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February 27, 2013

EDITOR: Thieves in the night…

Under the cover of (media) darkness, Israel has expelled over 1000 migrants to Sudan, sending many of them to their deaths. Well, they are not Jewish, after all, so that’s OK. That is how the racist state treats human right of non-Jews. Of course, they could not possibly do this openly, as it is illegal under international law.

UN demands Israeli explanation over secret deportation of Sudanese migrants: Haaretz

Israeli human rights activists and politicians blast deportation as immoral and in violation basic obligations under international law; no response has yet been received from Netanyahu or Interior Minister Yishai.

By  | Feb.27, 2013 | 12:01 PM |  15

Sudanese migrants protesting last year against Israel’s plan to repatriate them.

Sudanese migrants protesting last year against Israel’s plan to repatriate them. Photo by Daniel Bar-On

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has demanded Israel to provide an explanation for the secret deportation of more than 1,000 Sudanesemigrants via a third country.

A Haaretz story on the practice on Tuesday drew an outcry among human rights activists and politicians, with Labor leader Shelly Yacimovichdescribing the deportations as “immoral” and MK Dov Khenin of Hadash calling for them to be halted immediately.

Khenin also asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to investigate who ordered the repatriation in the first place.

Sudan defines Israel as an enemy country and has warned that it will punish any of its citizens who set foot here. Consequently, human rights groups said, the deportation constitutes a violation of Israel’s most basic obligations under international law.

“The ease with which the State of Israel is willing to force people to return to a place where their lives are in danger, even if this danger arises only because they were in Israel, is worrying, and shows that we have become a society that sanctifies Jewish demography and gives it priority over humanistic Jewish values,” said Reut Michaeli, executive director of the Hotline for Migrant Workers.

While the state claims that all those deported left voluntarily, aid groups say the deportees were coerced by the threat that if they didn’t go, they could be jailed for years under a recent amendment to the Infiltration Law.

Sudanese migrants “who hear from government representatives that the law enables them to be held in prison forever without trial, and without their being able to apply for refugee status, despair,” said Michaeli. “They are even willing to endanger their lives to gain a slim chance at freedom.”

Shahar Shoham, who heads the migrants department of Physicians for Human Rights, agreed that the deportees could not really be said to have acted out of their own free will.

“At our open clinic, we treat many who report daily anxiety, fear of walking down the street and suicidal thoughts,” she said. “Is this free choice? And more than that, is this the treatment and protection we as a state give to victims of torture, human trafficking and persecution?”

Israel attempted to protect the deportees by deporting them via a third country to conceal the fact that they came from Israel, but the deportation took place without the knowledge or supervision of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

“In deporting [people] to Sudan, Israel has crossed a red line and is not only violating its most basic obligation under international law, but demonstrating cruelty, hardheartedness and indifference to the fate of human beings,” Assaf, the Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum Seekers, said in a statement.

Haaretz, which first broke the story, has repeatedly tried to obtain a response from Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, but his office again refused to comment Tuesday. As of press time, no response had been received from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or Interior Minister Eli Yishai.

Meretz chairwoman Zahava Gal-On assailed Weinstein. “The attorney general is responsible for the fact that Israel’s government is acting contrary to the rule of law,” she wrote on her Facebook page.

Yacimovich said Israel should be helping asylum seekers, not sending them back. “The Jewish nation is well-versed in persecution and pogroms, so we have a special obligation to extend aid to refugees from genocide,” she said.

Israel secretly repatriated 1,000 to Sudan, without informing UN: Haaretz

Though Israel claims the people’s return was voluntary, this claim was rejected by UNHCR, which says there is no ‘free will from inside a prison.’

By  | Feb.26, 2013 | 4:31 AM |  42

Migrants detained on the Israeli-Egyptian border.

Migrants detained on the Israeli-Egyptian border. Photo by Tomer Appelbaum

Tomer Appelbaum

Tel Aviv residents demonstrating in support of the migrant community. Photo by Tomer Appelbaum

Reuters

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.Photo by Reuters

Israel has “voluntarily” returned at least 1,000 people to Sudan, an enemy country that has vowed to punish any of its citizens who ever set foot in Israel. The repatriation was done secretly, via a third country, over the last few months, without the knowledge of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Haaretz knows the name of the third country, but is withholding it to avoid harming those who returned via this route.

Though Israel claims the people’s return was voluntary, this claim was rejected by UNHCR, which says there is no “free will from inside a prison.”

Under a recent amendment to Israel’s infiltration law, asylum seekers can be jailed for years without trial. Testimony from within prisons indicates that detainees were also denied access to UNHCR, in violation of the UN convention on the status of refugees, which Israel has signed.

