Right Now: Advocates for African Asylum Seekers in Israel
  • Petitioned Israeli Ambassador to the US and all US Consuls General

This petition was delivered to:

Israeli Ambassador to the US and all US Consuls General

Right Now: Advocates for African Asylum Seekers in Israel

    1. Maya Paley
    2. Petition by

      Maya Paley

      New York, NY

There are currently an estimated 60,000 African asylum seekers in Israel. Without a proper and fair immigration policy, the asylum seekers are unable to obtain refugee status, nor are they able to work or receive any social services. They are perpetually in a state of limbo and uncertainty. Recently, the Israeli government, calling the asylum seekers 'infiltrators' is criminalizing people who are not to be considered criminals in accordance with international law.

The government's policy of deterring asylum seekers is inhumane and unjust. It includes the recent passing of the amendment to the Anti-Infiltration Law, making it so that 'irregular migrants' can now be detained for 3 years or more just for crossing the border, without any opportunity to apply for asylum in Israel or elsewhere. The policy also includes the building of a massive detention facility that will be run by the Israeli Prison Services. The government has expressed that those in the facility will not be permitted to work. And most recently, the government has deported almost all South Sudanese and Ivorians from the country without ample time to prepare themselves for departure, and without adhering to the US State Department's warnings that both countries are dangerous to return to at this time.

The Right Now campaign is comprised of a coalition of Jewish Americans Advocating for Asylum Seekers in Israel. We are increasingly concerned about the escalating levels of violence, hatred, and discrimination toward the asylum seekers. As Jews we know that it is our duty, our obligation, to treat others as we would want to be treated in a foreign land, especially if they are people who have been oppressed, like we were so many times in our long history.

While we understand and respect that Israel is a small country with limited resources and we believe that concern for asylum seekers need not come at the expense of Israel’s urban poor, we do believe that the Israeli government can make the following changes, which we feel would not be detrimental to Israel or to the Israeli people.

We call on the Israeli government to:

• Develop a fair Refugee Status Determination procedure that allows for each individual to apply for asylum and provides protection and support for refugees in line with all other Western, democratic countries in the world.

• Change its deportation process so that asylum seekers are not deported and that they have ample time to prepare for deportation if they are being deported.

• Cease to build the massive detention center in the Negev desert that arbitrarily imprisons asylum seekers indefinitely.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 1,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Sam Diener ARLINGTON, MA
      • 9 months ago

      "If I only for myself, what am I?"

    • Lakshmi Sirois IPSWICH, MA
      • 9 months ago

      I am especially troubled by Israel detaining without trial and deporting immigrants fleeing Sudanese genocides, because Israel was founded on the premise "never again" and I believe that means for everyone.

    • Stephanie Bennett Fraser LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 10 months ago

      equality . . . democracy ... human rights ... in remembrance of a people's suffering.

    • Anita Kanitz STUTTGART, GERMANY
      • 10 months ago

      In countries where people have to flee their homes because of persecution and violence, political solutions must be found, peace and tolerance restored, so that refugees can return home. In my experience, going home is the deepest wish of most refugees.

      ANGELINA JOLIE, BBC News interview, Apr. 8, 2004

      The exile is a singular, whereas refugees tend to be thought of in the mass ... What is implied in these nuances of social standing is the respect we pay to choice. The exile appears to have made a decision, while the refugee is the very image of helplessness.

      MARY MCCARTHY, Occasional Prose

      We are all part of the human family and we should be about doing what all good families do - caring for our less fortunate brothers and sisters.

      - Dan O'Neill, Founder, Mercy Corps

      So often the world sits idly by, watching ethnic conflicts flare up, as if these were mere entertainment rather than human beings whose lives are being destroyed. Shouldn't the existence of even one single refugee be a cause for alarm throughout the world?

      -- Urkhan Alakbarov

    • Elliot Glassenberg TEL AVIV, ISRAEL
      • 11 months ago

      You shall love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:19)


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