Demand the Israeli Government Releases Deposit Law Funds to Asylum Seekers, COVID-19

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Israel’s unjust and inhumane “deposit law" mandates that employers put 20% of any asylum seeker's wage into an account, out of reach of the employee, which will only be released if this person self-deports. 

Now, in the times of the Coronavirus, restaurants and cafes, where many asylum seekers are employed, have closed their doors to combat this public health crisis. As a result, thousands of asylum seekers are rendered unemployed--without income to feed their families and children, without money to pay their rent and stay safely indoors.

While Israeli citizens have a small safety net to fall back on, like filing for unemployment benefits, which guarantees a percentage of income, asylum seekers continue to be granted zero rights in Israel. No safety net means no food, no healthcare, and no money to support themselves and their families. 

Single mothers are struggling, some will go without food, some will struggle to pay rent. This is an urgent matter. We must look out for our neighbours, and not forget our past as Israelis, as Jews, as human beings. This is the time to demand that the Israeli government releases the money they have stolen from Asylum Seekers, so that they may simply survive in this time of crisis. The time for justice is now. 

Photo credit: Oren Ziv