German racist knife attack on war refugees


This video from Germany says about itself:

“There is no proper housing, no good life,” a Syrian refugee named Farouk told VICE News correspondent Milène Larsson in Berlin. “There is no good food, no work. Some people have to wait for a year to start learning German. People say it’s our fault, no.”

… “Our rooms are very cramped,” aid. “No money, nothing that Farouk swe can build a life with. There is nothing that gives us hope for tomorrow.”

This segment originally aired Nov. 14, 2016, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

German man attacks three immigrants with knife ‘because he was angry about Merkel’s refugee policy

Afghan teenager seriously wounded in the city of Heilbronn

Jon Sharman

Tuesday 20 February 2018

A drunk pensioner attacked and wounded three migrants with a knife because he was angry about the German government’s refugee policy, officials believe.

Prosecutors in southwest Germany said the 70-year-old man wanted to send a message with the assault over the weekend.

The man, who has German and Russian citizenship, seriously wounded a 17-year-old Afghan in the attack near a church in the city of Heilbronn.

A 25-year-old Iraqi and a 19-year-old Syrian were also lightly injured.

German and Russian citizenship? That looks like the perpetrator is himself an immigrant from Russia. There are more examples of people who used to belong to vulnerable groups, who after becoming less vulnerable ‘pull up the ladder‘ against still vulnerable people. However, most of these do not go as far as this violent crime against refugees from the bloody Afghan, Iraqi and Syrian wars.

Bettina Joerg, spokeswoman for Heilbronn prosecutors, said that the suspect was drunk and wanted to send a signal “about the current refugee policy.”

Germany has seen a rise in anti-migrant violence following the arrival of more than a million refugees in recent years. …

“I am deeply troubled by this revolting crime and my thoughts are with the victims”, Heilbronn’s mayor, Harry Mergel said. I hope they won’t suffer lasting consequences.

“I call on people to treat refugees with humanity and be prepared to help them.”

The attacker has been released from custody following the assault outside St Kilian‘s Church, the site said.

Dear Ms Bettina Joerg, spokeswoman for Heilbronn prosecutors: let us suppose the perpetrator would not have German and Russian nationality, but citizenship from a mostly Muslim country. And that his three victims would not have been refugees from the Afghan, Syrian and Iraqi wars, but ‘ethnic Germans’. And suppose that he would not have said anti-refugee things, but ‘Allahu akbar!‘ And that everything else would have been the same. In that case, Ms Joerg, would the knifeman have been released from custody as well?

Israeli opposition against government deporting refugees


This 18 January 2018 video is called Anne Frank Movement: Israeli Rabbis Vow To Hide African Refugees Facing Deportation.

By Jean Shaoul:

Growing opposition to Israeli government’s plans to deport African refugees

1 February 2018

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to deport African refugees, mainly from Sudan and Eritrea, to so-called safe countries Rwanda and Uganda, has provoked a backlash.

A campaign was launched on January 18 in a letter to the government by dozens of well-known authors, including winners of the Israel Prize, Amos Oz, David Grossman and A.B. Yehoshua. It called on the government “to act morally, humanely and with compassion worthy of the Jewish people, and to stop the deportation of refugees to the hell from which they fled before it starts. Otherwise, we will have no reason to exist.”

Some Holocaust survivors told the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth that the Jewish state has a moral duty to protect the asylum seekers, with some saying they would take African refugees into their homes to hide them to prevent their deportation, while some 36 survivors wrote a personal letter to Netanyahu.

This has had a powerful impact. Hundreds of people have offered to host asylum seekers as part of the Anne Frank Home Sanctuary movement, following a call by a group of rabbis for Israelis to hide asylum seekers in their homes, just as Dutch families helped Anne Frank and her family.

Since then, thousands of workers, including El Al pilots and cabin crews, more than 1,000 doctors and medical staff, school principals, psychologists, 400 film and television personalities, 470 academics and religious figures have joined the protest. Demonstrations and protests have been held in support of the refugees.

