[ View the story "African migrants deported from Israel" on Storify] African migrants deported from Israel
The Stream· Wed, Feb 27 2013 10:16:51
In mid-2012, figures showed that Israel houses over 50,000 African migrants, most of them from Sudan or Eritrea. According to a story published by Israeli news outlet
, Israel offered Eritreans the choice of prison or repatriation, drawing criticism from the UNHCR. In accordance with international conventions, most cannot be deported.
This video, published on filmmaker David Sheen's
website in August 2012, shows Africans and Israelis reacting to the situation.
(Warning: This video contains explicit language.)
Defend African Refugees in Israelbluepilgrimage
depicts where the majority of migrants originate. Eritrea leads, followed closely by Sudan. Other migrants come from: Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
CBS: Aliya down in Israel in 2012. 16,557 new immigrants, 44% from former Soviet states, 15% Ethiopia, 14% American. #JPostNiv Elis
Some Israelis are opposed to the influx of undocumented migrants. In May 2012, many demonstrated against African migrants, holding signs saying "Sudanese back to Sudan".
On December 31, 2012, anti-African Israelis rallied in south Tel Aviv.
Warning: This video contains explicit language.
In with the New Year, Out with the Africansbluepilgrimage
Shimon Sigali, an Israeli survivor of the Holocaust, discusses his feelings about the persecution of African migrants.
Holocaust Survivor & African Refugeesbluepilgrimage
This video depicts the migrant situation in Israel, featuring interviews with migrants and Israelis.
"Infiltrators" or Refugees? Asylum Seekers in Israelhiasimmigration
In this video from June 2012, migrants marched on the United Nations Council of Refugees office in Tel Aviv.
Africans in Israel Demand Refugee RightsBlue Pilgrimage
Executive director of Human Rights Watch, Kenneth Roth, tweeted about the UN backlash Israel has received.
UN official rejects #Israel's claim that refugees "voluntarily" agreed to return to life-threatening #Eritrea.
Netizens expressed differing views on the topic of whether African migrants pose a threat to Jewish identity.
@AJStream Isreal as a state is still in shock of their past experience and views every one as a threat. I think its understandable.The Speaking Pen
@AJEnglish @AJStream: They never did. However, Nethanyahu has already expatriated all the Blacks in the middle of the night.DERRYCK
Some offered views on the issue of legality :
While I understand and support UNHCR's statement of failure to protect those who face persecution at home. It is a very slippery slope one is getting onto with Israel. As Israel is not the only State who undertakes such practices, and if the international community investigates one and publicly condemns for such actions, then they must do this to them all. Just as a side note why can they not be repatriated to South Sudan where it has always been less Islamist?Michele Rogers
The point is not that they are undocumented migrants. The point is that they will be persecuted on return. If Israel signed the UNHR convention, then surely they must be held liable for its provisions. One can't help but wonder if they would turn away undocumented ethnic Europeans in the same way, or if they make monkey sounds as they send these migrants back home.Kamal Salasa
It's interesting to note that Israel is actually one of few countries where Arabs and Jews and other minorities have equal rights. Race has no significance in Israel. Plenty of Israelis are black. The issue here is only illegal waves of immigrants. Israel is not big enough to absorb illegal immigrants. Arab countries are huge but I guess they still prefer Israel.facebook.com
shows the three requirements to become a refugee.
Any nation has the right to turn away undocumented migrants. However, if those migrants might qualify as refugees under the nation's law, they have a responsibility to allow them to apply for refugee status there.Cara Creager
covered this issue
in May 2012, addressing tensions between citizens and migrants.
The Stream - In Israel, African migrants under attackAlJazeeraEnglish