Thursday, October 21, 2010

Iraqi Refugees in Israel

Here's an item (in Hebrew, though the embedded video is a video) about an Iraqi family who escaped to Israel a few years back and isn't finding its place in society. But it's not the story you'd expect if you're the kind of person who believes the NYT.

They entered Israel by walking across the Egyptian border four years ago, along with 6 children. The authorities would usually have incarcerated refugees from an enemy country (Iraq is, legally), butt they couldn't imagine incarcerating the children so the whole family was sent to a hostel (see the video). They sat there for more than three years, as guests of the state, while being offered various routes to normality which they preferred not to accept. In the meantime another two children were born, and a third (=a ninth) is on the way. Some months back the hostel was shut down, and they wandered around, living off the good will of ordinary folks. A month or so ago they ended up living on the sidewalk, at which point the authorities took the 8 children and put them into foster homes (one? 8? no idea). Since then the parents have been camping in a bus stop on the road to Tel Hashomer hospital near Tel Aviv. The structure, you might be interested to hear, was put there by the organization which supplies perks to soldiers such as TVs for their units, sports equipment, shelter from the elements at bus stops, that sort of thing. The couple more or less speaks Hebrew. The few officials interviewed in the video sound very weary of their antics; one woman says they've been offered everything, but the father refuses to work and his family suffers accordingly.

A nice, stereotypical story, don't you think?


Anonymous said...

I genuinely like your posts and writing but I don't think adding lines like " it's not the story you'd expect if you're the kind of person who believes the NYT" really adds anything to your arguments.
It's somewhat condescending and pointless.

NormanF said...

It goes against the grain that Israel is prejudiced towards Arabs and won't give legitimate refugees shelter. I suspect the reason such stories are not more widely reported is because they put Israel in a positive light.

Well - that just isn't the politically correct thing to do these days.

Anonymous said...


Yaacov is offering this blog for free and if he feels like ever so slightly and with lots of justifications venting sometimes it definitely is not for us profiting from his labours to criticize him for it.


Anonymous said...

Silke: do you really believe I shouldn't criticize anything written here because its written for free? seriously?

Anonymous said...

Silke, the question is, are NYT reports about Israel balanced. If they are, then Yaacov's comment is not fair. But if they are not, then his comment is more than justified.

Anonymous said...

there's criticizing and there's admonishing

stating that one disagrees is also a possibility


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what you are normally accustomed to but this is a blog, not her majesty's private tea room. People routinely criticize, admonish and disagree and even worse all in the same comment.

Yaacov said...


Thanks for the support, tho I can live with criticism.


Identifying yourself while criticizing would be better.

In any case, you've raised an interesting question, and I'll respond in a day or three.

Anonymous said...


As you know so well, the reason for such vitriol and hatred in the new social media era is the aura of anonymity that comes with the vicious commentary.

Removing this cloak will no doubt lower the pitch fever in discourse down to respectable levels in all forums, in my opinion.

Regards from her majesty's tea room,


Anonymous said...

Did you really think my comment expressed such vitriol and hatred? I enjoy following this blog and was just trying to make a small point about something that was nagging on me for a while.

But while we're on this subject of blogging and anonymity, sometimes it might be beneficial to see the vitriol and hatred people honestly harbor inside, rather than letting it bubble beneath the surface to burst without warning.


Anonymous said...


You are correct on both accounts. My statement about vitriol and hatred was not directed at your statement and I should have noted that. My apologies. It was a general statement targeting all of the nastiness on the internet and politics.

Better to know your enemy, I guess, with regards to your second point.


Anonymous said...


the Times just sent a news alert that the second batch of Wikileaks documents is out

Irakis seem to get a lot of blame this time around, I still object to the new Wikileaks. According to Nick Cohen there was a very useful old one which now is mostly dead while this sensationalist new one is all that is left.