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asylum seekers

  • Israeli teachers to education minister: 'Stop deportation of asylum seekers'

    Over 140 teachers sign an open letter calling to stop the deportation of asylum seekers. Meanwhile, former education ministers and Israel Prize winners warn against an 'injustice that contradicts Jewish values.' By Yael Marom Over 140 teachers signed an open letter calling on the government to change its decision to deport the asylum seekers to Rwanda and Uganda. Another 190 leaders in Israel’s education system, including former education ministers, also published a letter calling on Education Minister Naftali Bennet to intervene and stop the deportations. In the teachers’ letter, addressed to the prime minister, the education minister, and members of the governing coalition,…

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  • Following protest, Interior Ministry refuses to accept asylum requests

    Activists splashed red paint and left mannequin heads at the entrance to the Population and Immigration Authority's office in Tel Aviv. The Interior Ministry decided to collectively punish the asylum seekers in response. The Israeli Interior Ministry said it was refusing to process any asylum claims Sunday morning as a collective punishment of sorts in response to a protest action against the planned deportation of tens of thousands of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers. [tmwinpost] Unknown activists spilled red paint and left mannequin heads Saturday night at the entrance to the Tel Aviv office of the Population and Immigration Authority’s…

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  • When the Sultan took in Jewish refugees

    Bayezid II, the sultan of the Ottoman Empire, saved my family's life during the Spanish Inquisition. The Israeli government could learn a thing or two from him. By Tom Pessah I am a Jew of Sephardic origin, which means the defining moment of my family's history was their expulsion from Spain in 1492. I still have relatives who speak Ladino, the Jewish language that evolved out of medieval Spanish and was preserved in the countries the Jews arrived in. We have our own dietary customs and liturgical traditions. [tmwinpost] For years, I only heard about the villains in this story — Ferdinand…

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  • Asylum seekers to Israel's president: 'Look us in the eyes'

    Israel plans to begin deporting tens of thousands of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers in the coming months. Hundreds gather outside the President's Residence in Jerusalem, hoping to tell him their stories. By Yael Marom Several hundred asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan demonstrated in front of Israeli President Rivlin’s official residence in Jerusalem Monday night, calling on him to stop planned mass deportations. The asylum seekers, including many women and children, were joined by dozens of Jewish Israelis, among them several Holocaust survivors. [tmwinpost] The demonstrators chanted “we are refugees,” “refugees don’t deport refugees,” and “the deportations are a…

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  • Thousands of asylum seekers protest deportation outside Rwandan embassy

    The demonstration, held by African asylum seekers, Israelis, and international activists, marks the opening of a new front in the struggle against the deportation.  Approximately 2,000 asylum seekers demonstrated outside of the Rwandan embassy in Herzilya on Monday against the Israeli government’s plan to deport them. The demonstrators, joined by Israeli and international human rights activists, chanted “We are Eritrean, we are not Rwandan” and “refugees are not for sale.” [tmwinpost] “Israel must check our asylum requests and provide us protection,” the organizers of the protest said. “We are demanding that the Rwandan embassy oppose any agreements with Israel.” The protest…

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  • 'I won't fly refugees to their deaths': The El Al pilots resisting deportation

    At least three pilots for Israel's flag carrier publish declarations publicly refusing to take part in the forced deportation of asylum seekers should they be asked to. The Israeli government is giving tens of thousands of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers a stark choice: deportation or indefinite imprisonment. By Yael Marom At least three El Al pilots in recent days published public declarations of their refusal to take part in the deportation of asylum seekers to countries where their lives may be in danger. Captain Yoel Piterbarg, a pilot on Israel's national airline, wrote the following on Facebook (Hebrew): Israel is populated…

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  • Refugees hold 'slave auction' outside Knesset to protest deportation

