Photo Credit: Matanya Tausig/Flash90

A few hundred female Africans and their children yesterday marched in protest to the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv. They insisted that Israel must grant them asylum and work rights.

Regarding the issue of seeking asylum, on the grounds that they had to flee their war torn Sudan and Eritrea, I’ve been puzzled by a logical problem: virtually all the Africans coming illegally into Israel have done it through the Israeli-Egyptian border.

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They’ve all come here not from the Sudan or Eritrea, but from Egypt.

No one has ever accuse Egypt of committing genocide against the people of the Sudan or Eritrea, therefore, as soon as these suffering Africans reached Egypt, legally they reached a safe haven.

But there isn’t enough work and food to go around even for Egyptians, so the Africans moved on to Israel. Except that now they were no longer fleeing a genocide, they were merely seeking work.

In that context, Israel is as responsible for their fate as any other third country, but it never served as a safe haven for any of them.

It makes perfect sense, then, that the U.S. embassy immediately offer these people work visas and fly them to America! And all the other Western countries must follow suit, to rid us of this episode of human suffering.

Why should Israel be stuck with the bill simply because its borders have been violated?

Pass it on.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. Maybe they not only wanted to be safe by crossing the Egyptian border, but also wanted work and food. Which in turn made them continue their journey to the land that flows with milk and honey. Give them work! Besides, you’ll need their husbands and children in your military very soon.

  2. UNHCR, the US Government, and Jewish refugee organizations like HIAS are clear, an asylum seeker may not be deported and their claim for asylum cannot be rejected because he or she has passed through a third country.

    This is even more clear when the third country has not been safe for the asylum seeker. According to UNHCR, the US Government, and many NGOs (Egyptian, Israeli, and from elsewhere in the world), thousands of African asylum seekers were kidnapped, tortured, and many raped, before their captors released them at the Israeli border once a hefty ransom was paid by their families.Egypt has also returned asylum seekers where they face danger in gross violation of the 1951 Refugee Convention.

    UNHCR said this past week: “Asylum-seekers are being labeled as ‘infiltrators,’ illegal work infiltrators or economic migrants without necessarily taking into account the reasons of why they had to flee from their country of origin. While it is correct that not every asylum-seeker is indeed a refugee, in light of their countries of origin, the majority are either refugees in the sense of the 1951 Refugee Convention or, at the very least, in need of international protection and cannot be returned to their home country….[Israel should allow the Africans proper access to] refugee status determination (RSD), irrespective of the location of their residence in Israel. At this stage, only a small number have gone through the RSD process while the majority – particularly Eritreans and Sudanese outside detention – were granted an imperfect form of temporary protection. It is important to note that asylum-seekers from Eritrea and Sudan show high recognition rates in other countries (in Europe, the recognition rates are more than 70%).”

  3. Israel is a small country, about the size of Wales U.K. and has enough problems without taking on other countries as well. If they are genuine asylum seekers, then they should be allowed to stay until places can be found for them in an African country that will not persecute them.

  4. Judith Grayson to ask such silly question it sounds that you are sleeping. They spoke enough about their problems. Please take a look Joshua Bloom's thought. The world needs people like Joshua Bloom who thinks broadly, kindly, and stands for truth. God bless these people. Bless you too to be like these people. Wake up Judith Grayson it is not too late to think right.

  5. One day, after the dust settles all of our African brothers and sisters will return to the heavens of Africa, leaving behind the deserts of eternal violence, and live happily ever after…and our grand children will remember the history books…just like the rest us are taught about what happened to our parents and grand parents

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