Kritzman-Amir, Tally. Where Levinsky Meets Asmara: Social and Legal Aspects of Israeli Asylum Policy. Jerusalem: Van Leer Institute and Bney Brak: Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2015 (in Hebrew).
In recent years, thousands of non-Jewish African asylum seekers have arrived to Israel, the state of Jewish refugees, numbering several tens of thousands. Migration of asylum seekers is a common phenomenon in almost all countries of the world. Questions of sovereignty and control of borders and society, belonging and status, demographics and security, culture and religion, as well as welfare and social justice have a decisive influence on the attitude towards asylum seekers in Israel and abroad, and cast a dark shadow over their future. Against this background, it is no wonder that the treatment of refugees became a politically charged issue arousing severe controversies between the legislative, the executive and the judiciary authorities.
This volume is the most comprehensive collection of articles that dealing with asylum seekers in Israel. It includes twelve articles seeking to characterize the communities of asylum seekers in Israel and to critically and comparatively describe the changing policy applied by the authorities and civil society. The articles are by scholars of various disciplines as well as involved activists. Among other topics, the book discusses the bureaucratic system of the State of Israel dealing with asylum applications; the experiences of asylum seekers in Israel and their ways of integration in the urban landscape; the religious life of Christian asylum seekers; asylum and gender; the exclusion of asylum seekers by restricting their entry at the border and their confinement in detention camps; refugees who are citizens of enemy states and Palestinian refugees; and viable solutions to the refugee problem. The essays in the volume serve as a foundation for studying this field and future research, and can be employed to assist policymakers and decision-makers.
This article deals with a reform in the regulation on employment of migrant workers which was implemented in the Israeli construction industry from 2005. This corporations-based arrangement replaced a restrictive employment arrangement which tied the employee to a specific employer. The new regulation of work conditions and wages, coupled with a significant reduction in the number of work permits issued to construction, has improved work conditions and wages paid to migrant workers, and made their employment less attractive to employers. The reform also included elements designed to reduce the illegal employment phenomenon and to encourage migrant workers to leave the country at the end of their contracts. However, the new arrangement still restricted the mobility of migrant workers to some extent and had negative consequences such as a significant rise in the broker fees demanded of workers.
Yaron, Hadas, Nurit Hashimshony-Yaffe and John Campbell. “‘Infiltrators’ or Refugees? An Analysis of Israel’s Policy Towards African Asylum-Seekers.” International Migration (Early View: Online Version of Record published before inclusion in an issue).
This article adopts a genealogical approach in examining Israeli immigration policy by focusing on the situation confronting African asylum seekers who have been forced back into Egypt, detained and deported but who have not had their asylum claims properly assessed. Based on immigration policies formulated at the time of Israeli independence, whose principle objective was to secure a Jewish majority state, we argue that Israel’s treatment of African asylum seekers as ‘infiltrators’/economic migrants stems from an insistence on maintaining immigration as a sovereign issue formally isolated from other policy domains. Such an approach is not only in violation of Israel’s commitment to the Refugee Convention, it directly contributes to policies which are ineffective and unduly harsh.