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Is Israel Denying Asylum to Jewish African Refugees Because They Are Black?



Amnesty International released its “The State of the World’s Human Rights” on Wednesday. In the report, the NGO asserts that Israel has denied the rights for fair determination of African asylum seekers and held more than 2,000 African asylum seekers in indefinite detention in a prison in the Negev Desert in 2014.

“None of it is surprising,” said Rania Masri, associate director of the Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship in Beirut, to MintPress News.

“I think this is what we need to recognize. The moment there’s a state that’s built on supremacy of one community [Israeli Jews] on another [Palestinians], then it becomes natural for that community that claims supremacy to also discriminate within itself.”

One case currently being investigated features allegations that the state of Israel deliberately attempted to reduce birth rates among its Ethiopian citizens, presumably because they are black.

Ethiopian-Israeli women have accused Israel of injecting Ethiopian women with Depo-Provera, a long-lasting contraceptive, against their will. Hedva Eyal, who currently works with a women’s rights research group in Haifa, Israel, first made the allegations in 2009. The allegations resurfaced with potent vigor in 2012, following the release of a documentary by Gal Gabai, an Israeli journalist at Educational TV.

Knesset member Penina Tamanu-Shata, the first Ethiopian-born female to hold office in Israel, said of the allegations: “The community is worried and upset over the question whether it’s possible that someone didn’t want Ethiopian children, and whether there was a systematic policy of exploiting the distress of women who were in transit camps en route to Israel.”

The Israeli Health Ministry has since launched an investigation into the controversial practice.

“It’s pure racism,” Masri told MintPress. “It breaks up this mythology of Jews of different colors and of different backgrounds. It’s nonsense.”

“I mean, a religion can never be a nation,” she said.