Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Human Rights Watch released a report highly critical of both Egypt and Israel for their treatment of immigrants coming from Africa, principally from Sudan and Somalia. Over 30 immigrants have been shot as they tried cross from Egypt into Israel, all by Egyptian border patrol guards. Israel has rounded up immigrants and forced them back into Egypt where they can look forward to being deported back to their home countries.

The BBC reports on the Human Rights Watch study:

"An international human rights lobby group has called on Egypt to stop shooting African migrants as they cross the country's border into Israel.

"Egyptian border guards have shot dead at least 32 African refugees and migrants since June 2007, Human Rights Watch says in a new 90-page report."

However, Israel is also criticized in the study. Reports the BBC:

"Police in Israel have detained about 200 Africans in Tel Aviv following the announcement of tough measures against illegal immigrants.

"A police spokesman said the detainees - mainly from Sudan, Eritrea and the Ivory Coast - who do not have refugee status would be deported.

"Human rights activists have criticised the detentions."

Ehud Olmert has ordered the tightening of border controls, reports the BBC:

"Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday instructed Israeli police to deport thousands of African asylum seekers who have entered Israel though the Egyptian border. He also ordered security officials to tighten control of the border with Egypt."

We see this wave of anti-immigration in Italy, Israel and, of course, in the United States. The whole question of immigration is based on individual human rights and dignity. Everyone should be able to go wherever he or she wants to improve or better one's economic position, provided that one is peaceful and does no bodily harm. But at its roots, the anti-immigrant movement distrusts the foreigner, his language and different skin color.

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