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Holot

  • The redundancy of Israel's 'Jewish Nation-State Law'

    The Israeli government is pushing a law that would force judges to prioritize Israel’s Jewish character over democratic principles. But that has always been the case. The “Jewish Nation-State Law,” which is currently making its way through the Knesset as a proposed Basic Law – the closest thing Israel has to a constitutional amendment – would require the High Court to prioritize Israel’s Jewish nature over democratic principles in its rulings, according to Haaretz. [tmwinpost] The bill asserts that the justices of the highest court in the land must interpret Israeli law with the understanding that the right to self-determination in Israel…

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  • WATCH: African asylum seekers, Israelis stage play at detention center

    For the second time, a group of African asylum seekers and Israelis put on the 'Holot Theater' — a staged performance at the Holot detention center in southern Israel, where thousands of asylum seekers are being held without trial. Read more: PHOTOS: Asylum seeker theater troupe re-imagines life in Israel Photo diary: Inside 'Holot' detention center for asylum seekers

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  • Israel's new tactic for forcing out African refugees — dock their wages

    A new law compels African asylum seekers to deposit a fifth of their wages into a fund they can only access if they leave the country. It's just the latest in a long line of methods the Israeli government is using to push black asylum seekers out. By Noa Kaufman African asylum seekers in Israel will now have to deposit 20 percent of their salaries into a fund they will only be able to access if they leave the country, after an 2014 amendment to the Prevention of Infiltration law took effect on May 1. Their employers will also have…

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  • WATCH: African refugees rally against Israel's deportation policy

    With Israel's Supreme Court set to rule on Israel's policy of deporting African asylum seekers to countries where they face danger and even death, hundreds of refugees gather in Jerusalem to demand their right to protection. Read more: What will happen to Eritrean asylum seekers after Israel deports them? Despite dangers, Israel sending asylum seekers to home countries

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  • Netanyahu’s wall isn’t about immigration — it’s about race

    Netanyahu's recent boast that he has stopped all illegal immigration to Israel isn't quite true: his southern border wall is only aimed at preventing black people from entering Israel irregularly. By Asaf Calderon The United States is on fire. After two weeks in office, President Donald Trump has already managed to sign a series of Executive Orders that have sparked massive protests. Chief among them are the new ban on immigration into the U.S. from Muslim-majority countries and the order to begin construction of the long-promised “giant wall” on the border with Mexico. While thousands of Americans flooded to protest at…

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  • PHOTOS: Hundreds of African asylum seekers protest Israel's deportation policy

    Hundreds of African asylum seekers gathered outside the Israeli Supreme Court in Jerusalem on Thursday in order to protest the government's deportation policy, which the court is currently deliberating. Hundreds of African asylum seekers, mostly Eritreans and Sudanese, demonstrated outside the Supreme Court in Jerusalem on Thursday in protest at the government's proposed deportation policy. The court is currently deliberating a petition against the policy, which would expand and formalize the government's existing practice of deporting asylum seekers to "third countries" — such as Uganda or Rwanda — where they receive no protection, and from where they are often forced to…

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  • Israeli teens charged for brutally beating asylum seeker to death

    Darfuri asylum seeker Babikir Adham-Uvdo was beaten to death by two teenagers after he was allegedly seen speaking to a group of young women. Why aren't more Israelis talking about it? By John Brown* Emmett Till was an African-American teenager from Mississippi who was lynched on August 14, 1955 during a visit to his relatives. His murderers mutilated him and threw his body into the Tallahatchie River after he reportedly flirted with a 21-year-old white woman by the name of Carolyn Bryant. [tmwinpost] After they were were acquitted, Till's killers admitted to the crime in an interview, claiming that they did not believe…

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  • Why is the state trying to jail married asylum seekers?

    It seems the authorities did everything they could to separate a married Eritrean couple who fled their home country and sought refuge in Israel. By Ofer Attar Meet Awat and Ksenet, asylum seekers from Eritrea who also happen to be a married couple. The state is currently trying to separate them and send Awat to jail. [tmwinpost] After his mother passed away from an illness and his father was killed in the Eritrean-Ethiopian War, Awat, at the age of 16, became an orphan responsible for raising his four younger siblings. He was a gifted soccer player, and as a teenager…

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  • WATCH: Israeli students stage soccer tournament for refugees

    Israel is imprisoning thousands of African asylum seekers in a desert detention facility called ‘Holot.’ A group of students and youngsters from Be’er Sheva, in southern Israel, recently organized a soccer tournament with the asylum seekers in an attempt to make them feel less isolated. Israeli authorities systematically deny the Sudanese and Eritrean asylum seekers any chance of getting refugee status, leaving them without any legal status in the country, and often detaining them without charge or trial. Read more on the situation of refugees and asylum seekers in Israel here.

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  • Asylum seekers stage walkout over inedible food at detention center

    Asylum seekers have long complained about the half-cooked food in Israel's Holot detention center. African asylum seekers held in Israel's Holot detention center staged a walkout from the cafeteria on Saturday night to protest the half-cooked food served at the facility. [tmwinpost] The asylum seekers walked out just as dinner was being served, instead deciding to congregate outside the cafeteria. Only one detainee remained inside. Detainees at Holot have long complained about the food, which they claim is inedible. The daily menu in Holot includes hummus, tuna, four slices of bread and an uncooked egg. T.G.A., one of the asylum seekers…

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  • It's been 10 years since I applied for refugee status in Israel

    It’s been exactly 10 years since I crossed the border into Israel. I’ve been imprisoned, I've become ill, I was forced to renew my visa 62 times, and now I’m back in a detention facility — Holot. Is seeking asylum a crime? By Hassan Rahima This Sunday marked 10 years since I applied for refugee status in Israel. I’ve been waiting since December 6, 2005, the day I crossed the border from Egypt. My journey into the unknown continues. I was 17 years old when my village, Smasm, in the South Kordofan province of Sudan’s Nuba Mountains, was attacked. Most…

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  • Activists alter sign at entrance to Jerusalem: ‘Welcome Refugees’

    Drivers entering Jerusalem this week were greeted by an unusual message, which activists hope will jump-start a public discussion about the Israeli government's treatment of refugees. By Raanan Shemesh Forshner A group of activists from Jerusalem altered the official sign at the entrance to the city this week so that anyone driving in saw an unusual message: “Welcome refugees.” The addition of “refugees” was removed after a few hours. [tmwinpost] “We felt like we had to do something for the wellbeing of asylum seekers,” the activists explained. “Dozens of asylum seekers have been killed on Israel’s southern border in recent weeks,”…

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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 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…

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