op-ed | No state for refugees

What if we were white? Eritrean asylum seekers protest in Tel Aviv

"What if we were white?" Asylum seekers protest in Tel Aviv. Photo: Activestills

I’ve got a new op-ed up on the Guardian‘s Comment is Free – looking at the phantasmagorical Infiltrators Law [pdf] being rushed through the Knesset. The bill aims to “deal” with the Congo, Darfur,  South Sudan and Eritrea refugees who manage to sneak into Israel – past their own genocidal/brutish governments and Egyptian snipers – by sticking them in jail for up to 20 years. What makes it even more similar to the fugitive slave laws of 19th century US is that similar punishments are set in store for anyone who assists them or eases their stay in Israel. This very broad phrasing means everyone trying to help the refugeses acquire a legal status in Israel, anyone who treats them in volunteer clinics, and anyone who serves them a glass of water or gives a refugee a ride, is liable to get up to 20 years as well. Feel free to comment either here or there (although it’ll be easier to have a proper conversation here).

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