The country of refugees is no refuge for others

Israel is a country comprised of refugees.  And Jews around the world are given instant citizenship if they wish to relocate there.

In another ironic twist that shows Zionists’ true color – and the racist nature of the Jewish State of Israel – refugees from war-torn countries – especially Sudan and Eritrea – are not welcome. In fact, they are so unwelcome, Israeli officials are considering a bill that would annul Israel’s adherence to and compliance with the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.

Israel has an abysmal record when it comes to accepting refugees.

The Knesset’s 1950 Law of Return grants every Jew worldwide the right to live in Israel as a citizen. Yet no refugee law exists, despite Israel being a signatory to the 1951 UN Convention. Instead, unpublished Ministry of Interior procedures and secret inter-ministerial determinations are made on a case-by-case basis.

As a result, Israel has the lowest percent of requests granted (for temporary, not permanent status) compared to western states – 1% in 2005, under 0.5% in 2006, and in 2007, 350 refugees got temporary protection, 805 others were denied, and 863 were under review, after which most were rejected.

~ Stephen Lendman, Palestine Chronicle, April 15, 2010

Being called “one of the most dangerous bills ever presented in the Knesset,” the Infiltration Prevention Law would make it legal to jail refugees who had never committed a crime, deport refugees back to their home countries despite the risk of death or torture, and make it illegal for social service agencies to provide aid to refugees. Even offering a single glass of water could become illegal, according to a report by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.

Main Aspects of the Bill
• Every “infiltrator” may be imprisoned for up to five years (Article 2)
• An “infiltrator” who is a citizen of an enemy country (including residents of Darfur, which
is in Sudan) may be imprisoned for up to seven years (Article 3)
• An “infiltrator” carrying a weapon, including a knife, may be jailed for up to 20 years
(Article 4)
• Anyone assisting those who violated the Infiltration Prevention Law in order to ease their
stay in Israel may face the same penalties as those who broke the law (Article 5)
• Officers along the border may deport “infiltrators” back to Egypt, without giving them the
opportunity to file for asylum (Article 11)
• An “infiltrator” will be detained for an unlimited period of time, even if there is no practical
possibility of deporting him or her from Israel. “Infiltrators” may not be released from
detention if any hostile activity takes place in his or her country or place of residence
(Darfur, for example) (Article 15)
• An “infiltrator” may be detained for up to two weeks before being brought to court (Article
20)

Again, all this is being debated under the blind eye of the global community. What other supposedly developed country would be allowed to debate – and most likely deploy – such racist and inhumane policies?

If the Bill is Passed:

• Israel will shake off all its obligations based on the UN Refugee Convention, a conventionthat Israel initiated and helped formulate in 1951, as a lesson of the Holocaust.
• The immediate deportation of anyone who enters Israel illegally, including refugees ofgenocide and their children, will be authorized.
• All refugees from Sudan (including those from Darfur) may be imprisoned for at least seven years, because they are citizens of an “enemy country.”
• Assisting refugees will become a criminal activity. Any activity that assists the “infiltrator,” including medical and legal assistance, housing, giving food or a glass of water – could become a criminal act punishable by a prison sentence.
• Refugees could be subject to arbitrary and extended administrative detention, without the appropriate judicial proceedings or judicial review.
• Children could be detained for an unlimited period of time. The law makes no mention of this group being particularly vulnerable.

According to statistics Israel has supplied to the United Nations, more than 90 percent of asylum seekers are indeed refugees. But officials tell the public a different story, according to the civil right association’s report. In fact, Yaakov Ganot, the former head of Israel’s Immigration Authority told Haaretz newspaper on June 21, 2009 that “99.9 percent” of those seeking asylum aren’t really refugees, they’re migrant workers.

Considering that the majority of asylum seekers comes from Eritrea and Sudan – including those seeking to escape genocide in Dafur – and so meets the UN requirements for refugee status, it’s ‘odd’ that Israel would classify them as migrant workers. They could be doing this for only one purpose: To absolve the state from any moral or internationally legal obligations to care for them. After all people from Africa don’t meet the pure race standard Israel has set for itself. To further keep Africans out of the country, Israel is constructing a wall on its border with Egypt.

Note: The reports The Infiltration Prevent Bill – Lies and Reality and The Principle of Non-Refoulement Of a Person to a Place in Which He Is Expected to Suffer Danger to Life, Liberty, Persecution or Torture can be found on Zatar and Spinah’s Reports page.

~ Kristin Szremski 5/10/2010

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