While watching news of African Asylum seekers’ protests against Israeli anti-refugee policies, I had the following thoughts:
- Israel does not have the right to decide who to welcome or deport on behalf of the indigenous population, i.e. Palestinians. As a Palestinian, I welcome you in my land.
- Palestinians know what it means to be a refugee. Our own refugees who are not seeking asylum but rather to return to their lands, have been denied this right for 65 years. Supporting African refugee rights does not contradict or minimize our right of return.
- Humanity and ethics do not come in pieces, you can’t be sympathetic and supportive of the rights of African asylum seekers and deny the right of return for Palestinian refugees. If you don’t have a principled position, then this is hypocrisy.
So here is a message from a Palestinian to the asylum seekers from Africa: To us, you are equal, we grant you citizenship, you are welcome in this land.