What does a poet make of the floating bodies, washed so gently and so lifeless up on a desired shore, what does a poet make of Israel, inhabited by a people who knows what happens when shores are closed to the endangered ones, now building more and more walls until like a pearl of hardened irritation, it is impenetrable to any other histories. What does the poet do with the knowledge that the thousands of Palestinian families in the destroyed refugee camps of Syria cannot flee to their own nation, because Israel and Egypt have not allowed it to have shape. Only rubble is their fate.
Other users of words, reporters, lawyers, UN workers, politicians, rush after the floating bodies.
Opposition Labor party leader Isaac Herzog, called on the Israeli government "to act toward receiving refugees from the war in Syria" ( AFP/Jack Guez, File)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Opposition Labor party leader Isaac Herzog called for Israel to take in Syrian refugees, recalling the plight of Jews who sought refuge from past conflicts.
"Our people has experienced first-hand the silence of the world and cannot be indifferent in the face of the murder and massacre raging in Syria," Herzog posted on his Facebook page.
Speaking at a panel discussion in Tel Aviv, he called on the government "to act toward receiving refugees from the war in Syria, in addition to the humanitarian efforts it is already making."
There is already hostility in Israel toward asylum-seekers from Africa and a concerted government effort to repatriate them.
Official figures show there are 45,000 illegal immigrants in the Jewish state, almost all from Eritrea and Sudan.
Most of those who are not in detention centers live in poor areas on the south side of Tel Aviv, where there have been several protests against them.
Someone identifying himself as Sefi Kamrani wrote on Herzog's Facebook page: "Take all the refugees into your home if you're so worried about them. I'd like to see you live just one week in south Tel Aviv."
Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on the United Nations to press Israel to allow Palestinians from refugee camps in Syria to take shelter in the Palestinian territories, whose external borders are controlled by the Jewish state.
"President Abbas has asked the Palestinian representative to the UN to implement as quickly as possible, in coordination with the UN secretary general, measures for the return of Palestinian refugees from Syria to the Palestinian territories," his office said.
The UN says there are more than 525,000 Palestinian refugees at its camps in Syria, many of whom have been displaced by the civil war there.
Israel has long been treating wounded Syrians who reach Israeli lines on the occupied Golan Heights, but hostility among the Druze of the area has flared due to rebel attacks on their brethren in Syria.
In June Druze attacked an Israeli military ambulance on the Golan transporting wounded Syrians to hospital, killing one of them.
Previously, Druze in northern Israel's Galilee region stoned a military ambulance they suspected was taking Syrian rebels to hospital.
From NY Times article
“We are not waiting,” Netanyahu said. “To the extent that it is possible we will encompass Israel’s borders with a security fence and barriers.”"
"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.”"