refugees?

            Tell me why you don’t demonize ALL the Arab states like you demonize us for much less, Benny, then I’ll bother answering your “when are you going to stop beating your wife” type question, Benny dear.

            BEN:”Please be specific and logical about African refugees in Israel.”

            Oh, I am being very logical Benny, you are the one who keeps sidestepping my questions.

            My logic is: one standard for ALL, or else we do what you give a free pass for others to do.

            Go fix “world hunger” everywhere Benny, then if we still don’t comply, then feel free to preach to us.

            BEN:”Your attack on me here is a variation on a reprehensible Bibi-ist technique that unifies all your fulminations.

            My attacks on you is payment in kind for the endless daily one sided attacks that you make exclusively against my country while exonerating our enemies unjustifiably from much worse behavior.

            You are here to demonize me and my people. The least I can do is to demonize you personally in return. But it seems you can only dish it and you can’t take it, you little hypocrite.

            BEN:”To be brief, “Hamas = Isis = lone teens with knives reacting against brutal occupation.”

            …an occupation which was caused by years of Arab violence, war and agression against us in order to try to make us give up and flee from the violence so that your Arabs can have 100% of the land. The occupation is the CONSEQUENCE of that violence NOT THE CAUSE of the violence. And the so called “lone wolf” attacks are not lone wolf attacks. They are part of the 100 year war which your Arabs have been waging against the Jewish state.

            BEN:“Eliza = Average American = Eva = Laura = Ben = ignorant liar.” “Israel = Saudi Arabia = a not so bad thing cuz what the heck they sort of kind of do it too so we can be bad actors too, what’s the problem?”

            Yep, morons like you all are the problem. You are all hypocrites who either get paid to demonize us or you are just practicing an old hatred. Hating Jews is no longer quite as fashionable in “polite society” so you disguise your old Jew hatred by hating the Jewish state instead. That unfortunately is still fashionable thanks to the power of the Arab lobby fueled by petro dollars.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Classic ad hominems, hostile devaluing and blame externalizing. All of it. Enough said.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Classic adhominems? Read my post again, Benny dear. It is all self evident truth.

            BEN:”First, this is a site about Israel and its successes and problems blah blah blah….

            Thank you Benny, you just confirmed what I said about you in my previous post. Let me quote again what I said…

            GUSTAV:” If you are Arabic, then you either don’t talk about anything unethical that Arabs do, or you just deny that they do ANYTHING unethical.”

            BEN:”Secondly, Turkey has taken in 1.8 million Syrian refugees. Iraq, 248,000. Lebanon 1.2 million, Egypt 133,000, Jordan 630,000.”

            Yea? And how many Palestinian Arab refugees and their descendants did they integrate into their societies over the last 67 years? ANSWER: none!!! They keep them all in squalid refugee camps in order to keep them as cannon fodder who keep the war going against Israel. Where have your ethics gone about that, Benny, you hypocrite?

            BEN:”You want to make some hay about the Gulf states. I don’t know what their excuse is but I’m sure it’s not a good one.”

            Yet I don’t see Benny on a dedicated site demonizing the Gulf Arab states, day in day out, like you demonize us non stop, you hypocrite!

            BEN:”I’m sure your excuse is not good either. You craftily limited your fulmination to the Gulf states because you know that other Muslim and Arab states in the region put Israel to shame on this.”

            I don’t owe excuses to hypocrites like you Benny.

            BEN:”Tell me what the behavior of the Gulf states in particular does to exonerate Israel of its terrible treatment of the African refugees?

            Tell me why you don’t demonize ALL the Arab states like you demonize us for much less, Benny, then I’ll bother answering your “when are you going to stop beating your wife” type question, Benny dear.

            BEN:”Please be specific and logical about African refugees in Israel.”

            Oh, I am being very logical Benny, you are the one who keeps sidestepping my questions.

            My logic is: one standard for ALL, or else we do what you give a free pass for others to do.

            Go fix “world hunger” everywhere Benny, then if we still don’t comply, then feel free to preach to us.

            BEN:”Your attack on me here is a variation on a reprehensible Bibi-ist technique that unifies all your fulminations.

            My attacks on you is payment in kind for the endless daily one sided attacks that you make exclusively against my country while exonerating our enemies unjustifiably from much worse behavior.

            You are here to demonize me and my people. The least I can do is to demonize you personally in return. But it seems you can only dish it and you can’t take it, you little hypocrite.

