Israel bartering African refugees for weapons

Israel/Palestine
on 23 Comments
package
Package Deal (Graphic: David Sheen)

Two mind-wrenching reports out of Israel today. In their desperation to rid themselves of African asylum seekers Israel is bargaining them away with offers of weapons.

Ynet: Israel to trade arms for migrants with African countries

Senior official says deal nearly sealed with African countries to take tens of thousands of migrants in exchange for arms, military training,

Israel is close to signing a deal with several African countries who will accept tens of thousands of African migrants currently residing in Israel in exchange for a benefits package including security, economic and agricultural aid.

According to a senior official, the security aid will include Israeli arms and military knowledge and training.

Such deals are close to being finalized with at least three African countries, the official said. Israel’s chief negotiator in the talks was Hagai Hadas, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s special advisor.

Another Israeli official added that Israel continues to explore the possibility of returning North Sudanese and Eritrean migrants to their home countries.

Days after Israel’s Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein approved a new protocol of “voluntary return” for African asylum seekers incarcerated held in detention facilities by Israel, 14 Eritrea nationals boarded a plane at Ben Gurion headed back to their country of origin after signing “consent forms”. Haaretz quoted one Eritrean held in Saharonim, a prison in Israel where African migrants (including children) are held without trial, “I’d rather die in my country than be imprisoned forever in Israel”.

Haaretz: Defying the UN, Israel deports 14 Eritreans who ‘volunteered’ to return to their homeland:

The protocol contradicts the position of the United Nations and human rights groups, according to which an individual cannot legally consent to repatriation while in custody. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees has explicitly said that someone being asked to choose between lengthy imprisonment and returning to his country, at the risk of losing his life, cannot be said to be returning “voluntarily.”
……

Human rights organizations say the border agency recently began pressuring imprisoned migrants to consent to “voluntary” repatriation, and that imprisoned asylum seekers are taken to the Eritrean Embassy in Tel Aviv on a daily basis to fill out the forms. Imprisoned asylum seekers say Population, Immigration and Border Authority officials urge them to sign the documents, saying the alternative is indefinite detention.

…………

Amnesty International Israel is also concerned that the migrants’ consent was not given entirely of their free will, “taking into account that they are deprived of due, efficient processing of their asylum requests, that there are harsh steps taken against asylum seekers, and racist declarations inciting xenophobia, often made by publicly elected officials.”

Sara Robinson, Refugee Rights Coordinator at Amnesty Israel, says, “If the asylum seekers must choose between indefinite incarceration and jail and torture in Eritrea – this is not a free choice. The Israeli government must release the asylum seekers from custody and examine who is due international protection according to international standards. Israel must begin respecting the rights of refugees and asylum seekers, and start by releasing them from detention facilities where they were placed without trial.”

On June 23 asylum seekers “detained” at Saharonim declared a hunger strike.

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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23 Responses

  1. Woody Tanaka
    July 15, 2013, 12:48 pm

    Is anyone surprised that a state without any noticable sense of humanity and morality against non-Jews from the land they covet would act any differently when it comes from non-Jews from other lands??

    • Annie Robbins
      July 15, 2013, 1:04 pm

      i was surprised woody. i’ll never get used to any of this. david’s graphic is spot on “…we’ll give you lots of weapons so you can kill more Africans!”

      • Hostage
        July 15, 2013, 2:01 pm

        david’s graphic is spot on

        No there’s still something missing from this picture. Netanyahu would never have a smile that big on his face if his government were picking up the tab for the weapons. There’s still probably a lot more than meets the eye to this scheme.

      • Woody Tanaka
        July 15, 2013, 2:25 pm

        I think it’s because you’re a fundamentally decent person who thinks that others are, as well. I labor under no such conceptions about this criminal gang who runs the apartheid state.

      • Shingo
        July 15, 2013, 5:32 pm

        Netanyahu would never have a smile that big on his face if his government were picking up the tab for the weapons.

        I thought the same thing Hostage. No doubt this will be earmarked as supplemental or emergency aid from Washington. I bet Bibbi will even make a profit on the deal.

      • CloakAndDagger
        July 15, 2013, 5:41 pm

        @ Hostage

        As usual, we are probably picking up the tab.

      • CloakAndDagger
        July 15, 2013, 8:03 pm

        According to Haaretz, there are 6800 arms exporters in Israel! Remind me again why we need to send them weapons?

        link to haaretz.com

    • seafoid
      July 15, 2013, 2:32 pm

      Expect the usual israeli whining about countries who refused entry to jewish refugees in the 1940s while defending this policy.
      Realpolitik cuts both ways.

  2. Justpassingby
    July 15, 2013, 3:07 pm

    This man loves violence and war it seems, past day an israeli drone crashed on the egyptian border, today they provoked lebanon with Another drone and at the same time they threat to attack Iran.

    Lunatic state.

