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asylum seekers

  • PODCAST: Witnessing regime change in Sudan as a refugee in exile

    The Sudanese refugee community in Israel watched ecstatically as long-time dictator Omar al-Bashir was deposed. But there’s a catch. Listen to the latest episode of The +972 Podcast. Listen here: iTunes/Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify "The uprising in Sudan did not start a couple of months ago, it started years ago," says Mutasim Ali, one of the leaders of the Sudanese refugee community in Israel, who fled Darfur and arrived in Israel in 2009. For Ali and the approximately 7,000 Sudanese asylum seekers in Israel, al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide in Darfur, is the…

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  • 'We'll build a new country': Sudanese refugees celebrate Bashir's downfall in Tel Aviv

    Celebrations erupt on the streets of south Tel Aviv as Sudan's dictator steps down after 30 bloody years in power. Despite what appears to be a military takeover, Sudanese asylum seekers in Israel believe their revolution will win out.  By Edo Konrad and Oren Ziv Mutasim Ali didn’t have much time to talk when we met in his south Tel Aviv office Thursday morning. The Sudanese Army had just announced that Omar al-Bashir, who has ruthlessly lead Sudan for the last 30 years, was preparing to step down, and Ali had a party to plan. [tmwinpost] After all, for Ali and for the approximately 7,000…

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  • Israel wants to deport 300 refugees to one of the world's most dangerous countries

    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…

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  • The grassroots movements in Israel-Palestine that won 2018

    +972 Magazine’s story of the year for 2018 is the protest movements that managed to beat the odds by forcing governments to revisit and even change their policies. The story of African refugees stopping their deportation from Israel, and Gazans using popular protests to make sure the world doesn’t forget about them. By Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man The global rise of nationalist and right-wing governments has not been particularly good for progressive movements over the past year. But two grassroots movements in Israel and Palestine, respectively, managed to push back against oppressive policies and, at least temporarily, achieve real victories on…

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  • Safe from deportations, asylum seekers in Israel still living in fear

    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…

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  • An open society or a tribalist one? Israelis will have to choose

    A new documentary tells the story of the firebombing of a kindergarten for asylum seekers in Tel Aviv, holding up a mirror to the crucial choice Israeli society faces today. By Roni Dorot Roni Geffen’s short film, Divine Daycare, portrays an exercise in tribal solidarity, as well as an exercise in social solidarity beyond tribal bonds. The film follows the story of a kindergarten for refugee children in south Tel Aviv after Israelis threw six Molotov cocktails and torched it. It is deeply moving and touches raw nerves. [tmwinpost] One might say – and justifiably so  — that it is not difficult to…

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  • Asylum seeker hospitalized after being stabbed by group of Israelis

    B., an asylum seeker from Sudan, was reportedly stabbed by a group of Israelis just two weeks after he moved to the central city of Netanya. Days after regaining consciousness, he is still unable to speak. By Oren Ziv / Activestills.org A Sudanese asylum seeker was stabbed by a group of four Israelis in the city of Netanya in central Israel on Sunday. Following the attack, the asylum seeker, B., lost consciousness and was hospitalized at Laniado Hospital. He regained consciousness on Wednesday morning, and is still unable to speak. [tmwinpost] Jamal Ibrahim Adam, another Sudanese asylum seeker who shares an…

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  • The far-right nationalist movement roiling Eritreans in Israel

    The far-right Agazian movement seeks to establish a Tigrinyan Orthodox-Christian state in what is now Eritrea and part of Ethiopia. Its anti-Muslim, militant politics are deepening the divisions within the already fractious Eritrean opposition. By Inbal Ben Yehuda About two years ago, an extremist, far-right movement began operating on the Eritrean political scene. The movement, broadly called Agazian (speakers of the Ge’ez language) emerged from within the Tigrinyan, Orthodox-Christian opposition in the diaspora. The movement is active in several different locales — in Europe, Ethiopia and Israel — and particularly on social media, contributing to the radicalization and intensification of political discourse in the…

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  • In limbo, asylum seekers await government's next move

    In the absence of a UN deal and with the collapse of Israel's mass deportation plan, African asylum seekers again face an uncertain future. The roughly 38,000 asylum seekers living in Israel, most of whom fled Eritrea and Sudan, again face an uncertain future. The Israeli government’s mass deportation plan collapsed last week after the government failed to broker a deal with a “third country” that would resettle refugees deported against their will. Earlier in April, Prime Minister Netanyahu announced a deal with the UN to resolve the refugee issue, only to scrap it less than 24 hours later. [tmwinpost]…

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  • Israel scraps plan to forcibly deport African asylum seekers

    After failing to reach an agreement with a 'third country,' Israel announces that its plan to deport tens of thousands of African asylum seekers has collapsed. +972 Magazine Staff The Israeli government informed the High Court Tuesday that its plan to forcibly deport tens of thousands of African asylum seekers has collapsed, after failing to broker a deal with "third countries" to resettle them. [tmwinpost] The government announced that previous deportation orders would be cancelled and that asylum seekers would be able to renew their visas every two months. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Interior Minister Aryeh Deri announced that Holot, an open-air desert detention facility…

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  • In another blow to deportation plan, Israel frees jailed asylum seekers

    Israel frees 200 asylum seekers imprisoned for refusing deportation after the government admits there is no secret agreement with Uganda that allows for the mass deportation of refugees. Israel released 207 Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers on Sunday, all of whom had been indefinitely imprisoned for refusing deportation to Uganda or Rwanda. Israel’s High Court ruled last Tuesday that the government had until Sunday at noon to present a new agreement with Uganda that would allow the mass deportation of refugees to proceed. [tmwinpost] In the absence of an agreement, the Court ordered the government to release all asylum seekers…

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  • Hundreds around the world protest Israel's plan to deport refugees to Uganda

    Demonstrators gather in Tel Aviv and in front Ugandan embassies in cities around the world to protest Israel's plan to deport tens of thousands of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers to Uganda.  Asylum seekers and activists protested in Tel Aviv and outside Ugandan embassies around the world on Monday against Israel's plan to deport tens of thousands of asylum seekers there. After international pressure led Rwanda to back out of a secret agreement to accept asylum seekers deported from Israel, Israel now claims it has an identical agreement with Uganda. [tmwinpost] The demonstrations come just one week after the Israeli government announced it was abandoning its…

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  • Brutality is the only answer Israel has to Gaza's civil disobedience

    It is impossible to know what will happen along the border with Gaza in the coming weeks. But one thing is certain: Israel will continue to respond with brutality and arrogance in the face of Palestinian nonviolent civil disobedience. By Aviv Tatarsky Anyone who wants to understand where Israel is heading in Gaza ought to think about Prime Minister Netanyahu’s recent behavior regarding African asylum seekers. Even better: let’s go back to when the Israeli government decided to place metal detectors at the entrance to the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif last summer. [tmwinpost] Despite the differences, these three struggles have a single…

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