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Writers prompted to condemn discrimination against African migrants in Israel

February 17, 2014 at 11:17 pm

African migrants have been enduring serious racial discrimination in Israel, prompting Israeli writers to send a letter to the country’s Prime Minister. The signatories urged Benjamin Netanyahu to take immediate action to stop the violence, sedition, man-hunts and all other kinds of racial discrimination against Africans in Israel.

Headed “Love the Stranger”, the letter called on the government to change its policies towards African migrants.

“The country must adopt a new policy that allows a limited number of migrants and refugees who are not Jews,” the letter said, noting that most of the founders of the state of Israel themselves arrived as “refugees whose families suffered the same kind of sedition and discrimination by strangers.”

A significant number of prominent Israeli authors and prize winners signed the letter, including Amos Oz, Yehuda Power, Ahino’am Nini, Mordachi Krminster and Yoram Kanyoum. They told Israeli officials and the government that they cannot hide behind “the Israeli street”, members of the government coalition who practice sedition of the same kind as that carried out against Jews during the 1930s, and the interior minister who is responsible for “foreigners” and incites against them.

Copies of the letter were sent to President Shimon Peres, Prime Minster Netanyahu, the Speaker of the Knesset, the Head of the Supreme Court and spokespersons for the various political blocs in parliament.

Earlier this month, Netanyahu give what was effectively the green light for a “wave of aggression” against African workers and work-seeking migrants when he called them a “strategic danger to Israel”, and said that their flow to the country must be stopped.

At the same time, Mari Regeve, a Knesset member for the Likud Party, described African migrants as a “cancer in the body of Israel”, while Micheal Bin Aree, a Kahane Knesset member, said that they “bring diseases and epidemics to Israel”.