            BEN:”To be brief, “Hamas = Isis = lone teens with knives reacting against brutal occupation.”

            …an occupation which was caused by years of Arab violence, war and agression against us in order to try to make us give up and flee from the violence so that your Arabs can have 100% of the land. The occupation is the CONSEQUENCE of that violence NOT THE CAUSE of the violence. And the so called “lone wolf” attacks are not lone wolf attacks. They are part of the 100 year war which your Arabs have been waging against the Jewish state.

            BEN:“Eliza = Average American = Eva = Laura = Ben = ignorant liar.” “Israel = Saudi Arabia = a not so bad thing cuz what the heck they sort of kind of do it too so we can be bad actors too, what’s the problem?”

            Yep, morons like you all are the problem. You are all hypocrites who either get paid to demonize us or you are just practicing an old hatred. Hating Jews is no longer quite as fashionable in “polite society” so you disguise your old Jew hatred by hating the Jewish state instead. That unfortunately is still fashionable thanks to the power of the Arab lobby fueled by petro dollars.

            Reply to Comment
          • Merkava

            Talking about “psychopathalogical”, BEN, there are MORE THAN 11million illegal migrants (more than the entire population of Israel) in the United States where BEN claims to come from. Those migrants have been in the United States for years, are being exploited and threatened with deportation. BEN does not care about them. BEN does not even know that this problem exists in HIS OWN country. BEN has no idea of the magnitude of the social problems facing his own country and BEN does not care. But BEN is feverishly fixated on- and clinically obsessed with Jews and Israel and looking for every excuse to smear. BEN spends what is left of his old life entire on Jewish websites ranting and raging EVERY SINGLE DAY.

            Woof! This, indeed, is “psychopathalogical” behavior that evinces a depraved mind. BEN is psychotic.

            ***
            “Undocumented workers’ grim reality: speak out on abuse and risk deportation”
            http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/mar/28/undocumented-migrants-worker-abuse-deportation

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “My logic is: one standard for ALL, or else we do what you give a free pass for others to do.”

            Thanks for spelling out the “logic” of your intellectual and moral bankruptcy, you two knuckleheads. It fails on two levels utterly. It is transparent. It’s the logic of gangsters!!

            Two comments to follow.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Level 1. It’s the coarse, doggedly blame-externalizing logic of a gangster who says “somebody somewhere else in the world is committing crimes too. Until the cops stop all dose guys I’m feelin’ free to victimize people too. It’s only fair! Those guys get to be inhumane, goody, so if they get away with it so can I and I don’t feel there’s nuthin’ wrong with it neither. Whether I feel guilt or not sort of depends on whether someone else is getting away with the same thing–and let’s face it, I won’t feel guilt in any case, this is just an excuse.” It’s Johnny in the sandbox saying ‘but ma!, Joey poured water on Suzy’s head why cant I too?!” Gangsters!

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN:Level 1. It’s the coarse, doggedly blame-externalizing logic of a gangster who says “somebody somewhere else in the world is committing crimes too.
            Until the cops stop all dose guys I’m feelin’ free to victimize people too. It’s only fair! Those guys get to be inhumane, goody, so if they get away with it so can I and I don’t feel there’s nuthin’ wrong with it neither.”

            BS Benny, YOUR logic is the one that fails on several levels.

            Number 1. No crime has been committed. Not accommodating ALL asylum seekers is NOT, I repeat, NOT a crime. Otherwise the whole world is criminal because NOBODY, I repeat, NOBODY accompdates ALL asylum seekers.

            To be continued …

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Level 2. Your premise is nonsense. I do not give a free pass to others. As I said, this blogsite is about Israel. Area code 972. It is an utterly specious attack to criticize commenters for staying on topic. Tell me, do you think Michael Omer-Man and Noam Sheizaf “demonize” Israel because they focus on Israel and not on either Saudi Arabia or the United States? Do you?

            Parenthetical comment to follow.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN:”Level 2. Your premise is nonsense. I do not give a free pass to others. As I said, this blogsite is about Israel. Area code 972.”

            You don’t give a free pass to others? Ok then, give me a link to another site in which you incessantly criticize others, the Arabs for instance like you criticize us. You couldn’t possibly do so because you spend ALL your time here.

            Why Benny? Coz you think that we are the worst of the worst?

            Or is it because you are a paid propagandist who gets paid to pretend that we are?

