A judge in Beersheba yesterday acquitted two Israeli security officers of the lynching of Haftom Zarhum in 2015 because Palestinian attacks had “created an atmosphere of fear and panic.” So revenge against Palestinians is a justifiable motive for attacking an innocent person.
Meet May Golan, the new Likud Knesset member who declared she is “proud to be a racist!” to the crowd of anti-African refugee protesters in 2012. She’s the new darling of mainstream Likud leaders despite, or perhaps because of, her racism.
Like the 403 other Congo nationals in Israel, Elijah (not his real name) faces deportation any time after January 5. He says he won’t go. “I’m not safe back in Congo. The same people who forced me to run away from there are still in power.”
Maen Abu Hafez, 24, was born in Brazil to a Palestinian father from the Jenin Refugee Camp, and he has lived in the camp since he was 3 years old. However, Israel never issued his family an ID card establishing their residency in the West Bank and Abu Hafez is now facing deportation to Brazil after a routine traffic stop. Despite being Palestinians and living in an area under the control of the Palestinian Authority, the lives of the Abu Hafez family, and hundreds of families like them — a Palestinian married to a foreign spouse and their children — are in the hands of the Israeli government, who has control over the Palestinian population registry.
Israeli officials in the Population and Immigration authority have begun distributing an ‘information page’ for African refugees at the Holot desert detention center. The document is chilling. It does not name the third country the refugees would be deported to, but ends with a warning that “if you do not agree to leave voluntarily to a third country, enforcement and deportation steps will be taken against you.” Not mentioned in the document is the new rule that refusal to leave will entail indefinite incarceration. The document ends with a “best of luck” wish.
On Monday, the Israeli parliament passed an amendment to the ‘Prevention of Infiltration Act’ so that it could continue to coerce African refugees to be deported. In 2011, former Interior Minister Eli Yishai said that the mere presence of the refugees is an “existential threat”, and vowed to defend the “Jewish majority”. This law shows that in the Jewish State Zionism informs each and every detail of Israel’s policy.
Israel seeks to remove 40,000 African refugees by deportation. How convenient it is for Israel that so many countries in the West are now governed by right-wing, white-supremacist, anti-immigrant and fascist forces. Herzl knew this over a century ago, where he noted, “The anti-Semites will become our most dependable friends, the anti-Semitic countries our allies”.
“Have you gone mad?” Tamar Zandberg of Meretz challenged Labor after it supported Netanyahu’s plan to deport 40,000 African refugees. But Avi Gabbay, the Labor leader, is pushing the faction to the right in order to meet the Israeli public where they stand, in racist policies.
Israel will begin deporting 20,000 African asylum seekers, most from Eritrea and South Sudan, to an unnamed third party country “without their consent,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Sunday in a cabinet meeting. According to Israeli media the refugees will be sent to Rwanda and Israel will pay the African nation $5,000 per head.
In the wake of an Israeli Supreme court decision limiting to some degree the state’s ability to imprison refugees indefinitely and to send them by force to a third country, Israeli leaders incite against African refugees. “Those families and their children” have taken over south Tel Aviv from real Israelis, says Interior Minister Aryeh Deri.