Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Row in Israel over ‘unwanted’ Africans

    Immigrants are being detained in camps, claim campaigners (Photo: AP)
    Immigrants are being detained in camps, claim campaigners (Photo: AP)

    The Israeli government is under attack over its treatment of 50,000 Africans who have entered the country across the porous border with Egypt.

    The brunt of the criticism comes, not from the usual Israel-bashers, but from civil rights advocates, re-enforced last week by an alliance of 14 American organisations representing liberal Jewish constituencies. Originating mainly from the Sudan and Eritrea, the unwanted immigrants say they are seeking asylum from persecution. Almost all who find employment end up in menial jobs while facing the constant threats of deportation or incarceration, critics say.

    Some 400 are currently in “open” detention in a camp near Hulot, in the southern Negev. They are allowed to leave for a few hours a day, but can be detained indefinitely while authorities consider their requests to stay.

    Leading The American protest is Ameinu, the successor organisation to the American Zionist Alliance, and well-regarded liberal groups at the American Jewish Committee and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS).

    Spokesmen cite both biblical injunctions and international opinion in urging the government to admit them or set up a fairer appeal system.

    The government argues that the “illegals” are primarily job seekers, and that their increasing number threatens to dilute the Jewish character of the state. As a counter move, authorities have offered financial inducements to the Africans to self-deport themselves voluntarily.

    Last month, thousands of Africans marched in the streets of Tel Aviv with signs and chants protesting at the threats of detention or deportation.

World

Security Council to hold emergency meeting over Jerusalem

Simon Rocker

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Security Council to hold emergency meeting over Jerusalem
UK News

'Tell your friends' about Israel business opportunities Bibi urges

Daniel Sugarman

Friday, November 3, 2017

'Tell your friends' about Israel business opportunities Bibi urges
World

Anthony Weiner jailed for 21 months

Michael Daventry

Monday, September 25, 2017

Anthony Weiner jailed for 21 months
News Features

Why Israel is not an apartheid state

Luke Akehurst

Monday, November 27, 2017

Why Israel is not an apartheid state
UK News

Priti Patel criticised for ‘secret’ Israel meetings

Rosa Doherty

Friday, November 3, 2017

Priti Patel criticised for ‘secret’ Israel meetings
World

Rabbi among Mexico quake victims

Daniel Sugarman

Monday, September 25, 2017

Rabbi among Mexico quake victims
Comment

There are a number of tipping points for Israel

Emily Thornberry

Thursday, November 16, 2017

There are a number of tipping points for Israel
Analysis

Israel concern that centenary is being downplay...

Anshel Pfeffer

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Israel concern that centenary is being downplay...
Israel

Concerns raised about Israel's anti-boycott law

Orlando Radice

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Concerns raised about Israel's anti-boycott law