I Wish I Were In Paris

From war to peace and politics to gossip, if we have an opinion on something we'll share it here.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Law In Israel Keeps Darfur Refugees Out

I would say how ironic it is that Israel has a law that is keeping refugees out of Israel, Darfur refugees in particular, but somehow I can't find the funny irony in this story.

You would think that because of what happened to many Jewish people back during World War 2, Jewish people would never turn someone away who was fleeing pretty much the very same thing that they were. The people of Darfur are being murdered, just like many Jewish people were murdered by the Nazi's. The only difference is, the people of Darfur aren't being shipped off to concentration camps. They're just being murdered right where they are.

Under the law, the bill would prohibit the interior minister from granting a residency permit to a citizen from a "threat country," or to anyone who constitutes a security risk to Israel. The law defines such individuals as anyone living in a country conducting terror activities against Israel. What exactly is the threat that these Darfur refugees pose to Israel or Israelis? Is Israel afraid of allowing black people from Africa into their country? It's just a question that I want to know the answer to. You can't honestly tell me that these refugees are plotting terrorist activities against Israel. They're running for their damn lives. They're not plotting anything!!

Attorney Nurit Tabib, of the Tel Aviv District Prosecutor's office, explained the state's position in a response to a suit filed in the Tel Aviv Administrative Court: "...the security services have no possibility for distinguishing between someone who is infiltrating Israel on orders from Al-Qaida and someone who is an innocent infiltrator fleeing for his life."

The state is also concerned about setting a precedent.
What kind of precedent is that? A precedent for showing compassion to people who are fleeing genocide in their country, and running for their lives? Or is it setting a precedent of allowing Africans into your country? WHAT IS IT?

Article 44 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 determines that a country to which refugees have fled must not treat them as enemy aliens simply because they are citizens of an enemy country. This article was proposed by Israel, in response to the treatment of Jewish refugees during World War II. Why am I not surprised here by this fact? Once again Israel has chosen to ignore their obligations to uphold the Geneva Convention. Not only that, they're failing to uphold this particular article of the Geneva Convention that they actually proposed in the first place.

Can you say hypocrisy? This is a blatant disregard for the safety and lives of these refugees, and Israel knows it. They know that they're once again in violation of the Geneva Convention, and they don't care. I wonder how quickly the UN or the United States is going to intervene here and demand that Israel live up to its obligations. Somehow I think that even after I'm long dead people will still be waiting for that to happen. After all, if the UN intervenes, the United States is bound to bully everyone into backing down from holding Israel accountable. It happens every single time!! Why should this time be any different? Trust me, it won't be. Unfortunately, the Darur refugees are the ones that will end up paying for it.


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