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Blood on the Sinai

In a scene reminiscent of a Cold War-era, East-Berlin border crossing attempt, the crack Egyptian army last week murdered an Eritrean man trying to cross the border into Israel. The Egyptian government detained 4 others. Egypt is not entirely to … Read More

By / October 2, 2007

In a scene reminiscent of a Cold War-era, East-Berlin border crossing attempt, the crack Egyptian army last week murdered an Eritrean man trying to cross the border into Israel. The Egyptian government detained 4 others.

Egypt is not entirely to blame for this violent response. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, to his everlasting shame, has asked Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to increase patrols along the Sinai border with Israel so as to prevent an influx of African refugees, many of them fleeing the chaos of Darfur or the ongoing conflict in the Horn of Africa between Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia. So much for Israel being a light among the nations, a city upon a hill, and all that jazz… Nevertheless, it would be nice if the Egyptians showed the same concern for the inviolability of national boundaries and the dangers of illegal immigration, say, when it comes to Hamas militants trying to smuggle themselves into the Gaza Strip. On Monday Israel complained to Egypt over the latter's aiding and abetting the safe passage of at least 80 Hamas members–many of them senior officials–into Jihadistan-on-the-Mediterranean. Egypt has control over the major crossing points into Israel following a 2005 agreement brokered by the American government. This is not the first time Egypt has killed refugees trying to sneak into Israel. According to Ha'aretz:

"The third refugee began to climb the border fence and the IDF soldiers tried to pull him to the Israeli side. When the Egyptians resumed shooting, the IDF soldiers let go of the refugee, who was caught by the Egyptians. The IDF soldiers then witnessed the Egyptian police beat the injured refugee to death." 

So the IDF is collaborating in the capture of, and silently witnessing the murders of, distressed and desperate people trying to make their way into the only country in the region that has shown its willingness to take in refugees, a nation that was itself built by the surviving victims of genocide. Somewhere, Ben Gurion is weeping. 

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