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  • Writer's pictureDearbhla

Just Another Case Of History Repeating

Israel’s plans to forcibly place asylum seekers and displaced citizens of Eritrea and Sudan into detention camps proves none of us ever truly learn from the past.

Reading an article about Israel’s latest plans feels like a re-run of Groundhog Day. Except, it’s not, it’s much scarier and Phil Connors is nowhere to be seen. The disturbing truth is it appears none of us ever really learn from our mistakes, perhaps particularly those who have been hurt by them the most. Israel’s plans to forcibly place asylum seekers and displaced citizens of Eritrea and Sudan into detention camps is highly disturbing, given historic events, made all the worse by the choice of words used by Israel’s Interior Minister Eli Yishai.

Yishai said in a radio interview that; "They are close to being expelled either willingly or against their will.’’ As if this didn’t leave a bitter enough taste in our mouths, he went on to say that; "this (the volume of asylum seekers) is a number that threatens the Jewish identity."

Threatens Jewish identity? This seems more than a little familiar to me. Perhaps it is the eerie echoes of Nazi Germany. You know, when Hitler advocated a ‘pure’ German identity in the form of the ‘Aryan’ race through virulent ‘eliminationism’.

Israel’s stance on the issue appears more than a little sanctimonious, in particular the expulsion of the so-called ‘infiltrators’ from Israeli land, considering Israel itself has only been an official state since 1947. Since then Israel, it seems, has been working hard to keep its ‘Jewish identity’. It has already illegally erected the West Bank barrier to keep the Palestinians out, as well as two other barriers, the Israeli Gaza Strip Barrier and another Israeli- built wall separating Gaza from Egypt. I’m not sure if this quite equates to ‘eliminationism’ but exclusivity looks to be the name of the game.

Israel defines itself as both a ‘Jewish and democratic state’ which poses a contradiction of sorts. If Judaism is a religion and not a race this would make Israel a theocracy, which in itself negates the freedom prescribed to the theory of democracy. Therefore America must be unwittingly supporting a theocracy… surely? Especially considering the first political legislature from Jefferson read: 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion’. Although this now seems highly unlikely seeing as very little has been said from across the pond on this latest political gaffe from Israel. One thing’s for sure though, America are certainly against the theocratic approach taken in Iran.

Why do we continue to allow countries to get away with treating human beings in this manner? We have witnessed the devastating effects apathy can have, not least by the atrocities in Rwanda and Cambodia. We cannot simply keep ignoring problems and allowing certain countries to flout international laws whilst at the same time condemning others who do the same. Hypocrisy is the oldest grievance in the book and I think it’s safe to say the tactic rarely, if ever, goes down very well.

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