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ministry of interior

  • 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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  • Israel doesn't need to deport asylum seekers to make them leave

    Six ways the Israeli government is intentionally making the lives of asylum seekers unbearable. By Elizabeth Tsurkov Since 2008, the Israeli government has been implementing several policies whose purpose is to make the lives of African asylum seekers miserable, in the words of former Israeli Minister of Interior, and to coerce them to leave Israel. Both Israeli and international law prohibits the state from deporting asylum seekers to their countries of origin, leading Israel to adopt the following policies that would compel asylum seekers to leave without forcibly deportation: [tmwinpost] 1. Denial of basic rights: Since 2008, asylum seekers who…

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  • Despite landmark High Court ruling, asylum seekers are only cautiously optimistic

    Monday's High Court ruling provided a major blow to the state's attempt to hold asylum seekers in detention. However, despite the decision, asylum seekers are still not entitled to basic benefits such as health insurance, social services, housing and the freedom to work. By Elizabeth Tsurkov Refugees in Israel reacted with delight to the news of the nixing of the Anti-Infiltration Law by the High Court of Justice. Under the law, nearly 1,700 asylum-seekers, most of them Eritreans, are currently detained under the law in either the Saharonim or Ktziot internment camps in the Negev. All asylum seekers who entered Israel…

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  • Israeli bureaucracy leaves Sudanese vulnerable to arrest

    Sudanese refugees from the Nuba Mountains are being registered by Israel's Interior Ministry as South Sudanese, making it difficult for them to find and keep work, pay for rent, bills, or food, and subjecting them to potential arrest and deportation. How would you react if someone told you that your name was no longer your name?  Even though you had an official, government-issued identity card with it written on?  Or that your nationality was now different from the one you've held all your life, though your passport proved where you were from?  Now imagine that this unilateral change to your identity, which…

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  • Asylum seekers can now face years in prison over false accusation

    The Prevention of Infiltration Law, which enables asylum seekers to be detained for three years or more without trial, can now be applied to anyone with a 'criminal background.' But what does 'criminal background' mean? It's unclear.  By Elizabeth Tsurkov In early July 2012, the Ministry of Interior and the Israel Police decided to allow asylum seekers with a vaguely defined “criminal background” to be detained under the new Prevention of Infiltration Law. Following the expansion of prisons to hold thousands more migrants, Israel began enforcing the law on June 3. Since then, all newly arrived asylum seekers, including children…

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  • World Refugee Week: A community deported, in pictures

    Refugees and their supporters in Tel Aviv mark World Refugee Day on Friday. But amidst what is meant to be a celebratory event hangs a strong sense of unease, as Israel tightens its immigration policies, threatening to deport those who seek protection and to jail the ones it cannot expel. Last week, Israel began aggressive efforts to deport the entire South Sudanese community, which had enjoyed protection from deportation until now. Activestills documented the weeks leading up to their expulsion. Text by Yotam Gidron All photos by Activestills On June 7, 2012, the Jerusalem District Court ruled against a petition submitted…

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  • South Sudanese child abuse victims face expulsion with families

    Among the hundreds of South Sudanese slated for deportation is a group of children who have been removed from their parents' custody due to severe domestic violence. The authorities have not taken steps to ensure their protection, and they risk not only immediate deportation, but a forced return to abusive families. South Sudanese victims of child abuse who have been removed from the custody of their parents by Israeli welfare services are being targeted for deportation along with their families. Yedioth Ahronoth reported today that immigration authorities arrived this week at several boarding schools at which South Sudanese refugee children…

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  • Is there a link between Israeli profits, anti-African incitement?

    As Interior Minister Eli Yishai incites against African asylum seekers--leading to outbreaks of violence against Africans--his ministry issues visas to foreigners who pay tremendous amounts of money to come to Israel. Interior Minister Eli Yishai has called African asylum seekers "infiltrators" who threaten “the Zionist dream,” adding, “Jobs will root them here.” But if foreigners are such a threat and jobs will root them here, then why does Yishai’s ministry continue to issue work visas to migrants? It could have something to do with the fact that the manpower agencies—the companies that turn huge profits by importing foreign workers—have a…

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  • South Sudanese get last-minute reprieve from deportation

    On Thursday, a Jerusalem District Court judge issued a temporary injunction preventing the Ministry of Interior from revoking the group protection of South Sudanese. The move effectively delays the deportation of South Sudanese refugees, which was set to begin today. Families, including Israeli-born children, are among those facing deportation to South Sudan. Human rights organizations say thousands of South Sudanese face expulsion; the number cited at a recent protest against the deportation was 700. The judge, Yigal Marzel, issued the order in response to a petition filed by the Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel (ASSAF), the African Refugee…

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  • Has Jewish immigration to Israel lost its significance?

    Having immigrated to Israel a month ago, A. Daniel Roth contemplates the concept of 'aliya' -- Jewish immigration to Israel -- and how to make it significant. By A. Daniel Roth About a month ago I attended a lecture by one of my undergraduate professors from the Jewish studies department at the University of Toronto about the current situation in Israel. In his lectures, he always mentions early on that he holds views that are politically moderate. After the lecture I mentioned to him that I was planning to move to Israel in the near future and I was wondering…

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  • Proposed law would indefinitely jail refugees seeking protection

    Israel was created 64 years ago by refugees and for refugees. But despite its young age, the state seems to suffer from memory loss when it comes to dealing with the refugees who seek its protection today. By Sigal Rozen The Refugee Convention is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. The young State of Israel was one of its enthusiastic supporters, hurrying to sign and ratify it, thereby legally binding itself to the convention's principles. During the 60 years that have passed, Israel has not legislated a refugee law, and all attempts made to that effect by Israeli human rights…

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  • Top ten things that stink about moving in Tel Aviv

    The hunt for elusive cardboard boxes, the crotchety new neighbors and the bureaucratic nightmare: Why did I think moving apartments would be fun? 10. Finding boxes: Every time I have to move I think back on all the boxes I carelessly threw away the last time I settled into a new home. What was I thinking? Nothing is more demeaning that skulking around the back alley of the supermarket trying to snatch any somewhat decent and not too moist available cardboard box. And why? Because I’m cheap and refuse to pay for something that gets chucked out every single day like…

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