ילדי העובדים הזרים

  

The Poem of the Refugees’ Daughters
 
Resistance happens this week! Press Release.
 
No more turning blind eyes. We are about to take action: this is a national goal. We mean business. I hereby call all illegal aliens: take yourselves away from here and leave by will. We will give you the flight ticket. Get out of here. Go back to your homelands. If you will not do this voluntarily, you will be forced, and this will be accompanied by trauma for your women and children. It is unpleasant. And I call the Israelis, reminding them that they should stop employing illegal workers, we are determined to enforce labor laws.”, Tziki Sela, commander of Oz Unit: the humanitarian organizations want us gone. NRG Ma’ariv, August 5, 2009.
 
On Wednesday, August 5, 2009, at 17:00, The Poem of the Refugees’ Daughters, a Cultural Guerilla action in front of the immigration authorities prison in Hatzoref St. 5, Holon.
 
The Resistance Strengthens
 
Recently the prime minister ordered to postpone the deportation of the work immigrants’ children by three months. This is an important achievement; ministers, parliament members, and other public figures called for the application of the immigrants’ and refugees’ rights, the media covered the subject extensively, and we won widespread support. We plan to continue the struggle and call for the annulment of the deportation campaign, as well as the regularization of the refugees’ status. We call to bring to a halt the “revolving door” policy, according to which tens of thousands of foreign workers are brought into the country, this while other foreign workers are cruelly deported.
            In addition, the minister of interior affairs had recently ordered to postpone the “Hadera-Gedera” regulation, according to which refugees are not allowed to reside in central Israel, but only north of Hadera and south of Gedera. This is an important decision, but the severe violation of the refugees’ rights goes on, and we will go on protesting against it!
 
            On Wednesday, August 5, 2009 at 17:00 – The Poem of the Refugees’ Daughters, a sixth Cultural Guerilla event. The event will take place in front of the immigration authorities in Holon.
            In the next few days “Oz” Unit (the immigration police) plans to commence a large-scale deportation operation, deporting not only the work immigrants, but also their families and children. Poets and artists, we’ve decided to raise our voice against the horror, the nightmare, the fear, and the hateful policy.
            The children of refugees are also sought out by the immigration police, are arrested and imprisoned along with their families. They are uprooted from central Israel according to “Hadera-Gadera” policy, and sent to places where they cannot receive elementary medical help or any of their needs satisfied. Mass arrests are held in the streets of Tel Aviv and other cities since July 1st, and this manhunt is about to be taken to the next level starting August 1st, to become an unprecedented persecution. The memory of the expulsion of the Jews from Europe, the expulsion of the Palestinians, the expulsion of immigrants worldwide, is evident once again – as Israel is unwilling to consider its future in the Middle East and Africa, and its moral responsibility to give shelter to the helpless and the persecuted.
            A few words about the children: many of the children born in Israel are considered “illegal,” for the country forbids work immigrants from coupling or having children. These children defy the law by being born! These children are Israeli; they were born and raised in Israel, they speak Hebrew, and this is the only place they ever knew.
The refugees’ children have no rights or lawful standing because the country denies the fact that their parents are refugees, and is not willing to provide political asylum to those who escaped mass murders and persecution. This is the situation of less than 2000 children, of whom about a thousand are the children of work immigrants, and some 700 are children of refugees.
The event is the joint undertaing of Elisheva Malikovsky from Assaf organization, assisting refugees and asylum seekers, Roy Wagner, and Haggai Matar. Other organizations are invited to support. In the meanwhile, apart from Cultural Guerilla, supporting magazines are: Hakivun Mizrach, Maayan, Etga, Daka, and the independent literature stand Bastarbut.
 
Between Tziki and Chicky: Poets Against the Deportation
Cultural Guerilla came to the immigration authorities center in Holon in order to read poetry in protest of the words of the head of the immigration police Tziki Sela. The poetry of opposition, a fragmentary note.
 
NRG Ma’ariv, August 6, 2009.
 
The Cultural Guerilla group held a poetry reading in front of the immigration authorities prison in Holon yesterday, opposing the plan to deport children of refugees and foreign workers from the country. The dozens of poets who came to the event objected the words of the commander of the immigration police, Tziki Sela, published yesterday in Ma’ariv.
            Yudit Shachar and Mati Shemoelof attended to the event, and Joshua Simon hosted. The Cultural Guerilla group believes in the link between poetry and social struggles, and participated in campaigns for better employment conditions (the waitresses at Coffee to Go, the employees of the Science Park at the Weizman Institute of Science, the workers of Polgat factory, and the professors at the Open University), and the battle against the war (the publication of La-zet! [to exit], a collection of works opposing the war in Gaza, and an anti-war poetry reading in front of Akirov Towers, home of defense minister Ehud Barak.)
“We came to read in front of the facility where refugee families are sorted, imprisoned, and deported,” recounts Shemoelof. “We called for the regularization of the children’s status, and the halt of the “revolving door” policy, according to which tens of thousands of people are brought into the country while others are deported. Poets and artists decided to raise their voices against the horror, the fear, and the hatefulness that these people have to endure daily.”