AIJAC expresses regret over cancellation of asylum-seeker deal in Israel

April 5, 2018 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council today expressed its regret over the cancellation of the arrangement between the State of Israel and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHRC) to regulate the standing of migrants seeking refugee status in Israel.

African migrants gather during a protest outside the Supreme Court in Jerusalem on Jan. 26, 2017. Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

The deal, announced on Monday, was to involve facilitating resettlement for some African asylum-seekers in Western countries and the absorption of others.

“This proposal appeared to be a constructive and creative measure to address a complex and vexed issue, and we call on the Government of Israel to expeditiously review its disappointing decision and devise a way to achieve a similarly responsible and effective policy outcome,” Mark Leibler, National Chairman of AIJAC, said today.
“Many countries are confronted with the challenge of properly protecting refugees while maintaining appropriate migration programmes for others who are not refugees, and it was encouraging to see Israel and the UNHCR work towards addressing the situation in Israel”, Mr Leibler added.
“Within Israel, and amongst those who care passionately about its future, this issue has prompted strong emotions. While PM Netanyahu has shelved the matter, it is to be hoped that a speedy reconsideration will lead to a resolution, compassionate and considerate for both asylum-seekers and Israeli citizens, which is also respectful of the rule of law,” Dr Colin Rubenstein, Executive Director of AIJAC, concluded.

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