2ndlook

Israel’s Refugee ‘Problem’

Posted in America, Current Affairs, Desert Bloc, European History, Media, Pax Americana, politics by Anuraag Sanghi on May 24, 2012

75 years ago, the world turned its face away from Jewish refugees from Germany. America allowed talented, the rich and accomplished Jews to come to America. Today Israel thinks that refugees are ‘cancer’ and ‘plague’

Jews were refugees a few decades ago. They seem to forget that.  |  Cartoon by Baloo; source & courtesy - balooscartoonblog.blogspot.com  |  Click for image.

Jews were refugees a few decades ago. They seem to forget that. | Cartoon by Baloo; source & courtesy – balooscartoonblog.blogspot.com | Click for image.

Nearly 75 years ago, on on 9–10 November 1938, German SA Sturmabteilung, Nazi Stormtroopers in English, attacked Jewish business and residential establishments. That was soon after the start of ten years of unprecedented persecution of Jews in Germany. That night came to known as the Kristallnacht– the night of crystal, as Nazi stormtroopers broke glass doors, displays and show windows.
After the WWII, governments the world over decided that the Jewish experience must not be repeated. Most countries put in place laws that would safeguard refugees. The strongest safeguards possibly were in Germany, itself.

In the last ten years, there have been an estimated 60,000 African refugee-immigrants (mostly from Sudan and Eritrea) who have come to Israel to make a living.

Protesters gathered Wednesday across the country to protest the growing influx of African infiltrators in Israel. Over 1,000 people attended the demonstration in Tel Aviv’s Hatikva neighborhood, holding signs calling for the deportation of the migrants, one of which read “Bibi [Netanyahu] decide – Sudan or Israel.” Similar demonstrations were held in Eilat, Bnei Brak, Sderot, Ashdod and Ashkelon. (via TA anti-African rally ends in rioting, a… JPost – National News).

Israelis, themselves seeking refuge a few decades ago, came out in the streets to create an opinion against African refugees.

Thousands of Israelis, including high-profile politicians, attended an anti-African demonstration in Tel Aviv. The rally turned violent, with attacks on Africans and grocery shop windows being smashed.

­The gathering, which took place in Tel Aviv’s Hatikva neighborhood, targeted the influx of African asylum seekers and was organized by Michael Ben Ari, a Knesset member from the National Union party, along with far-right activists Itamar Ben-Guir and Baruch Marzel, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports.

But the rally was also attended by politicians from the ruling Likud party, including Knesset members Miri Regev and Danny Danon.

Former army brigadier general and Israeli Defense Forces spokeswoman Regev described asylum seekers as a “cancer in our body.”

On Thursday, Regev explained that her use of the word “cancer” was meant “to illustrate the spread of a negative phenomenon. This is a manifestation of rage that has been unleashed after a long time of people feeling unsafe in their own homes.”

“With all due respect to the Left and Peace Now – they are the reason that our country is in the state it’s in. Because of their High Court petitions we cannot deport all those infiltrators to their countries of origin,” she reportedly charged.

Danon also said the “infiltrators” had to be immediately expelled from Israel.

“We should not be afraid to say the words ‘expulsion now,’” Danon was reported as saying.

The crowd carried signs proclaiming messages such as “This is not Africa” and “Stop talking, start expelling.”

But as the sun set the rally turned violent, with demonstrators attacking at least a dozen African men and women who were unfortunate enough to be near the scene. They also smashed the shop front of a grocery store that served the migrant workers, subsequently looting it. Dene. They also smashed the shop front of a grocery store that served the migrant workers, subsequently looting it. Demonstrators also broke the window of a cab driven by a suspected African migrant worker. A bonfire was also lit up in the street. On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his ministers that the phenomenon of “illegal work infiltrators” was “very grave,” and that it “threatened the social fabric of society,” Israel’s national security and national identity. He also warned that unless action is taken, the migrants could “inundate” the country and “cancel out its image as a Jewish and democratic state.”Thousands of migrants from Eritrea and South Sudan came to Israel, saying they wanted to escape the poverty and political instability at home. The government has been trying to deport refugees from South Sudan back to their homeland, but the motion was halted by the Jerusalem District Court. The court issued a temporary order prohibiting the deportation until it rules on a petition filed by five human rights organization against the state’s decision to deport the immigrants, arguing that their lives may be endangered if they return home. (via Israeli Kristallnacht: Africans attacked in Tel Aviv anti-migrant demo (PHOTOS) — RT).

Attention deficit disorder?  |  Cartoon by Baloo; other details embedded in image  |  Click for image.

Attention deficit disorder? | Cartoon by Baloo; other details embedded in image | Click for image.

Ironically, the Jewish State of Israel itself finds it difficult to handle some 60,000 African immigrants.

The Israeli prime minister has stoked a volatile debate about refugees and migrant workers from Africa, warning that “illegal infiltrators flooding the country” were threatening the security and identity of the Jewish state.

“If we don’t stop their entry, the problem that currently stands at 60,000 could grow to 600,000, and that threatens our existence as a Jewish and democratic state,” Binyamin Netanyahu said at Sunday’s cabinet meeting. (via Israel PM: illegal African immigrants threaten identity of Jewish state | World news | The Guardian).

In a nation of 80 lakh people (8 million), can less than 60,000 migrants become a threat?

Is the State of Israel so fragile?

Israelis claim that these Africans have increased the crime rate in Israel. Facts as reported by The Guardian, that

According to police data quoted by the Hotline for Migrant Workers, the crime rate among foreigners in Israel was 2.04% in 2010, compared with 4.99% among Israelis. Micky Rosenfeld, spokesman for the Israeli police, said the overall crime rate in Israel had fallen. There had been one alleged rape of a teenage girl connected to the migrant community, for which three suspects were in custody, he added.

Yohanan Danino, the Israeli police chief, said migrants should be permitted to work to discourage petty crime. Nearly all are unable to work legally, and live in overcrowded and impoverished conditions. “The community needs to be supported in order to prevent economic and social problems,” said Rosenfeld.

But the interior minister, Eli Yishai, rejected such a move, saying: “Why should we provide them with jobs? I’m sick of the bleeding hearts, including politicians. Jobs would settle them here, they’ll make babies, and that offer will only result in hundreds of thousands more coming over here.”

Israel has been paranoid about immigrants since this cartoon from this 1990.  |  Cartoons credits embedded.  |  Click for image.

Israel has been paranoid about immigrants since this cartoon from this 1990. | Cartoons credits embedded. | Click for image.

On the other hand, time and again, Jewry, seems to usually land up at the side of powerful oppressors. Ignoring the persecution of the Roma Gypsies for decades, Israel now pays lip service. In another part of the world, a commentator notes, for instance,

from 1948 until 1994, the semi-official bodies representing the Jewish community in South Africa had been consistently mute on the apartheid question.

In Israel itself,

Israel is constructing a vast steel fence through 150 miles of the Sinai desert as a deterrent to people-trafficking and the smuggling of drugs and weapons. The barrier would be completed, bar one small section, by October, Netanyahu said.

Israel is also constructing the world’s largest detention centre for asylum seekers and illegal migrants, capable of holding 11,000 people. The £58m building, close to the border, will receive its first detainees by the end of the year. Binyamin Netanyahu’s coalition has skimmed a minimum of 2% from every ministry’s budget to fund the construction and start-up costs of the (detention) building.

According to UNHCR figures, 66% of Eritreans who arrive illegally in the UK are granted refugee status and 96% of those arriving in Canada.

In 2010, Israel recognised three refugees, rising to six last year. In total, just 170 people claiming asylum have been granted refugee status by the Jewish state since it signed the refugee convention in 1949.

All this not surprising. Israel has seen itself as a part of the West. Never a part of the Middle East or considered Africans as close as people from Mars are. Israel’s biggest failure is the state of permanent hostility it has engendered in the neighbourhood. Israel’s dysfunctional relationship with its neighbours has taken significant efforts from Israel – possibly, based on its superior ‘European’ extraction.

The only logic for Israeli policy is the probable Israeli intention. Is it that they are not staying in the neighbourhood after, or when American aid ceases?

Last summer’s protests against the cost of living suggested that many Israelis were less than satisfied with the state of the state. Almost a year later, housing is as unaffordable as ever and wages are relatively low. The gap between Israel’s rich and poor remains one of the highest in the western world. This winter saw a steep increase in electricity and gas prices. And, despite last year’s “cottage cheese protests”, food prices continue to rise. (via Refugees join Palestinians as the reviled ‘other’ in Israel – The National).

Nearly 65 years ago, the world turned away its face from the fate of Jews in Germany.

Today Israel’s Interior Minister, Eli Yishai, Yishai said: “I’m not responsible for what happens in Eritrea and Sudan, the UN is.” Does the UN have a country where these refugees can stay? How does Yishai expect the UN to handle these refugees?

After ten years of persecution in Hitler’s Germany, one would expect global Jewry to change.

Forever.

The fact they it has made no difference to them is probably my problem. But Jews have no such expectation of themselves.

It is a problem of my expectation.


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Behind The Web Of Terror

“…one who knows the higher criminal world … for years …I have …been conscious of some power behind the malefactor, some deep organizing power which … stands in the way of the law, and throws its shield over the wrong-doer. Again and again …I have felt the presence of this force, …when I seized my thread and followed it, …it led me, …to ….” Arthur Conan Doyle – The Final Solution

Syria For Dessert

The Root Of All Terror

In today’s world, behind all terror you will similarly see another baleful influence. No, it is not Osama bin Laden. Osama is either a minor reactionary (in Marxist terms) or a diluted repetition of the Hashishi influence.

Hashishis were major source of terrorism in the Dark Ages in Europe and Middle East. Their influence was finally extirpated by Genghis Khan’s army – which systematically went after this band of mercenary killers. The English word assassin is derived from Hashishis.

The source of modern terrorism is the USA.

The formation of Israel

Similar to the Middle East carve-up after WW1, and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, USA’s baleful story started immediately after WW2. The creation of the US cat’s paw in the Middle East – Israel. Less than 1,00,000 Jews were considered more important than the 5,00,000 Palestinian’s. This was American solution, aided by odious British legalities, (the Balfaour Declaration) to the Jewish persecution in Europe.

Just why, did Muslim Palestinians in Asia have to pay the price, for Christian persecution of Jews in Europe.

The Jews promptly forgot all about persecution – and started a new chapter in persecution. Palestinians became homeless – no passports. They could not go anywhere. Israel did not want them as Israeli citizens – but as a source of cheap labour, without rights. Jordan accepted a few. Syria was persuaded to accept some. They became stateless citizens – property of the UNHCR. And Palestinians started a new chapter in terrorism!

What Can Palestinians Do

The biggest successes in post WW2 world have been those that followed Gandhiji – Poland, South Africa, Martin Luther King and others. Odds are in favour of following the Gandhian way. The one unique military success in the last 60 years of struggle by emerging nations was Ho Chi Minh.

Ho Chi Minh from Time MagazineLike Haitian generals, time and again, Ho Chi Minh, drove back Western colonials – each time they went back on their word. The French had promised freedom and de-colonialisation after WW2. Thereafter, they tried wriggling. Ho Chi Minh wouldn’t let them move.

The French created a mess – before leaving in 1956. Just like Britain did in India (by creating a Pakistan and Kashmir). US decided that they could ‘clean up’ – and make Vietnam into another client state like other SEATO (now ASEAN) members. 20 years later, the US admitted defeat and decided to slink away. The Chinese decided to take swipe. Same story.

Three of the five permanent members of the Security Council, (supposed Super Powers or mini-Super Powers) tried their hand at Vietnam. All failed. And after defeating these ‘Super Powers’, the Viets did not flex their muscles with any of their neighbours.

Ho Chi Minh’s quiet leadership, his frugality, his unblemished personal life inspired the Viets to take on the world – and win. After becoming President of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, he lived in a ‘gardener’s cottage and then a peasant house built on stilts beside a pond.’ Just like Gandhiji, he died just before seeing his dream came true. Ho Chi died in 1969 – a few years before the last of the colonialists was thrown out.

His was the kind of war that Gandhiji always believed in – ethical, moral. Without hate, rancour, ill-will or subjugative ambitions. Ho Chi Minh was truly the second coming of Gandhiji – the predicted Kalki. This is the success that Middle East freedom fighters need to learn from. Regressive practices by rag-tag terror outfits corrupt the freedom struggle – and dilute the stability of the outcome.

The Islamic DemonisationNext was Iran.

They foisted a corrupt Reza Shah Pahlavi in Iran. A king no one wanted. The Shah of Iran wrote new chapters in state repression.

In 1974, I was introduced to a visitor from Iran in Hyderabad, India – someone my father picked up an acquaintance with. He was afraid of speaking anything in our house in India – 2500 miles away. He was afraid as if the Savak (Shah’s secret police) was in the room next door. He was from an Iranian minority that spoke Aramaic – and the first time I came to know that Aramaic was one of the language in which the Bible was originally written (but that is another story).

The Shah of Iran worked against his own nationalist Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeq – to protect Western Oil interests. To turn public opinion,

declassified documents detailing the 1953 U.S. overthrow of Iran’s Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeq reveal that something actually called the “CIA Art Group” produced cartoons to turn public opinion against the democratically elected leader.

The CIA, led by Kermit Roosevelt Jr., and the British intelligence, launched Operation Ajax. Finally, in 1979, the Shah was replaced by the regressive regime of Ayatollah Khomeini, which has taken Iran out of the USA orbit – but kept Iran from progress for the last 30 years. Iran has become a source of de-stabilisation various parts of the world (Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc) – in its anti USA crusade.

US Targets Paula Abdul For Regime ChangePakistan – Old Story.

Pakistan was a part of the USA troika with Iran and Turkey in the CENTO alliance against USSR. Pakistan’s next ruler will be selected by the USA. During the Kargil war, India was talking to the USA. USA called the shots – and decided to replace Nawaz Sharif with Musharraf.

Pakistan was the training ground for New York sub-way bombing, 9/11 terrorists, for the Mujahiddin in Afghanistan and for the rogue trade in nuclear material with AQS Khan. India’s Kashmir and Khalistan problems – direct result of USA foreign policy.

Iraq

Iraq started a war with Iran in 1980 (prodded by USA) against Iran. As a reward. Saddam wanted Kuwait. Before the Kuwaiti invasion, Saddam took USA “permission”. By the time USA realized what was happening, Kuwait was over. USA did a volte-face – and Saddam became a demon. Today, Iraq has become a quagmire of a civil war amongst Iraqis. The cost of an alliance with the USA. The war on terror has become another foray for the America-Australia-Britain-Canada (ABC) Axis – at a cost to the rest of the world.

“By God, we’ve kicked the Vietnam syndrome once and for all!” So said President George Bush in a euphoric victory statement at the end of the Gulf War. Did Iraq have to pay the price for exorcising the Vietnam ghost in the American mind?

Osama was operating from Afghanistan.

What did the USA have to do there!! It started with USSR. The King Of Afghanistan – Zahir Shah was replaced by a USSR backed group. A despotic, directionless regime replaced Zahir Shah. The secular voice of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, an avowed Gandhian, in Afghanistan was silenced by Pakistan – an USA ally.

Afghanistan decayed into a regressive nation – which the USSR decided to change! The civil war between the mujahideen (armed by the USA) and the Russians pushed back the character of the Afghans by 1500 years. An USA supply agreement flooded Afghanistan and Peshawar with for arms and armaments. Waziristan in Pakistan, NWFP has practically been conquered by the Mujahideen. The touch that kills.

Teror Outsourcing?Who’s next?

Saudi Arabia? One of the Central Asian Republics! Anglo Saxon propaganda overdrive tells us that Islam is to be blamed. Hardly!

Three causes for this US policy.

Oil – Cheap oil. Never mind the cost to others.

Oil – All it can get. And then some more.

Oil – For no one else. Uncle Sam wants it all.

Three Monkeys – Toshogu Temple

Amazingly, one of the US presidential hopefuls, John McCain, even blames a Muslim for killing Gandhiji. This was demonisation of Muslims by the American political establishment at its best.

Post Script

The first step

On February 22nd, 2008, the Deoband Seminary, the most respected Islamic seminary in South and South East Asia, issued a anti-terrorism declaration at a huge public meeting attended by hundreds and thousands of people. This set up a new direction in Islamic social dialogue – where a non-establishment, Islamic theological group came out against terrorism. Subsequently, some other ‘liberals’ jumped onto this bandwagon.

And then …

In October 2008, Pakistan was sent on a cold turkey … by Saudi Arabia, China and the US. Pakistan has been forced to go to IMF which is prescribing a heavy cut back in defence spending.

But most interestingly …

On October 3rd, 2008, the Frontier Gandhi’s grandson was the target of suicide bomber. The terrorists are obviously worried that Khan Abdul Khan Ghaffar Khan’s sensibility may make a comeback. Suddenly the world has been reminded about Khan Abdul Khan Ghaffar Khan.

Coincidentally, in India, a film was made on Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan. The LA Times recently ran an column on him. The answer to the Pakistani problems in the North West tribal areas was Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan.

And the tribal chiefs of Pakistan and Afghanistan Pashtuns decided to call for a ‘mini-jirga’ on violence – to decide on the future of the two countries.

Hopefully, this a new beginning for Pakistan …

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