Sharing Responsibility for African Asylum Seekers

The Israeli government intends to deport about 40,000 asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan. These refugees were notified that they must return to their own countries or to a third nation, or be put in jail until they are deported. If they leave by March 31, they will get free airfare and $3,500. If not, the deportations will begin. Many Israelis and American Jews have urged the Israeli government to stop the deportations.

Here is a suggestion for Prime Minister Netanyahu. He can explain that since Israel is a small country in a hostile neighborhood, responsibility for accepting all of these refugees cannot fall on Israel alone. He can say that other nations which proclaim their respect for human rights should share this responsibility with Israel. He can announce what fraction of asylum seekers Israel will accept. Then he can challenge each of those other nations to promptly announce what fraction of refugees they will absorb.

About the Author
Ted Sheskin is a professor emeritus of industrial engineering at Cleveland State University, and the author of a textbook, Markov Chains and Decision Processes for Engineers and Managers. He has published peer-reviewed papers on engineering systems and mathematical algorithms. His letters to editors addressing politics, economic policy, and issues facing Israel and American Jews have appeared in the NY Times, Daily News, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Cleveland Jewish News, Jewish Week, the Forward, and Jewish Voice.
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