    Israel plans to begin deporting tens of thousands of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers within weeks. Activists hope the action will raise awareness of what awaits them. By Oren Ziv A group of Eritrean asylum seekers and Israeli refugee advocates staged a mock slave auction outside the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, while a conference on government plans to begin mass deportations of asylum seekers took place inside Wednesday morning. [tmwinpost] Around 10 asylum seekers stood on make-shift auction blocks made of milk crates, while an auctioneer called out, “get your slaves, slaves for half price,” over a megaphone. A single member…

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  • Between determination and despair: Meet the refugees fighting deportation

    The Israeli government has begun the first stages in its planned deportation of African asylum seekers. Refugee activists and advocates are preparing to fight it.  The start of the new year marked the first stages of the Israeli government's plan to deport the roughly 40,000 asylum seekers, most from Eritrea and Sudan, currently living in Israel. The government announced in early January that asylum seekers have three months to leave the country; those who remain in Israel after the three months will face a choice: deportation or prison. [tmwinpost] The Population and Immigration Authority also announced that it was recruiting additional inspectors to carry out…

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  • It is our silence that allows Israel to deport asylum seekers

    Fifty years on, Martin Luther King Jr.’s words resonate more than ever: those who are silent are all part of the problem. It is they who have allowed Israel to neglect south Tel Aviv and to condemn asylum seekers to torture and death. By Sapir Sluzker-Amram On January 15, Americans observed Martin Luther King Day, marking 50 years since the civil rights leader was shot and killed in Memphis, Tennessee. The struggle for equal rights in the United States was not won in court but in the streets — by people who had had enough of the status quo and organized to effect change. In 1965, the…

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  • +972 Writer Mya Guarnieri Jaradat's book short-listed for the Wingate Prize

    Guarnieri Jaradat's book, The Unchosen, is deeply reported look into the lives of asylum seekers and migrant workers in Israel. +972 Magazine congratulates writer Mya Guarnieri Jaradat on her book, The Unchosen: The Lives of Israel’s New Others, being short-listed for the 2018 Jewish Quarterly Wingate Prize. The Unchosen was short-listed alongside The Dark Circle by Linda Grant, The Mighty Frank by Michael Frank, Small Pieces: A Book of Lamentations by Joanne Limburg, Stranger in a Strange Land: Searching for Gershom Scholem and Jerusalem by George Prochnik, and The Holocaust by Laurence Rees. According to the Wingate Foundation, the award is…

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  • Hundreds protest in Tel Aviv against the deportation of asylum seekers

    The protest is the first of many planned to resist the government's plan to deport 40,000 asylum seekers currently living in Israel. [tmwinpost] More than 200 people gathered at the Abraham Hostel in Tel Aviv on Saturday night for the first of many protests against the planned deportation of asylum seekers. The government recently announced that it intends to present asylum seekers in Israel with a choice: indefinite imprisonment or deportation. The demonstration featured a human rights fair, including the numerous organizations fighting the deportation plan, a drawing corner for children, a donations stand for asylum seeker families in financial distress, musical performances, and more.…

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  • Israel to deliver asylum seekers to the hands of human smugglers

    Even as it invokes the Holocaust at every turn, Israel is feeding the people who most need its protection to a brutal human smuggling industry. In doing so, it becomes an active player in the worst migration crisis since the Jewish people’s near-extinction. Exactly one decade ago, liberal Israelis were boasting of their government’s treatment of the refugees who had recently begun entering the country, largely from Sudan. In the face of the genocide in Darfur, Jewish organizations all over the world had enlisted to move the international community to act. Israelis got on board, motivated by what Haaretz’s Bradley Burston…

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  • The new 'choice' for asylum seekers: Deportation or prison

    Israel finally plans to close its desert detention facility for African asylum seekers. Refugee advocates worry it could be the start of something even worse. During a midnight vote on Monday, the Knesset passed a bill that will enable the government to detain asylum seekers indefinitely or deport them to an unspecified country in Africa. The law passed by a margin of 71 to 41. [tmwinpost] The consequences of the law will stem not only from what appears in the text of the bill itself, but also what doesn’t: there is nothing in the bill that mentions deportation. Instead, on…

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