Opinion |

How to Defeat the Expulsion

This article is not a collection of ideas but a recipe for victory. The goal is to block the option of forcible deportation of asylum seekers by acting on two fronts- Israel and Rwanda

Asaf Weitzen
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Asylum seekers wait outside Israel's Interior Ministry in Tel Aviv.
Asylum seekers wait outside Israel's Interior Ministry in Tel Aviv.Credit: meged gozani
Asaf Weitzen

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.

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.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott