A couple from Russia seeking asylum waits near the San Ysidro Port of Entry into the US, in Tijuana, Mexico, on 17 March 2022. (Photo credit: AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Israel has been rejecting asylum applications despite being a signatory to the International Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, according to a 26 April report by the Times of Israel.
A number of Russian and Belarusian nationals have recently left their countries due to disagreement with the policies and actions of their governments.
Both nations have also been shutting down organizations that are linked to foreign funding, in particular those with ties to the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which receives financing by the CIA.
As such, those who have fled their countries out of fear of reprisal for their activities and beliefs have chosen Israel as their place of asylum.
According to the Times of Israel, Tel Aviv has adopted a policy towards asylum seekers that leaves them in a state of limbo and results in many being deported and having to seek asylum in another country.
The report interviewed Israeli lawyer Yeshayahu Rotenstreich, who stated that the process involves letting the application sit and wait for several years to be examined before rejecting it.
“Most have been refused and deported. Unfortunately, there are no requests that are approved,” Rotenstreich said.
Describing the rationale behind the policy, the Israeli lawyer said there is an “irrational fear that the refugees will fill working positions [at the expense of Israelis], and also the other way around – that they won’t work and become a burden on the state budget. There are also deep motivations of Jewish identity that the refugees seemingly threaten, although in light of the ratio of refugees to citizens, that is complete nonsense.”
Israel recently came under harsh criticism for imposing limits on non-Jewish Ukrainian refugees and for subjecting them to substandard conditions.
Russia also recently warned Israel of “retaliatory measures” if Tel Aviv sends armaments to the Ukrainian army.