Earlier in December, a couple of young and dedicated volunteers from JACC launched a series of events and protests across university campuses in Israel to raise awareness of the impending deportation which will mean incarceration or explusion to Rwanda for the majority of the nation’s 38,000 Eritrean and Sudanese asylum-seekers beginning on April 1.
Alon and Eli, who both volunteer for JACC, launched a week of protests starting on December 17th at The Hebrew University’s Mount Scopus (Jerusalem), which quickly expanded to many other universities throughout the country, from Haifa to Jerusalem, Beer Sheva to Tel Aviv. Overall, hundreds of students have been affected or involved.
Born out of the success that those events encountered, a movement was founded to protest the deportation and have the government withdraw its plan: Stop the Deportation. Stop the Deportation started off as a grassroots student organisation, and now consists of hundreds of activists all over the country.
JACC and its team wishes them much success in their fight! .
When asked why he chose to launch this week of protest, Alon explains: ‘ I have personally met with individuals who had been deported from Israel in 2012, hence I am painfully aware of the outcome of those policies, which put the lives of the deportees under an unquestionable threat.’
In 2012, South Sudan declared its independence, putting an end to the war, and Israel jumped on the opportunity to deport Sudanese asylum seekers to their country of origin. As could have been predicted, the political situation was still highly unstable, and the region extremely unsafe. As new conflicts were breaking out, the recently deported had to, once again, flee their homes and start their life from scratch, a situation that could have easily been avoided had they not been deported.
‘As a student,’ Alon states, ‘it was simply the obvious thing to do. I believe those protests can have a real impact. I consider myself, as a student and a young adult, as having a role to play and a responsibility towards the society I live in.’