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Why are Eritreans in Israel accused of being ‘impolite’?

detention center
African migrants walk in front of the entrance to Holot open detention center in the Negev . (photo credit:REUTERS)

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and former interior minister Silvan Shalom have both issued press releases in support of Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki’s regime

Currently, 42,147 asylum seekers live in Israel. Most entered through the Egyptian-Israeli border between 2006 and 2013. The majority are from Eritrea. During interviews I’ve held with workers in municipal institutions some of them complained about Eritreans being “impolite” and “not as quiet as other migrants.” Possibly this is a result of the government’s explicit intention to make the lives of asylum seekers unbearable, as former interior minister Eli Yishai explained Israeli policy as early as 2012.

Possibly it’s also because the story of Eritreans is not understood. Frustrating as it may be for Eritreans, their story is untypical for refugees, as we normally think of them. Eritrea does not have the sort of war currently taking place in Syria or which led many Sudanese to escape the Darfur genocide in 2003. This leads some to dismiss it.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and former interior minister Silvan Shalom have both issued press releases in support of Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki’s regime. They have embarrassingly based their statements on meetings with Eritrea’s ambassador to Israel. The reality in Eritrea, however, is uniquely abhorrent.

read more at jpost.com

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