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African refugees

Introducing May Golan: Israel’s new openly racist lawmaker

Jonathan Ofir on
MK-elect May Golan at the Likud primary in Tel Aviv, February 2019.

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.

‘Worst fear came true’: Israel detains young Palestinian man for 20 months in effort to expel him to Brazil

Yumna Patel on
Maen Abu Hafez, 24, has been held for 20 months in Israeli detention and is being threatened with deportation to Brazil.

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.

Israel’s expulsion of African refugees – betrayal with a kiss

Jonathan Ofir on

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.

Fear, the African refugees and the cost of maintaining Israel as a Jewish state

Neta Golan on
An Israeli mob setting garbage on fire and singing "The people wants the Africans to be burned" after a protest against African refugees and asylum seekers in Tel Aviv's Hatikva neighborhood on May 23, 2012. (Photo: Activestills)

Neta Golan was shocked, but not surprised, by the images of a Tel Aviv mob attacking African immigrants. As an Israeli, she was familiar with fear and anger being directed towards non-Jews in Israel and the occupied territories. She says this fear is the result of a never-ending demographic war seen as essential for maintaining Israel as a Jewish state.