Letters to the Editor: Boycott Israel Over Refugees, Israel's 'Thought Police'

African migrants clash with Israeli soldiers close to the Holot detention center in southern Israel, June 27, 2014
Tsafrir Abayov/AP

Boycott Israel over refugees

In response to “Netanyahu suspends new deal with UN to deport asylum seekers,” April 3

I do not recognize my birthplace and childhood home. I was raised with the narrative that Israel was a safe haven for persecuted Jews from around the world – a sanctuary.

What I see now is a racist, cruel and destructive country intent on punishing refugees, demonizing indigenous Palestinians and imbued with a messianic zealotry I would ascribe to totalitarian regimes

This is not my Israel. Like so many other disillusioned Zionists, I grabbed a piece of hope right after Passover and Easter, when Prime Minister Netanyahu announced he had reached a deal to allow the African refugee community to stay or be resettled in the West.

A few hours later, he suddenly announced he was rescinding this compromise, and would again be looking at deporting these refugees forcibly.

This is just another reflection of the heartlessness that is now sewn into the cultural fabric of Israel. But words will do little to wake up a sleeping, complicit nation. So I urge all readers to do the right thing and boycott, divest and support sanctions on Israel.

Avi Zer-Aviv

Toronto

Let refugees rebuild south Tel Aviv

Prime Minister Netanyahu could very well consider the constructive advice of his ministers, present and past, before conceiving an agreement on the asylum seekers.

The problem is that the dozen who have well-defined plans on how to get rid of these people, like the minister of economy and industry, Eli Cohen, and former minister Eli Yishai (who proposed, respectively, to increase the mandatory deposit on their salaries so they will leave sooner, or put them in prison if they don’t), didn’t consider minor aspects of that strategy.

Migrants are not allowed to work, and have nowhere to go. The blindness to the refugees’ fate goes hand in hand with the complete indifference to the fate of south Tel Aviv residents.

If they care, beginning with Netanyahu, the best part of an agreement would be to relieve the suffering of the south Tel Aviv residents by eradicating the sore that is the Central Bus Station, and build a user-friendly environment for residents, commuters and buses.

The station should be erased, a major new complex could be built in its place, and this project could be carried out mainly by construction workers recruited from Sudanese and Eritrean asylum seekers.

A new encampment should be built for them, outside the urban area of Tel Aviv, and for a few years thousands of refugees will have a home, an income, and became skilled workers, with job skills to serve them wherever fate takes them.

Dr. Ruth Sharon

Rehovot

Lies, damn lies and Israeli promises

In response to “PM’s six-hour stint as a true leader” and “The refugees’ fight is far from over” (Chemi Shalev and Mutasim Ali, respectively, Opinion, April 4

What a wonderful display of political flip-flop, showing that the promises of the Israeli regime are a crock. I would not place any more value on it. If the populace supports this sort of leadership for the enterprise that is Israel, their trustworthiness is also much in doubt.

You have a editorial page with a litany of this flip-flopping on promises and agreements. This behavior makes me ashamed of my citizenship here. Is this what they see as proper Jewish behavior? It is a disgusting role model. The only thing worth discussing is which way to roll it out of here.

A radio show host had to apologize for expressing his opinion on his private Facebook page. The Thought Police are doing well instead of being sent to the bottom of a well.

Lie about this and lie about that. There are lies, damn lies and Israeli promises.

Zeev Freed

Be’er Sheva

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