There are a little over 2,000 African asylum seekers held by Israel in a detention center in Holot. The conditions there are so wretched that the country’s High Court of Justice ruled that the facility has to be shut down. It also ruled that the refugees cannot be incarcerated for more than one year without formal charges.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has responded by asking the Knesset to pass legislation circumventing the court’s decision. Netanyahu categorized the asylum seekers not as people fleeing prosecution but immigrants seeking jobs, which explains why very few applications for asylum have been acted upon.
The African refugees pose no threat to Israel. Whether one agrees with Netanyahu or not, the lack of compassion and decency shown these unfortunate souls cannot be condoned.