“We must stop the mass entry of illegal migrant workers because of the very serious threat to the character and future to the State of Israel.”
Here is what that means specifically: If you’re not Jewish – don’t come to Israel.
Period. It’s very simple. Israel is not a melting pot. It’s not a country that embraces diversity; clearly – it’s sole function and reason for being is to be the Homeland of the Jewish people. Every country has refugees…but now – Israel is building the world’s LARGEST REFUGEE PRISON in addition to passing a law that allows the government to keep a refugee in detention for up to 3 years (it was 60 days). The clear message is: If you’re not Jewish – don’t come to Israel.
The African Refugee Detention Center issued a statement in which it called out Prime Minister Netanyahu’s degrading remarks towards the non-Jew:
Netanyahu once again described asylum seekers as “illegal, job-seeking infiltrators” and as a “threat to the economy, to society, to security and the delicate demographic fabric upon which the State of Israel is based”
The Hotline for Migrant Workers and the Association for Civil Rights and Israel also issued a joint statement following the cabinet’s decision, saying that it was unclear “in light of the severe conditions which asylum seekers currently undergo in the Ketziot Military Prison Camp, how Israel can erect a much larger detention center without causing a humanitarian disaster and a disgrace.”
“It is high time that Israel formulate an orderly immigration policy and maintain a mechanism determining who is a refugee and who isn’t. In that way it can give those recognized as refugees their rights,” the rights groups said.
But Israel has a real problem on it’s hands because according to Amnesty International ”The State of Israel became a signatory to the Refugee Convention in 1954.” And according to Article 1 of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees:
“A person who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.
Following an indeterminable period of imprisonment in Israel, some refugees are released on a temporary basis. Despite being released from a detention facility, refugees are not entitled to any social or medical services provided by the authorities. In 2008, the Interior Ministry assumed the responsibility from the UNHCR to conduct all procedures for the determination of refugee status. The Ministry provides protective documents for most of the asylum seekers but does not permit them to work – thus denying the refugees’ the ability to integrate and become functioning members of society.
But I think Elie Wiesel – famous writer, political activist and survivor of the Holocaust – rebuts the hard line of the Netanyahu administration best in his article “Strangers in a Strange Land”: The Ethical Debate of African Refugees in Israel where he wrote:
As Jews we say “never again,” but a genocide happened again and instead of treating others in an ethical manner, Netanyahu is proposing inhumane policies that are an embarrassment to the State of Israel. It seems almost hypocritical for a country built by refugees to turn away refugees. Rather than jumping to conclusions, the Israeli government must set up a better process to determine the status of those crossing the borders.
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