Monday, August 20, 2007

The Israeli Irony: Darfur

Israel says it will no longer accept refugees from the Sudan who sneak across the border into that country from Egypt. The refugees will be returned to Egypt. The Israelis claim that country has agreed not to deport them, but Egypt says it will deport the refugees to the Sudan. The refugees in question are fleeing Darfur, and deporting them to the Sudan is a death sentence.

An Israeli spokesman called them economic refugees, who are not fleeing genocide, but rather the bad conditions of Egyptian refugee camps. The number of Darfur refugees entering Israel during the last year numbers less than three thousand, and public officials are concerned that the influx of destitute foreigners will strain the economy. They ought to be worried about being struck dead on their way to the temple.

Israel, which did not exist before 1949, was created to give the Jews who escaped the Holocaust a homeland. In creating the homeland, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were displaced. Nearly 60 years later, many still live in refugee camps because their lands were given to Irael. If any country on earth should be willing to offer succor to the Darfur refugees, it should be Israel.

Israeli law confounds the issue further by refusing to grant asylum to persons fleeing "enemy states," of which Israel has no shortage. Sudan is one of them. Ironically, Israel is denying protection to people who are being persecuted because they are not Muslims, but such irony is lost on Israeli officials. In fact, one of their spokesmen asserted that Israel ought not be expected to right the wrongs of the entire world simply because it was founded by Jews trying to escape persecution. He did not use the word "genocide," which is what the Holocaust was and what Darfur is.

Not everyone in Israel agrees with the government position, but one wonders if the dissenters are likely to prevail upon the government to do the decent thing. Perhaps it is time for the U.N. to consider sanctions against any country that refuses asylum to refugees fleeing genocide. Whatever happens, expect Washington to kowtow to Tel Aviv, which, as the capital of the 51st state of the union, spends a great deal of money to ensure our acquiescence to whatever it does.

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About Me

I love my country, that is why I criticize its absurdities; I love my freedom, that is why I do it publicly.