How should Israel address African refugees?


In 1977, one of the first official decisions by the recently elected Prime Minister Menachem Begin was to accept into Israel 66 Vietnamese refugees who were fleeing war in their country. By 1979, Israel had received a total of about 400 Vietnamese refugees. In explaining the move, Begin said:

“We remembered, we never have forgotten, the boat with 900 Jews having left Germany in the last weeks before World War II…traveling from harbor to harbor, from country to country, crying out for refuge. They were refused…Therefore, it was natural that my first act as prime minister was to give those people a haven in the Land of Israel.”

Sadly, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and members of his government don’t seem driven by the same feelings of empathy that one of the ideological…

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