has just instructed Israeli troops not to volunteer or have anything to do with
the charity Elifelet, Citizens for Refugee Children who help refugee children. His deputy, Rabbi Eli Dahan, from the Habayit
Hayehudi (Jewish Home) religious settlers’ party demonstrates all the wisdom and
humanity one has come to expect of an Orthodox Rabbi. He has also been active in stopping any
contact between volunteer soldiers and African refugees. His purported reasons are that ‘charity
starts at home’ i.e. refugees aren’t at home.
There are enough poor Israeli Jews.
In fact African refugees are the poorest of the poor. They are no longer entitled even to basic
Israel protesters in support of the asylum seekers – a small minority – note the allusion to the holocaust and ‘fascist scum’ – both crimes in the Labour Party!
In what civilised
country would the children of refugees be classified as untouchables, criminals
in their own right by virtue of being ‘illegal’, unkosher? Where else would a government issue a decree
that those whom it controls are to have nothing to do with asylum seekers and
refugees? Even Cameron and Blair didn’t
go so far as to say that people should not have anything to do with refugees,
yet in Israel it is quite normal for the Defence Minister and his Deputy to
issue instructions that refugee children are literally beyond the pale. Israel once again demonstrates that it is the
most racist state in the world. Europe’s
treatment of refugees leaves a lot to be desired, but it shines in comparison
to Israel’s attitude to refugees.
African refugees watch a Purim festival
and hatred of refugees and asylum seekers in Israel is qualitatively different
to that in Europe. In the latter it is a
consequence of scapegoatism and pressure on social and welfare facilities. Nonetheless Europe has accepted hundreds of
thousands of refugees.
is not Britain or any normal Western society, despite pretensions to the
contrary. Refugees and asylum seekers
are literally hated by the majority of people.
Israel’s policy is not to accept any refugees. It hasn’t accepted one single refugee from
Syria, not a solitary one.
Former Brigadier-General Miri Regev, Israel’s ‘Culture Minister’
60,000 African refugees, mainly from Eritrea entered Israel ‘illegally’ in the
past decade across the Sinai desert. Thousands
of them are incarcerated in a detention camp, the largest such in the world,
Holot, in the Negev Desert. They are
termed ‘infiltrators’, a term used for Palestinian refugees who tried to
reenter Israel after 1948 after they had been expelled. ‘Infiltrators’ were shot on sight and were
the subject of demonisation. It is
instructive that that is how Zionists in Israel see today’s refugees.
to refugees relates to the Zionist nature of the Israeli state. Quite simply, Israeli society is overwhelmingly hostile to refugees because they are not Jewish. They dilute the Jewish gene pool and threaten
the Jewish demographic majority. As Prime
Minister Netanyahu said, non-Jewish immigrants threaten the ‘Jewish identity’
of the Israeli state. Israel
PM: illegal African immigrants threaten identity of Jewish state
Right-wing Israelis shout racist slogans at African asylum seekers
of their outreach programmes, conscripts into the Israeli Defence Force work
with charities and similar organisations.
Some members of the IDF decided to work with an Israeli charity called Elifelet,
Citizens for Refugee Children. If this
were to happen in most civilised countries, regardless of the controversies
over refugees and asylum seekers, it would be accepted as perfectly
normal. When I was a trustee for
Brighton Unemployed Workers Centre I started a series of outings for refugee
children each year and helped fundraise for them. Not once did we receive any adverse comments.
have settled in the south of Tel-Aviv where they have been subject to pogroms
and violent demonstrations by racist Israelis.
This, you understand, in liberal, gay friendly, pink washing Tel-Aviv. They are accused of having illegally entered Israel
because it is illegal to claim asylum in Israel. All refugees are, by definition,
illegal. Even worse though is the
attitude towards them. Culture Minister
Miri Regev called them a ‘cancer’ in
Israeli society. [see 52% of
Israeli Jews agree: African migrants are ‘a cancer’] When criticised for this comment, she then
apologised to cancer patients, for having compared them to asylum seekers.
anti-racist Israelis welcoming asylum seekers and telling racists to ‘fuck off’
think that such a comment would result in Regev’s dismissal from the Israeli government. However in Israel no Minister is ever
dismissed for racism because racism is seen as entirely normal in Israeli society. It is, after all, a Jewish supremacist state.
think that Israel, of all states, having taken in (and made a healthy profit
from) thousands of Holocaust survivors, might have understood what being a
refugee is. If it hadn’t been for the
fact that two-thirds of Germany’s half a million Jews were able to obtain
refugee status before 1939, then another 300,000 Jews would have been murdered
in Hitler’s gas chambers. Refugees from
Eritrea face torture, death and imprisonment if they are sent back. Israel’s only lesson from the Holocaust is
that Jews too are entitled to be racists.
The idea of offering shelter to a stranger or asylum to the persecuted
is an alien one in Israel.
Racist Israelis perpetuating the same slogans that used to be directed at Jews
recently visited Uganda with the express purpose of getting their dictator, Yoweri
Museveni, to take in the African refugees that Israel wants to dispose of. A similar agreement has been reached with
Paul Kgame President of Rwanda. Israel offers
money to those who agree to voluntary deportation, the alternative can be
indefinite detention. Three of those who
accepted, were murdered by ISIS when sent to Libya.
politicians and activists opposed to the refugees’ presence, this was like
giving aid and comfort to the enemy.
