Since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu first announced, then quickly denounced and withdrew from, a UN-brokered plan for Western nations to absorb thousands of the African refugees living in Israel, have the fortunes of those asylum seekers improved or deteriorated?
Going forward, will Israel’s reputedly liberal high court be able to ensure that the refugees’ rights are protected?
In an April article, I reported on the reasons for Netanyahu’s odd flip-flop, and on what to expect next.
In the piece, I note that Netanyahu is now vying to neuter the high court, so that there would no longer be any legal impediment to jailing the African refugees indefinitely until they agree to self-deport to whatever destination Israel coerces them to go to.
Earlier this month, I discussed the plight of African refugees in Israel with The Real News Network, elaborating on the role played by the Israeli judiciary.
In contrast to the executive branch of the Israeli government, which is obviously hawkish, the country’s courts are often thought of as a bastion of liberalism, especially in regards to asylum seekers.
I explain in the interview how classifying Israel’s courts with this liberal label is far too generous – and that over time, it is ever less true.
As I told The Real News: “the supreme court says yes, you can forcefully remove them from the country, although they have committed no crime except for requesting refugee status. But to do so, you have to have a secret agreement – not even a public agreement – but a secret agreement with another country who agrees to essentially be the middleman, to help you human traffic African refugees out of the country, to ethnically cleanse the country of non-white non-Jews.”
Watch the video of the interview above or read a transcript of the interview.