The refugees have said they will refuse to accept the financial inducements offered by the right-wing coalition government, while legal advisers have told the High Court they would almost certainly accept a petition against forcible deportation.

In the run-up to International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Netanyahu announced that Israel was seeking to get at least 600 Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers, whom it designates as “infiltrators,” to leave the country each month, making a total of 7,200 a year, more than double the 3,300 that left in each of the last three years. So-called “safe countries” would be paid to take them.

The government claims that it would replace the deported workers with Palestinians at the rate of one Palestinian work visa for every two Africans that leave. But the practical difficulties in employing Palestinian workers are so great that the cynical and reactionary pledge is meaningless.

The government says it will also give every refugee who leaves voluntarily $3,500. While women and children will not be subject to deportation, they are unlikely to remain without their husbands and fathers.

There are around 40,000 African migrants and asylum seekers in Israel, mostly fleeing civil strife and repression, according to data from the Interior Ministry, down from 60,000 four years ago, following deportations and practices aimed at forcing them to leave “voluntarily.” About 72 percent are Eritrean and 20 percent are Sudanese from Darfur, most of whom arrived between 2006 and 2012, before Israel built the notorious fence across the Sinai desert to prevent them entering Israel.

Israel, despite constantly referring to the way European Jews were barred from entering the US and Britain to escape persecution in the 1930s, and signing up to the 1951 Refugee Convention, has refused to introduce asylum legislation because it would mean absorbing tens of thousands of non-Jewish refugees—threatening “the Jewish character of the state” on which Zionist policy is based. According to human rights groups, Israel has recognised less than 200 people as refugees, in addition to some 350 Vietnamese “boat people” in the late 1970s, since its establishment in 1948.

To do so would also spur demands for the right to return of Palestinians and their descendants, who fled or were forced from their homes in the wars of 1948 and 1967.

All regulations regarding migrant workers and refugees are at the discretion of the minister of the interior, which set up the Refugee Status Determination (RSD) Unit in 2009 to interview asylum seekers and assess their claims in the light of the 1951 Refugee Convention.

The Convention’s definition of those entitled to refugee status lists those who have been subjected to persecution based on “race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.” But the refusal to put in place legislation means that the RSD is essentially free to refuse to recognise any asylum seekers as refugees. The RSD has granted only eight asylum applications from Eritreans and two from Sudanese. In 2017, it granted a further 200 out of 6000 Darfurians “humanitarian protection”, after it became public knowledge that the government had suppressed an internal RSD report stating that Darfurians were fleeing genocide and thus qualified for asylum.

Israel’s rotten record, a less than one percent success rate for asylum seekers, is far below even that of European Union countries, where Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers have an 86 and 64 percent acceptance rate, respectively.

The African asylum seekers, bereft of legal status as refugees, are extremely vulnerable to exploitation. They typically live in desperately impoverished conditions, alongside poor Israelis in the suburbs in South Tel Aviv. Many live in crates, shacks and other improvised homes, without access to basic rights and treated by the police as criminals.

The asylum seekers are forced to take the worst jobs at scandalously low rates of pay and face brutal exploitation by their employers, while the Ministry of Labour turns a blind eye and the trade unions do nothing. They are required to register weekly or monthly with the RSD. They will soon be subject to a new anti-migrant law that robs them of 20 percent of their wages and puts it in an escrow account, supposedly to be returned to them when they leave Israel.

Those without a valid visa have been subject to detention for up to a year without a judicial hearing at the Holot detention centre, the world’s largest, in the Negev desert near Israel’s border with Egypt. It is run by the prison service and designated as an open prison. Detainees are not allowed to work and must report for roll call three times a day.

Right-wing and fascistic agitators have sought to whip up xenophobia and racism, blaming the migrants for rising crime rates and dreadful social conditions, and lobbied the government to deport them.

