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Holocaust survivors to protest against migrant deportation

Fifteen-year-old volunteer joins forces with elderly daughter of Holocaust survivors to organize protest against deportation of refugees

Shiri Hadar
Published: 07.25.12, 10:27 / Israel News

Holocaust survivors are joining the struggle against the deportation of migrants from Israel. Survivors, their families, artists and teenagers will hold a protest march in Tel Aviv on Saturday to protest Israel's policy on migrants.

 

The protest is the initiative of Atta Buchman, 65, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, and Oren Rimon, a 15-year-old volunteer at a migrants' children kindergarten. The connection between the two was formed when, as part of a school project, Rimon visited the retirement home where Buchman is staying.

 

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The two created a video in which Buchman invites the public to the protest march. Her own life story inspired many to join the campaign and attend the rally.

 

"I wasn't thinking about holding a protest before I met Atta, but having read about the current situation with the refugees I got angry and together we realized that a protest was in place as it was not done in this capacity before," Rimon said.

 

Buchman, who left Lithuania to make aliyah 20 years ago, has been under the care of Eritrean migrants at her retirement home ever since she underwent a stroke.

 

"They are the best caregivers we have," she said. "They have patience and a constant smile on their faces," she said. Buchman shared her anger at the treatment of refugees in Israel. "She said that as a daughter of Holocaust survivors she is ashamed of the way refugees are being treated in Israel," Rimon said.

 

Criticism from Right

During one of their conversations, the two decided to arrange a demonstration. However, not everyone was supportive. "This is scandalous, you leftists are exploiting the Holocaust survivors to destroy the Jewish state," one web surfer wrote on the protest's Facebook page.

 

"How absurd, what Holocaust survivor would take part in the destruction of the Jewish character of the only country the Jewish people have ever found refuge in?"

 

Rimon said in response that it was important to note that the initiative came from the survivors themselves. "They have their own will," she stressed.

 

Buchman and Rimon have approached several rights associations, including the New Israel Foundation, for funding.

 

 

 

 

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