All the Sudanese who left “voluntarily” already had Sudanese passports: Since their presence here was being kept secret, Israel couldn’t coordinate their departure with Sudan. An official source said Israel paid for their plane tickets.

In the past, the state has said in court that Israel doesn’t deport Sudanese nationals, because “Sudan and Israel are enemy states, such that a Sudanese national who has set foot in Israel can’t return to his country for fear of his life, or so he claims.” This is in contrast to residents of South Sudan, with which Israel does have relations, and to which it began repatriating people after the country gained its independence from Sudan in 2011.

Aside from the fact that Israel and Sudan are enemies, Sudanese law explicitly forbids its citizens to enter Israel. Its passports even state that they are valid for entry to every country except Israel.

Senior Sudanese officials have also made public threats against Sudanese nationals who fled to Israel. In July 2007, for instance, Sudan’s interior minister said that any Sudanese living in Israel would be punished. Shortly afterward, Sudan’s refugee commissioner accused Sudanese refugees in Israel of carrying out a “Zionist agenda” against Sudan, and urged the Egyptian authorities to punish Sudanese who try to enter Israel via Egypt.

In September 2007, Sudan’s foreign minister said that for a Sudanese to reside in Israel was a criminal offense.

The UN’s stance on the issue is also clear. Michael Bavli, UNHCR’s representative in Israel, warned the Population, Immigration and Border Authority that “deporting Sudanese to Sudan would be the gravest violation possible of the convention that Israel has signed – a crime never before committed.”

The UN refugee convention explicitly states that even someone who wasn’t a refugee when he first left his country can become one thereafter, if subsequent events – in this case, entering an enemy country – make it impossible for him to return to his country without risking his life.

Such people, known as “refugees sur place,” enjoy all the same protections under the convention as people who originally fled their country due to a “well-founded fear of persecution.”

This interpretation has been upheld by Israel’s Supreme Court. “All governmental powers – including the power to deport under the Entry into Israel Law – must be exercised on the basis of recognition ‘of the value of the human being, and the sanctity of his life and his freedom,'” wrote former Supreme Court President Aharon Barak in one verdict, quoting the Basic Law on Human Dignity and Freedom. “This is the great principle of non-refoulement, under which a person cannot be deported to a place where his life or liberty would be in danger. This principle is enshrined in Article 33 of the refugee convention. It is part of the domestic legislation of many countries … This is a general principle that isn’t limited solely to ‘refugees.’ It applies in Israel to every governmental authority that deals with deporting someone from Israel.”

Harel Locker, director general of the Prime Minister’s Office, has also said previously that Sudanese nationals can’t be deported back to Sudan, though they could be deported to another country “that agreed to absorb them” and would “guarantee their safety.”

Aside from the fact that Sudan and Israel are enemy states, many of the Sudanese in Israel come from the province of Darfur, where they were victims of ethnic persecution and genocide by the regime. Due to these crimes, the International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant on charges of genocide against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and other senior Sudanese officials.

Others come from other areas of Sudan, such as the Nuba Mountains or other parts of Kordofan, that have been subjected to brutal attack by the Sudanese government – including aerial bombing, the destruction of entire villages and mass arrests of hundreds of thousands of people – in an effort to suppress what the government terms rebellions. Still others fled Sudan due to religious or ethnic persecution.

The Population, Immigration and Border Authority (part of the Interior Ministry ) responded that “the government’s policy of not deporting north Sudanese has not changed.”

The Foreign Ministry said: “Since overall responsibility for this issue rests with the Population Authority, we are barred from commenting independently on this issue and refer you to the responsible party – that is, the Population Authority.”

The Justice Ministry declined to comment.

EDITOR: The apartheid pogroms go on, now in Jerusalem

A groups of Jewish youngsters has attacked and beat up an elderly Arab woman in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Kiryat Moshe, in broad daylight and in view of hundreds of people, including the security officers of the train service, who stood besides and smiled, doing nothing to stop the violence or arrest the perpetrators. This is the Jewish democracy at work. Unfortunately, I have this report only in Hebrew, as Maariv does not translate the news, and Haaretz found it acceptable not to translate or report in English.

תקרית אלימה בירושלים: צעירות יהודיות הכו ערבייה בתחנת רכבת:Haaretz

האישה עמדה בתחנה בשכונת קריית משה בבירה, כשלפתע החלו מספר צעירות שעברו במקום להכות אותה נמרצות ואף הסירו ממנה את כיסוי הראש. עדת ראייה סיפרה ל-nrg: “הצעירים היו שתויים והקב”ט צפה בתקרית בחיוך ולא התערב”

יוסי אלי | 26/2/2013 14:57הוסף תגובההדפס כתבהכתוב לעורךשלח לחברShare on facebookShare on twitter

תקיפות הערבים בבירה נמשכות: לטענת עוברי אורח, קבוצת נשים יהודיות תקפה אתמול (ב’) אישה ערבייה שעמדה בתחנת הרכבת הקלה בקריית משה בירושלים. לדברי העדים, האישה ניסתה להתנגד, אולם הצעירות תקפו אותה שוב ושוב ואף הצליחו להוריד ממנה את כיסוי הראש. בעקבות הפרסום ב-nrg מעריב, המשטרה פתחה בחקירת המקרה.

