More than 50 restaurants and cafes in the Tel Aviv area are dedicating tonight, Sunday, to African asylum seekers in Israel, who have been intermittently striking for recognition of their plight and rights.
Many of the strikers work in the Israeli food industry, in a host of menial jobs, such as dish-washing and cleaning.
Tonight's central event starts at 10 PM featuring an ensemble of refugees singing along with Israeli artists. This will be taking place at 7 Levontin Street, Tel Aviv: entrance is free.
Among the participating restaurants are Eyal Shani's Miznon, which will be offering African dishes tonight. Casino San Remo in Jaffa (which isn't a casino, it's a restaurant – gambling is illegal in Israel) is serving traditional Eritrean fare, including the trademark spongy injera flatbread with chicken, or a vegetarian version with lentils. Margoza Bar is serving variations on African and Eritrean foods.
Participating venues in the greater Tel Aviv area, each marking the event a different way, include:
Casino San Remo
Haozen Hashlishit (The Third Ear),
Iceberg Ice Cream,
Joz ve Loz,
Ras en Hanut,
The Little Prince,
Tolaat Sfrarim (Book Worm),
The strikes had to end quickly as menial jobs pay little and the workers needed to stay on the job to support their families, the organizers explained; another reason for a hiatus was respect for the death of former prime minister Ariel Sharon. While they lasted, tens of thousands of Africans held demonstrations in central Tel Aviv, demanding that the new addition to the Anti-Infiltration Law be nullified, that arrests cease, and that asylum requests be revisited.
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