Mon, Jul 09, 2012
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Seeking Solutions, Not Incitement: Israel’s Refugees and Asylum Seekers


Monday, July 9th
6:30-8:00 PM
NIF Offices, 330 Seventh Ave. 11th Floor
$10 ($5 for students), light refreshments will be served

There are an estimated 61,000 African foreign nationals currently living in Israel. The burden of absorbing the many asylum seekers from conflict-ridden countries has fallen on those living on Israel's social periphery—around 40,000 live in the poorer neighborhoods of South Tel Aviv alone. Israel does not grant asylum seekers work permits or other welfare benefits, and does not have clear policies relating to this growing population, creating a greater burden on the communities in which they live.

Israeli society faces both a practical and ethical conundrum. Media headlines in recent weeks describe riots in South Tel Aviv against Africans and African-owned businesses, members of Knesset denouncing undocumented African migrants as a “cancer” in Israeli society, and the Israeli government’s efforts to repatriate hundreds of migrants to conflict-ridden countries. The New Israel Fund community is taking action in Israel, and the American Jewish community is speaking out.

Hear from NIF flagship grantee the Association for Civil Rights in Israel about these complex issues facing Israel, the roots of the disturbing riots, and what is being done to protect African migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees in Israel.  

About the Speakers:

Hagai El-Ad, an Israeli human rights activist, is the executive director of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), the country's leading human rights organization. Prior to joining ACRI, El-Ad served as the first executive director of the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance (JOH), the Holy City's LGBT community and advocacy center. Born in Haifa, El-Ad was a pre-doctoral fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, MA. He completed his B.Sc. (Special Honors Program) and M.Sc. (Astrophysics) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. El-Ad has published numerous articles on Arab-Jewish relations and equality in Israel, LGBT rights, and more. Most recently he contributed a chapter to the book, Where, Here: Language, Identity, Place.

Libby Lenkinski
is the Director of International Relations at the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI). Her recent extra-curricular projects include outreach  on the award-winning documentaries "The Law in These Parts" and “Budrus.” Prior to joining ACRI, she served as the Director of International Outreach for Yesh Din and managed a project bringing Israeli human rights activists to the US for advocacy efforts through The Carter Center. Libby has published articles in Haaretz Newspaper, +972 Magazine, and the Hebrew-language blog Haokets. She is also a board member of Comet-ME, which provides sustainable energy systems to Palestinian villages in South Mount Hebron. An Israeli, American, Canadian hybrid, Libby holds a Bachelor’s degree in Neuro-Science, English Literature, and Jewish Studies from McGill University in Montreal, and a Master’s degree in Child Development and Education from Bank Street College in New York City.

Event Location

New Israel Fund
330 Seventh Ave., 11th Floor
New York City, NY 10001

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