Last August, the Israeli Supreme Court outlawed such detention at Holot for longer than 60 days, but also ruled that Israel could deport migrants—even without their consent—to third “safe” countries such as Rwanda or Uganda.

In November, the Netanyahu government claimed that an African receiving country, presumed to be Rwanda and/or Uganda—the agreement has not been made public—had agreed to accept migrants deported against their will. Under this agreement, the government will pay the receiving country $5,000 per migrant. In the wake of the opposition to the forced deportations, the two countries have now denied there was any such agreement.

In December, parliament approved an “Infiltrators Bill” mandating the closure of the Holot detention centre—with the 1,000 Africans detained there required to leave Israel by April or face indefinite imprisonment, the forced deportation of Eritreans and Sudanese starting in March and increased restrictions on them.

Israel imprisons Eritrean asylum seekers who refuse deportation orders: here.

Donald Trump’s new attack on immigrants


This video from the USA says about itself:

Trump “trying to make America white again“, Angela Davis tells Memphis activists

15 January 2017

Angela Davis rallies activists in Memphis to massively resist Donald Trump’s agenda. Social justice icon Davis, a former FBI fugitive who was imprisoned for 16 months as a Black Panther activist, spoke at the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center’s 35th annual banquet, “Living the Legacy of Non-Violence”, Jan. 14, 2017, two days before Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

By Eric London in the USA:

Trump unveils sweeping attack on immigrants in reform proposal

30 January 2018

On Thursday, the Trump administration rolled out the most right-wing immigration reform proposal since the Johnson-Reed Act of 1924 established immigration quotas to “stabilize the ethnic composition” of the United States.

The Trump proposal, based largely on the SECURE Act introduced by Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue, will fundamentally alter the sociodemographic composition of the United States. If enacted as law, the proposal will cut documented immigration by 22 million people over the next fifty years.

According to the White House, the plan includes $25 billion to expand the wall along the US-Mexico border and to further militarize not only the borderlands but at all “ports of entry/exit,” i.e. all air and sea ports. The plan will result in a massive hiring of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials, who will be further armed and emboldened with pseudo-legal powers to conduct mass workplace raids, home invasions, and public arrests of immigrants.

The Trump plan proposes to hire “new DHS personnel, ICE attorneys, immigration judges, prosecutors and other law enforcement professionals” to speed up the deportation process. The plan will drastically slash due process protections for immigrants who are lucky enough to see the inside of a courtroom, or, in the government’s newspeak, it will “implement immigration court reforms to improve efficiency and prevent fraud and abuse.”

As for the country’s 1.8 million people who are recipients or eligible for protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the Trump administration proposal puts forward a “10-12 year path for citizenship, with requirements for work, education, and good moral character.” DACA recipients would also be required to prove they are not a “public charge,” likely by abstaining from public benefits.

This means nothing for DACA recipients, whose rights can be taken away from them once again by a right-wing legislature at any point over the next decade.

The most dramatic cut to immigration will come by ending the family-based petition system, which has governed immigration policy for several decades. According to a study published yesterday by the Cato Institute, the new policy eliminates a US citizen’s or legal permanent resident’s right to petition their parents, unmarried adult children, married adult children, or siblings. Legal permanent residents will also lose their ability to petition their spouses and minor children. The Trump administration calls these restrictions “protecting the nuclear family by emphasizing close familial relationships.”

The Trump proposal will also slash the number of asylees in half, from 37,200 to 18,600. As a result, thousands of people who face persecution in their home towns and who have legal claims to refugee status will be denied the right to which they are entitled under international law. The Trump administration plan also eliminates the diversity visa, which grants 50,000 visas each year from a pool of 10 to 20 million annual applicants. These visas are a lifeline for impoverished people from dozens of countries that have a relatively small number of people attempting to migrate to the United States.

According to the Cato study, “the State Department records 3.7 million applicants waiting abroad in the categories that the SECURE Act would eliminate”, while roughly 250,000 people in a similar position are already in the US.

