How refugees cope in Israel

Mention the words “Israel & refugees” in the same sentence, and most people tend to think about the Palestinian issue.

Well here’s a little known fact about Israel. In the past decade, the country has absorbed 17,500 refugees from Sudan, Darfur and Eritrea. According to UN stats and quoted in the hebrew newspaper “Yediot”:-

  • 1,500 are minors
  • 7,500 are from Eritrea and 6,500 from Sudan
  • Around 16,000 are Muslims

Many quite simply walked to Egypt, entered Sinai, and then reached Israel across the porous desert border with Egypt. And the numbers continue to grow every month.

The article in the newspaper highlights that the communities are plagued by problems associated with poor immigrant communities; alcoholism, violence, drugs, etc. The crime figures do not make for pleasant reading.

So, on the one hand, these people arrive in Israel due to the awful conditions from they have come. And with no small irony, they deliberately seek out the Jewish state, despite the devout hostility of their own governments towards Israel.

In contrast, Israel finds itself with a moral duty to look after people, who have no where else to go. As just one example, the Tel Aviv municipality has set up special welfare departments to cope with the growing crisis.

And here’s the second irony. Repatriation is not an option. I guess that one reason is that Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs could be worried that such an act would be considered racist and result in a motion of condemnation at the UN. I also assume that the vote would have the support of Eritrea and Sudan. (sic!)

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2 Comments on “How refugees cope in Israel”


  1. […] original post here: How refugees cope in Israel « Afternoon Tea In Jerusalem Share and […]


  2. […] a year ago, Asylum seekers head for Israel, so I thought I’d post this update I came across, How refugees cope in Israel, by blogger Michael Horesh. It’s a short summary of the situation of the refugees who come […]


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