From the conversation on my Facebook page and in honor of the memory of Henning Mankell, writer, theater director and social justice activist. From Inna Michaeli:
"As a Jewish Israeli I would like to point out that in Israel/Palestine, Jews aren't the victim anymore. Unfortunately, we are the perpetrators. Victim is the weaker side of power relations, and in the region, it is Israel that concentrates military, political and economic power. There is nothing "safe" about being on the privileged side of an ethnically segregated system of violence and discrimination. Israel is the only place in the world where I am ashamed to be a Jew. Check out the website of Adalah for legal rights of Arab minority in Israel - they list *dozens* of laws in Israel discriminating against non-Jews. And that's even before entering the terrible everyday racism and the "truths" I heard upon immigrating as a child to Israel, like "a good Arab is a dead Arab". There is nothing safe in having your soul and the souls if your loved ones poisoned by hatred, racism and active complicity in violence, mass-killings and de-humanization of people. I also personally knew people who died - but I don't think my life worth more than that of a Palestinian woman in Gaza. But their deaths are not a big deal, the Israeli society feels it's natural that entire families are murdered. They are used to entire families dying and the israeli "we" will never remember their names. Of course some people will feel sorry from a human perspective. But there will always be justification and it will always be their fault anyways. Because we can do terrible things and victimise people for generations and still somehow claim to be the victim. But the fact that an abusive person was abused in childhood doesn't make the abuse alright."
"You Have Forgotten What It Is To Be Jews"
words of Isaac Herzog
"The issue of Arab asylum seekers is further complicated by the unresolved and politically loaded question of the fate of the Palestinianrefugees who fled or were expelled during the war over Israel’s creation in 1948 and their millions of descendants who demand the right of return to their former homes. ThePalestinian refugee issue has become one of the most intractable of the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Israel, a state of about eight million people that was largely founded by refugees, has long been torn between the humanitarian demands of taking in non-Jews in need and its fears about maintaining its Jewish character and security in a hostile and increasingly chaotic region. It is still grappling with the presence of tens of thousands of African migrants and asylum seekers who surreptitiously crossed the border from Egypt in recent years.
President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority on Saturday instructed the Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations to act to bring Palestinian refugees now fleeing the war in Syria to the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
The presidency has asked the United Nations, the European Union and other players to press Israel to allow Palestinian refugees in, according to Wafa, the official Palestinian news agency. The Palestinian Authority exercises limited self-rule in some areas of the West Bank, but Israel controls the borders and entry points to the territory.
In broadcast remarks at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, Mr. Netanyahu said, “Israel is not indifferent to the human tragedy of the refugees from Syria and Africa. We have already devotedly cared for approximately 1,000 wounded people from the fighting in Syria, and we have helped them to rehabilitate their lives.”
But he added, “We must control our borders, against both illegal migrants and terrorism.”
Mr. Herzog replied to his critics with a post on Facebook on Sunday, writing, “You have forgotten what it is to be Jews. Refugees. Persecuted.” Calling again for Israel to take in a limited number of refugees who would be vetted, he added that Mr. Begin “must be turning in his grave.”
The African migrants and asylum seekers already in Israel are in a kind of legal limbo. Most are from Sudan and Eritrea, and are afforded blanket protection from deportation in line with international conventions. But Israel has granted only a very few of those who have applied official status as refugees, and their future remains uncertain.
Israel has mostly halted the influx of Africans across the border from Egypt over the last couple of years, in large part by completing construction of a 150-mile, 16-foot-tall steel border fence stretching from the southern resort town of Eilat to Gaza.
Having also built security fences on its frontiers with Lebanon and Syria, through parts of the occupied West Bank and along the border with Gaza, Israel now says it is moving ahead with a previously announced plan to build a fence along the border with Jordan. Although Jordan and Israel have signed a peace treaty and that border has long been calm, Israel fears that it could become a vulnerable entry point for illegal migration and hostile infiltrations.
Mr. Netanyahu said Israel would start by building the fence along a roughly 18-mile stretch from Eilat to Timna, where an airport is under construction.
“We are not waiting,” he said. “To the extent that it is possible we will encompass Israel’s borders with a security fence and barriers.”"