Many, if not most, haredim in Europe in 1939 would have been unable to fluently speak, read or write their native country’s language, and they would have known little of their native country’s history or its government structure. The same is true for many hasidim in today’s New Square, as well. Yet the Government of Israel is using similar tests to change the classifications of African refugees in a bid to skirt international treaties and deport them back to the countries from which they fled, often in terror.
Editorial: Israel’s Government Allegedly Uses Deception To Deport More African Refugees
In its continued attempt to deport as many African refugees as possible despite international treaties it has signed that forbid doing so, the Government of Israel has found a new and apparently successful tactic – reclassifying Eritrean refugees as Ethiopian.
At this point, Eritreans cannot be legally deported because of those international treaties while Ethiopians can be. Because Ethiopian once ruled its neighbor Eritrea, and because the physical appearances and superficial cultures of the two groups of refugees is so similar, it may not always be clear which country a refugee actually comes from, even though the languages each group primarily speaks is different.
Some of the refugees claiming to be Eritrean certainly are not. But most others are actually Eritrean.
Because African refugees rarely have state-issued personal I.D.s or documents, the way citizenship is determined is by interviews that include quizzes asking details about a refugee’s claimed home village or Eritrean history.
The government seems, however, to have taken this to bizarre extremes. For example, an Eritrean woman with a fourth grade education was slated for deportation as an Ethiopian because she did not know fine details of Eritrean history.
So far, all but one of the 19 deportation cases based on reclassifying Eritrean refugees as Ethiopians that have been brought to court have been won by the government, largely because the standard of how to judge citizenship is arguably unreasonable.
Many, if not most, haredim in Europe in 1939 would have been unable to fluently speak, read or write their native country’s language, and they would have known little of their native country’s history or its government structure. The same is true for many hasidim in today’s New Square, as well.
Many Jews who tried to leave Germany and neighboring countries in the years preceding World War Two were refused visas and were denied refuge by the US and many other countries. Indeed, even after the war started, Jews were most often denied visas. Most of these Jews were murdered in the Holocaust.
The Government of Israel, with the strong backing of right wing, Zionist Orthodox and haredi political parties, cares little about this history. It has consistently been abusive to even the most legitimate African refugees, and its current refugee policy is almost exclusively based on keeping Israel racially, ethnically and religiously “pure” – the same arguments made in many countries to bar Jews trying to flee what became the Holocaust.
Israel abandons legitimate refugees to abject poverty while it enforces laws that prevent these refugees from working or owning businesses. It creates a destitute class of Africans who are forced to break the law simply to survive and then punishes them for doing so while a relative handful of Jewish Israelis working privately without government assistance do what they can to help provide food and shelter.
Israel cannot absorb hundreds of thousands of non-Jewish refugees who have no ties to Judaism, but it can temporarily give them shelter and hope.
Instead, what we said was hateful and evil in 1939 we are supporting in 2013.