This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Survival of a Jewish State

Japan, on its three tight little islands has never welcomed non-Japanese to live there. Japan takes pride in its preservation of its heritage, its culture, and its pure Japanese strain in a monoculture and monoethnicity it has no wish whatever to attenuate. Koreans who have lived in Japan for generations, change their names to reflect Japanese versions, hoping to pass themselves off as pure Japanese to avoid discrimination. Japan has no interest in absorbing refugees. Japanese who leave the islands to live elsewhere are never again viewed as pure Japanese should they return to Japan.

Saudi Arabia, in a geographic area of the world beset with constant conflict, awash with refugees from tribal, sectarian, brutal wars, takes no refugees. Although the country takes in temporary foreign workers to perform menial jobs that Saudis will not lower themselves to perform, citizenship is given only to Saudis. These are but several nations with institutionalized dedication to maintaining themselves as nations wedded to nationality and the preservation and purity of ethnic origin.

It is to preserve their racial 'purity', their culture, their heritage, their religious observances particular to all the former, that they choose to distinguish themselves by shutting out foreign entry on a permanent basis. The State of Israel was established on heritage Judaic land where Judaism as an ethnic, social and religious origin predicated a return to Zion to preserve Jewish life, threatened throughout the diaspora from ancient times to the present.
African migrants leaving an Israeli government immigration office in Bnei Brak, Israel. Posters in Arabic and Tigrinya on the wall announce Israel's "voluntary departure" policy for Sudanese and Eritrean migrants.
Daniel Estrin/NPR

Despite Israel's dedication to the preservation of Judaism from the vile forces of hatred, persecution and anti-Semitism, circumstances ordered the imperative of permitting non-Jews who had lived on the land to remain there where they were assured of equality under the law; political, religious, linguistic and cultural-social autonomy as citizens of Israel. The Jewish character of Israel is of course threatened any time a large influx of non-Jews threatens it; the Palestinian insistence of 'return' a singular case in point.

All the more so in that the generations that have accrued, all considered 'Palestinian refugees' now numbering in the millions from the original tens of thousands would effectively eliminate Israel and its Judaism-protective role as a Jewish state welcoming Jews from throughout the world for security and a return to Zion. It is not, however, only Palestinian aspirations to return to effect an upset in the majority status of Jews that is worrying, but the more recent influx of African migrants seeking haven and opportunity.

Tens of thousands of Africans, mostly from Eritrea and Sudan's Darfur region where people are persecuted and experience deadly violence, entered the African country of Egypt seeking haven, beginning in 2005. Egypt reacted negatively, refusing to absorb these Africans just as they refused to absorb Palestinian refugees. A refugee demonstration was violently put down by Egyptian authorities and the refugees hearing of safety and jobs in Israel, flowed there, with tens of thousands crossing the border from Egypt into Israel before a barrier was built in 2012.

African migrants in Israel represent mostly young, single males. The community has concentrated in south Tel Aviv where lower middle-class Jews mostly live. That demographic has complained for years of the unsettling presence of Africans leading to lawlessness and rising crime rates. Of the 35,000 African refugee/migrants many are women and children and entire families. Israel had agreed this group would be permitted to remain for the time being, but that about 16,000 young men would be persuaded to leave, $3,500 in pocket and flight out of Israel to an accepting African country.

Although they are in Israel illegally, those targeted to leave refuse, insisting they will not once again live in any African country, preferring to remain in Israel, even if they are incarcerated. Israeli citizens are themselves divided on whether they support the government's move to remove the African migrants; with the exception of those Israelis among whom the migrants live, with their complaints of destabilized neighbourhoods.

There are no easy answers, no easy choices to be made that will satisfy everyone. Israel considers those who have entered the country illegally to be 'infiltrators'. Some of the migrants were scarred as a result of torture and other violence perpetrated on them by Egyptian Bedouin smugglers in the Sinai when they were en route to Israel. Some of the backgrounds are those of people escaping war in Darfur where the Muslim Arab government and its Janjaweed allies murdered and raped and made homeless tens of thousands of Black Darfurians.

Others have fled compulsory military service in Eritrea where conscripts have no defined period of service, but one that can go on forever. Once in Israel on foot as they crossed the desert border, the Israeli army loaded them onto buses and took them to Tel Aviv where many work now as janitors and street cleaners, cooks and dishwashers. Official Israel argues they are economic migrants and become a burden on society, threatening the Jewish character of the Jewish state.
Asylum seekers behind a fence at a Manus Island detention center in Papua New Guinea in 2013. (Eoin Blackwell/European Pressphoto Agency)

For fifteen years Australia has struggled with an influx of unwanted migrants and refugees, refusing to allow them to enter Australia, keeping them in raw ghettos on Narau and Papua, New Guinea, where despair and hopelessness caught the attention of the world and Australia vowed it would irregardless, not accept the illegal migrants. Since 1989, refugees mostly from Vietnam and Cambodia, have come as boat people, only to be shunted into the holding camps; no hope, no future, only despair.

Israel now seeks the 'voluntary departure' of its own migrants: "Greetings, we would like to inform you that Israel has signed arrangements allowing you to leave Israel to a safe, third-party country that will welcome you and give you a residence permit that will allow you to work in the country and ensure you are not expelled to your home country", read a formal letter issued to these single, young Africans, few of whom were willing to comply.

Israel, as in all matters that concern not only it, but other countries of the world, stands alone, accused by human rights groups, the European Union, the United Nations, as an abuser of human rights. Its fate and role in life; to defend Jews throughout the world from another horrendous genocide and its little sister, viral anti-Semitism, while itself being attacked for not living up to the standards that other nations of the world defy with impunity.

Mehretab Seyim, 28, holds a deportation notice he just received at an Israeli government immigration office in the Israeli city of Bnei Brak. The notice is written in Hebrew and Tigrinya, one of the languages spoken in Eritrea.
Daniel Estrin/NPR

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