Stop Deporting African Refugees

Dear Friends,

Thank you for taking action and signing the Jews of Color, Sephardi and Mizrahi statement to stop deporting African refugees living in Israel (and if you have not, please sign the statement immediately). This is the first step in a series of asks to keep building the pressure and momentum to stop the deportations by Israel, knowing that the global refugee crisis deserves our constant attention.

Meanwhile, in Israel, the 90 day period Israel set to have all the African refugees forcibly deported is running out quickly. In fact, the Israeli government is offering to pay $9000 to Israeli citizens to enforce this.

We have two specific asks right now and African Refugees are counting on us.

  1. Participating in an international twitter storm on Monday January 22
  2. Reaching out to US members of congress to pressure Israel to stop the deportations, end incitement and grant asylum

Information on both asks are below.

Twitter Storm

When: January 22, 2018 African Asylum seeker activists in Israel and their supporters will be demonstrating against Israel and Rwanda’s deadly ‘deal’ in an urgent effort to demand that Israel #StopDeportingRefugees because #Refugees4Sale is immoral and deadly.

Why:  At this moment, pressure on the Rwandan government is essential so that they refuse to ‘buy’ African refugees from Israel, who are at risk of enslavement, torture, rape, and death if deported. Pressure on the Israeli government is necessary for it to stop deportations, incitement, incarceration and to grant asylum.

Here are suggested tweets:

  1. Israel says that #Refugees4Sale and is paying $9k to its citizens to find and help deport African refugees. Ask @netanyahu to #StopDeportingRefugees. Act now http://bit.ly/2mXW05E
  2. Israel says that #Refugees4Sale and is paying Rwanda’s @PaulKagame big $ per person to get rid of African asylum seekers in Israel. #StopDeportingRefugees. Act now http://bit.ly/2mXW05E
  3. Rwanda’s @PaulKagame and Israel’s @netanyahu are trading arms and cover each other’s human right’s violations. Their latest deadly exchange is #Refugees4Sale  #StopDeportingRefugees Act now http://bit.ly/2mXW05E
  4. Israel is forcing African refugees to choose between 2 bad options: leave or go to jail. #StopDeportingRefugees No #Refugees4Sale Act now http://bit.ly/2mXW05E
  5. Israel says African refugees’s crime is illegally crossing the border. However, their real “crime” is that they are not Jewish and that they are Black. #StopDeportingRefugees  No #Refugees4Sale Act now http://bit.ly/2mXW05E
  6. Immigrants in the US are faced with dreams deferred and deportation #SaveDaca #ProtectTPS. @netanyahu doing the same with African refugees. #StopDeportingRefugees No #Refugees4Sale Act now http://bit.ly/2mXW05E
  7. For the sake of “demographic balance” Israel does not allow Palestinian refugees to return and deports African refugees. People are not statistics. #StopDeportingRefugees No #Refugees4Sale http://bit.ly/2mXW05E

Reaching out to US Members of Congress 

If you are in the US, scheduling meetings with and making phone calls to members of Congress will help boost the pressure on Israel. Here are the handouts for members of congress with specific asks which include:

  • Lead on a “dear colleague letter” in support of the refugees. This letter could be addressed to the Department of State or the Israeli government
  • Make a public statement in support of the refugees

In either medium, demand that Israel cease the deportations, end the incitement, and grant refugee status to those seeking asylum.

If you need information to set up a meeting, work with people locally who are setting up meetings, and for a conversational guide for your meetings, please contact joseph@jewishvoiceforpeace.org

We are aware that we are coming to you also at a time when in the United States, 800,000 Dreamers (DACA) are facing the threat of deportation and Haitians, Sudanese, Nicaraguans and Salvadorans are seeing their Temporary Protected Status (TPS) revoked. Additionally, the US has just announced a significant defunding of UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) for Palestinian refugees. We need  your involvement in these linked struggles for justice for immigrants and refugees. Please follow us on Facebook  for more information.

With gratitude for your urgent efforts to #StopDeportingRefugees,

Ilise cohen and Sydney Levy
Co-coordinators, Jews of Color, Sephardi and Mizrahi caucus

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