Thursday, April 24, 2008

Israeli Bloggers Speaking Out for African Refugees

excerpt from:

Israel: Modern Day Exodus, on African Refugees and their Right for Medical Care

24 Apr 2008 13:47:38 GMT
Written by: Global Voices

Bloggers are encouraged to use the image above. Its text translates to: diseases do not discriminate between humans'… *doctors statement: refugees are humans too!'

Around 6,000 African refugees escaped the horrors in their countries, and seek refuge in Israel. Many of them live in harsh conditions and can be spotted shivering cold on the streets of southern Tel-Aviv. Earlier this month, the Physicians for Human Rights clinic was forced to shut down, leaving many with no access to healthcare. The insensitive behavior from the side of the Israeli government comes only tens of years after the holocaust, when Jews came to the same plot of land, seeking refuge from the horrors of Europe.

An active internet campaign has been stirring the Hebrew blogosphere, aiming to raising public awareness for the African refugee's basic rights for healthcare among other basic services in Israel. They call for the government to allocate immediate funding for a medical clinic run by the Physicians for Human Rights association, which was forced to shut down earlier this month. The clinic provided foreign workers and refugees with free healthcare services, but ever since the surge in numbers of African refugees seeking medical care, the clinic could no longer bear the heavy burden. It shut its doors in hope that the Ministry of Health and the Israeli government would be forced to publicly recognize the refugees basic right for healthcare

Over 95 bloggers have already joined the campaign advocating for refugee healthcare, requesting the Ministry of Health and Israeli government to take responsibility. Bloggers have been writing about the topic, sending letters to political delegates, raising public awareness, expressing public solidarity and joining forces with the goal of influencing. The list of bloggers and links to their articles can be found in Shuki Galili's post. In addition, a Facebook group has been created, aimed at raising public awareness.

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About Physicians for Human Rights-Israel

" Physicians for Human Rights-Israel is a non-partisan, non-profit organization, whose goal is the advancement and defense of health-related human rights for all the residents of Israel and the Occupied Territories. This includes residents who lack documents or who are not recognized by the state.

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel believes in maintaining close ties with the public, and invites everyone to join and to contribute to achieving our goals. Members can participate in a wide range of activities; providing medical services, participating in conferences and disseminating information, working on committees, and fighting human rights violations. In addition, members will be updated on the activities of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel through regular e-mailings and will receive reports of our various projects.

Membership is free of charge and is open to all to who value human rights. All are welcome to join, regardless of place of residence or citizenship. However, it is important to note that all the organization's activities take place in Israel and the Occupied Territories.

Anyone interested in becoming a member or a volunteer is invited to contact Ravit Blumental, Membership and Volunteer Coordinator, at +972-3-6873718, extention 0, or by e-mail at "

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