Israel cancels plans to deport people seeking asylum to Africa

Overnight, Prime Minister Netanyahu announced a deal with the UNHCR that would see people seeking asylum in Israel be re-settled in Israel or the West, rather than deported to Africa.

At Pesach, a time when Jews around the world celebrate freedom and liberation, this news is particularly welcome. The obligation born of our time in Egypt – to treat the stranger among us with kindness – shines through in this new decision.

This shows the power of people, both in Israel and Jews around the world, to push for equality, democracy and fairness.

By raising our voices in the Diaspora, and funding human rights organisations in Israel, we were able to have a concrete impact, standing up for the humane treatment of people seeking refuge.

We have shown that our power as a civil society -- the power of each of us standing up for what is right, and joining together to press for change -- is stronger than the power of the cruel and fearful few.

Prime Minister Netanyahu even named NIF when passing out blame for the failed plan to deport people seeking asylum.

Just hours after his initial announcement, Prime Minister Netanyahu has already tried to backtrack. While he acknowledges the deportations to Uganda are off the table, he has already caved to pressure from his far-right allies and suspended other parts of the agreement.

It’s our job now to support human rights organisations to make sure the deal holds, and they have the resources to monitor the agreement and ensure all people seeking asylum receive status, rights and security in Israel and any other country they’re sent.

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