On Monday, a group of 48 Democratic and Republican lawmakers announced a similar proposal with a 10-12 year wait for DACA recipients to acquire citizenship, as well as billions more in funding for border security and wall construction. This proposal is likely to be vetoed by Trump, who is demanding more extreme measures.

The Democratic Party’s response to Trump’s hardline proposal has been muted. On Sunday, the Democratic leadership reiterated its main priority: pressuring the Trump administration to adopt a more hardline approach toward Russia. Speaking Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer said, “The most important thing Congress can do right now is to ensure that Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation continues uninterrupted and unimpeded.”

Last night, Schumer published an op-ed in The Washington Post in anticipation of Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday that included no reference to Trump’s immigration proposal. The article, titled “What I’m listening for in Trump’s State of the Union”, is about infrastructure spending. Schumer, presenting himself as an advisor to the President, says Trump “should urge Congress to deliver a substantial investment in our nation’s infrastructure” and that “we Democrats will gladly work with him on it.”

Meanwhile, the death toll in the desert continues to grow as thousands of immigrants seek shelter and family unification in the United States. On Friday, 76 immigrants were found in the back of a trailer after crossing the US-Mexico border near Laredo, Texas. The passengers, including 13 children, were more fortunate than the ten immigrants who suffocated in July 2017 stuffed in the back of a trailer near San Antonio.

On Monday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals—the most liberal of all US appellate circuits with jurisdiction over California and Arizona—ruled unanimously that children do not have the right to free legal representation in deportation hearings. According to the Los Angeles Times, a court panel “upheld an immigration judge’s decision to deny asylum to a minor identified as C.J.L.G., who left Honduras at age 13 after being threatened by gangs.”

“Mandating free court-appointed counsel could further strain an already overextended immigration system,” wrote Judge Consuelo Callahan.

The boy and his mother, who were too poor to afford a lawyer, will now be sent back to one of the most violent countries in the world to face their former persecutors. The decision, which was supported by an Obama appointee, is a death sentence for countless other immigrant children. This anecdote is not an exception in the meat grinder of the American immigration system. As a result of policies enacted by both Democratic and Republican leadership, it is the rule.

Lies and deception reign in the White House. ALBERT SCHARENBERG examines the Trump spectacle and the end of truth in the US.

Last Thursday, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the main agency tasked with helping immigrants move towards citizenship, changed its mission statement without any notice or fanfare. The new statement is notable primarily for the fact that it dropped the phrase “nation of immigrants” to describe the United States, and instead highlights the law enforcement aspects of the agency’s functions: here.

Trump’s reign of terror on California immigrants: here.

TRUMP ADMIN SUES CALIFORNIA OVER ‘SANCTUARY’ POLICIES The move by Attorney General Jeff Sessions comes as the White House is ramping up its targeting of undocumented immigrants. [HuffPost]

HUD REMOVES ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LANGUAGE FROM MISSION STATEMENT The Department of Housing and Urban Development changed the language to “align HUD’s mission with [Secretary Ben Carson’s] priorities and that of the Administration.” [HuffPost]

Israeli pilots refuse deporting refugees to torture


This video is called Activists ask Israeli pilots to ‘refuse to fly refugees to their deaths’.

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

Israeli pilots say they would refuse to fly deported asylum seekers back to Africa: ‘I will not be a partner to this barbarity’

Judith Vonberg

Three Israeli pilots have spoken out against the forced deportations of asylum seekers back to Africa, saying they would refuse to take control of planes involved [in] the practice.

“There is no way that I, as an air crew member, will take part in flying refugees/asylum seekers on their way to a destination whose chances of survival after reaching it… are close to zero”, wrote pilot Shaul Betzer in a Facebook post and later on Twitter.

“Not much courage is required for such a mission, but I will not be able to do what is required of me in such a mission. As a pilot and as a human being.”

