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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘African’

Government Failure, NGO Support, Fan Illegal Migrant Flame

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

The past few days in Israel have seen a well organized protest campaign of thousands of illegal African migrants, mostly from Eritrea and the Sudan, on the roads, in front of the Knesset, and in a park in central Tel Aviv. The demonstrations, on behalf of an estimated 50,000 illegal migrants, is coordinated with the hunger strike of some 130 prisoners in Saharonim prison, who are slated for deportation to their home countries.

Meanwhile, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) representative in Israel Walpurga Englbrecht blasted Israel’s new semi-open Holot facility in the south, saying it is a detention center for all intents and purposes.

She’s right, of course. Israel is facing a major social and demographic crisis, begun in the 1990s, as local wars in the Horn of Africa began to result in poverty and hunger, driving out hundreds of thousands of people in search of work. This influx of cheap, illegal labor happened just in time to fill in for the missing Arab workers from the newly created Palestinian Authority, whose entry into Israel was being curbed because of rampant terrorism.

In a manner reminiscent of the illegal Mexican migrant workers situation in the American South West until about the market crash of 2008, Israeli business, especially agriculture, but industry as well, cultivated the illegal African migration.

She’s also selective in her view of the migrant worker crisis in the region. While Israel to date has deported some 13,000 Africans out of an estimated 60,000, all them leaving willingly, according to the authorities—Saudi Arabia has been forcibly deporting more than half a million legal migrants, against their will, back to their home countries across the region.

One of the reasons may be that while the Sudanese and Eritreans in the Israeli democracy enjoy the right to assemble and the right to demonstrate – similar behavior would land them in prison, if not worse, in The Kingdom.

Englbrecht was also correct in pointing out that Israel acted in a most unprofessional and irresponsible manner in its treatment of the influx of migrants. “The Israeli government awarded temporary shelter to many Eritreans and Sudanese, but for many of them their status is being changed drastically,” she told the Army Radio. “One of the problems was that these people have never been processed properly, to discover if they were refugees or employment seekers.”

Englbrecht said Israel had made a big mistake by not discovering early on why these Africans had left their countries, and why had they crossed three different borders on the way.

What she didn’t mention was the fact that, on top of mishandling the illegal migrants, as supply began to outweigh the demand for labor in Israel, Israel was also neglecting and mistreating Israel’s poorest citizens, whose neighborhoods were eventually invaded by a myriad unemployed, uneducated, downtrodden foreigners.

At that point, under the poor management of a succession of governments run by Labor, Likud, Kadima and Likud again, the true magnitude of Israeli suffering under the lawless rule of these supposed “refugees” was being swept under the rug.

An African illegal sleeping on the ground in a south Tel Aviv playground. Photo credit: Abir Sultan/Flash 90

An African illegal sleeping on the ground in a south Tel Aviv playground. Photo credit: Abir Sultan/Flash 90

An NGO named Eitan-Center for Israeli Immigration Policy, documented an astonishing history of official lies about illegal acts committed by Africans against Israel’s most defenseless population: the working poor and the elderly, by and large of Sephardi descent, were stuck, economically immobilized, in perpetual purgatory.

Title: Alone in Africa

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Author: Avigail Sharer
Publisher: Israel Bookshop Publications

Alone in Africa, by Avigail Sharer, is an original adventure story about three siblings named Nesanel, Penina and Chezky Feiner, who are, well, alone in Africa. Except they aren’t entirely alone – they have animals and two battling African tribes to keep them company.

It all started when the three Feiner kids were flying from home in London without their parents to visit their grandparents in South Africa. The airport-provided chaperon was a rookie teenager who didn’t know what to do when the airplane made an emergency landing in the jungle. The kids became separated from the other passengers, who were driven away by military Jeeps to the airport. That is how they became “alone in Africa.”

They were found by an African tribe named the Lulu was who thought that Nesanel was a prophet named Gift of G-d. The other children escaped, but Nesanel was kept. When Nesanel attempted to escape, his plan was foiled when he was captured by a different African tribe named the Bakayas, who were at war with the Luluwas. There was a rescue attempt by Penina and Chezky, but was it successful?

I liked Alone in Africa for a number of reasons. The plot was fast-paced and full of twists and turns; at one moment they were wandering through the jungle, the next moment they were captured. My personal favorite part of this book was the idea of a non-poisonous, poisonous frog (when you read it you’ll know). The story is also very informative about survival skills. I would recommend Alone in Africa to potential jungle explorers of ages 9-10 who are ready to tackle a chapter book of over 230 pages.

IDF Chief: Israel-Egypt Border Will Continue to be Security Problem

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Following the death of Cpl. Netanel Yahalomi in a gunbattle on the Israel-Egypt border on Friday, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz warned that the perimeter would continue to be a security problem for Israel.

Speaking at the site of Yahalomi’s death on Sunday, Gantz said that while “we are fighters who are protecting our borders,” the border with Sinai “will continue to challenge us.”

