60 refugee law experts against Israel’s plan to deport asylum seekers

“We call on the state of Israel to refrain from carrying out the deportations and to release those who are being detained for refusing to cooperate with their prospective deportations.”

By JTA
April 10, 2018 15:07
2 minute read.
60 refugee law experts against Israel’s plan to deport asylum seekers

CHILDREN OF African asylum seekers play on a Tel Aviv beach on Independence Day. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

WASHINGTON — Sixty experts in refugee law from the United States, Canada, and Europe urged Israel’s attorney general to stop the government from deporting some 38,000 African asylum seekers in the country, saying that carrying out the plans would violate international law.

“We call on the state of Israel to refrain from carrying out the deportations and to release those who are being detained for refusing to cooperate with their prospective deportations,” said the letter sent Sunday to Avichai Mendelblit, from experts at universities including Harvard, McGill, and Oxford. “In carrying out these deportations, Israel will be in serious breach of its obligations under international refugee and human rights law.”

The letter said, among other charges, that the plan to deport the asylum seekers from Sudan and Eritrea to a third unidentified country would place them at risk because it lacked sufficient oversight.

“While typically such agreements aim to promote fair responsibility-sharing or prevent onward migration, these agreements do the exact opposite,” the letter said. “They take refugees from Israel and place them in countries which are struggling to host and protect the growing numbers of refugees who have already reached them.”
Eritrean protester: We are human beings, April 4, 2018 (Reuters)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the plan to deport 38,000 migrants in January, prompting an outcry from an array of refugee assistance groups and American Jewish groups and figures — including many who typically refrain from publicly disagreeing with Israeli government policies.


Last week, Netanyahu appeared to reverse the policy, announcing a plan to send about half of the migrants abroad through a more regularized process governed by the United Nations. That plan earned widespread plaudits, including from American Jewish groups, but under pressure from his right-wing government partners, Netanyahu reversed himself again within hours and said he would revive his old plan.

On April 5, eleven US Jewish groups urged Netanyahu to recommit to the UN plan. “In the wake of the Holocaust, Israel played a leading role in the creation of the United Nations Refugee Convention, which established the international framework for the protection of refugees around the world,” said an April 5 letter from the Anti-Defamation League; the Jewish Council for Public Affairs; HIAS, the lead Jewish immigration advocacy group; and affiliates of the Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist movements.

“We urge Israel to reflect the principles enshrined in that agreement and find a path forward for the refugees by providing full and fair asylum procedures and actively seeking options for third-country resettlement,” the letter  said.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

February 23, 2019
Israeli spacecraft launches, Beresheet heads into orbit towards the moon

By YAFIT OVADIA