Reform Movement 'Deeply Concerned' about Israel's African Asylum Policy


"The Reform movement and Jewish refugee agency HIAS called on the Israeli government to re-examine its asylum policy for African migrants," The Forward wrote in an August 14 article.

The story quotes Mark Hetfield, president and CEO of HIAS, saying, in part: “We are deeply concerned because Israel currently accepts less than 1 percent of refugee claims. In other developed countries, 82% of Eritrean applicants and 68% of Sudanese applicants are recognized as refugees.”

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency also ran a story on the joint appeal by HIAS, the Union for Reform Judaism and the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism, which reads in part:

"Noting that the groups are “longstanding friends of Israel and committed advocates for the well-being of the Jewish state,” Union for Reform Judaism President Rabbi Rick Jacobs questioned why Israel approves a dramatically lower percentage of asylum applications from Eritreans and Sudanese than do other developed countries. 

The full statement by HIAS, URJ and IMPJ urging Israel to do more to protect asylum seekers can be found here.

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