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…Read More...
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…Read More... | 2 Comments
One day after proudly announcing a UN agreement to resettle 16,000 asylum seekers, Netanyahu cancels the agreement due to criticism from the Right. And yet, the anti-deportation campaign can claim a victory. Benjamin Netanyahu is in trouble. With his announcement of the UN agreement regarding the African asylum seekers yesterday, and his announcement several hours later that the agreement had been suspended, Netanyahu made one thing clear: the Left's anti-deportation campaign had won. [tmwinpost] Deporting the asylum seekers to a “third country” in Africa is off the table. The only available option to alleviate the suffering of the asylum seekers and…Read More...
High Court extends an injunction against the planned mass deportation of African asylum seekers, but those already locked up for refusing deportation will spend the 'festival of freedom' in prison. Hundreds of African asylum seekers will remain in Israeli prisons this Passover, their fate on hold after the country’s High Court gave the government an extension — for the third time — to respond to a petition challenging the mass deportation of asylum seekers originally planned to start this Friday. [tmwinpost] The court issued an injunction on March 15 against the deportations themselves, but Israeli authorities are still permitted to…Read More...
The temporary injunction against the government's plan will remain in effect for at least another week and a half. But the mass deportations are still scheduled to begin on April 1. Israel’s top court issued a temporary injunction against the mass deportation of tens of thousands of African asylum seekers on Thursday. The decision came in a response to the first major legal challenge to Israel’s deportation plan, and will stay in effect at least another week and a half. If the state’s response satisfies the High Court, however, the deportations could still begin on schedule — April 1. [tmwinpost] While…Read More...
Netanyahu has asylum seekers right where he wants them. He can exploit the hardships of south Tel Aviv residents to continue inciting against the Supreme Court, the media, and human rights organizations. By Yossi Dahan After years in which Netanyahu did not set foot in south Tel Aviv, the prime minister came to the area last week for two visits. The first visit was highly publicized, and the second — with Interior Minister Aryeh Deri — was undercover. For Netanyahu, the timing of the visits was perfect: a week after Israel's High Court ruled that asylum seekers cannot be deported to third…Read More... | 7 Comments
A selection of articles and stories about asylum seekers and refugees in Israel on the occasion of World Refugee Day. (Full disclosure, I couldn't include just 10) It has been more than a decade since refugees from Darfur first began making the dangerous journey across the Sinai desert in order to seek asylum in Israel. Since those early years, Israeli society and successive Israeli governments have become increasingly hostile toward the asylum seekers from Sudan, Eritrea and elsewhere who sought safety and dignity in the country. On the occasion of World Refugee Day, here is a selection of articles about…Read More... | 2 Comments
The Israeli government continues to pass discriminatory laws against African asylum seekers, turning the Israeli public against us. But how could it be that Jews have forgotten the word 'refugee?' By Monim Haroon A new law that went into effect starting on May 1 stipulates that the state will take 20 percent of asylum seekers' monthly salaries, and 16 percent from our employers, putting the money into a fund that will only become available to us the moment we board a plane that flies us away from Israel. If we refuse to leave the country, the Administration of Border Crossings, Population and…Read More...
As President Trump seeks to maintain white Christian hegemony, the Jewish state can serve as a case study of nationalism run amuck — and what that means for the 'others' who live there. Israel’s founding premise that it would be a “Jewish and democratic” state has always meant that if the state wants to remain democratic it must maintain a Jewish majority. Artificially maintaining a certain ethno-religious majority has led Israel to take some decidedly undemocratic measures against various minority populations. [tmwinpost] In the United States these days, President Donald Trump is also seeking to maintain a particular ethno-religious hegemony —…Read More... | 9 Comments
The Israeli government must not withhold information from the public about the dangers faced by Eritrean asylum seekers it is planning to deport. By Sigal Avivi Emanuel, an Eritrean asylum seeker whom Israel deported to Uganda half a year ago, agreed to take the risk of being interviewed on camera for one reason: he wanted the Israeli Supreme Court justices to look into his eyes as he told them what happens to asylum seekers who succumb to Israel's policy of pressuring them to “voluntarily” leave the country. [tmwinpost] Emanuel's desire to do this overcame his fears that should his filmed testimony fall into…Read More... | 9 Comments
Six years after he fled Darfur for Israel, Mutasim Ali, one of the leaders of the asylum seekers' struggle in Israel, has been granted refugee status. Ali: 'Now I can live a normal life with dignity.' By Yael Marom Mutasim Ali was in the middle of his law school class when he learned that he would become the first Sudanese asylum seeker to be granted refugee status in Israel. According to the announcement, which was sent by fax to Attorney Asaf Weitzen, who represents Ali on behalf of the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri had decided to…Read More... | 2 Comments
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…Read More... | 6 Comments
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,”…Read More...
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