Friday, 22 November, 2019

African Asylum Seekers Paint Themselves White to Protest Deportations from Israel

Illustrative Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives a statement to the press during a visit in Har Homa in East Jerusalem African Asylum Seekers Paint Themselves White to Protest Deportations from Israel
Patty Aguilar | 08 February, 2018, 03:31

Israel has given thousands of migrants in the country until April 1 to accept an offer to leave for an unnamed African destination - widely known to be Rwanda, based on testimonies of people who have already left - in exchange for $3,500 and a plane ticket.

The protesters said the plan would put them in danger and said the deportations were racist.

With both Rwanda and Uganda insisting that they will not welcome asylum-seekers deported from Israel, the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR insists that Israel should now properly review their status and consider them for asylum within Israel. They urged Rwanda and its president, Paul Kagame, not to cooperate. "Prison or Deportation? What would you choose?" said another.

They said they had rather be imprisoned in Israel than embark on another journey into the unknown.

Human rights activists here say Israel should be the first to assist the Africans because the country was built by Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust.

A view of construction in the West Bank settlement of Efrat
A view of construction in the West Bank settlement of Efrat

Israeli police statistics, shared by the nonpartisan Times of Israel newspaper, indicate 90 percent of African asylum seekers live in the southern part of Tel Aviv, with the rest scattered nationwide.

"Guys who were here and went to Rwanda and Uganda - we saw what happened to them,"‎ he said.

In a 2015 incident, a migrant who had left Israel was captured by Daesh terrorists in Libya and decapitated.

Israel refuses to grant the Africans asylum, saying that they are economic migrants and not refugees.

"Deportation kills", the crowd chanted. "Please give us the honor of not calling us criminals. Obama deported two million infiltrators and they didn't say anything", Netanyahu told the ministers, according to Haaretz. At the end of January, more than 800 rabbis and other Jewish clergy in the United States signed a letter calling on Israel to reverse its plan to deport African migrants, arguing the asylum seekers are "escaping torture, enslavement, and war".

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