A demonstration was held on Wednesday outside the Rwandan Embassy in London against the deportation of tens of thousands of Africans seeking refuge in Israel.
The scenes mirrored similar demonstrations taking place in Israel and other major city around the world, and a letter addressed to the Rwandan President was delivered to the Embassy urging him to resist Israeli pressure to accept deportees.
A spokesman for the Rwandan High Commission in London denied there was a secret deal with Israel, saying: “Rwanda’s policy vis-a-vis Africans in need of a home, temporary or permanent, within the country’s means, remains open door.”
Hundreds of rabbis and cantors in the UK and USA have signed letters urging Israel not to deport asylum seekers to African states in recent weeks.
Earlier this week Israel began serving 20,000 deportation notices to African refugees from Eritrea and Sudan, starting with men without children. They have been told they could be imprisoned indefinitely if they do not leave.
While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.
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We have never before done this for any charity fundraiser but it's hard to recall a campaign that affects so many people, and indeed an entire planet aching for a return to normality. Just like the Chief Rabbi and Rachel Riley, we hope to boost the mission to deliver two billion vaccines, 165 million treatments and 900 million test kits around the world by the end of this year.
Please donate as much as you can, in the spirit of the Talmudic sages: “to save one life is to save the world entire”