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  • Family life forbidden for migrant workers in Israel

    Legal advocates decry Israeli policies toward migrant workers as inhumane and claim that they violate the laborers’ human right to family. Maris Delusong, a 36-year-old caregiver from the Philippines, is alone at Tel Aviv’s Central Bus Station. She stops at a sale rack outside a clothing store. She looks at the baby clothes, pulls a pink onesie off the rack and runs her fingers over the soft fabric. Her face is sad as she puts the outfit back and moves along. “It’s hard to be alone,” Delusong says. She found herself drawn to the baby clothes, she says, because “I…

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  • Israel puts Eritrean woman in administrative detention for buying fake work permit

    The Interior Ministry declared Sanait Tesfauneh, an asylum-seeker from Eritrea, a 'threat to public security' and placed her in administrative detention after she was suspected of purchasing a forged work permit. Now, several organizations are attempting to challenge the detention system that deprives asylum seekers of their civil liberties. Victor Hugo's Les Misérables was published in 1862. Over the years the book became the most famous indictment against the treatment of the weak by society, authorities, and the law. Hugo tells the tale of Jean Valjean who was unable to find work to support his family, so he smashed a…

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  • The writer who ended a 300-year long occupation

    I believe in literature, even more so than journalism. So I'm starting a writer's workshop for local authors who work in English. Here's why: It wasn’t the newspapers and journalists who freed the Filipino people from hundreds of years of Spanish colonialism. It was literature. Jose Rizal’s novel Noli Me Tangere (Touch me not) is widely credited as having fanned the flames of the revolution that eventually overthrew the Spanish and led to an independent Philippines. The book, which I picked up and read during my travels in the Philippines, is an emotional, character-driven account of life under Spanish occupation. It…

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