            Or is it simply because you are an old fashioned Jew hater who (barely) disguises his Jew hatred by incessantly demonizing the country of the Jewish people which has been fighting a 100 year war with implacable enemies?

            BEN:”It is an utterly specious attack to criticize commenters for staying on topic.”

            The 5 million descendants of Palestinian Arab refugees who are made to live in squalid refugee camps in various Arab countries, for many decades in order to keep the conflict alive IS ON TOPIC yet you stubbornly refuse to talk about them Benny. Why? Because it may reveal some uncomfortable truths which would negate your cartoonish views about this conflict?

            BEN”Tell me, do you think Michael Omer-Man and Noam Sheizaf “demonize” Israel because they focus on Israel and not on either Saudi Arabia or the United States? Do you?”

            Since you ask, I do think that like you, they are one sided and obsessive. But having said that, at least they are entitled to be obsessive about Israel since they are Israelis.

            But why are you obsessive about us Benny? You are not Israeli. So why do you eat, sleep and shit only about us? It has either gotta be obsessive hatred of us or a you are a hired hand and you do it for money. Which is it Benny?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            (If you’ve been paying attention you two you’ve seen me heavily criticize the US–and its fatuous former president and evil former vice president–for its sending its young men and women to needlessly die in the bonehead invasion of Iraq ending up destabilizing a whole region with thousands upon thousands dead and creating cascading chaos the echoes of which reverberate unendingly now in all sorts of evil directions. George Bush heavily damaged the world. Gustav still can’t get over how I said some fundamentalist ninny “must be an American” lol, he still thinks it’s the “racist” demonizing crime of the century and yet turns right around and says I don’t criticize my own country and its citizens. You guys could not be more transparent. Chemi Shalev just wrote a piece heavily criticizing Americans and their politicians for their harsh, jingoistic, cowardly overreaction to the Paris attack, Trump blabbering about identity cards for Muslims, Carson comparing innocent refugees to dogs, etc., and Americans lapping it up.
            http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.687411
            I endorse Shalev.) Who says I don’t care about immigrants and refugees in America? You? LoL. Classic, utterly transparent maneuver to deflect and distract from your own culpability and the topic at hand. Classic. This is 972. You guys are bankrupt and you can’t hide it. And Gustav, speak up: do you or do you not think it is ethical to treat children as that 972 article reveals? You can’t hide. You always avoid the most damning articles. “Oh let’s move right along nothing to see there folks…now, about ‘The Hundred Years War’….”

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Not so fast, Benny. I am not convinced that you are an American or at least an American who is of a neutral background.

            You might note that I always referred to you as “you claim to be an American”. At most, you may be an American who is of Arab extraction. That might explain your OBSESSION with the Arab Israeli conflict.

            The fact that you referred to Americans as idiotic and the fact that you never ever seem to be able to criticize Arabs in ANY way shape or fashion strengthens that suspicion.

            Ya wanna own up, Benny? Nah, I know you won’t coz you think it might negate your credibility somewhat? If I were you Benny, I wouldna worry about that coz you have zero credibility already.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN:”Oh let’s move right along nothing to see there folks…now, about ‘The Hundred Years…”

            Yep Benny is in denial about the 100 year war which his Palestinian Arabs have been waging against us.

            If I would be like him, I would be in denial about the occupation which is the CONSEQUENCE of this relentless war by his Arabs. But unlike him, I am not a flat earther.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            The tank driver of the mechanized hasbara brigade: +972 is “a Jewish website.” Oh really now? What happened to the almost 25% of the population of Israel that is non-Jewish? What happened to Sawsan Khalifé, Amjad Iraqi, Rami Younis, Samah Salaime, Samer Badawi, Aziz Abu Sarah and Omar Rahman? Did you transfer this population of writers? Did you put them in administrative detention? Did you invoke Shaked’s Laws? Did you go ‘hannibal’ on them? LoL.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN:”+972 is “a Jewish website.” Oh really now? What happened to the almost 25% of the population of Israel that is non-Jewish?”

            LOL. Benny is having a conversation with himself. I never said anything about +972 being a Jewish magazine.

            Straw men anyone? LOL.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            You gotta keep up. How did you miss this?–you’re here all the time. lol. It is your partner the Merkava tank driver who said that +972 is one of the “Jewish websites” that you knuckleheads insist I frequent. Folie a deux.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN:” What happened to Sawsan Khalifé”

            Yea Benny, let’s talk about Sawsan Khalife, shall we Benny? She is on the record of advocating an Arab Palestinian state from the river to the sea. How can we make peace with the likes of her?