“An enormous effort has been made over the past two years to close off the border, and it will be closed off, but even once it’s closed, the threat will not stop,” Gantz said.

Yahalomi was killed at the Mount Harif border region in a firefight with a jihadist group calling itself Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis.  The group claimed to have killed the Israeli soldier in response to the video “The Innocence of Muslims” made in the US by a private movie maker, mocking founder of Islam, Mohammed.

The group also claimed responsibility for an attack at Ein Netafim on the border, which killed eight Israelis in August 2011.

Initial reports indicate that the terrorists who fired on Yahalomi hid in an area near a group of African infiltrators attempting to breach the border to Israel.   IDF investigators say Yahalomi’s force may have been attacked while a larger part of the unit went to get water for the illegal immigrants.

African Migrants Stuck at Egypt-Israel Border

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

A group of some 20 African migrants is trapped between Israel’s border fence with Egypt and Israeli soldiers who have been ordered not to let them in.

The soldiers reportedly are providing water to the migrants, who as of Tuesday had been there for five days. The migrants, who include a pregnant woman, have refused to be sent back to Egypt.

Last month, a group of migrants stuck along the border was allowed to enter Israel after four days. They were sent to a holding facility for illegal migrants.

Humanitarian organizations have called on Israel to allow the migrants to enter and apply for asylum.

PC Kills: 11 Hospital Staff Members Contract Tuberculosis from African Illegals

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

A woman doctor and ten medical staff members at the Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv have recently contracted the tuberculosis virus, hospital officials told IDF Radio. The staff members are carriers of the disease, but have not actually become sick; their lives are not in danger and there is no immediate threat to their health.

The 11 staff members who are suffering from the virus have begun receiving treatment and the hospital is clarifying that there is no danger that they are contagious to other people through contact or by being in close proximity to them.

It appears that the staff members contracted the virus from African patients, before new procedures were instituted requiring every illegal alien, usually Africans, entering the hospital to be tested for tuberculosis.

In July a Health Ministry committee decided to examine Ichilov’s procedures for treatment of illegal aliens. The decision came about after Ichilov had opted to establish separate wards for illegal aliens, to ban visitors in rooms where illegal aliens are staying, and to declare that they must all undergo testing for tuberculosis.

Officials in the ministry expressed anger at the hospital’s decision and indicated that the policy should be changed.

“A situation should not exist where a hospital will segregate patients based on skin color; many immigrants have been immunized and they have the status of Israeli residents. We must assess the ramifications (of this procedure),” officials stated.

Various aid organizations also protested the new procedures. The Hotline for Migrant Workers (HMW) sent a letter to the hospital’s director, Professor Gabi Barbash, asking to change the procedures. In a letter written by attorney Assaf Weitzen on behalf of the center, he claimed that the hospital’s director was instituting procedures contrary to the patients’ rights laws.

Jewish Filmmaker Running for Parliament in Senegal

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Laurence Gavron was born in France to a Jewish family. She’s lived in Dakar, Senegal, for the past ten years, where she is a film director and a writer. Fascinated by African cultures, Laurence Gavron has produced documentaries on local musicians, and on the work of film director Djibril Diop Mambéty. She also writes regularly for the local papers, took part in several photo exhibitions, and wrote two novels: “Marabouts d’ficelle” (2000) and “Boy Dakar” (2008).

And she’s running for parliament, a white, Jewish woman in a black, African country.

“I’m a Senegalese of French origin, ‘a product of diversity,’ as they say in France,” the 57-year-old redhead told AFP in the garden of her Dakar home.

“If all the people who have said they will vote for me really do vote for me, then I shall certainly be elected” on Sunday, she said.

According to AFP, if Gavron wins, she’ll be only the second white person to have taken Senegalese nationality and win a seat in parliament. The first was Jean-Baptiste Collin, a Frenchman who was did all of the above in 1961.

“Laurence is entirely Senegalese, even if she has white skin. She has a place on our electoral list,” El Hadji Sarr, one of the leaders of the left-wing Party for the Emergence of Citizens – Tekki told AFP.

The group, which currently has only one member, a woman, in the outgoing National Assembly of 150 seats, is led by economist Mamadou Lamine Diallo. His principles appear to be: competence, morality, fairness, good governance, transparency and participation by citizens. Gavron says she identifies with all of them.

“I’ve always had a left-wing bent. I am incapable of voting for the right, it’s something that I’ve never done,” she said.

Gavron will benefit from a new law passed under former president Abdoulaye Wade, demanding complete parity between men and women on voting lists. The law will be applied for the first time in Sunday’s election.

“This is something very good, particularly in Senegal, where much injustice is done to women,” Gavron said.

Gavron was married to German cameraman who died when she was 32 and pregnant with her second child.

“The first time I set foot on Senegalese soil was 25 years ago. I’m in love with this country,” said Gavron. According to AFP, she is now married to a Senegalese man, speaks fluent Wolof and reasonable Peul, two of the country’s 20 or so official languages.

