Photo: Reuters
Sudanese refugees
Photo: Reuters
I don't forgive the Sudanese
Sudanese mistreated Ethiopian Jews and therefore do not deserve shelter in Israel

A genocide of the worst kind since World War II is taking place on Sudanese soil in a place called Darfur – and the world remains silent. It appears as though this bloody clan war is of no concern to us.


This silence has many reasons. One of them is the fact that Sudan's people are black and poor, but more so because they are not westerners. They do not have an economic position that can threaten the satiated western world. Despite this, I want to talk about Sudan and about the refugees who are knocking at our doors after infiltrating via the Egyptian border - I want to speak out of personal experience.


Twenty years ago I was in a refugee camp in Sudan, far from the capital of Khartoum. I was an emaciated child at the time and lived with my parents in a tent in the scorching desert. Some of those who began the arduous voyage from Ethiopia in a bid to fulfill the Zionist dream to reach the Promised Land died of starvation, dehydration and malaria that took a heavy toll. Four thousand Jews perished as a result of various diseases and many were cold-bloodedly murdered by the Sudanese.


As a child refugee, more than anything I remember the non-sympathetic expressions, the blatant hatred, the indifference demonstrated by the Sudanese, the simple civilians there. They didn't assist us; on the contrary, they harmed us more and more. They didn't even permit us to bury our dead with honor. We buried them beyond the adjacent hills, between the trees, anywhere, as if our dead were mere animals.


For the past 20 years I have been half a refugee in Israel, a proud Jewish black refugee. Yes, I am an Israeli with a lot of questions and reflections, but also with a strong desire to play in the big leagues – those who absorb the immigrants.


I have a lot of criticism towards the absorption process and the lack of a warm embrace. So much criticism, that this is not the place
to go into detail. I want to focus on the Sudanese and the merciful Jewish heart. Perhaps I am speaking out of vengeance. Yes, I am acting out of vengeance. From that pain, from the deep memories that have left scars which refuse to heal. I am a refugee who was hurt by the Sudanese treatment. And today, as an Israeli, they are knocking at my door and asking me to extend a helping hand. But I do not wish to do so. They do not deserve it. Not here.


Had the world cared about them, it would have taken them in. The Arab nations shirk responsibility despite them being Arabs just like themselves. And with regards to Christian refugees – the Christian world is far greater than our tiny piece of land.


There are Jewish refugees here who chose to become a part of this people, and who feel like refugees no less than those who maintain that they fled the hell of Darfur. I am sensitive to their plight, and perhaps there is some truth to the argument that they are being persecuted. However, the exodus from Egypt is shrouded in a crude lie.


They depart in a planned manner, in a detailed and financed program with one objective – not to flee, but rather, to seek their fortune. If we lend a supporting hand to the Sudanese refugees, we should also give it to the Russian prostitutes who infiltrate Israel through the Egyptian border – because both share the same objective - to earn a decent living.


It has been 20 years since I fled the refugee camp in Sudan. Twenty years during which the Sudanese haunt me at night. I cannot forget the memories of how a young Sudanese struck my father right in front of me. Among the hundreds of Sudanese who stood by and watched, not one uttered a word; not a single person stood up and cried out that beating a helpless refugee is a despicable act.


It will take me many more years to rid myself of the anger and memories. Perhaps one day, if the dreams of the bleeding heart organizations acting on behalf of the thousands of refugees arriving here will come true, perhaps one of them will be that man who struck my father. I won't reciprocate the act; I will only tell him one thing: That's it, you are a refugee and I am a master.


First published: 07.05.07, 16:20
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