Pilot Iddo Elad posted a statement on his Facebook page a few hours later, declaring: “I will not be a partner to this barbarity.”

Both Facebook posts have been shared hundreds of times and attracted many comments, most of which support the men’s stance.

The public refusals come three weeks after the Israeli government ordered thousands of African refugees and migrants to leave the country within three months or face prison.

Thousands of Africans – many from Eritrea and Sudan – crossed from Egypt into Israel before it erected a fence along the border in 2013.

Many have fled conflict and persecution, but Israel’s leader Benjamin Netanyahu has called them “infiltrators” and said they are mostly economic migrants whose numbers threaten the nation’s Jewish character.

According to Israeli charity Hotline for Refugees and Migrants, an average of just 0.15 per cent of people who file asylum claims in Israel are ultimately recognised as refugees.

Under the new proposals, “infiltrators” will be offered $3,500 (£2,500) and a plane ticket to their home country or “a third country” – likely to be Rwanda or Uganda.

Israeli media has reported that some asylum seekers have faced torture or human trafficking after being sent to Rwanda and Uganda by the Israeli government.

Yoel Piterbarg, a former combat helicopter pilot in the Israeli Air Force, was the first of the three men to speak out.

“The state of Israel is populated mainly by Jews who, in the near and distant past, were refugees in countries around the world”, he wrote on Facebook.

“Most went through the Holocaust, many were forcefully expelled from their countries, and many others emigrated out of a desire to improve their lives in better countries that agreed to accept them.”

He continued: “Out of all people we, the Jews, must be attentive, empathetic, moral, and leaders of public opinion in the world in how we treat the migration of refugees, who have suffered and continue to suffer in their countries of origin.”

Mr Piterbarg has spoken out on human rights issues before in his role as a pilot.

In 2003, he was one of 27 Israeli air force pilots who refused to take part in further operations inside the Palestinian territories, describing the military’s actions in the occupied areas as “illegal and immoral”.

The statements published by the three men regarding the deportation of migrants are largely symbolic as El Al – the airline all three men are understood to work for – does not currently operate any routes to the countries in question.

“El Al does not fly any immigrants to Africa”, a spokesperson for El Al told The Independent.

“El Al has absolutely nothing at all to do with these flights. El Al pilots won’t be flying these immigrants.”

The airline does however have a code share agreement with Ethiopian Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights via El Al’s website from Tel Aviv to destinations across sub-Saharan Africa with a stop-off in Addis Ababa.

According to the spokesperson, no El Al crew are involved on any of those flights.

A petition calling on the Israel Airline Pilots Association and ground services staff at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv to refuse to participate in the deportation of migrants and refugees has gathered more than 8,000 signatures.

The petition was partly inspired by news from Germany, where pilots stopped 222 deportations of asylum seekers between January and September last year.

French Macron’s xenophobic plans


This video says about itself:

Court rules against Macron’s effort to deny refugees water

1 August 2017

Refugees in France must now be provided with water, following a court ruling which called it a “fundamental freedom”. The ruling comes on the heels of yet another damning report from a top NGO which has accused French police of routine brutality toward asylum-seekers. Ramin Mazaheri has more from Paris.

By Athiyan Silva in France:

Macron prepares draconian new French anti-immigrant law

19 January 2018

Last week, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced that his government will present a final bill on refugees and immigrants in the Council of Ministers in February. The bill represents a drastic assault on the right to asylum, effectively handing police authorities the power to deport refugees en masse without any serious hearing whatsoever.

According to the “Presentation of the provisions of the asylum-immigration bill”, the bill cuts the deadline for the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA) to examine an asylum application from 120 to 90 days. Crucially, it reduces the time for asylum seekers to appeal a negative decision to the National Asylum Court (CNDA) from 30 to 15 days. It raises the administrative detention for verification of the right to asylum from 16 to 24 hours, and allows a maximum detention of not 45, but 90 or even 115 days.

