Immigrants or infiltrators?

Heather Pharis, Viking Fusion Reporter

            For 7 years, thousands of Africans have been fleeing Sudan to find asylum in any country that could take them. Due to poor living conditions, lack of jobs, and genocide; African’s have been leaving their native countries to find peace in Israel and instead are met with discrimination and prison sentences.

            Due to overfilled refugee camps and lack of options, nearly sixty thousand Africans have made their way to Israel by way of trekking through the Cyanide desert, a dangerous road ending in an even more fearful destination. Because Israel is thought to be an industrialized and democratic country, most immigrants believe that Israel would be a welcoming country, but the opposite is true. Israel is concerned that with so many migrants seeking asylum, that Israel will lose it’s Jewish background and become a bi-national state. These migrants have legislators and religious leaders alike trying to expel them from Israel and back to their native lands.

            Israeli politicians have made several laws and rules making it nearly impossible for immigrants to live in Israel. Hundreds of highly esteemed rabbis made a doctrine in 2010 forbidding any Israeli to rent to any non-Jewish person. Last year, Israeli politicians made new amendments to their 1954 Anti-Infiltration act so that any person believed to be a non-Jewish asylum seeker would be sent to prison or prison camps up to 3 years and then deported, without trial. This amendment was passed with 37 votes with only 9 opposing. With so many asylum seekers in Israel, Jewish lawmakers are building new prisons and camps to hold the “infiltrators”. One prison in particular was built in the middle of the Negev desert. The Saharonim prison is believed to be the largest prison in any industrialized country holds over 2,000 prisoners most believed to be African.

            Politicians and lawmakers are only half of the issue; Israeli citizens are known to be violent and derogatory towards migrants and anyone opposing the anti-infiltration laws. Anti-immigrant protests are common in the streets, as are anti-African rallies involving thousands of Israelis banding together for keeping Israel a Jewish country and expelling the Africans from Israel. In one incident last summer, a large riot occurred after an anti-migrant rally when thousands of citizens attacked African migrants at their homes and private businesses harming hundreds of people and their property. Anyone found protesting these anti-infiltration beliefs are attacked just as intensely with threats and racial slurs.

            On the other side of the argument, the African migrants have no known record of being violent towards Jewish people, and are only trying to find asylum and are non-violently protesting their freedom. Early this summer, a mass hunger strike in the Saharonim prison involving hundreds of its prisoners. The prison answered this by taking away all communication and moving them to stricter wards in the prison. Some Israelis join with the immigrants to march down the streets with signs asking for peace and equal treatment. These demonstrations are often interrupted by angry mobs of Israeli Nationalists. There has been no known record of the immigrant’s protests being violent or having any involvement with terrorism, only demonstrations begging for a safe home in Israel.

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