Hecht Aug 11, 2016 10:11 PM
Children wake up from a nap at the Unitaf day-care center in Tel Aviv’s Hatikva neighborhood, April 2, 2015. Ariel David
only hope that the IDF’s Chief Education Officer, Brig. Gen. Avner Paz-Tzuk,
will be on guard and cleanse the army from the moral and educational filth that
has stuck to it.
thank Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben Dahan for asking the chief of staff’s
office to end this disgrace. We should praise the commander of Training Base
15, who has already ordered his soldiers to have nothing to do with this
shameful pursuit is the soldiers’ occasional visits to the so-called “child
warehouses” – unlicensed “babysitter” facilities for refugee children in south
Tel Aviv. In the summer, 30 to 80 children up to age six inhabit each of these
“warehouses,” crowded in cubbyholes of 50 to 60 square meters.
soldiers play for two or three hours with a few dozen of the 3,000 children of
asylum seekers living in the city. About 15 of these children have died in the
last five years, and about half of them suffer some developmental disorder or
disability due to the squalid conditions they are being raised in.
those children must be punished severely. They must be denied any assistance.
began some two months ago, with a parliamentary question submitted by MK Amir
Ohana (Likud) in the Knesset. He asked, “Why
is the IDF encouraging illegal infiltration into Israel?” following
complaints by south Tel Aviv residents. At the same time the organization Students for South Tel Aviv gathered
pictures of soldiers playing with children, posted them on Facebook and tagged
a number of Knesset members, including Ohana.
Israeli Police harass refugees
month ago, Rabbi Yigal Levinstein, head of the pre-military academy in the West
Bank settlement of Eli, raised a public furor with his appalling utterances
about gay people, whom he called “perverts.”
He denounced the initiative in which flight cadets volunteered to paint a gay
community club in Tel Aviv. MK Ohana, a gay man and a father, apparently sees
no connection between these matters.
Ohana, and apparently most of the public, sees it, the gays’ market value in
the human stock exchange is higher than that of black children. Presumably the
very comparison will sound offensive to him.
answered the question for the cabinet, saying the soldiers’ visit to
asylum-seekers’ child centers was an isolated, one-time initiative and in
general the IDF was not involved in activity in south Tel Aviv.
last week more incriminating pictures surfaced, showing Intelligence Corps
cadets playing in a park with black children. After this, said one of the
asylum seekers’ leading opponents, Ben Dahan promised her that “these scenes will not be repeated.” He
even went to the chief of staff’s office and was told the army would examine
the list of organizations for which soldiers would be allowed do volunteer
“The poor of your city come first,” the
deputy minister said, explaining his objection to the soldiers’ activities with
the refugee children.
he said wasn’t accurate. The children of south Tel Aviv, who are offhandedly
called “infiltrators,” are the
poorest of the town’s poor. As far as Ben Dahan, Ohana and many others are
concerned, they’re probably not even included in the definition of “human beings,” because they’re not
Jewish, and worse – they’re black.
stopping IDF soldiers from volunteering for NGOs that look after the poor of
Ben Dahan’s town, i.e. the Jews, his own people? Are the black children robbing
so many resources during the two or three hours during which a few dozen
soldiers play ball with them, or push them on a swing in a park?
is part of the cabinet. The same cabinet that demonizes anyone who isn’t flesh
of its flesh – that is, Jewish, rightist, chauvinist. Thus the “liberal” Ohana
holds hands with the religious Ben Dahan and together with Yariv Levin, Miri
Regev, Ayelet Shaked and others, they are taking steps to cast out anyone
outside their immediate circle – including asylum seekers, people who try to
help asylum seekers, opponents of the occupation and liberals in general.
demonic tactic has now reached the point of absurdity: Even playing with
three-year-olds is a crime, a shocking spectacle that won’t be seen again
President Reuven Rivlin weighs in, saying ‘it’s not a sin
for soldiers to aid the children of desperate refugees.’
Gili Cohen Aug 12, 2016 2:33 AM
Foreign migrant workers children watch an acrobat perform during the
Purim festival in Tel Aviv, March 22, 2016.AP
The Israel Defense Forces is to issue a list of approved
organizations in which soldiers may volunteer, after a prominent right-wing
activist from south Tel Aviv complained that troops were playing with the
children of African asylum seekers in the area as part of the army’s
Last week the commander of the training base of the
Intelligence Corps suspended volunteer activities by his soldiers with the
charity Elifelet: Citizens for Refugee Children. The Israel Defense Forces
Spokesman termed the move a “local decision” by the base commander. Military
correspondent Carmela Menashe first reported this story on Israel Radio.
Army units regularly volunteer with the children of asylum
seekers through Elifelet. On Monday, soldiers from the Intelligence Corps came
to the south Tel Aviv Shapira neighborhood for games and other activities at a
Sheffi Paz, a prominent activist in efforts to remove asylum
seekers from south Tel Aviv, documented the visit. She later wrote on her
Facebook page that she had contacted Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan,
saying that he had promised her that “those scenes will not be repeated.”
After Ben-Dahan turned to the army chief of staff, the IDF
replied that the list of organizations where soldiers are permitted to
volunteer would be reviewed. According to Ben-Dahan, “The famous Jewish rule,
‘the poor of your own city first’ applies here.” On Wednesday President Reuven
Rivlin addressed the issue, saying: “It is no sin for IDF soldiers to extend
help to children of desperate refugees.”
In a statement, the IDF Spokesman’s Unit said the army is
committed to volunteer service and incorporates such activities into its
education programs. “In order to be more specific about protocol, the chief
education officer will soon define a list of organizations approved for
volunteering, in accordance with policy and orders.”