During a lawsuit by an Israeli NGO against the State opposing its plans to expel African refugees from Israel, attorneys for the State revealed that it had approached several African countries in an attempt to negotiate their acceptance of 2,000 Eritreans it planned to expel. Because of the supposed delicacy of the subject, Israel refused to name the countries. Apparently, they might get cold feet if their involvement was made public (and justifiably so!).
Now, Haaretz, has exposed the identity of those countries in this throw-away line towards the end of an article on the subject:
Hadas, who was appointed to coordinate talks with African states a year ago, has personally approached several African states, offering that Israel establish agricultural farms in their territories for refugees from Eritrea. The obvious benefit to the African states is Israeli assistance in promoting agriculture. The states included, South Sudan, Ethiopia and probably Uganda.
This is one of those situations in which you can’t tell whether the exposure of these names was a deliberate attempt to circumvent government censorship (or a gag order) or whether there was an error of some sort in naming the names. At any rate, it sure did bury the lede.
But the Israeli public is the better for knowing which African nation is willing to sell its principles (if it has any) for a mess of porridge. These states should be ashamed. Israel is violating international law in expelling refugees. Thus, the African states are aiding and abetting Israel’s impunity.
Not to mention, that one possibility Israel is exploring would send Eritreans to be settled in Ethiopia. I can’t think of a stupider idea. These countries fought a vicious, bloody, long-term war in which hundreds of thousands were killed on both sides. Now Israel thinks it can send Eritreans to live in the country of the enemy??
If Israel is thinking of sending the Eritreans to South Sudan, that too is idiotic. Israel already has thousands of South Sudanese who emigrated in order to escape the violence and poverty of that country. Now, Israel would send Eritreans to live in a country whose own residents have already fled to Israel?
The benefit Israel is offering is minuscule: it promises agricultural aid over a five-year period to teach the expellees how to farm. That’s it.