The new bill creates virtually impossible conditions for asylum seekers and undocumented immigrants trying to get the proper visas or minimum employment in order to live. Above all, with police prefectures taking on average a month to schedule hearings on appeals to the CNDA, the bill would effectively eliminate any recourse to the frequent initial negative decision from the OFPRA.

The bill does not allocate any further resources for the prefectures to process appeals to the CNDA inside the two-week deadline fixed by the bill. Police forces, among which there is broad support for the neo-fascist National Front (FN), are being issued a blank cheque to deport any refugee who, as is often the case, receives an initial negative decision from the OFPRA.

The purpose of the bill is politically criminal: it is to ensure that countless people will be forcibly deported from France back to war-torn and poverty-stricken Middle Eastern or African countries such as Afghanistan or Libya. Afghan Minister for refugees and repatriation, Sayed Hussain Alemi Balkhi, has told the media it was initially expected that over a “hundred thousand Afghans were to be deported from the European countries in 2017.”

Last month, French Interior Minister Gérard Collomb, in an interview with RTL Radio, stated that the situation with the growing numbers of refugees in Paris is explosive. “In Germany, about 300,000 people have been denied asylum, they want to come to France. Are we taking them all? No.” In order to block the flow of refugees, France, and all the major European countries, are preparing a wave of repressive laws paving the way for indiscriminate mass deportations.

President Emmanuel Macron’s attack on the democratic right to asylum is part of an assault on refugees waged by the entire European Union (EU). After decades of imperialist wars in Africa and the Middle East provoked the greatest refugee crisis since the end of World War II, with over 60 million people displaced, the EU is keeping them from coming to Europe by trampling their democratic rights.

EU countries, including France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece and Belgium, have reintroduced border controls, even inside the Schengen zone where border controls were initially eliminated. The European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) intensified its border control on land and sea, deploying ships, aircraft, helicopters, high tech equipment and 1500 officials. At the same time, since 2014, 15,486 refugees have drowned at sea.

The European bourgeoisie is also working with the reactionary ruling classes in the Middle East and Africa to build a network of concentration camps in which hundreds of thousands of people are trapped.

Last month, Amnesty International published a report detailing how the EU is spending millions of euros to build up a network of detention camps in Libya, in which refugees are beaten, tortured, sexually assaulted, sold into slavery, and even murdered. Italian foreign minister Angelino Alfano met the UN-sponsored Libyan government’s Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj in Tripoli last December to work out an agreement for Italian warships to aid the Libyan coastguard in blocking refugees in the Mediterranean Sea. Refugees are then sent back to these camps.

The EU Commission has already paid €100 million to the Sudanese government to mount army patrols on the borders with Libya and Egypt, and keep refugees from Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea on African soil. Sudanese forces are notorious for human rights violations.

Macron is also intensifying the war in former French colonies in Africa, with a 4,000-strong French force fighting in Ivory Coast, Mali, Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso and across the entire Sahel region, alongside a 12,000-strong UN peacekeeping force as part of the “war on terror.” These French imperialist interventions will create millions more refugees.

These developments point above all to the political bankruptcy of arguments advanced last year, during the presidential elections, that workers and youth should vote for Macron against FN candidate Marine Le Pen in order to defend immigrants’ rights. …

These forces now stand exposed as political enemies of immigrants’ rights, as Macron and his government intensify attacks against refugees and immigrants, seeking support from far-right forces, including the FN.

Last Tuesday, Macron visited the northern coastal city Calais, where thousands of refugees are living in inhuman conditions in the “Jungle camp”, as they attempt to travel on to Britain. He insisted that refugees should not come to France, and threatened those in Calais: “To stay in Calais and build makeshift shelters and even set up squats is a dead end. The border is closed and Calais can no longer be a destination for migrants.”

Macron-May talks: UK and France must put a stop to ‘systematic violation’ of Calais refugees, warn charities: here.

