Stop Intolerance and the Criminalization of Refugees and Displaced Persons in Israel!

Express our concern and dismay at what is happening in Israel. A law that considers them 'infiltrators' and a hostile population. And this is the situation faced by African refugees seeking political asylum in Israel. Hostility against the Africans led to protests and even in physical assaults and damage to housing or employment of refugees in Tel Aviv, one of the most warm on the face of intolerance. IRIN reported the story of Nigerian migrants who found themselves the target of launching Molotov cocktails at their apartment.

Migrants arriving in Israel (including many asylum seekers) pass from the Egyptian border and come mainly from two Sudans and Eritrea. To pay the Bedouins that traffic in human beings in the Sinai to spend a minimum of 3500 to peaks of about $ 60.000. Along the journey are not uncommon violence perpetrated by the traffickers, who are also coming to seize the migrants then asking families to pay a ransom.From different sources it was possible to reconstruct many aspects of the journeys of hope that can last more than a year and who depart from Juba, Khartoum and Asmara.

The scariest part is that crossing the border. The smugglers abandoned the migrants to their fate at about a hundred meters from the fenced border with Israel since then migrants become targets of the Egyptian police pursuing it, so brutal, the national security policy (the killing has been documented in this way of at least 33 migrants since 2007). For those who do not feel like, waiting behind him is the same gun traffickers that does not allow further thoughts.

As stated by Prime Minister Netanyahu, the "infiltrators threaten the security and the identity of the Jewish state." This is the concern that is motivating the construction of the wall on the border with Egypt, and the largest detention center in the Negev in the world, able to accommodate, they say, up to 10000 people. According to an Israeli defense official interviewed by Haaretz in March, but it would not be a prison: "Refugees (ed) can walk, have a space of 4.5 meters in their rooms. The common environment is very large "The fact is that in January this year, the Knesset approved an amendment to the 1954 Immigration, a meaningful title Prevention of Infiltration Law, which authorizes the detention for up to three years for anyone who is in Israel without a permit living room (which according to the text are precisely the 'infiltrators'). This may explain how late you are preparing the great center of the Negev. As highlighted by the report of the Feinstein International Center, the protection that Israel grants asylum seekers is limited to the guarantee to be repatriated to countries of origin, where their safety would be threatened, but no declines in any grant of rights or in an acknowledgment status of political refugee. Then a state of substantial insecurity and weakness, combined with a great legal uncertainty: it becomes difficult to distinguish between asylum seekers fleeing from situations of risk and migrants fleeing from poverty.

For the Prime Minister of Israel, 99% of Africans in the country would be represented by migrants in search of fortune and therefore not refugees. Data whose accuracy has not been proved, but not verified before accepting the migrants at the border, if not by them access to asylum. Conflicting data with those in Europe, 99% of the Eritrean and Sudanese refugees are recognized refugees in Europe. One problem with the termination of the wall will be further circumvented. At the expense of refugees, of course. Other government officials are these days showing his fist hard against the Africans: for example the case of Interior Minister Eli Yishai, who said: "why should we give him a job? I've had enough of the do-gooders, including politicians. The work would allow them to settle here, have children, and this offer would only attract hundreds of thousands. The Zionist dream is dying. In its annual report on human rights, including the Department of the United States has dealt with the case, concluding that Israel denies the human rights of African migrants, not recognizing refugee status and thus depriving them of access to basic services such as help healthcare. The report cites significant numbers to strengthen his case: the 4603 asylum applications in 2011, only one was approved, while 3692 were rejected and the rest remain pending.

There are about 60000 immigrants arrived in Israel in recent years, many of which are finished in the suburbs south of Tel Aviv, the place of the recent attacks. Here crammed into small rooms or, if less fortunate, sleeping outside. For example, on the lawns of the Levinsky Park. In this area each day hundreds of migrants waiting to be recruited for jobs that typically last a few days and are paid below the minimum required by law. But "every day, only one, two or four people are being taken," says one of them. And starting at ten thirty in the evening the park is filled with people who sleep where they can, including under slides and other games for children. Now, among them the fear snakes: they have well-molded head the memory of protests in recent days, when the Israelis marched in the street yelling "Blacks Out".

Of many of the tensions that you are experiencing is culpable policy: Likud Premier Netanyahu is closing ranks around in denouncing the presence of Africans as damaging to the identity of Israel, fully supporting policies on immigration and social exclusion .The results of this political wall (and others) have so far been no coincidence that racist chanting and Molotov cocktails. He said that Israel retained the refugees 'policy of no policy HAVING'. Now, however, seems to have one: intolerance.

Fr. Mussie Zerai

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