  3. justicewillprevail
    July 15, 2013, 3:59 pm

    Dr Strangelove rides again. He is beyond satire, every utterance is so dementedly war-thirsty. But a war he hopes not a single Israeli will have to fight, when they have the fall guys to do it for them. This is what passes for ‘normal’ in the Teletubby world of Israelistan.

  4. American
    July 15, 2013, 4:04 pm

    I am not surprised at anything anymore that the zios do.
    Satanic as Kovel said or the old ‘banality of evil’…call it whatever.
    Most telling of their sickness is they dont even try to hide deals like this from the public because they dont see anything wrong with it.
    The US at least ‘tries’ to hide it’s more satanic deals because they at least understand people will be replused by them.

    • Shingo
      July 15, 2013, 5:38 pm

      I agree Anerican.

      I’m just editing for Obama and the Black Caucus to commend Bibbi on his statesman like leadership.

    • Chu
      July 16, 2013, 2:40 pm

      ‘they don’t see anything wrong with it.’
      that’s a good point, as Shingo said Bibbi will likely
      somehow profit from this no doubt. Their
      gov’t acts as one vast immoral corporate state, whose only concern
      is making the Zionist enterprise grow, no matter who
      it damages.

  5. mcohen
    July 15, 2013, 6:30 pm

    “Another Israeli official added that Israel continues to explore the possibility of returning North Sudanese and Eritrean migrants to their home countries.”

    most of the African immigrants are muslim,part of a broader stratergy to swamp Israel to gain a muslim majority.
    these refugees should be sent on to texas where they will receive a better welcome
    from George both jnr and snr

    • Annie Robbins
      July 15, 2013, 6:42 pm

      part of a broader stratergy to swamp Israel to gain a muslim majority.

      how illuminating. are palestinians in collaboration with the african immigrants on this broad strategy?

    • thankgodimatheist
      July 15, 2013, 11:24 pm

      “most of the African immigrants are muslim,part of a broader stratergy to swamp Israel to gain a muslim majority.”

      You’re clearly not well in the head. Now pray tell. Who designed such a strategy and where? And do you think Israel’s treatment of those refugees would be any different were they to be Christian?

    • Woody Tanaka
      July 16, 2013, 8:35 am

      Uggh. What kind of a vile bigot sees people fleeing for their lives as an offensive manueuver?

  6. Light
    July 15, 2013, 7:06 pm

    …most of the African immigrants are muslim, part of a broader strategy to swamp Israel to gain a muslim majority.

    link to en.wikipedia.org

    “Psychological projection was conceptualized by Sigmund Freud in the 1890s as a defense mechanism in which a person unconsciously rejects his or her own unacceptable attributes by ascribing them to objects or persons in the outside world.”

    “We’ll make a pastrami sandwich of them. We’ll insert a strip of Jewish settlement in between Palestinians, and then another strip of Jewish settlement, right across the West Bank, so that in 25 years time, neither the United Nations, nor the United States, nobody will be able to tear it apart.”

    Ariel Sharon, 1973

  7. just
    July 15, 2013, 8:38 pm

    There is nothing at all noble about present day Israel. Ths ere are wonderful Jewish people all over the world, but Israel’s government and their Zionist adherents are just wrong, wrong, wrong with their heinous behavior toward those not in the clan.

    Nothing, nada, zip, zero. How in the world they get away with it is largely our fault and we bear responsibility.

    • just
      July 15, 2013, 8:51 pm

      (At first glance, I thought that the photo was of John McCain. LOL– two very dangerous, very warmongering nincompoops!)

  8. RoHa
    July 15, 2013, 8:42 pm

    Sounds like a win-win deal to me. Israel gets rid of the unwanted Africans, the foul governments get more arms, and the dead Africans don’t have to live in their ghastly countries any more.

    How could anyone possibly object to that?

  9. Brown-Eyed Girl
    July 16, 2013, 12:47 am

    Can you imagine the uproar that would happen if a European country, say Spain, Italy, or Greece offered illegal African migrants in their countries money to leave and offered African governments weapons and money in exchange for taking them back? The European commissions on human rights would stop the programs dead in their tracks.

    Can you imagine the uproar that would ensue if Arizona governor Jan Brewer and Sheriff Joe offered illegal Mexican migrants money to go home? The Obama administration would shut that down in a heartbeat, and the liberal public–including liberal Jews, like mayor Bloomberg, would be outraged by the racism. Since it is Israel doing it……well, we have to understand that they are trying to defend them selves as a Jewish state and a democracy and they cannot be “swamped” with non-Jewish immigrants. However, I just can’t help but wonder how our Black president, son of a Kenyan immigrant would feel about what “Bibi” is doing.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      July 16, 2013, 12:28 pm

      ”Can you imagine the uproar that would happen if a European country, say Spain, Italy, or Greece offered illegal African migrants in their countries money to leave and offered African governments weapons and money in exchange for taking them back?”

      Not to defend Israel in any way, but I’m pretty sure Denmark recently introduced – or proposed – a scheme whereby non-EU immigrants would be paid to leave. Don’t remember any dodgy arms sales to sweeten the deal, however.

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