Earlier today the Israeli government disclosed to Israel’s High Court that it would not forcibly deport people seeking asylum to third countries. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu then posted on Facebook that he was seeking to re-open detention facilities for this population. Daniel Sokatch, CEO of the New Israel Fund, released the following statement:
“The official announcement that Israel was ending the program of forced deportation is good news. Countless Israelis — with the support of civil society organizations — mobilized to voice their opposition. This is what democracy looks like.
“At the same time, I am troubled by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement that he wants to re-open detention centers and that he is willing to overturn the High Court in order to imprison people seeking asylum. Democracies do not imprison people without trials. And no democracy can exist without checks and balances on the authority of the executive branch.
“NIF’s position is clear when it comes to the people seeking asylum in Israel: Everybody deserves to live and raise their families in safety. The Israeli government needs to create an efficient process that fairly examines the case of every person seeking asylum. No person should be deported or imprisoned until their case has been reviewed.”