Israel mistreats Africans, who welcomed Jews immigrants once upon a time in history.
Serawr Information and Research Centre
27 January 2018
The flow of Jewish immigrants entering Britain that started from 1880 onwards, produced a wave of working-class anti-Semitism in the largest settlements area of London. The Jewish immigrants were accused of undercutting the British workers in the labour market; which led the Unions Congress to demand legislation to prohibit the immigration of destitute foreigners in 1892 and 1894.
This was a useful card to play for the working class vote, therefore, the Unions Government introduced a bill in 1904.
Why is this ancient history relevant? Fast forward to the present day, Israel, a nation of refugees, is telling 38000 African migrants in Israel to leave or face a lifetime in prison. Does the very hostile policy on the African immigrants serve Israel’s national interest? How big of a problem is it anyway?
First, as the Israel government documented, the construction of barriers alone the border has practically solved the problem. No single migrant successfully crossed into Israel in 2017. There were also only handful of people who crossed successfully in the previous few years.
Therefore, unlike how this problem has been blown out of proportion, the issue is a matter of accommodating the 38000 people, or create a human misery by kicking them out to other poor countries.
Instead of exploiting this issue for temporary political gains, and repeating the same humiliating suffering that the Jewish people endured, on Africans, the Israeli government could use this to show the world the values of caring for others that are fundamental Jewish culture.
In Britain, reason and the values of moral obligations to the vulnerable prevailed; and the many Jewish immigrants, who made Britain their home, turned out to be great assets to the country. Similarly, the Africans can even be greater assets to Israel.
Many of the African immigrants are from Eritrea and Sudan. The Israeli government can refer to the great contributions that the Eritrean immigrants have made to the European countries and North America, dating back to well over half a century. Eritreans are well recognised for their outstanding work ethic, kindness, honesty and law-abiding nature across these countries.
The irony is that Israel was not a destination for African immigrants until mid-2000s. Israel was viewed as a war zone; and a country where only Jewish people can live. How did Israel become a major destination then?
The Israel government and the media do not address this question. The fact is, it was the Israeli government that literary extended the invitation in the early years. The Israel government started giving six-months working visa for Eritreans on arrival. Although this generosity was only given to Eritreans, people from differer countries some claiming to be Eritreans made their way to Israel.
Logically, the follow up question is why Eritreans? After Ethiopia’s two-year-long military adventure on Eritrea failed, and legal concussion of the Eritrea-Ethiopia border problem was reached; the policy the USA and its ally Ethiopia, pursued, was holding Eritrea a hostage of the no-war-no-peace situation in a hope it would collapse from internal economic and political pressures.
One of the main targets of this policy was, degrading Eritrea’s military capability to defend itself. Using its massive influence at the UN, the USA imposed an arms embargo on Eritrea. For a small country of five million people that is defending itself from a large country with a 100 million population, manpower holds a strategic role. Therefore, draining Eritrea’s manpower, became the main target.
The strategy was not only to weaken the Eritrean army, but also to have a regime change in Eritrea. Because of its geographical proximity, Israel was chosen as the main platform for organising anti Eritrean government movement.
The USA pressured its allies, including Israel to open their doors for Eritreans by a blanket acceptance of all Eritreans as refugees. Israel was one of the countries that opened its arms for Eritreans in a such way a decade ago.
In fact, Israel was ill-prepared for it. The country did not have a procedure or a system for asylum seeking. Much of the process was handled by the U.N. High Commissioner, an organisation,which the USA used to implement this policy.
The involvement of the USA in encouraging the Eritrean youth to leave their country, was informally known; however, it was the Wikileaks’ documents that revealed the extent of its deep involvement.
The Africans in Israel are not infiltrators, as the Prime Minster of Israel likes to call them. They are the collateral damages of USA’s foreign policy on Africa that has wreaked havoc in their lives.
The voices of reason in the Jewish community must prevail. If history is anything to go by, what goes around comes around.
Eritrea became a home for many Jews, who immigrated to Eritrea in the late 19th century. It was nothing like what Eritreans and other Africans are experiencing Israel now. They were welcomed and enjoyed great relations with all Eritreans.
The Israeli government must reconsider the policy, which stands against everything that Israel should stand for.