Anti-Infiltrators Law an Affront to Refugee Human Rights

You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. ~Leviticus 19:34

We are outraged that Israeli lawmakers rushed to pass a bill yesterday that would continue to allow the detention of asylum seekers at the Holot detention center, the open air prison in the Negev desert that was ordered closed by the end of this month. The rush to pass the Anti-Infiltrators law comes as the Knesset also voted to send millions of dollars in funding to West Bank settlements before voting to disband itself ahead of early elections that have been called for March 2015. This law was passed in defiance of two High Court rulings that have deemed this practice illegal and unethical. The UN high commissioner on refugees has indicated in the past that indefinite detention of asylum seekers violates the human rights of refugees. Respecting the rights of refugees is a fundamental tenet of Jewish social justice, as many of us are descendants of refugees and the call to treat the stranger with respect and dignity echoes in our ears.

 

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