They don't have a dream anymore
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.—Martin Luther King, Jr. Washington, DC, August 28, 1963
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We Brought You as Slaves, You Won't Study!
Beta Israel and the Falash Mura are two groups of Ethiopian citizens seeking Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return. The Law of Return gives automatic and immediate citizenship to every Jew arriving in Israel.
A Jew is defined in that law as a person born Jewish (with a Jewish mother or maternal grandmother), with a Jewish ancestry (with a Jewish father or grandfather) or a convert to Orthodox Judaism (Reform and Conservative converts are recognized only if the rites were performed outside the State of Israel, other groups are rejected).
The basis for this racist law is what is known as "Jus Sanguinis" in Latin, namely "Blood Law." In ancient times, it was used to attribute citizenship on the basis of family relations. Despite the almost certain invalidity of their claim, Beta Israel were recognized as Jews by one prominent rabbi and thus granted citizenship.
In contrast to the discrepancies regarding their Jewishness, there is no doubt about the link between Beta Israel and the Falash Mura. Both groups acknowledge that Falash Mura were people from Beta Israel who accepted Christianity in various waves of conversion since the 15th century. In comparison to the roughly 130,000 Beta Israel living now in Israel, the number of the Falash Mura is small; apparently fewer than 10,000 still live in Ethiopia; even fewer are in Israel.
They are not recognized as Jews by the State of Israel, and thus are not allowed to reach the state under the clauses of the Law of Return applied to their brothers from Beta Israel. Due to their Christianity, Falash Mura reaching Israel independently are treated as illegitimate foreign workers and deported if caught. They have the same status as the recently attacked South Sudanese and Eritrean workers.
Hana El'azar and Miriam Yitzhak—shown in the image above—are two such Bridgers. On August 23, they learned that the Ministry of Education had published a new bid aimed at the change of their operation condition.
Until now, the Ministry had treated the 55 Bridgers with disgust. They were kept outside the formal educational system through special contracts managed by an external company. The Ministry made a bid every three years. From now onwards, they are pariahs.
A few days ago, the Ministry announced that the Bridgers' contract through an external company would be stopped. The project will be run through manpower companies. In recent years, the payments to the Bridgers had been significantly lowered, and now it is expected to go below any acceptable level. Hana and Miriam gave after the decision an interview in which they complained of discrimination against Ethiopians and spoke of the imminent closure of the only project allowing them successful assimilation into the Israeli society.
"Shut up and work! We brought you as slaves, you won't study!" is the clear message of the State of Israel to its Ethiopian citizens.
Away from the real estate headlines, Afeka is one of the richest neighborhoods in Tel Aviv. It lacks the shiny splendor of Ramat Aviv 'C' and other tower-plagued enclaves owned by the nouveau riche, but the secluded low houses leave no doubt that the people living there are veteran millionaires; land is worth a fortune in the over-crowded Holy Land. Its quiet streets are located next to the highway leading to the airport; Israeli millionaires always have valid exit tickets and are ready to leave at the first sign of war.
In the early morning, a visitor would see a peculiar sight: African and Filipino domestic workers rushing to buy fresh bread. The Zionist dream was built by Palestinian construction workers and is maintained by foreign workers from Nigeria, the Philippines, Romania, Turkey, Nepal and Thailand. Sudanese are not welcomed.**
In Israel, there are several thousand (estimates vary between 4,000 and 8,000) people who have arrived from Sudan and are seeking refuge from the ongoing military conflicts in their home country. They arrived by land, after a perilous trip across the Sinai and Negev deserts; reports on the horrors faced by them along the way should be enough to grant recognition of the survivors as refugees upon arrival. In order to accomplish the feat, they use the help of local Bedouins, the only masters of the desert (see Explosion in Sinai).
