There have been a number of articles, especially by liberal bloggers, which have accused Israel of racism due to their repatriation of illegal immigrants with their home country. Since the majority of these illegal immigrants are of African origin, the claim is Israel is a Caucasian dominated country degrading the Africans within their border, inviting the inference that Israel is striving for racial purity. But let’s look a little closer at the historical records and find the reality that exists there. The initial item is that these are people who entered the country illegally who have no official standing. Many of these people willingly admit that they are financial refugees who came to Israel in order to live in a place with more jobs and other opportunities. Where such is a laudable reason for immigrating into a country and makes it worth the effort to pursue the legalities required to relocate to such a destination, it does not excuse anyone doing so illegally by not following the legal means for immigrating. It also must be taken into consideration that Israel allowed tens, possibly hundreds, of thousands of refugees from the Sudan to remain in Israel with some having been there for over a decade. These people were treated legally under international law and provided sanctuary as they faced torture, discrimination or even death had they been returned to the Sudan which was a virtual war zone with certain groups being victims of horrific violence. Since then the southern areas of the Sudan has gained their independence as a new country, South Sudan, and it is now reasonable and safe to return these refugees to their homelands. The same is true for those who came from Eritrea and the Ivory Coast. All of those refugees from these countries have been declared safe for repatriation through legal means in the courts. Israel has even offered to give the returning refugees who willingly volunteer by a certain date some financial assistance to facilitate and ease their return to their homes.
There are others who have simply decided they prefer to take their chances ignoring the law and remaining in Israel. Almost all, if not every one, of these refugees passed through Egypt among other nations such as Sudan, Algeria, Libya, Somalia, Eritrea, Kenya, Nigeria, and likely others, on their way to reaching Israel. This begs a question, Why did these people refuse to choose any of these other places to flee as they were obviously closer to their start point and took less effort than crossing their entirety in order to reach Israel? I can answer why they refused to stop or even loiter in Egypt, they would have been shot on sight. Despite this truth, nobody is condemning these countries for their inhospitable treatment of these refugees, only Israel is the mean, evil country. You don’t believe me about the shooting them on sight? Well, search news stories for “shoot refugees Israel” and one of the first page articles you will find is titled >a href=http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1946861,00.html target=blank>Dangers Await Africans Seeking Asylum in Israel.</a> Reading the article will exemplify the difference between the two countries, Egypt and Israel. One cares for the refugees and the other eliminates the refugees. Yet, Israel is condemned for repatriation of refugees once the situation in their homelands have changed and become safe for their return while Egyptian border military shoot the refugees dead on sight. Which, if you were a refugee, would you prefer, death at the hands of an Egyptian Guard or being returned home when the international community and the courts deem the situation is safe? I know my preference is life.
While we are speaking on refugees being returned to their place of origin, are these illegal African refugees the sole immigrants Israel has ever sent back? Oddly enough, the answer is no. When Israel was accepting hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees from the former Soviet Union it was necessary to send some of the refugees back to the Soviet Union. Despite the liberal terms and definition of who was legitimately a Jew, there were a fair number of refugees sent by the Soviets who were not Jewish by any calculations. Many of these refugees even admitted that the Soviets had sent them to Israel simply to be rid of them. This resulted in the eventual return of some of the Soviet refugees and nobody in the world made a peep about those repatriations. Why the big outpouring and crying now and the silence back then? And what about the other side of the coin? Israel has accepted African Jews from South Africa and has and currently is engaged in a large operation bringing thousands of Ethiopian Jews home to Israel as well as hundreds of near destitute Jews from southern India home to Israel. I guess bringing people of color to Israel is not mentioned as it does not fit the story line of mean white European Israel. This poses the question of whether these people condemning Israel on this narrowly defined story while ignoring tons of other real stories also ignore that nearly half of the Jewish population in Israel are not Ashkenazi Jews but are Sephardic Jews with Spanish, North African, and Middle East heritage. But I guess that has to be discounted as it does not fit the story of Israel the mean European Jewish State. Perhaps the reasoning is that those who are being brought into Israel at great government expense from Ethiopia and India and anywhere Jews are found do not count as they are Jews.
It does get ever so tiring hearing all these half truths and outright lies all made in order to claim one thing, Israel bad, Jews bad. Somebody will say that defaming Israel is completely different from hating Jews and that they know many good Jews. The problem with this denial is simply this; have you taken any other country to task similarly or is it only Israel (or the United States) with which you find fault. Is it only the Jewish State which transgresses the norms you hold dear and the rest of the world live exemplary lives. When your sole target is Israel you do not have a political or social problem with Israel or Israeli actions, you have a problem with the Jewish State and only because Israel is the international representative of the Jews which raises your ire. Ignoring the fact that most of the countries bordering Israel and who reside in the neighborhood have radically more oppressive policies and treat foreigners with violence and contempt while Israel is the modern nation which operates under the rule of law and makes honest efforts to do that which is honorable and correct makes no difference, it is still Israel that cannot meet your standards. It boggles the mind to think about what would happen if for one week Israel actually acted in a manner as that which she has constantly been accused of acting and more like her neighboring countries would act against any Israeli in their midst. Exactly what would the world say then? Well, what would they say once they picked their jaws off the floor where they dropped in total surprise and amazement? Don’t worry yourself, Israel and her people after five thousand years of being the civilized people on the block and are not about to go carnal on their enemies now, though sometimes one wonders.
Beyond the Cusp