The struggle against the expulsion started some time ago. It’s not a matter of two sides of a problem. It’s a war of the sons of light against the sons of darkness, of good against evil. It’s also a struggle of the few (politically) against the many. And yet, we will triumph.
We’ll triumph because the facts are on our side. We’ll triumph because there’s no real logic to the expulsion. We’ll triumph because justice is with us and because the political rot that led to the wretched decision will evaporate the moment the right forces are aligned against it.
This article isn’t a collection of ideas but a recipe for victory. The goal is to block the option of forcible deportation to Rwanda by acting on two fronts – Rwanda and Israel.
Sixty-six million displaced people and refugees are looking for shelter and protection in the world. This is the greatest refugee and migration crisis since World War II. Fewer than 40,000 of them are in Israel; less than half a percent of the state’s population. Almost all the asylum-seekers are from Eritrea and Sudan – two states in which the violation of human rights is extreme and extensive. Accordingly, the global refugee recognition rate of people who have fled from them is high.
Since 2013, with the completion of the fence on Egypt’s border, there has been a miniscule number of asylum seekers entering Israel while many thousands have left and are continuing to leave annually, because it’s intolerable to be an asylum seeker in this country even without the expulsion. Hence Israel’s contribution to reducing the world refugee crisis is significantly smaller than the acceptable norm. Israel can – and therefore must – pull its weight and accept the asylum seekers in this country. This will lead to their gradual dispersion countrywide, making it no longer necessary to import foreign workers to replace the deportees. The only “harm” this would cause is to the pockets of a few “cronies,” who would lose their dubious commissions.
- Israel Aims to Expel African Asylum Seekers at Doubled Pace
- I, Too, Was a Refugee
- Eritrea's Leader Criticizes Israel Migrant Deportation Plan
Since 2013, the government has been imprisoning asylum seekers for long periods to make their lives here a misery. The High Court of Justice diminished the violation of asylum seekers’ rights, but hasn’t prevented it completely. The court even chose, for the present, to turn a blind eye to the malevolent “malfunctions” of the Interior Ministry, which hasn’t identified even one thousandth of the asylum seekers as refugees. Now Israel is seeking, under cover of secret agreements, to deport human beings to Rwanda and imprison them for the rest of their lives if they resist. This is unprecedented worldwide.
Let me make it clear: No other country deports people under an agreement that is completely obscured by both countries that are party to it. No country forces people to make the brutal choice between indefinite imprisonment and leaving for a strange country. None whatsoever.
What makes things even worse is Rwanda’s public, explicit denial of any deportation agreement with Israel, along with testimonies that those who go to Rwanda find themselves refugees again in a few days, beginning with being robbed and extorted and possibly ending with being sold into slavery in Libya or death by drowning in the Mediterranean Sea.
On the Rwanda front: There’s a reason for Rwanda’s insistence on the agreement’s secrecy as a condition for carrying it out. It is no accident that Rwanda denies the existence of such an agreement. Rwanda wants to make $5,000 for every person who lands in the country and perhaps get Israeli weapons as well. But sufficient public pressure will turn the story into an ongoing headache for Rwanda’s rulers and lead them to wash their hands of this agreement.
This week a Facebook group was formed, focusing on worldwide activity regarding Rwanda, and has already reached many destinations. Join it. Seriously, stop reading for a moment and join. Contact a few friends who live near their diplomatic delegations and ask them to join you. Together we’ll create a cumulative effect that will lead to stopping the deportation and mass arrests before they begin.
On the Israeli front. The countless petitions and letters flooding Israel in the past two weeks are only the beginning. We won’t settle for signing papers, but will do everything in our power and join one of the existing initiatives. Even at a personal price. Only thus can we ensure that the deportation fails before it begins. We will hide refugees in our apartments and fight with every non-violent means to ensure the asylum seekers’ welfare in this country. We will make sure we don’t turn our backs on the most important global effort in our generation. We’d rather live in an ongoing dispute with the corrupt officials in power than live the rest of our lives with the searing knowledge that we’d given up on justice. That crimes against humanity and against individual human beings were committed in our name – and with billions of our tax shekels. It really is in our hands. Not the court’s. Not the government’s. Ours. The public that objects to what is going on here. We’re setting a definite, uncompromising red line: we refuse to be part of a system that locks people up and deports them brutally under a covert agreement. And now, to work.