Out Loud

  • Once More The Israeli Government Threatens To Deport Eritreans To A Third Country In Africa

    05 June 2013

    Monday, June 03, 2013

    By Sigal Rozen, Public Policy Coordinator, Hotline for Migrant Workers

    In a hearing held by the HCJ yesterday (Sunday) with regards to the NGOs petition against the Anti Infiltration Law, Adv. Yochi Gnesin, representing the government, claimed that there is already an agreement with a third country that agreed to accept the Eritreans from Israel. She refused to reveal the name of the country or the conditions under which the Eritreans will be sent there.

    Eritreans calling from Saharonim prison told the Hotline for Migrant Workers today that they were gathered by the authorities in prison and were told to be prepared since a third country was found for them in Africa. They were not told which country.

    The decision issued by the HCJ yesterday, ordering the State to provide an affidavit within a week about the third country to which the refugees would be deported and all the relevant details regarding this agreement, unique in its kind. A week after the State's affidavit, we (the NGOs) will need to supply the Court with a short statement
    http://elyon2.court.gov.il/files/12/460/071/S22/12071460.S22.htm (Hebrew)

    According to an article by Barak Ravid and Amos Harel today: Unnamed senior official confirming that an agreement has been reached with some country to accept the refugees, says the disastrous deportation to South Sudan is the model:

    Article by Or Kashti about this offer:

    It should be mentioned that toward the end of the hearing at the HCJ yesterday, Adv. Gnesin stated that the agreement between Israel and the third country will remain secret "because all the countries of the world want an agreement like this, but it seems that we have something to offer that other countries do not" (this is not an exact quote, but a paraphrase).


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  • Building Civic Power

    23 May 2013

    Any activity that reflects the interests of citizens is a strength. This is what at the end of the day creates power instead of leaving it in the hands of decision-makers who tend to see numbers and not people.

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  • From Boston to Jerusalem

    25 April 2013

    From Boston to Jerusalem

    As everyone the world over knows, last week was a very hard week for the Boston region where we are quite unaccustomed to suffering from acts of terror. I live in Watertown, MA, ground zero for the final manhunt for the perpetrators of the bombing and other crimes. The last gun battle, essentially on Kabbalat Shabbat, was minutes from my home. The silver lining to the senseless violence and suffering is the feeling of solidarity and support Bostonians felt. We all used social media to react in real time to updates on the investigation and manhunt. I was personally touched by the outpouring from friends, family, and colleagues from around the world, including from so many of my co-workers, both Jewish and Arab, in Israel.

    However, the aftermath has left us with some issues to ponder that will not resolve quickly.

    First, our cousins in Israel, sadly, have much more experience with this sort of trauma than we do. We got a hint of this as we made the transition from the Boston Marathon bombings, which coincidentally took place on Memorial Day, Yom HaZikaron, to Independence Day, Yom Ha’atzmaut, the following day. Annually, Israelis make the shift between solemnity and joy, shared sacrifice and national liberation. With last Monday’s events still fresh, the shift to Yom Ha’atzmaut was particularly hard this year for Boston Jews. Will this added dimension better help us understand the Israeli experience? What will Yom Ha’atzmaut feel like next year for us?

    Second, people are beginning to question whether locking down much of the region was necessary. I personally don’t quibble with the decision. I was glad to have my family close at hand last Friday. And as one NIF board member suggested recently, Boston is really a small town. We all know each other, so it made sense that we would all, in unison, obey the call to stay out of the way as if part of a small town. However, another Watertown family interviewed in Ha’aretz suggested that they could not imagine Israel shutting down a major city to hunt down one nineteen-year-old kid. What is the right balance? Hopefully, we will not have to learn the right answer for ourselves the hard way in the future.

    Lastly, the region felt relief and joy when the surviving brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was captured. The accolades heaped on our first responders were gratifying and touching to listen to. A friend of mine brought his kindergarten twins to the Watertown police station to thank the police in person. A marathoner walked in at that moment to deliver her medal to show her appreciation. Now that the euphoria is dying down, what implications will last week’s events have on social policy? Will it harden our hearts or open them? Will immigration reform suffer? Will civil rights be curtailed in the name of security? Will we act in kinship with those who endure terror daily around the world?

    All of us in Boston are grateful that chapter one of this nightmare has concluded. The healing process is only beginning. As we look to move forward, it helps me to think of Rabbi Ronne Friedman of Temple Israel’s words at the Boston interfaith service attended by President Obama. Ronne quoted Rabbi Nachman of Breslav who said, “The entire world is a narrow bridge, but the important principle is to transcend, somehow, your fear.”

    Stephane Acel-Green
    New England Regional Director

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  • Freedom

    08 May 2013

    On Monday, May 6, 2013, nine Eritrean female asylum seekers and their 10 children were released from a detention center in Israel. The asylum seekers had not committed any crime, but were facing indefinite detention for entering Israel without proper documentation.

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  • Women of the Wall Confernce Call

    15 April 2013

    On Friday, April 12, Anat Hoffman briefed NIF supporters who had signed this statement in support of Women of the Wall's struggle for religious freedom and equal rights.

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Israel's dilemma: Who can be an Israeli?

By Daniel Sokatch and David N. Myers

13 January 2014