March 14, 2014
For the past three weeks, journalist David Sheen has brought the reality of Israel’s war on African migrants into classrooms and lecture halls on North American college campuses. The leading writer on the virulent racism engulfing African asylum seekers within Israel did the same on Tuesday night, delivering a blistering indictment of Israeli state racism to dozens of people at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center. Sheen’s videos and reports have become the go-to source for those looking to understand how a state founded to protect refugees has become a state systematically targeting refugees for indefinite imprisonment and deportation. A Canadian citizen who first moved to Israel in 1999, Sheen gradually turned away from Zionism as a result of the state’s policies of occupation and aggression, as Max Blumenthal documented in his book Goliath: Life and Loathing In Greater Israel. The details Sheen presents on his tour are downright chilling and devastating. And as he notes, the climate for African asylum seekers has only gotten worse in recent months, with the passage of new laws authorizing indefinite imprisonment in a prison until they can be returned home. The Israeli public strongly supports the detainment and deportation of Africans.