האישה נהדפת אל הקיר. היום

האישה נהדפת אל הקיר. היום צילום: דורית יורדן דותן

המקרה התרחש כאמור אתמול בסביבות השעה שלוש אחר הצהריים, כאשר לדברי עדת ראייה, צעירה דתייה שחלפה בתחנת הרכבת הקלה נתנה לפתע אגרוף לאישה שהמתינה במקום. לטענת העדה, חברותיה של היהודיה מיד חשו לעזרתה והחלו להכות אותה נמרצות ואף הדפו אותה לעבר קיר התחנה.

עדת ראייה שחלפה במקום ואף צילמה את הנעשה סיפרה ל-nrg מעריב: “היו שם בערך 100 חרדים ובחורי ישיבה שיצאו מהרכבת הקלה וראו אישה ערבייה עם גבר מבוגר, התפתח שם ויכוח וצעקות, ואני לא יודעת מה היה תוכן הדברים כולם התנפלו עליה”.

לדברי עדת הראייה,  פעילת השלום דורית יורדן דותן, קצין הביטחון של עיריית ירושלים,  שעובד בתוואי הרכבת הקלה, צפה באירוע ונראה מחייך. “זה היה פשוט נורא”, תיארה.

מעיריית ירושלים נמסר בתגובה כי “המקרה המדובר לא התרחש בתוך הרכבת אלא ברחוב. מאבטח של  הרכבת הקלה ששהה בסמוך דיווח מיידית על האירוע, שהסתיים תוך שניות ספורות”. עוד הוסיפו בעירייה כי “יש לפנות למשטרה בנושא”.

דותן סיפרה עוד כי כאשר הגיעה הרכבת לתחנה והחלה לנסוע, חבורת הצעירים עזבו את המקום. “האישה הערבייה הייתה נרגשת מאוד”, ציינה. “הצעירים שתו הרבה יין בגלל פורים והצעקות נשמעו לכל עבר. האישה ניסתה להלחם בהם אך הם צעקו עליה שלא תעז לגעת ביהודים והמשיכו להכותה”.

עדת הראייה הוסיפה כי להוציא אדם מבוגר שהיה יחד עם האישה שהותקפה וניסה לעזור לה, תושבים רבים עמדו מנגד ולא חשו לעזרת המותקפת. “האדם שהיה איתה עמד חסר אונים ולא ידע כיצד להפסיק את התקיפה”, ציינה והוסיפה כי “בכל אותה העת, עמד וחייך איש הביטחון במקום ואפילו לא ניסה להפריד”.

בעקבות הפרסום ב-nrg מעריב אמר ח”כ עיסאוי פריג’ (מרצ): “אם נכון הדבר, ואנו עדים למתקפה גזענית נוספת כנגד אזרחית ערבייה, כל אזרח במדינת ישראל, יהודי או ערבי, צריך לפחד. למה הופכת מדינת ישראל? אישה מותקפת לאור יום ואיש לא מתערב ולא בא לעזרתה?”.

פריג’ הוסיף: “מקוממת במיוחד היא מדיניות השתיקה שמובילים ראש הממשלה בנימין נתניהו ושר החינוך גדעון סער, שלא יוצאים בצורה ברורה כנגד תופעות מחרידות כאלה. שתיקה כמוה כמתן הרשאה ורוח גבית לנגע האלימות והגזענות שמתפשט בחברה הישראלית”.

גם ח”כ אחמד טיבי (רע”ם תע”ל) הגיב לפרסום הפרשה. לדבריו, “ריבוי תקיפות ערבים על רקע לאומי לאחרונה הוא סימפטום של חברה געזנית ובלתי סובלנית. לא מדובר בשתיינים אלא בחוליגנים גזעניים שהשטרה חייבת לעצור ולהעמיד לדין” . לטענתו, התנהגות קצין הבטחון היא חלק מהבעיה ולכן הוא חייב להיחקר.

צילום: דורית יורדן דותן

”זה היה פשוט נורא” צילום: דורית יורדן דותן
צילום: דורית יורדן דותן

האישה לא הצליחה להתנגד” צילום: דורית יורדן דותן
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