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Israel Initiates A Refugee Removal Act

Courtesy+of+Nemo%0ATel+Aviv.+Israel%2C+has+a+concentrated+population+of+African+Refugees.
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Israel Initiates A Refugee Removal Act

Courtesy of Nemo
Tel Aviv. Israel, has a concentrated population of African Refugees.

Courtesy of Nemo Tel Aviv. Israel, has a concentrated population of African Refugees.

Courtesy of Nemo Tel Aviv. Israel, has a concentrated population of African Refugees.

Courtesy of Nemo Tel Aviv. Israel, has a concentrated population of African Refugees.

Alicia Naicker, News Editor

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In Israel, African refugees are now faced with deportation on a massive scale. According to Reuters, at least 20,000 illegal refugees were given notices to leave the country before April or face immediate jail time. The Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is offering immigrants affected by the deportation a $3,500 plane ticket to their homelands, where many escaped from social persecution, or another “safe destination” in Sub-Saharan Africa. The cause for this large-scale relocation comes from the claim that many of the immigrants are seeking work rather than asylum in the country. However, the current case has been met with widespread opposition.
As of late January, Many Israeli pilots in the country have protested by refusing to fly African immigrants out of the country. This movement has manifested after Zizim Community Action, an Israeli organization that is unaffiliated with the government, pleaded with pilots online to refuse to fly immigrants back to countries that are still considered dangerous. According to Newsweek, the chief executive of Zizim, Raluca Gena, urged many pilots to join their cause, saying “We call on Israeli pilots to follow their European counterparts and stand on the right side of history,” citing the 222 blocked deportations that took place in Germany by pilots fighting for a similar cause. Within a few weeks after the plea, national airline associations such as the Aviation Authority and the pilot’s union received more than 7,500 calls asking pilots to stand with the cause.
Civilians in Israel’s city of Herzliya have also joined the opposition, taking to the streets to protest in front of the Embassy of Rwanda. Together in early February, they joined forces on national television to urge Israel’s President Paul Kagame not to follow through with government orders to oust African refugees. According to CBS News, many brought posters with slogans such as “Kagame! We are not for sale,” referring to the $5,000 bonus receiving countries in Africa will gain for each immigrant that arrives. Other prominent figures seen in the protests include Holocaust survivors, who claim that the country has a responsibility to protect the safety of the immigrants. Soon after, on February 11, hundreds protested in Jerusalem to remove “a stain on our morality as a society and a nation,” says Har Zvi, one of the main organizers of the protests. Many offered support with signs saying, “love your brother as you love yourself,” reports The Times of Israel.
According to Israeli government estimates, roughly 40,000 immigrants currently live in Israel. Those who are exempt from the order include parents of underage children or those under social asylum. Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri claims that the immigrants who are facing immediate deportation are laborers who are looking for work in the country. He claimed in a general address that it is his personal responsibility “to make sure this small place can take in those who have nowhere else to go in the world. In an interview with the Washington Post, Deri claims that he will take responsibility to ensure that visas are issued to deported immigrants in receiving countries. In regard to businesses that will lose African ownership and management, he will have neighboring Palestinians step in, claiming that he has a greater “obligation to help the Palestinians than I do the Africans.” With his final decision already made, Deri addressed protesters across the country claiming, “Take care of the poor in your city before taking care of the poor in other cities.”
The majority of refugees arrived from Eritrea, a place that United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees claims is in a humanitarian crisis. Having faced criticism from the United Nations for its record of limited human rights, official documents from the agency claim that civilians face torture, forced labor, and sexual servitude to government officials. Sudan, another country involved in the immigration issue had massive genocides that were spurred by national war, prompting civilians to seek safety in Israel by crossing the border in Egypt. The Egypt-Israel barrier has since stopped illegal traffic into Israel as of 2017. The UNHCR assessed that 90% of immigrants arriving in Israel from both countries were genuine refugees.
Regardless with where the law stands, those who have been sent notices to leave the country must do so in a timely fashion or face immediate incarceration.

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Israel Initiates A Refugee Removal Act