Gavron’s agenda is “to work against all kinds of injustice, the terrible things sometimes done in the name of religion or tradition … excisions, forced marriages with young girls, the exploitation of children.”

She is in 28th place on the electoral list presented by Tekki which, judging by the last election, will probably get only one or two seats.

Reigniting Economic Cooperation Between Israel And Emerging Nations

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Shifting regional alliances, spurred by Europe’s economic adversity and the spread of radical Islam across Africa, has created a window of opportunity for Israel to reengage with a host of emerging African nations.

Last week, Africa’s Voices in Israel, a grassroots effort spun off from the successful America’s Voices in Israel organization (part of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations), invited six Central Bank governors from various African nations to Israel in an effort to forge closer economic ties between Israel and emerging African countries. The inaugural Africa’s Voices in Israel mission was led by prominent New York businessman Michael Landau and sponsored by the IDT Corporation.

During a meeting with Israel’s deputy minister of Finance, Yitzhak Cohen, Professor Martin Dlamini, Central Bank governor of Swaziland, encouraged ongoing cooperation between Israel and Africa. “As we are an agriculturally dependent economy, it is important for us to meet with agricultural innovators in Israel and businesspeople who would be willing to invest in developing our agricultural market,” said Dlamini. “Therefore, I am grateful to have received this invitation from Africa’s Voices in Israel to strengthen the relationship between Israel, Swaziland and my African colleagues, by creating grassroots efforts in the fields of agriculture and finance.”

Professor Eugene Kandel, head of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s National Economic Council, told the group, “Israel has a track record of overcoming adversity and turning it into opportunity. We are a perfect model for developing countries in the areas of agriculture, banking security, and water technology. We see Africa as a strategic opportunity for Israel.”

Netanyahu’s senior adviser, Ron Dermer, said, “We sincerely hope that this mission will help forge a new set of alliances between Israel and Africa. The prime minister believes that the time has come for Israel to invest in developing financial, political and security relationships with the African continent. For banks in emerging nations, our expertise in cyber security will allow you [African banks] to make a critical financial jump forward, while protecting your banking assets against cyber attacks.”

The Zambian-born Bank of Israel governor, Stanley Fischer, who has maintained a longstanding friendship with Professor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, governor of the Bank of Uganda, explained that Israel has yielded consistent positive economic growth – at a time when Europe and the U.S. have experienced recessions. “We are here to listen and offer our friendly advice to your banking systems, based on our various experiences,” said Fischer.

Tumusiime-Mutebile told Fischer that it was in Uganda’s interest that Israel and Uganda expand their cooperation in the banking, financial and agricultural arenas. Tumusiime-Mutebile is especially keen on working with Israel’s Volcani Institute of Agricultural Research, whose cutting-edge scientists showed him how to maximize the country’s crop yields through advanced agricultural technologies. This would enable Uganda to feed more people, while saving the country significant amounts of money.

Landau, the New York businessman and mission leader, told The Jewish Press, “These encounters enable Africa’s Voices in Israel to foment a variety of important agricultural, business and financial opportunities for emerging African nations who wish to tap into Israel’s unique experiences. We expect that this mission will spur larger delegations of financial and business officials from countries across Africa to come aboard and create important bonds between Israel and their governments.”

Ivory Coast Head Wants Illegals Back, But Challenges the Numbers

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara said he intends to bring home Ivorian citizens who are living illegally in Israel, EJP reports.

Ouattara, who is on a state visit to Israel this week, met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and with Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin, and discussed on both occasions illegal immigration from Africa.

Netanyahu’s office released a statement saying, “Ivory Coast President Ouattara expressed agreement that Israel should repatriate Ivory Coast nationals who arrived here without permits.”

But following talks with Rivlin, Ouattara was unsure about Israel’s estimate of the number of his brethren (2,000) living illegally within its borders.

“We are not sure that this number is accurate,” Ouattara reportedly said, as it was becoming clear that he had not expected the number to be this high.

“We shall examine the list and return our citizens to their country and to their homeland in full cooperation with Israel,” he said.

“We know very well about the migration problem as a state which both absorbs refugees and from which 250,000 refugees fled during the grave political crisis,” Ouattara told Rivlin.

A civil war swept Ivory Coast after the presidential election in 2010.

“So far we have managed to reduce the number of (our) refugees around the world to around 60,000 and we hope that they will return to Ivory Coast in the coming months,” he said.

“To me, it’s quite humiliating to see African citizens trying to reach another country at almost any price. It’s terrible to see African youth trying to cross the sea and drowning on the way to Europe.”

While on a state visit, Ouattara is also a guest at the Presidential Conference Facing Tomorrow, which opened in Jerusalem on Tuesday. He was the keynote speaker at Wednesday’s plenary session on the world economy.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ivory-coast-head-wants-illegals-back-but-challenges-the-numbers/2012/06/21/

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