Israel has formally recognized as refugees only a few hundred of them; the rest work as illegal workers, hiding in the vast population of foreign workers building up the Zionist dream. They replaced the Palestinians, who are not welcome anymore in Tel Aviv. In this precarious and rather violent condition, Sudanese workers face deportation back to war and death. To put things in proportions; these less than 10,000 refugees live in "Gush Dan," the metropolitan area with Tel Aviv at its center; it encompasses seven cities, and roughly 3 million people.
Many of them have children, who need to go to school. In recent weeks, reports on the Israeli media claimed that Tel Aviv is segregating children of African workers into specially designated kindergarten. After the story started to be quoted outside Israel, the Municipality reacted officially on August 27.
A municipality representative—who preferred to stay anonymous—said that no such policy has been enacted, and that the only determining factor for where a child attends preschool is their place of residence, adding "We can't hide that there is bitterness on the part of many of the residents of south Tel Aviv about the fact that the institutions their children attend are full of the children of African asylum-seekers, but this is not something that the city has developed a policy to address."
The strangest reaction to this slightly disguised racism came from Yael Gvirtz, from the Eliphelet Association – Citizens for Refugee Children, which assists the children of asylum-seekers in Israel. She said on the same day to Yediot Ahronot "Let's say this is the reality. Then I think that if the city does this well and invests the resources needed, these children can benefit from this, because they'll be in a place they're wanted, where their needs are met." Imagine a Nazi-official saying that about Auschwitz.
Israeli Crimes Against Humanity
Crimes against humanity are defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Explanatory Memorandum as events that "are particularly odious offenses in that they constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of human beings."
These crimes are not isolated or sporadic events, but are part either of a government policy or of a wide practice of atrocities tolerated or condoned by a government or a de facto authority. Isolated events are defined as war crimes or violations of human rights. The perpetrators need not identify themselves with this policy in order to bear responsibility for their crimes.
The short list of crimes includes murder, extermination, torture, rape, political, racial, or religious persecution and any other inhumane act.
This is defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, signed in Rome, on July 17, 1998. How come Israel is systemically committing crimes against humanity while being a UN-member?
On 28 August 2002, the Government of Israel informed the Secretary-General of the following: ".....in connection with the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court adopted on 17 July 1998, [...] Israel does not intend to become a party to the treaty. Accordingly, Israel has no legal obligations arising from its signature on 31 December 2000. Israel requests that its intention not to become a party, as expressed in this letter, be reflected in the depositary’s status lists relating to this treaty."
Even the partial list of events mentioned in this article is enough to be defined as Israeli crimes against humanity.
"God bless Hitler, let's castrate a few more niggers," prominent Israelis said afterwards on the condition of anonymity.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"—Martin Luther King, Jr. Washington, DC, August 28, 1963
Lawyer Sharona Elyahu from the Association for Civil Rights in Israel picked up the story and acted swiftly. She forced Professor Roni Gimzo—General Manager of Israel's Ministry of Health—to react publicly in Haaretz on the abovementioned date. Until recently, the Ministry had refused to acknowledge the systematic violation of these women by the State. Yet, before the interview, Mr. Gimzo sent a public letter to the relevant organizations in Israel ordering them to stop immediately the venom injections to Ethiopian women. His language showed no repentance: "Without stating a position or stating facts regarding the claims of this issue, I ask to guide all the doctors working with women...not to renew the use of Depo-Provera with Ethiopian women..." he wrote. The broadcast showed that in the last decade, the fertility of Ethiopians in Israel has decreased over 50%. Dr. Gimzo, Hitler is proud of you! "They told us that we shouldn’t have children, that those who have children suffer in their life... in Israel you will work for your food, it will be difficult for you, that is what they told us... we got the injection, we got it every three months. We didn't want it. We said 'no' and opposed it. We said that we didn't want it..." said one of the violated women to the Educational Television.
** On February 26, 2013, the Israeli government acknowledged that in recent months, it sent back to Sudan at least one thousand Sudanese lacking work permits. Since the two countries are technically at war, the workers were sent through a third country overland.
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