            Why don’t you just fess up to my propagandist friend? That’s what YOU want too, that’s why you idolize her.

            But Benny, dear, you are aware that a worldwide backlash is coming. Are you ready for it? LOL.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Logic of gangsters? LOL.

            We are all gangsters now then. No country in this world has undertaken to accommodate an unlimited number of refugees. All countries place limits on the number of refugees that they accept. Who is the one who determines what limits are acceptable and what limits are not acceptable? You Benny? You are a laugh a minute. Dream on…

            Reply to Comment
          • Merkava

            BEN: “two comments to follow”: “level 1”, “level 2”

            BEN: “parenthetical comment to follow”

            In the end all we have from BEN is a mishmash of incoherent rambling mumbo jumbo about “gangsters!”, “Chemi Shalev”, “Ayelet Shaked, “George Bush”, “Donald Trump and copy-pasted opinion of Haaretz political pundits!

            What an incompetent, intellectually barren confused old man this BEN-guy is!

            What a nitwit!

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Gustav, you never address the difficult truths that these +972 articles expose. Instead you always try to steer the discussion towards anything but. Your constant attempts to do this underline why the English language +972 Magazine, aimed by Noam Sheizaf and his fellow writers primarily at the very non-Israeli audience you claim are suspect because they are not Israeli, is so necessary and so frustrating to you. That is the truth. And you can’t handle it.

            All of the above from you two knuckleheads is pure malicious demonization and distraction, pure ad hominem. Pure bullying. Inanity.

            Reply to Comment
          • Merkava

            Oy, BEN is now trying soo desperately to change the subject, while unable to defend any of his idiotic claims above. BEN, the subject of this article by Haokets is “Refugees and Detention”. Gustav and I addressed your claims squarely and got ad hominem attacks from you in response! In case you missed it, here is just ONE of them:

            “Talking about “psychopathalogical”, BEN, there are MORE THAN 11million illegal migrants (more than the entire population of Israel) in the United States where BEN claims to come from. Those migrants have been in the United States for years, are being exploited and threatened with deportation. BEN does not care about them. BEN does not even know that this problem exists in HIS OWN country. BEN has no idea of the magnitude of the social problems facing his own country and BEN does not care. But BEN is feverishly fixated on- and clinically obsessed with Jews and Israel and looking for every excuse to smear. BEN spends what is left of his old life entire on Jewish websites ranting and raging EVERY SINGLE DAY. Woof! This, indeed, is “psychopathalogical” behavior that evinces a depraved mind. BEN is psychotic. *** “Undocumented workers’ grim reality: speak out on abuse and risk deportation”.
            http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/mar/28/undocumented-migrants-worker-abuse-deportation

            Does BEN have the intelligence to address that, OR, is he going to continue to try to change the subject and complain about insults while insulting others calling them “gangsters”, “knuckleheads”, etc. and posing as a chic by using the aliases Eva, Eliza, Lauren?

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN:”That is the truth. And you can’t handle it.”

            LOL, that’s a bit rich. Now, I am the one who cannot handle the truth, eh, Benny?

            Aren’t you the one who is in denial about the 100 year war which your Arabs have been waging on us in order to erase the existence of the Jewish state and replace it by an Arab Muslim state?

            As for me sidestepping unpleasant things that happen? That is because I know that war and unpleasant things go hand in hand. At least I acknowledge that BOTH sides create unpleasant facts, but you Benny? What do you do? All you want to talk about is the unpleasant facts that we are responsible for while you ignore the unpleasant facts which your Arabs create which often are the cause for us to react unpleasantly. And yes, yes, I know it works the other way around too but you simply can’t just ignore cause and effect. We have not been the first ones to resort to violence. We are however the ones to resort to it in order to end the violence and often we have to resort to overwhelming force to do so. And that includes repression.

