Civil and Human Rights

Who Are You Calling a Refugee?

30 January 2014 By New Israel Fund

Last week, Tel Aviv restaurant, coffee shop, and bar owners joined together with African refugees for a celebration of food and music around town. Their goal was to help build bridges and raise awareness about the status of refugees in Israel. And NIF/SHATIL played an important role in the event.

The centerpiece of the program, which included authentic African dishes, music, and art, was an NIF-sponsored concert at the hip Levontin 7 venue. The concert featured performances by a number of leading Israeli and African musicians, including Groove Ambassadors, a mixed group of asylum seekers and Israelis who played Israeli adaptations of West African music.

The event was organized following the recent asylum seeker demonstrations, which have resulted in unprecedented coverage of the issue worldwide. As African refugees continue to be incarcerated by the Israeli government, which seeks legal means to deport them, the issue is not going away. The business owners hope to hold similar events in the future.