Sunday, August 03, 2008

Human rights violations

Many people look for reasons to criticize Israel (I wonder why) and one reason they find is the treatment of African refugees. One would expect, if Israel is indeed an "apartheid" country as most liberals and leftists believe, that Black Africans would be mistreated in Israel. But that is not the case. Until now ca. 2,600 Blacks have crossed the border from Egypt and have been given amnesty in Israel. In proportion to Israel's population this is far more than most western countries have taken in. They are mostly Darfurians, fleeing the conflict in Sudan that pits the Sudanese Army and Government-supported militias against the local rebels, but mostly against unarmed civilians. But among these refugeees are Nigerians, Ghanaians, Ethiopians and Somalis, most of them Muslims. However, these legal refugees are only a fraction of the Black population of Israel, there are estimated to be ca. 50-60,000 Blacks in Israel, most of them illegal residents. However, they stay, find work and like it here. They are treated better here than they are in Egypt.
In the Jerusalem Post weekend magazine there is an article about how the merchants in south Tel Aviv where most of the Blacks live, collect unused food and distribute it to them. Also, the kibbutz movement adopts some of them. Certainly they live in poor conditions, but they do not fear for their safety. By contrast, in Egypt they are put in camps under terrible conditions, and those trying to cross the border into Israel are shot at. So far this year 18 have been killed by Egyptian border guards. Why is there no criticism of Egypt for this terrible human rights record?
Egypt also has only recently been cracking down on Palestinian smuggling of arms into Gaza mainly thru tunnels. Yesterday there was a report that the Egyptian police blew up a tunnel killing 5 Palestinians. The IDF was much more careful when they controlled the area, they sent men into the tunnels to arrest tunnelers, rather than just blow them up. It is not known how many Palestinians the Egyptains have killed in this way, but once again there is no human rights outcry at their inhumane tactics.
Finally, there are further murders, arrests and torture of Fatah supporters in Gaza by Hamas. Several high ranking Fatah leaders have been mistreated. In response, Fatah did the same to some Hamas leaders in the West Bank. But, in order to stop the reciprocal arrests, Pres. Abbas decided today to free most of the Hamas captives, but so far Hamas in Gaza have not responded to this initiative, they are still arresting and killing Fatah activists. Even the UN has criticized their violation of human rights and due process. But, what do human rights and due process mean to such terrorists who are murdering in the name of Allah.


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