on absorption

I’ve always found it very odd that the state of Israel uses the word “absorption” to describe the process of making more Jews colonists in Palestine. Of course, some people are more welcome than others. Much of this depends upon whiteness as per the state’s codified racist policies. Take today’s recent report that Eritrean refugees are being forcibly removed from Tel Aviv (read: Tel Aviv is becoming too brown):

TEL AVIV, 11 August 2008 (IRIN) – Thousands of Eritrean asylum-seekers in Israel have been told they will have to leave the greater Tel Aviv area and move to other parts of the country.

“This measure was taken to ensure that Tel Aviv does not suffer an influx of refugees and asylum-seekers living in shelters,” said Sabine Haddad, a spokesman for the Israeli Ministry of the Interior.

Leaders of the Eritrean community said there was growing “bad blood” between the state and the Eritrean community in Israel, which numbers over 4,500 people, and that tensions were rising.

About 2,000 Eritreans arrived before December 2007 and received six-month work visas from the ministry. However, those who have arrived since the start of 2008 have received a permit called a “conditional release” which does not grant them the right to live near Tel Aviv or work there, and contains a vague clause saying they “must cooperate with the government”. (shukran ya rania!)

This, of course, is in contradistinction to the white folks the Zionist state is airlifting and “absorbing” into its regime, from Georgia:

Immigrant Absorption Minister Eli Aflalo said his ministry would assist Georgian Jews to immigrate to Israel from the conflict-ridden country, following an emergency debate held on the subject.

“In light of recent developments in Caucasus, the Immigration Absorption Ministry will devise an aliyah plan for each immigrant from Georgia, and will offer increased funding for housing, language education, and employment,” Aflalo said.

I’m wondering where these new colonists will be resettled. Hmmmm…could it be the new illegal settlements being built?

The Israeli government’s plan to back a settlement in the occupied West Bank violates international humanitarian law and should be stopped, Human Rights Watch said today. Israeli restrictions on the Palestinian population caused by the Israeli-only settlements and infrastructure also seriously infringe on the right to freedom of movement and other basic rights of Palestinians in the West Bank.

Israeli defense ministry officials have sought approval for the construction of 22 houses in Maskiot, a former Israeli army base in the Jordan Valley. It is the first time Israel has sanctioned new building on the site, effectively ending a nine-year moratorium on the creation of new settlements. Defense Minister Ehud Barak, whose ministry oversees the occupied territories, has yet to make a final decision. The last time Israel gave approval to a new settlement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories was in 1999.

Of course it doesn’t matter where they settle in the end as their very presence here will be on occupied land that they have no right to. Every day Palestinians are denied entry whereas white people like me manage to get in. The injustice of it all makes me want to run back to Amman.

But the issue of the Georgian Jews coming to help Israel with its colonial project is significant for a number of reasons (read the past couple of days of Angry Arab’s blog for insightful and humorous commentary on this). But here is a sampling from the Israeli press:

Jewish Georgian Minister Temur Yakobshvili on Sunday praised the Israel Defense Forces for its role in training Georgian troops and said Israel should be proud of its military might, in an interview with Army Radio.

“Israel should be proud of its military which trained Georgian soldiers,” Yakobashvili told Army Radio in Hebrew, referring to a private Israeli group Georgia had hired.

Or how about Human Rights Watch’s letter to President George Bush that could easily be written about the state of Israel rather than Georgia if we just change some of the words a bit:

Human Rights Watch’s December 2007 report on Georgia, “Crossing the Line,” documents four separate incidents in which riot police used excessive force, including water cannons, teargas, and rubber bullets to disperse the largely peaceful demonstrations. Law enforcement personnel, many of them masked, pursued fleeing demonstrators of all ages, kicking and punching them and striking them with wooden truncheons, wooden poles, and other objects. Rubber bullets were fired indiscriminately, and also directly at fleeing demonstrators. Heavily armed police and security personnel stormed a private television station, Imedi, threatening and ejecting the staff as well as damaging and destroying much of the station’s equipment, forcing the station off the air. While the Georgian government claimed that it was responding to threats of massive public disorder and a coup d’etat, it has not provided evidence to support these allegations; moreover such allegations cannot justify the level of force used.

I suppose it makes sense, then, that these among these people lurk would-be Israelis, many of whom will now become Israelis as they are “absorbed” into their imperialist regime.

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