Israel’s African refugees keep coming

We’re still getting hits on a story I posted 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 across the Egyptian border after traveling from farther south in Africa. Here’s some of it:

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.

Horesh points out that the governments of the refugees’ countries are hostile towards Israel. Yet the refugees deliberately head for Israel, because they know they will be treated decently there. (Egypt, by contrast, has shot would-be refugees trying to cross the border.)

I will add my comment that people who know little about Israel usually have no idea how tiny the country is: it’s 12,877 square miles, smaller than New Jersey. Here’s a map showing Israel compared to neighboring countries. And even this map overstates Israel’s size because it includes Gaza and the West Bank. It’s fairly densely populated, with about 7.5 million people. Yet Israel is taking in thousands of refugees, mostly Muslims. How many Muslim countries do you think have taken in Jewish refugees?

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