Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

African Refugees in Israel: The Plight of Non-Jews in the Zionist State

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

African Refugees in Israel: The Plight of Non-Jews in the Zionist State

Article excerpt

The Palestine Center in Washington, DC hosted independent journalist and filmmaker David Sheen, who on Feb. 26 gave one of the best talks this reporter has ever heard. Sheen-who is from Toronto, Canada and now lives in Dimona, Israel-discussed the striking parallels between Israel's current efforts to deport all African refugees and its marginalization of non-Jewish populations, including Palestinians, throughout its history.

Right off the bat, Sheen put Israeli racism into an American context in order to show how unacceptable and outrageous Israeli behavior would be here in the U.S.

Imagine an America, Sheen said, in which: "the director of the largest hospital in Philadelphia announces that he regrets the Jews are having babies and bans Jews from entering the hospital unless it's an emergency. In which the largest preacher in Palm Beach County organizes preachers across the nation to issue a religious edict banning Christians from renting apartments to Jews. In which a Philadelphia city counselor proposes that there be new municipal bus lines only for Jews because they smell and spread diseases. In which the Brooklyn city counselor evicts Jews from their apartments in the middle of the winter. In which the mayor of Charlotte simply rounds all the Jews in town onto buses and kicks them out of town. In which the mayor of Sacramento puts flags up all around the city and declares that the city is now at war with Jewish people. In which Jews living in Los Angeles are cornered into just one living section of town, a ghetto for Jews only. In which the head of the Department of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, announces that 'Why can't Jews just accept that the United States is a Christian nation,' calling them disease bearers and saying that he will make their lives miserable until they leave. In which Attorney General Eric Holder revises the legal status of Jews and henceforth they can be arrested, prosecuted and jailed, even without having the right to a fair trial."

Everything Sheen described is actually happening in America's sister cities in Israel-so it's not in Philadelphia, but in its sister city of Tel Aviv, where the director of the largest hospital complained that Africans were having babies and banned Africans from entering the hospital, etc.

African asylum seekers in Israel today have no recourse to the courts, Sheen continued. …

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