The Labor government’s new policy of banishing asylum seekers who arrive here by sea has left some Jews fuming, many of them survivors of the Holocaust and their descendants who also arrived here as boat people.
Like Israel, Australia holds asylum seekers, most of them from Africa, in detention centers. Australia’s centers are on the Pacific islands of Papua New Guinea and Nauru to the north and northeast.
Both countries’ leaders have pledged to “stop the infiltration problem,” as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu put it recently. Both have been criticized by human rights groups for violations of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, of which they are both signatories.
In 2011, MK Danny Danon (Likud) wrote to Jewish lawmaker Michael Danby, asking if Australia could accept African refugees who had sought asylum in Israel. Danby responded that Danon’s proposal was “quite unrealistic.”’
Read more at Haaretz.com.