Black People : Israeli town rallies against African refugees

Amnat77

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James Anei was a 16-year-old boy when he witnessed a massacre carried out by militias loyal to the government in Khartoum, Sudan's capital. Terrified, he fled his village in South Sudan.

"You see someone dying in front of you and you know this guy and you know his parents and so you run ... because you fear that you will be killed too," Anei said.

"I find myself in another place," he added, explaining that he was so frightened that he did not know he had been running until he stopped.

Once he realised he had escaped, Anei headed north. That year, 1999, he arrived in Khartoum. There, he managed to scrape together a living and go to school. Anei remembers crying sometimes when he saw his classmates with their mothers and fathers - not knowing whether his own parents had survived the massacre.

Eventually, Anei went on to Egypt. But, because he did not feel safe there, he crossed into Israel in 2007.

With a smile, Anei recalls the difference between Egypt and Israel he felt the moment he entered the country. "We received water and blankets," he said. "They made us feel at home."

But Anei was one of the earliest African migrants to arrive in Israel, and things have changed dramatically since then.

The shift is most obvious, perhaps, in Eilat, the small city in the south where Anei and several thousand African asylum seekers live. Here, refugees find their children barred from municipal schools. And in a move that has alarmed both human rights organisations and the local branch of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the municipality has hung red flags throughout the city as part of a municipal campaign against African migrants - initiated by employees of the state of Israel and financed with public funds.

The flags are part of a campaign called "protect our homes", hung by residents under the auspicies of local solidarity against the migrants.

Job and rape issues

I visited Eilat in the wake of several media reports that the 1,500 red flags had been taken down. I found that they were not removed but reduced; some were replaced by Israeli and municipal flags.

And the sentiments that gave rise to the campaign are still running high.

Shimon Hajiani, the 19-year-old son of Jewish immigrants who came to Israel from Morocco and France, remarks that the state needs to "throw" African refugees out.

"They make problems," he says.

When asked what those problems are, Hajiani answers: "Rape and robbery. Also they work in the hotels instead of Israelis."

Eilat's economy is dependent on tourism. While many African asylum seekers are employed in local hotels, the commonly held idea that they have "stolen" jobs is untrue. These are jobs that Israelis do not want - which is one reason why government initiatives encouraging Israelis to move to Eilat and work in this sector have failed.

Other interviewees repeated Hajiani's claim that African refugees are robbing Israelis and raping Jewish woman. But according to statistics compiled by the Knesset, asylum seekers have a lower crime rate than Israelis. And in fact, as the community of asylum seekers grows, their crime rate goes down.

http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/features/2011/04/2011412102514350535.html
 

Amnat77

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''Some Jewish critics of Israel's treatment of African asylum say that their history as refugees - Biblical and historical, ancient and modern - means that the Jewish people have a special responsibility to help those who face discrimination and genocide.''
 

largo

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Well, if that was actually their history.

''Some Jewish critics of Israel's treatment of African asylum say that their history as refugees - Biblical and historical, ancient and modern - means that the Jewish people have a special responsibility to help those who face discrimination and genocide.''
 

Amnat77

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Well, if that was actually their history.

True, but they were HATED everywhere they went in Europe, then there is the holocaust... so you would think they of all people would be more empathetic..how soon people forget...

Karma is a B$tch though...

i find it ironic that same propaganda European whites used to smear their names, is being used against Africans in Israel.
 

largo

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Tis true.

True, but they were HATED everywhere they went in Europe, then there is the holocaust... so you would think they of all people would be more empathetic..how soon people forget...

Karma is a B$tch though...

i find it ironic that same propaganda European whites used to smear their names, is being used against Africans in Israel.
 

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