New Job for a Mossad Veteran: Deporting African Illegals in Israel — Ironic, When Passover Celebrates Freedom for Israelites

[The following is adapted from an article written by Yossi Melman, co-author of Spies Against Armageddon — a newly updated history of the Mossad and Israeli intelligence — for the website of the 24-hour TV news service broadcasting from Israel: i24news.tv.]

A modern reverse exodus has been taking place in Israel as of late. As the country prepared for Passover, to commemorate the exodus of the ancient Hebrews from Egypt, Israel embarked on a campaign to deport African migrants and asylum seekers who have taken refuge within its borders.

For Africans in Israel: Just a Few Crumbs of Matzoh?

For Africans in Israel: Just a Few Crumbs of Matzoh?

Israel, which is signatory to various international treaties, rightly feels it cannot deport the thousands of Sudanese and Eritrean citizens who have crossed its borders in recent years, as they would likely be persecuted and arrested if sent home. It has thus sought other countries willing to serve as a dumping ground for these persecuted asylum seekers.

To set the ball in motion, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arranged a job for Haggai Hadas, a former senior Mossad official.

Hadas was a good operations man. After he retired from the Mossad some seven years ago, he tried his hand at private business and failed. His most embarrassing failure was chairing a company of swindlers, who claimed to have invented a magical patch capable of diagnosing and preventing heart attacks.

Netanyahu rescued Hadas and brought him back into public service, where, for the past three years he has been involved in a search for countries willing to absorb the Africans whom Israel wants to deport.

With monthly pay to the tune of tens of thousands of shekels plus lavish expenses, Hadas flew around the world, primarily to Africa, and tried to convince various states to absorb the refugees. Nearly every nation refused.

Israel’s attorney general told his country’s supreme court several months ago that an agreement had been signed with two states – without naming them– willing to absorb some of the African refugees. The announcement was delivered during deliberations on a petition submitted by human rights groups seeking to amend the Prevention of Infiltration Law, which allows the state to detain asylum-seekers without trial.

The two African nations which have agreed to absorb a certain number of Africans are Uganda and, as was revealed earlier this month by Haaretz, Rwanda. In exchange, Israel has reportedly promised to sell them advanced weapons and security equipment.

Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar, who has made the deportation of the asylum seekers one of his highest priorities, claims they are not being deported — but are rather leaving of their own free will and receiving a grant of $3,500 and flight tickets. But their “consent” is nothing more than the unequal relationship between a horse and its rider.

If Israel and Uganda have, in fact, reached an agreement, be it written or a spoken understanding, then it is nothing short of a shameful trade in humans.

Sabin Hadad, spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry’s Population and Immigration Registry, provided the following figures: Some 50,000 “infiltrators” who crossed into Israel from Egypt are currently residing in Israel, most of them from Sudan and Eritrea; 1,575 of them are detained at two detention facilities in the Negev desert.

The fence built along Israel’s border with Egypt has all but eliminated the infiltration into Israel over the past year. Since the beginning of 2014, only 15 people have managed to sneak into the country.

The director-general of the Population and Immigration Registry, Amnon Ben Ami, credited the fence and the amendment to the law for this change. “We’ve put the brakes on the infiltration and the interior minister’s current efforts are now being directed at seeing these infiltrators leave Israel,” he said.

In December 2013, 523 people left Israel. Another 765 left in January, followed by 1,701 in February. About 1,000 more left in March. These departures have cost the state $15 million. Some 3,000 of these refugees leaving Israel are from north Sudan, about 200 are Eritrean and another 150 are from other African countries.

According to Foreign Ministry sources, Uganda has only taken in a few dozen, so far. Assuming that the second unnamed state has also absorbed only a small number, it would seem that the majority were returned to their native lands in north Sudan and Eritrea.

Israel’s discriminatory policy seeking the deportation of all African migrants illegally residing in Israel (as opposed to the tens of thousands of non-black illegal residents who entered Israel with a tourist visa or work permit and stayed after it expired) is also apparent in the following figure: According to the spokeswoman, thousands of requests have been submitted since 2009 (3,500 of these were undergoing checks as of January) by “infiltrators” seeking refugee status, a right that should enable them to work and live in Israel without the constant threat of deportation.

Only 32 of these requests have been approved in the last four years. This figure puts Israel on the bottom of the list of Western nations and sheds a sad light on the merciless attitude toward foreigners and refugees in a state which is home to survivors of the Holocaust.

Israel’s disgraceful silence over Uganda’s legalized persecution of homosexuals – anchored by a new law that imposes life imprisonment for homosexual acts – is also not coincidental. Many Western nations have condemned the Ugandan government over its homophobic policy, but Israel refrained from condemnation. After a few days of silence, the Foreign Ministry finally issued a feeble response, indicating that “Israel supports respect for the rights of minorities everywhere.”

Israel has good economic and security ties with Uganda; President Yoweri Museveni even visited Israel a few years ago. But the main reason the government kept mum on the draconian anti-gay law in Uganda has nothing to do with the ties between the two countries. Israel has a completely different agenda in mind.

Yossi Melman is an Israeli intelligence and security commentator and co-author of “Spies Against Armageddon: Inside Israel’s Secret Wars.”​

April 14, 2014

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