Skip to comments.Israel begins handing out deportation notices to African migrants
Posted on 02/07/2018 1:36:27 AM PST by Altura Ct.
Israels Population and Immigration Authority on Sunday began serving deportation notices to Eritrean and Sudanese migrants and asylum seekers, telling them that they would be sent to an unnamed African country that enjoys a relatively stable government.
This is a country that has developed tremendously over the last decade and has absorbed thousands of returning residents as well as migrants from various African countries, read the deportation notice, issued to hundreds of migrants as they stood in line at the Interior Ministry offices in Bnei Brak to renews their visas on Sunday.
In recent years, this country has shown the highest economic growth figures in Africa, thanks to exports from the US and Europe, as well as a flourishing tourism industry, the immigration authority notice read. In this country, there is a stable government that encourages development in many areas, including medicine, education, medicine and infrastructure. Israel has refused to publicly divulge which African countries have agreed to absorb the migrants from Africa, though media reports and some Israeli officials have indicated that Uganda and Rwanda are the destination countries.
Under the plan, any of the 40,000 or so who voluntarily leave Israel by the end of March will receive $3,500 and a plane ticket to the unnamed country.
On April 1, the immigration authority plans to begin imprisoning or forcibly expelling those who have not yet left.
Speaking to the migrants outside the Bnei Brak office, Hadashot TV news said most of them said they would rather go to jail in Israel than return to their countries of origin or be deported to Rwanda or Uganda. However, senior officials in the Israel Prison Service were quoted on Sunday as saying the country doesnt have enough cells to jail the thousands who are expected to refuse voluntary departure or deportation.
Advocates dispute that, noting Israels poor record of processing refugee requests. They note that of some 15,000 African refugee status requests, only 11 have been approved, citing this as evidence that Israel is being disingenuous and not living up to international standards.
The Africans began migrating to Israel in 2005 after neighboring Egypt violently quashed a demonstration by Sudanese refugees in which at least 27 were killed, and word began to spread of safety and job opportunities in Israel. Since then, Israel has been grappling with how to balance the countrys history as a refuge for Jews fleeing persecution against the fear that the swelling numbers would threaten its Jewish character.
About 60,000 migrants crossed Israels previously porous desert border with Egypt before a barrier was completed in 2012 along the 130-mile (220-kilometer) frontier. Since then about 20,000 have left either voluntarily, via a United Nations program, or with the encouragement of the government, which offers each about $3,500 and a plane ticket to leave. Others have found themselves locked up for lengthy periods in a massive detention center in the remote southern desert, keeping them away from their menial jobs in hotels and restaurants. Still, thousands of migrants are concentrated in neighborhoods in south Tel Aviv, where ethnic food shops and phone card stalls line the streets, and the area has become known as Little Africa. This has sparked tension with the working-class Jewish residents who have been putting pressure on the government to find a solution.
Interior Minister Aryeh Deri speaks at an Interior Affairs Committee meeting regarding the deportation of African asylum seekers at the Knesset, January 29, 2018. (Alster/Flash90)
In December, the Knesset approved an amendment to the so-called Infiltrators Law paving the way for the forced deportations of Eritrean and Sudanese migrants and asylum seekers, and the indefinite imprisonment of those who refuse to leave.
Last week, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri said his office will draw a distinction between Africans who came to Israel seeking work and refugees who came from war zones seeking sanctuary. He said anyone who submitted requests for asylum by December 31, 2017, and whose request has not yet been processed, will not be deported, including mothers, children and families.
Most young African migrants who did not arrive with children did not submit requests for asylum, Deri said. In recent weeks, groups of Israeli pilots, doctors, writers, former ambassadors and Holocaust survivors have appealed to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to halt the deportation plan, warning it was unethical and would cause grave damage to Israels self-described image as a light unto the nations.
Even Yad Vashem, Israels official Holocaust memorial, has weighed in. While rejecting any comparisons between the plight of the migrants and the victims of the Holocaust, it said the issue nonetheless is a national and international challenge that requires empathy, compassion and mercy.
