Israel’s War on Refugees
by Stephen Lendman
America and Israel are two of the world’s least welcoming countries for refugees. Both nations share responsibility for the human flood overwhelming Europe. Yet neither does much to help.
In the past year, only around 1,000 desperate people fleeing countries ravaged by US wars were granted asylum in America. Israel only accepts Jewish refugees.
Muslims from countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen aren’t wanted - victims of US imperial wars, Israel partnering in its regional aggression.
On Sunday, Netanyahu said “(w)e will not allow Israel to be submerged by a wave of illegal migrants and terrorist activists.”
Fact: They’re not “migrants” or “terrorist(s).” They refugees fleeing countries America complicit with Israel and rogue NATO partners ravaged by endless wars.
“(W)e must control our borders,” Netanyahu blustered.
Fact: Israel is the world’s only country without declared borders - because of its expansionary policy, wanting Palestinian land and more from neighboring countries annexed to its own territory, exclusively for Jews, no others wanted or tolerated, especially Muslims.
Official figures show around 45,000 refugees in Israel - Black Jews almost entirely from Eritrea and Sudan, unwanted because of their race, involuntary departures commonplace.
Israel is the only nation surrounding itself with walls - to steal land, keep out unwanted refugees and enforce repression. They have nothing to do with security. Israel’s claim otherwise rings hollow.
Its Apartheid Wall will exceed 800 km when completed - its route largely within the Green Line, stealing around 12% of Palestinian land.
Gaza is surrounded by walls and razor wire - extending 55 km from northwest Beit Lahia to Rafah, including a 300 - 600 meter buffer zone, off-limits for badly needed agriculture.
Israel prohibits it on around 30% of Gaza's most fertile land. Thousands of Palestinian farmers can't access their fields. Anyone trying is shot - children as vulnerable like adults.
A barrier separates Israeli occupied Golan from Syria - fortified with concertina and razor wire, touch sensors, motion detectors, infrared cameras and ground radar.
A completed Sinai border fence walls off Israel from Egypt - 150 miles long, over 16 feet high. Others run along Lebanon’s border and under construction separating Israel from Jordan.
It builds separation walls of oppression and land theft, turing Gaza into a walled in prison, preventing diaspora Palestinians from returning home, keeping unwanted refugees out, serving its own self-interest at the expense of people it harms.
Walls don’t provide security. They separate people unjustly, isolate them, create problems, make enemies, prevent peace, equity and justice - another reason why Israel is one of the world’s most hated countries.
It’s separate and unequal policy makes normal life impossible. Socioeconomic discrimination affects land policies, urban planning, housing, infrastructure, economic development, employment, education, healthcare, and personal safety.
Arabs aren’t wanted - or non-Jewish refugees and asylum seekers, despite international law protecting them. Article I of the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees calls them:
"A person who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of their nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail him/herself of the protection of that country."
Post-WW II, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was established to help them.
To gain legal protection, they must:
- be outside their country of origin;
- be harmed or fear harm by their government or others;
- fear persecution for at least one of the above reasons; and
- pose no danger to others.
Israel is a signatory to the 1951 UN Convention. Interior Ministry procedures and secret inter-ministerial decisions ignore it.
Compared to Western countries, Israel accepts the fewest number of temporary or permanent refugees even though legally and morally bound to help. America operates the same way.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.