Bibi Netanyahu’s government has engaged in some hare-brained schemes in its day. But this one takes the cake. Yediot Achronot reports today that an unnamed African country has been approached to accept up to 25,000 African refugees who’ve fled to Israel over the past few years. These individuals, who have rights as refugees under international conventions, would be forcibly expelled by Israel to this secret place. Given this plan would violate international law, most legal observers predict the Supreme Court will pour cold water on the plan.
But even if it does, it will allow Bibi to tell his right-wing anti-refugee voters that he did what he could to rid Israel of this “pestilence.”
In return for accepting Israel’s riff-raff, this African haven for the poor and oppressed would receive military and agricultural assistance from Israel. In any other circle this would be known for what it is: bribery. In Israel it passes for statecraft. Bibi uses these techniques any time he needs a vote in the United Nations (Bulgaria) or wants to reward a country for allowing Israel to kidnap someone as it did with Ukraine (Dirar Abusisi).
Haaretz says these expelled folk would be treated more like chattel than refugees. That won’t do. I have one stellar idea that would help frame this project in the proper humanitarian context. As it would be less expensive to send these refugees to their new home by ship than by plane, I suggest Bibi take a few old freighters out of mothballs. I have the perfect new names for a few of these ships: the SS. St. Louis, Exodus, maybe even Altalena. This would commemorate the Jewish connection with these poor refugees and further sensitize the Israeli conscience to their plight.