Tuesday, June 26, 2012
En un concierto que ha cuidado la esterilidad política hasta el último detalle y en donde los cantantes españoles no hicieron ni siquiera un llamado a la paz, el público disfruto de un gran espectáculo y vibro al ritmo de temas como: "Mediterráneo, Fiesta, Cantares, y Para la Libertad".
Monday, June 25, 2012
Immigration in Israel: African outcasts in the promised land
As African refugees are put into camps and attacked by racist gangs, Donald Macintyre
reports from Tel Aviv
Monday, 25 June 2012
Amine Zigta is not a timid man. If he was, he would not have risked his life by escaping
indefinite enforced army service in Eritrea, or making the hazardous journey through Sudan
and the Sinai desert to Israel. Nor would he have kept open his corner bar in south Tel
Aviv after 15 local hoodlums shouting "what do you care, you black son of a bitch?" broke
off table legs in March to assault him after he refused to serve teenagers below the legal
drinking age. "But now," Mr Zigta, 36, says in fluent Hebrew, "I am afraid, all the time. At
night I can't sleep. I am in danger."
Given subsequent events, his fears are understandable. On 23 May, with a demonstration
against African refugees planned for the evening, he locked up at around 4pm. Hours later,
residents phoned to say demonstrators were breaking in. Mr Zigta went to two police
stations for help and was still waiting at a third when he got another call to say a police
patrol had finally turned up. When he arrived, he found the plate glass windows smashed
by bricks, tables upturned and all his stock stolen by looters.
This month, a motorcyclist hurled a firecracker into the bar, injuring a customer. An
Eritrean woman working there was threatened by two men that "her stomach would be cut
open with knives", he says. "I have been to the police but they say they can't guard the
place 24 hours." Friendly local Israelis phone in warnings when trouble is afoot. "But then
they are told: why are you helping this man?"
Mr Zigta's experience is extreme. But otherwise he typifies the 60,000 African men and
women who have crossed the still-porous Egypt-Israel border since 2005. Many of the
more recent have braved kidnappings, torture and rape by their Bedouin traffickers. Of the
50,000 "infiltrators" (the official term has been condemned by the US State Department)
still here, Eritreans and Sudanese cannot be deported because the dangers at home
qualify them for "collective protection" under international conventions. A third group,
1,000 South Sudanese, are being deported after a court ruling that the new state is safe
to return to.
But with a suspended deportation order hanging over them, the remaining African asylumseekers are in legal limbo, unable to secure refugee status and therefore access to health
and social services. Their entry documents forbid work, and though Israel's Supreme Court
has ordered the state not to enforce this, the Interior Minister, Eli Yishai, says he intends
to find a way to do so. A new law permits detention of refugees for three years, and so
Israel is constructing a 12,400-place desert prison camp – along with tented facilities
across the country – "to house tens of thousands of infiltrators until they can be sent out
of the country", Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said this month. The inmates will not
be allowed to work.
Until this month, when the government decided to keep new "infiltrators" in jail, refugees
have been detained and screened before "conditional" release. They generally say they
were humanely treated by the soldiers on arrival. It's after that that life got difficult.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
General view on the village of Susiya, located in South Hebron hills, which is under threat of being totally demolished by the Israeli authorities.
On Tuesday, 12 June 2012, Israel’s Civil Administration distributed demolition orders to over 50 structures in the village. There are also demolition orders for a shop, a clinic, a community center and solar panels.. The residents did appeal and obtained a two-weeks freeze order. The village of Susiya, located in area C, is surrounded by settlements and has faced countless attacks by settlers and harassment by the Israeli army.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
African refuges wait in a line to receive food organized by Israeli volunteers who bring food to the refuges in Levinsky Park, Tel Aviv. Each day the volunteers serve between 500 and 700 portions of food.
If you are the son, or the grandson of refuges wherever you are, take a good look at this images, then close your eyes and try to imagine your mother, or your grandfather waiting in in the line to receive food, and try also to imagine them been deported back to the places they escape from.
This problem needs a humanitarian solution, not a racist one.
"The one who does not remember history is bound to live through it again. "
"Aquellos que no recuerdan el pasado, están condenados a repetirlo."
Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana
Saturday, June 9, 2012
An American Airlines survey published in the Gay Cities website hailed Tel Aviv as the best gay tourism city in the world. Adir Steiner, coordinator of gay pride events for the Tel Aviv Municipality, said that the survey reflects the warm welcome gay tourists receive in Tel Aviv.