Still, the backlash has struck a raw nerve, with the government accusing some critics of cynically invoking comparisons to the plight of Jews in Nazi Germany. This campaign is baseless and absurd, Netanyahu said last week. Genuine refugees and their families will remain in Israel. We have no obligation to allow illegal labor migrants who are not refugees to remain here.
Hey US politicians! Pay attention here!
In recent years, this country has shown the highest economic growth figures in Africa”
Ethiopia, or Botswana.
Ethiopia however, has a huge and diverse population, while Botswana has a small and more homogeneous population.
Either one might have a particular development project in mind for a few thousand laborers - mines or farms in Botswana, or Chinese factories or infrastructure construction in Ethiopia.
If things work out well with the Africans, maybe they can absorb a few Palestinians as well...
Israel and America “RESCUED” the Ethiopian Jews and flew them to Israel to live.....they certainly would not send them back.
Sarah Silverman’s sister will be deeply saddened and angry.
From this article:
About 35,000 Eritrean and Sudanese natives live in Israel, Haaretz reports, along with about 5,000 of their children who were born in the country. Many of the adults entered Israel illegally through Egypt, and have temporary visas that must be renewed every three months.
So called Palestinians are also illegals, by the way. When they made war on Israel, Israel should have expulsed them, but Hagar’s tears for Ishmael are mighty
Hagar was Egyptian, not of the family of Sarah or Abraham. Ishmael was of Egyptian and of Abraham’s semitic lines. So when Egyptians say they are not arabs, that is only partially correct....they are the mother race of arabs, the Hebrews were the father race...through Ishamael.!
So it is more out of practical politics not out of any Jewish sentiment that Israel has not deported these refugees sooner.
A noble sentiment, but that works out well only when both sides behave accordingly. When one side is a horde of marauding savages then all bets are off.
“Israel and America RESCUED the Ethiopian Jews and flew them to Israel to live.....they certainly would not send them back.”
I agree with you that the Ethiopian Jewish community (Falashas) are valued citizens in Israel. Most of them emigrated legally (made aliyah) in the 1980’s.
The people being talked about in this article, are recent waves of non-Jewish illegal immigrants (economic migrants) from other countries, such as Eritreans - similar to the wave flowing into Europe in recent years.
Eritrea was long part of Ethiopia, and they have deep cultural commonalities. Many Eritreans already live in Ethiopia, and most can speak Amharic, the main Ethiopian language, so they would integrate easily in the big cities, if there were jobs for them.
Ethiopia has the second largest population in Africa (after Nigeria) to absorb some migrants, and it is majority Christian - with a significant security concern from their large muslim minority. Ethiopia has long maintained pretty good relations with Israel.
A close family member rescued a PLANELOAD or two of Ethiopian Jews in the 2010’s!
Ethiopian Jews are valuable citizens to Israel - serving in the military and contributing to economy. But the best is likely yet to come.
Their improved standard of living withing Israel could really justify the term “rescued”, as compared to the norms in most of Ethiopia.
It has not been easy to integrate Ethiopian Jews into Israel. Virtually none spoke Hebrew, the majority were illiterate in their native language, they lacked job skills for a modern economy, and cultural differences were huge.
Now that the investment has been made however, there is the potential that hundreds, or even thousands of Ethiopian-Israeli college graduates could be employed managing investments and operations back in Ethiopia (or Africa more generally), for Israeli companies, investors or the Government.
Ethiopia has huge amounts of arable land, much of it not yet under cultivation. The large population (~90 million) is among the lowest cost labor forces in the world (~$50/month). Infrastructure has been developing pretty well over the last decade, with a good bit of Chinese involvement. Although the Government is not Democratic, it is friendly to Israel, and friendly to foreign investment.
It is like the Wild West - a great frontier of opportunity. Although poor, the Ethiopian economy has been growing at about a 10% annual rate for over a decade - among the best, not only in Africa, but in the whole world. It is called the “African Lion” economy (like the “Asian Tiger” economies). There are a lot of potential benefits to Israel in their relations with Ethiopia, and their long-cultivated pool of Ethiopian Jewish human capital is a world class advantage for doing business there.
Let us hope and pray that POTUS follows Bibi’s lead!
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