Did you know that before Sunday's massive rally in Israel supporting the rights of African refugees and asylum seekers, NIF gave an emergency grant to help the protest organisers?
At the rally in downtown Tel Aviv, 20,000 African migrants and refugees gathered to protest harsh new laws aimed at their status in Israel. According to the legislation, anybody crossing Israel's border without a permit is detained and transferred to an "open facility." Once in the open facility, thrice daily roll-calls make it almost impossible to leave or work. Migrants can be held indefinitely. As has been the case for some time, Africans with legitimate claims to asylum status are not receiving individual hearings as required by international law.
NIF's grant of $3,000 for transportation and sound equipment helped support these marginalized voices.
NIF advocates for a sensible policy that respects human rights and balanced the ideal of the Jewish homeland with the Jewish obligation to help the stranger. While the influx of 60,000 refugees to Israel in recent years creates complicated problems without simple solutions, indefinite imprisonment and severe restrictions on rights is not the answer.
The NIF network of organisations continues its work in attempting to gain official recognition and asylum hearings for refugees and to challenge the current laws in court.