In February 2018, the Israeli government made good their long held position that African asylum seekers including migrants and refugees should return to Africa by issuing and distributing deportation notices to over 60,000 Africans in Israel. The new immigration policy initiative will see thousands of African who crossed into Israel seeking asylum deported to Africa despite growing condemnation from within the country. This will be the most drastic move taken by the Israeli government in an ongoing government led purge of Africans from the country. Government officials reiterated that those who will not heed the deportation will be jailed.
An Eviction Notice to Unnamed Country
The new war against Africans in Israel will see the over 60,000 asylum seekers repatriated to an unknown Africa country. Mostly from Sudan and Eritrea, the asylum seekers sought humanitarian refuge in the country following wars in their countries. The current predicament of these immigrants starkly contrasts to their experience years when they walked through Egypt-Israel boarder. However, since a fence was erected by Israeli government, over 20,000 immigrants have been forcefully ejected from country. Since moving into the country in their thousands, these asylum-seekers have become an important cog in the country’s economic. They have gladly taken up the low-paying jobs shunned by majority of Israelis as they try to eke a living away from the persecution and violence they faced in their home countries. However, they have faced discrimination and persecution from the Israeli government who immigration department has been reluctant to approve their applications for asylum. Less than one per cent of these asylum applications have been approved by the authorities leaving the fate of thousands of asylum seekers in limbo since the 1st April deadline indicated in the deportation notices is fast approaching.
Sweetened Deportation Letters: The Poisoned Chalices
The planned mass deportation of African immigrants from Israel by the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu-led government is indicative of the senior government leaders’ perception of them. While justifying the initiative, the prime minister fell short of racially discriminating the immigrants by holding their presence in the country threatened Jewish heritage and social fabric of the larger Israeli society. They have also been referred to as cancer by Israeli’s leadership.
In the deportation letters, the immigrants were offered up to $3,500 for their compliance with the 60-day notice. Additionally, the immigration department promised to settle them in another African country, which the officials did not indicate. However, the letter indicated that the unnamed country had an open door policy for immigrants. Some government officials had earlier indicated that they would be settled in Rwanda.