Saturday, April 04, 2015

The Israeli Cash-for-Africans Deal

Israel and Rwanda confirmed reports that the African country was working to finalize a multimillion dollar deal with Jerusalem to take on some of Israel's African immigrants and asylum seekers. Rwanda's President Paul Kagame said a deal was in the works and Israel's Interior Minister Gilad Erdan confirmed the report. Both however failed to disclose exact details but the agreement between Israel and Rwanda will see Israel deport hundreds of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum-seekers to both Rwanda and Uganda. In return, Rwanda will receive millions of dollars in grants and sales from Israel.

Israel's Interior Minister Gilad Erdan explained that the individual asylum seekers will be given a flight and $3,500 “ no small sum in these countries.” He added.  “They will be given visas and will be allowed to work," he said. Rwanda is a poor rural country with about 90% of the population engaged in (mainly subsistence) agriculture with 45% of the population under the poverty line. The unemployment rate in Rwanda was 28.6% female and 14% males in 2012.

Israel’s Interior Ministry promises that:
“When you arrive at the third country, people will receive you at the airport and give you information about life in the country and other important information. The Sudanese and Eritreans who left with the help of the Israeli government to the third country said they are living a good life, studying English and have a good work. According to them, some have opened businesses and are living well,” the Authority’s notice to the African asylum seekers continued, adding that the asylum seekers would stay in a hotel for their first night in their new unnamed country and will each be given a visa there.”

However, the truth is that the reception in their new country was nothing like what Israel promised it would be and asylum seekers felt abandoned and were now alone in yet another strange country with no one to help them. 

As Israel celebrates the Passover, the treatment of political asylums seekers is passing-the-buck.

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