Dinner with Gaddafi: a refugee goes home

By Jennifer Lipman, September 6, 2010

A man whose family fled Libya in 1967 amid anti-Jewish violence has returned to his home city and had dinner with Colonel Gaddafi.

Raphael Luzon was 13 when, in the aftermath of Israel’s Six day War, the then 4,000-strong Libyan Jewish population was forced out of the north African country.

Several members of his family, including six cousins, were killed before they could escape.


Peer bids to block Israelis from EU

By Marcus Dysch, August 5, 2010

Crossbench peer Lord Hylton has called on the European Union to bar Israelis from entering Europe without a visa.

He tabled a motion asking for a House of Lords debate shortly before the summer recess, advocating a ban on Israeli goods being sold duty-free.

The motion calls for the Lords "to resolve that the EU should use its powers to prevent access to the EU without a visa by Israeli citizens and to remove duty-free access for Israeli goods if Israeli breaches of international law continue".


Israel welcomes Kyrgyzstani refugees

By Jennifer Lipman, June 21, 2010

Israel has offered humanitarian support to a group of refugees from Kyrgyzstan.

Twelve people from the conflict zone in the south of the country are to be granted immediate Israeli citizenship in a welcoming ceremony.

There is currently large scale ethnic violence tearing the central Asian nation apart, with more than 2,000 people thought to have been killed and many more injured in fighting between the Uzbeks and Kyrgyz.


Activists concerned as Israel resumes expulsion of refugees

By Ben Lynfield, August 28, 2008

Israel has revived the practice of rapidly returning refugees crossing into its territory from Egypt for the first time since a group of 48 Africans went missing after being forcibly returned to Sinai last year by the IDF.

The IDF confirmed on Wednesday that fresh expulsions had been carried out but could not immediately say how many people were returned or what their nationalities were. The expulsions became public only after soldiers serving along the Egyptian border alerted refugee-rights activists of new orders to return refugees to Egypt.


Refugee’s 13-year fight opens floodgates for Kinder claims

By Simon Rocker, August 1, 2008

Dozens of former refugees from Nazi Germany are set to receive improved compensation after a 13-year campaign by a London man.

Hermann Hirschberger, 82, was one of the 10,000 children sent to Britain by their parents on the Kindertransport shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War.

This week his tenacity paid off when Britain said it would remove a legal obstacle which, until now, has prevented many of his fellow-Kinder from getting the full German payments.


Refugees to get a new voice

By Leon Symons, June 6, 2008

Jewish refugees who fled Arab countries in fear for their lives will be given a new voice at a forthcoming conference in London.

Justice for Jews from Arab Countries (JJAC) has until now been a loose part of the American-based Centre for
Middle East Peace.

That will change at a three-day founding congress in London that will see JJAC create its own elected leadership and infrastructure.


Child refugees from Nazism remembered at Yom Hashoah

May 16, 2008

Over 400 people from throughout the capital attended a Yom Hashoah commemoration at Pinner Synagogue, in particular marking the 70th anniversary of the British government’s agreement to accept child refugees from Nazism on the Kindertransports. Former Kinder Susi Bechhofer and Hermann Hirschberger spoke movingly about their experiences, pointing out that real heroes of the Kindertransports were the parents who let their children escape. Guests included senior London-based diplomats.


We have a moral duty to help asylum-seekers

By Helen Bamber, May 9, 2008

We, who know about survival, must make the case for refugees publicly I suppose one could say that my professional life began at the age of 20 when I entered the former German concentration camp of Bergen Belsen a few months after its liberation. I was the youngest member of the Jewish Relief Unit, a unit that was formed during the war and had been training its recruits to work for the rehabilitation of Holocaust survivors as soon as the war had ended.