Anne Frank inspiration to help African refugees in Israel


This video from Amsterdam in the Netherlands says about itself:

Anne Frank takes us behind the movable bookcase

22 September 2015

In this video, we have the opportunity to walk through the secret hiding place that Anne Frank lived in for over two years. The narration is in Anne‘s own words, from her diary.

To read an article related to the video, visit here.

Thank you to the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam, which supplies this and other educational materials at www.AnneFrank.org.

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

Israeli rabbis to hide African refugees facing deportation in ‘Anne Frank-inspired’ scheme

‘People risked their lives to save Jews and we as a country are now saying we don’t want to risk the tiniest demographic shift’

Ryan Butcher

A group of Israeli rabbis have launched an “Anne Frank-inspired” activist programme to protect African asylum seekers facing forced expulsion from their homes.

The sister of comedian Sarah Silverman is among those leading the movement which hopes to help around 40,000 African asylum seekers, largely from Sudan and Eritrea.

Measures announced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this month, will see African asylum seekers presented with the option of either accepting $3,500 (£2,500) and a plane ticket to an undefined country or taking an indefinite jail sentence.

However, Israeli media have reported that some asylum seekers have faced torture of even human trafficking after being sent to Rwanda and Uganda by the Israeli government.

The majority of asylum seekers in Israel are from Eritrea (73 per cent) and Sudan (19 per cent) and an average of only 0.15 per cent of people filling in asylum claims are recognised as refugees, according to the Hotline for Refugees.

To counter this The Anne Frank Home Sanctuary launched by Rabbis for Human Rights aims to house asylum seekers.

“Who here would be willing to house people?” asked Rabbi Susan Silverman at a gathering of rabbis and educators in Jerusalem.

All 130 or so people in the room immediately raised her hands, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

Rabbi Silverman, who immigrated from Boston to Israel in 2006, said her idea to physically hide refugees in Israeli homes was inspired by US sanctuary cities and states, which are used to fight the deportation of immigrants who entered the US illegally.

Anne Frank has also inspired the programme. The teenager became one of the most famous Jewish victims of the Holocaust after her diary of her life as a German Jew in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam in World War Two was published in 1947.

She died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp when she was 15-years-old.

As well sheltering asylum seekers, Rabbis for Human Rights said its members also intend to accompany asylum seekers on tours to the Garden of the Righteous Among the Nations at Yad Vashem – Israel’s Holocaust museum and memorial. The Righteous Among the Nations were non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.

The group hopes to “wake up the Jewish world” according to an internal memo.

“People risked their lives to save Jews and we as a country are now saying we don’t want to risk the tiniest demographic shift”, Rabbi Silverman told Haaretz.

“We have a prime minister who is quoting Pharaoh when he says [of the asylum seekers] that their numbers will grow.”

African asylum seekers have crossed the continent in the past decade and entered Israel at its southern border in a bid to seek better lives and in some cases seek refuge from wars. Only ten have ever been recognised by the state as refugees, according to the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees – eight Eritreans and two Sudanese.

The Rabbis for Human Rights group said it is also considering protesting the offices of airlines willing to transport deportees to Africa and also launch a large-scale social media campaign labelling Israel’s leaders and ministers as racists.

See also here.

As Israel threatens to deport African migrants, some US Jews push back. Joey Low, a son of Holocaust-era refugees who has given millions to Israeli causes, insists ’you can’t do something like this in the name of Jews and Israel’: here.

Jewish Groups Denounce Israel’s Plans to Deport 40,000 African Asylum Seekers: here.

Israelis Offer Shabbat Meals And Sanctuary To African Asylum-Seekers: here.

The Sephardic chief rabbi of Israel called black people “monkeys” during his weekly sermon on Saturday evening: here.

Sintayehu Shifaraw, 18, will be the first ever Ethiopian to participate in the International Bible Contest, but he’ll have to return [from Israel] to Addis Ababa after the event ends because his Falashmura community is not officially recognized as Jewish: here.