On Wednesday (7th February) Jewish activists and African groups will come together in London to protest against Israel’s deportation of thousands of refugees. The demonstration will take place outside the Rwandan embassy – one of the countries named as taking the asylum seekers. [https://www.facebook.com/events/1548082038602982/]
This is part of a world-wide programme of resistance, which includes protests in Brussels, Berlin, London, Stockholm, The Hague, as well as across the United States.
On Sunday the Israeli government began issuing deportation notices to the Eritreans and Sudanese on Sunday. [https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-begins-handing-out-deportation-notices-to-african-migrants/] They are being told to leave Israel within two months, or face incarceration. Migrants who agree to exit Israel by the end of March will receive $3,500 and a plane ticket. Forced deportations could possibly be carried out next.
A growing movement
The Israeli left has been joined by Jews around the world to fight against the deportations of the asylum seekers. This has gradually grown in strength.
Dec. 11 – A webinar was organized by Elliot Glassenberg, a Canadian-Israeli who has been trying to organize the North American Jewish community for several years through an American organization called Right Now . At this point it was a fringe movement, both in Israel and the U.S.
Dec. 13 – Hundreds of American Jews sign this letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu. Here is the text of the letter, which you can still sign. It names some of the signatories, which include many of JLM’s partner organisations in America.
Jan. 2 – The Israeli government formalized its expulsion order. Within a day it was all over the international news.
Jan. 15 – The Anti-Defamation League wrote an open letter to the Israeli government, expressing its “grave concerns over a reported Israeli government plan to deport tens of thousands of African asylum seekers from Israel, either by coercion or force.”
Jan. 18 – Leading Israeli authors wrote an open letter.
Jan. 19 – Susan Silverman and other rabbis in Israel offered to hide Africans in their homes (the Anne Frank Home Sanctuary Movement).
Jan. 20 – Hundreds of academics join the protest.
Jan. 21 – Hospital doctors, nurses and social workers joined.
Jan. 21 – Several Holocaust survivors in Israel offered to hide Africans in their homes. [https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-holocaust-survivors-join-israeli-backlash-against-refugee-expulsions-1.5766648]
Jan. 22 – Three El Al pilots joined the protests. [https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-el-al-pilots-say-they-won-t-fly-deported-asylum-seekers-to-africa-1.5751068]
Join the international protests
Now the Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel has launched a co-ordinated campaign against the deportations. [http://assaf.org.il/en/content/events]
It is this campaign that members of the Jewish Labour Movement are being asked to support.
Please come to the Rwandan embassy this Wednesday, 7th of February, at 12.00 at 120-122 Seymour Place, W1H 1NR London.
Bring placards and banners!