(timesofisrael.com)Actually, I know why. Thousands of Africans from Eritrea and Sudan have crossed Irael’s border while fleeing the slave-like national service in their war-torn nations. Israel continues to worry about becoming a minority-Jewish country and has offered refugees a choice between money and a plane ticket to an unnamed African state, said to be Rwanda or Uganda, or jail. Why is this not acceptable to us?
Well, Israel was founded in order to provide a home to refugees from the Holocaust when many other nations refused to let them in. Will we repeat this terrible crime against humanity? Rwanda does not want these refugees; there is no work for them. And the refugees, many of whom have made a home and found work in Israel, don’t want to leave. Would you?
I am pleased to say that many Israelis hate this idea and are protesting against it calling it “a stain on our morality as a nation and as a society.” (See the Times of Israel: “Hundreds protest in Jerusalem against forced deportation of African migrants.”)
There is no easy solution and we as Americans are struggling with our own refugee policies. Many Diaspora Jews, however, find this current effort repellent. Says Haaretz, “Their story has touched a nerve with Jews abroad, who see deporting refugees as a violation of Jewish values and their own history.”
Or, you can go back further to say, Leviticus 19:34, “The stranger who resides among you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (NYTimes) or how about this: “You shall not turn over a slave who seeks refuge with you. He shall live with you in any place he may choose, within one of your gates. You must not mistreat him.” Deuteronomy 23:16-17.
That is why I have joined Right Now’s “Let Us Help” #letushelpil.org campaign and have pledged my help in finding a better answer , a tikun olam answer. Imagine yourself as a non-Jewish American being asked to take in Holocaust survivors. What would you do? what will you do now?