Israel's 300 Congolese asylum seekers have been living in the country for well over a decade. Now the Israeli government is trying to deport them back to their home country, considered one of the most dangerous in the world. By Ben Toren It was nine years ago that Julie Wabiwa Juliette narrowly fled her home in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for Israel, where she has since built a life. Juliette, 33, married another Congolese refugee, Christian Mutunwa, and together they raise two children. Both Juliette and Mutunwa work, as do all of the approximately 300 Congolese asylum seekers…Read More... | 3 Comments
The last year has been a tumultuous one for the 35,000 asylum seekers in Israel, most of whom have come from Sudan or Eritrea over the past decade. The Israeli government started the year with a plan to pay most of the asylum seekers to leave for Rwanda and Uganda, and with a half-cocked plan to forcibly deport the rest of them to those countries. Asylum seekers who refused deportation faced indefinite imprisonment. Meanwhile, the government refused to even examine the vast majority of their asylum requests. “We live in a limbo” says Darfuri asylum seeker Jack Tigi-Tigi, 34, who arrived…Read More... | 1 Comment
In under 24 hours, Netanyahu and his cronies attacked left-wing NGOs, tried to shut down Israel's public broadcaster, and starting advancing a law that would give the prime minister immunity for corruption charges. By Yossi Dahan What transpired in the Israeli government over a 24-hour period this past weekend is nothing short of nauseating. [tmwinpost] It began with a scathing attack by Prime Minister Netanyahu on top police officials in response to news reports that police renewed the investigations against him in a number of corruption scandals. Netanyahu attacked the national police commissioner for allegedly leaking details of the investigations. Immediately after…Read More... | 1 Comment
Netanyahu has asylum seekers right where he wants them. He can exploit the hardships of south Tel Aviv residents to continue inciting against the Supreme Court, the media, and human rights organizations. By Yossi Dahan After years in which Netanyahu did not set foot in south Tel Aviv, the prime minister came to the area last week for two visits. The first visit was highly publicized, and the second — with Interior Minister Aryeh Deri — was undercover. For Netanyahu, the timing of the visits was perfect: a week after Israel's High Court ruled that asylum seekers cannot be deported to third…Read More... | 7 Comments
The decision to strip the al-Qunbar family of their right to live in their native city is not only collective punishment, but also raises questions about the Israeli government's policy towards Palestinian residents of Jerusalem. The family of the Jerusalem man who rammed his truck into a crowd of people on a popular promenade on Monday will be stripped of their residency rights in East Jerusalem, says Interior Minster Aryeh Deri. The driver, Fadi al-Qunbar, plowed his truck into a group of soldiers standing on the East Jerusalem promenade, killing four of them before he was shot dead. According to reports in Israeli…Read More...
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan wants Facebook to help run his police state, the army punishes an entire village for the actions of one person, and the interior minister thinks revoking citizenship is the solution to violence. Three comments on collective punishment. By Noam Rotem 1. Facebook at the Shin Bet's disposal In an interview with Channel 2's Meet the Press, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said that the blood of victims of Palestinian violence "is on Facebook's hands." That's it. We found the newest culprit responsible for the security situation in Israel and Palestine. Forget the fact that over…Read More... | 1 Comment
Officials have indicated for months they are considering bureaucratic measures to punish the BDS movement co-founder. The de facto travel ban is part of a possible revocation of his residency status; Barghouti has lived in Israel for 22 years. Israeli authorities have put a de facto travel ban on Palestinian boycott campaigner and BDS Movement co-founder Omar Barghouti and are considering revoking his residency status in the country. [tmwinpost] The boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign is a Palestinian-led call to pressure Israel into ending the occupation, ensure full equality within its borders, and recognize the rights of Palestinian refugees.…Read More...
There is no use convincing the Jewish public to support the two-state solution, especially when over 500,000 settlers live beyond the Green Line and there is no guarantee that a Palestinian state will not be the source of terror against Israelis. The only way forward is to grant full equality to all. By Yonatan Amir Every time I say that the two-state solution is no longer realistic, and that we need to think about new approaches to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, center-left voters respond with anger, condescension and pity. They claim that this is a far-fetched idea, not to mention…Read More... | 34 Comments
Although it is run by ultra-Orthodox men and its path for social mobility is anchored in religion, Shas remains the only truly socially minded political party and is certainly the only Mizrahi party. One voter's search for answers. By Efrat Shani-Shitrit A few weeks ago, flyers targeting the women of north Tel Aviv were posted around the suburban streets of one of its better-known neighborhoods, Ramat Aviv: "If you live in Ramat Aviv, don't vote for us. If you work for someone who lives in Ramat Aviv: Only Shas." Aryeh Deri, who until the most recent Knesset had not led the…Read More... | 20 Comments
The ultra-Orthodox party, which has drifted far to the right over the past several years, reaches out to the all the Israelis who are not middle-class - which is to say, the majority. Shas, the party founded by the late Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and today led by Rabbi Aryeh Deri, is usually seen as the narrowly-sectorial party of the Sephardic ultra-Orthodox. Even the kingmaker status it had enjoyed for nearly two decades is usually (and rather haughtily) ascribed by commentators to their ability to march a docile and obedient religious minority to the polling stations, rather than to broad popular…Read More... | 7 Comments
Netanyahu has more paths to the Prime Minister's Office than Herzog, but also more party leaders who oppose him personally. Seventy-one days ahead of Israel’s general elections, two major stories are dominating the political news cycle: the showdown between Shas’s former leaders – Aryeh Deri and Eli Yishai – and the corruption affair involving senior politicians from Avigdor Liberman’s Israel Beitenu party. Both Shas and Liberman lost some ground in last week’s polls, while Yishai’s newly formed party is coming close to passing the Knesset threashold, currently at 4 seats (3.25 percent of the votes). Netanyahu’s Likud party held its…Read More... | 17 Comments
Over 5 million Israelis have the right to vote in the municipal elections today. National politics are not as directly reflected in municipal polls as they were in the past - when Likud and Labor used those as platform for securing their parties' political machines (plus, there just isn't much of a competition in the big cities) - but you can always learn about some of the deeper trends from them. Here are a few things to watch: 1. Jerusalem: Major Nir Barkat is favorite against Moshe Leon. Leon's candidacy is backed by a political deal between Shas' Aryeh Deri…Read More... | 6 Comments
The reappearance of some veteran politicians on the scene had Netanyahu worried enough to merge with Lieberman. But while Bibi may be ensured another term, he will ultimately pay for the toll of his economic and political policies on Israelis and Palestinians. By Yacov Ben Efrat Benjamin Netanyahu's call for early elections initially evoked an instinctive response: Who needs this? The result of normal elections, scheduled for next fall, was predictable: Bibi could look forward to another four years as prime minister. He had split the Labor Party and pulverized his main rival, Kadima, dispersing its 29 mandates in all…Read More... | 8 Comments
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