            Hey Benny, if you work out a PRACTICAL better way, let us know about it. We would be very interested. But please don’t bother with mumbo jumbo and starry eyed impractical solutions because we have families to protect and lives to live. And we would rather live those lives under the present circumstances than die on the altars of your misguided and biased altruism which cares ONLY about what is good for your Arabs but ignores our well being.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Amjad Iraqi’s voice, as just one example of “the new regime,” is a wonderful, wise, irenic voice. Go actually read “Paris attacks show the interconnectedness of our troubles.” I remember the repeated racist warnings here about how the passing of the baton from a Jewish person (Noam Sheizaf) to an Arab person (Sawsan Khalifé) portended ominous consequences–“the new regime” blah blah blah. *Quelle horreur! Un Arabe!* The vituperation was shameless. And revealing of the character of some here. Well, Amjad Iraqi is “the new regime”–it’s so terrible is it? LoL. You pack of trolls. Where is your apology? Is that coming? It is a very good thing for Israelis to have their prejudices–unceasingly manipulated and stoked by their cynical politicians–subverted like this. The conflict at this stage in its evolution, I the age of the Arab Peace Initiative, is fundamentally not a Jewish-Arab conflict, it is an Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            I did not issue any warnings because of the “new regime” of Sawsan Khalife.

            I did however remind you what she stands for. She stands for a Muslim Arab country to between the river and the sea and no Jewish country.

            Besides, your analogy is stupid and trivial Benny.

            Now are you going to respond to my other points in my previous post? Nah, of course you won’t. Never mind…

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “All countries place limits on the number of refugees that they accept.”

            Of course they do but they actually have procedures with integrity and some transparency to make decisions case by case for refugees inside their country. Your country shockingly refuses even to examine claims. It treats the claim makers with racist contempt. And remarkable cruelty. It is remarkable how that cruelty is simply lost on you. Not even worth noticing. Your country–it’s governing class and the portion of the electorate that actively sustains it or passively tolerates it–is glaringly amiss on this refugee issue. Why do you feel so entitled to treat people like this? It’s quite striking. Go back and actually read this article and quite a few other +972 articles on the same subject and conveying the grim truth. Read the articles and actually stay on topic and not engage in endless ad hominem attack, avoidance and distraction maneuvers. You are still avoiding us on the treatment of the children too. After two requests to address it.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Yea yea Benny, but your opinion about my country does not count coz if one listens to you, one would think that my country is the worst country in the world and not just today but ever throughout history.

            You are so obviously an obsessive hater of my country that you stop at nothing to smear my country. I am not just sayin’ it. All one has to do is read a sample of your posts and it is obvious.

            Oriol, I am sorry that we bore you. I actually think that you are right. Our discussions ARE boring but I have to fight fire with fire with someone like Benny because he tepeats himself endlessly. As far as Kolumn9 is concerned, I am not him. He was far less persistent than I am but I liked him too. I would not mind seeing him back. He was very good.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Here is a case in point how Benny blatantly distorts and misrepresents reality in order to make out that Israel is the worst of the worst…

            GUYSV:“All countries place limits on the number of refugees that they accept.”

            BEN:”Of course they do but they actually have procedures with integrity and some transparency to make decisions case by case for refugees inside their country.”

            Really? 11 million illegal immigrants in the US. I can’t see evidence of them getting full citizen status anytime soon.

            And an even more blatant example of Benny ignoring reality and he point blank ignores it and refuses to discuss it coz it spoils his intention to smear Israel as the worst of the worst…

            The Arab countries deliberately keep the descendants of Palestinian Arab refugees in squalid camps, 5 million of them, in order to serve as cannon fodder in the war against Israel. Yep, “procedures with integrity indeed…”

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN:”You are still avoiding us on the treatment of the children too”

            “…us…”? Benny? LOL, you mean there is more than one Benny? Oy….

            I have answered that one already. I can’t help it if you don’t read or cannot comprehend what I say.

            And while we are on the topic of avoidance. You point blank refuse to discuss the treatment of 5 million descendants of Palestinian Arab refugees in Arab countries. They have been kept in squalid camps for 67 years. Why do you insist on staying silent about that? That issue is not off topic.

            Whts da matta Benny? Afraid that it might make Israel look a bit better and that it will deflect some impact from your agenda of Israel bashing?

            Reply to Comment
    3. Oriol

      The monothematic discussions between Gustav and Ben are rather boring…
      No problem with that -everyone can write what he/she pleases, including myself-, but in the good old times of Trespasser, Aaron the Fascist Troll, Piotr Berman, Philos, Vadim, Kolumn9, Greg Pollock, Vicky e. a. the Comments section was far more variegated and interesting. (I suspect that Gustav and Kolumn9 are one and the same person, but perhaps I am wrong. Anyway I preferred the good old Kolumn9.)

      Reply to Comment
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