A remarkable movement has sprung up in Israel opposing the Netanyahu Government’s proposal to kick all African asylum seekers out of the country. Writers, doctors, teachers, psychologists, airline pilots, cabin crew staff, voluntary organisations, rabbis and many others have come out vociferously and uncompromisingly against this latest racist plan. And a large group of rabbis has launched ‘Anne Frank Home Sanctuary’, a scheme netting huge numbers of volunteers willing to hide asylum seekers in their homes.
Jews around the world are also expressing their horror and opposition – even notorious Israel apologist Alan Dershowitz has dug out his old civil liberties credentials to tell the Israeli Government to think again.
Nearly 40,000 African asylum seekers have been given an ultimatum – get out, go to Rwanda, or go to jail indefinitely. But Israel’s already creaking and overloaded prison system will not be able to cope if asylum seekers choose the latter option – which most appear to be doing. So if the pressure can be kept up, the campaign to stop mass deportations is winnable.
Building and maintaining campaigning pressure costs vast amounts of time and money. Many Israeli voluntary organisations have stopped nearly all their other work in order to stand up for the asylum seekers and against racism. They desperately need our help. Please send donations as soon as possible to the British Shalom Salaam Trust making it clear the funds are for ‘Asylum seekers’. You can donate by bank transfer (the best way), CAF and cheque (for details see www.bsst.org.uk/donate/)
(For a recent round-up of the issues, go to the links in our News and Commentary posting today, and to Israel’s liberal newspaper Haaretz : https://www.haaretz.com/world-news/asia-and-australia/explained-israel-s-mass-deportation-of-asylum-seekers-1.5792570)