Be kind to the stranger for we were once strangers…Asylum seekers in Tel Aviv.
There are currently between forty to fifty thousand Africans seeking refugee status in Israel. The majority of the asylum seekers come from either Eritrea or Sudan, but there are also refugees who come from the Ivory Coast, Nigeria, the DRC, Guinea, Somalia, and several other countries.
The reasons they fled their home countries vary, but most of them ended up in Israel the same way. They traveled through the Sinai desert.
“If saving our Jewish values means turning our backs on our fellow man, what exactly is compelling about those Jewish values to start with?
Why are so we protective of the Jewish character of the State if it allows us to become the same monsters who once oppressed us?
How can so many Israelis who talk about the Holocaust as if there are trains waiting to take us away tomorrow not see the parallel, or at least the irony, in wanting to round up thousands of Africans in the middle of the night?” – STEVEN BECK
Steven was born in Ohio and grew up in Florida. He moved to New York to pursue a Master’s Degree in International Affairs at Columbia University and stayed to work in local politics. After several years as a political operative in New York, Washington, DC and Ohio, He joined the Peace Corps and spent two years teaching computers in Togo, West Africa. Steven currently works in Jerusalem at the Israel Religious Action Center, the public and legal advocacy arm of the Reform Movement in Israel, as their Director of Israel-Diaspora relations. He lives in Tel Aviv with his fiancée Sari Ganulin.