Imagine that you have just encompassed an extensive, excruciating journey from the country of your birth; a country filled with disease, rape, starvation, and genocide. You approach your destination; a land that you have come to out of desperation, in hope that one day, the child at your side and the baby in your arms will come to live in a humane society such as this. Upon your arrival, you are burdened to find out that the land that you have journeyed to has turned against you. You are hunted down and herded off to a prison, where you will be detained for awhile and eventually sent back to your country.
Sadly, this is a typical situation many Africans seeking refuge in Israel face today. Yes, it is understandable that the problem of overpopulation and influxes of refugees is of great concern. Nonetheless, I still cannot bring myself to the realization that the Israeli government is cracking down on these refugees, when throughout history, Jews have felt the wrath of rejection from government to government, ultimately left with nowhere to go. Is deportation really necessary?
If Israel is concerned that taking in African refugees to live within its borders will be bad for the economy or the country in general, then why can’t Israel at least assist the refugees by helping them find a suitable living space elsewhere? Why doesn’t the Israeli government fund Hebrew classes and vocational programs for these immigrants so that they can have the ability to get jobs and be productive members of society? Deportation, especially of those who desperately seek refuge, does not sound like the voice of a westernized country that itself was created by immigrants.
Israel does not want to be a doormat for immigrants and refugees. Therefore, these refugees will likely be deported and returned to Africa. Sometimes, even walking a mile in someone else’s shoes just isn’t enough.
For more information on the current situation, check out: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/957885.html
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