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A world, too dangerous for children

By Owei Lakemfa

AUSTRALIA, Israel and the United States, US, are countries of migrants, but they are also places that are dangerous for children, especially if they are not White. I am not referring to the  common-place massacre of children in US schools by the clearly deranged, or the routine murder of Blacks in ‘God’s Own Country’.

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I am referring to the US snatching  migrant children from their parents, the Stolen Generations of children in Australia and   the on-going scandal in Israel which revealed that between 1948 and 1954, over 1,000 children under 3 ‘disappeared’.  Also within the period, hundreds of children ‘died’ in Israeli hospitals without death certificates being issued. The children have a common denominator, they were Mizrahi Jews; Eastern and Oriental Jews with Middle East ancestry. They were mainly poor Jews from Yemen  who migrated to the new Israeli nation. In contrast, the children of the Ashkenazi Jews; Jews from the European Diaspora did not ‘disappear’ or ‘die’ in such mysterious circumstances.

As it turned out, these children were mainly kidnapped by Israeli officials and given to  White Jews who needed children. Some were given to Jews in America for adoption while some were used as human guinea pigs for scientific experiments.

There was the case of Yosef Avraham who migrated  from Yemen on September 16, 1949, with his wife Ketzia,  daughter Mazal and one week son, Tov.  The family was housed in the  Pardesiya camp for new immigrants. The family was hospitalised. Yosef  recovered after one week,  found his daughter Mazal but never found  his wife and son.

Gil Grunbaum was the son of wealthy parents or so he thought. In adulthood, he found that after his birth to Tunisian migrants in 1956, he was stolen by the doctors. After a three-year search, he found that his family name was  Maimon and has traced his biological mother to the suburbs of Haifa.

Leah Aharni had twin daughters but  was told one of them, Hanna, died. But when her surviving daughter, Hagit was 18 and eligible for national military service, Leah received two draft notices, one for Hagit and the other for the ‘dead’ Hanna.   Documents showed that Hanna was moved to Tel Aviv after she was supposed to have died.

The Israeli government confirmed that some of the Yemeni children died  from experiments when they were injected with  Albumin [dry egg-white], serum, dry plasma,  to check  if they had traces of sickle-cell disease.  On 23 January 2018,  the Yemeni Jews staged a protest after which some were given permission  to exhume some graves to carry out DNA tests of those they believe were  their missing family members.

In the case of the US, the separation of migrant children is now causing  a storm with President Donald Trump blaming the Democrats for the ‘law’ under which his administration is snatching  thousands of migrant children from their parents and flinging them into a world of uncertainty, where they may never  see their biological families again. Trump  seems willing to do anything except  stop the practice which in reality, is the product of his administration’s policy.

In this context, policy is actually an elegant word, because in reality, the American government is merely experimenting.  There is the case of a mother who was apprehended with her son, and  10-year-old  girl with Down syndrome.  The woman established that her husband is a legal US resident. She was sent to a detention facility, and the girl, rather than being reconciled with her father, was locked up in a different detention centre in Texas.

The current problem began with the April 6, 2018 US Justice Department  declaration of a new “zero tolerance policy’ which has the separation of children from their parents as a major plank.  With missionary zeal, American officials swooped  on family migrants entering the country. Between April 18 and May 31, the Home and Security announced children were separated from 1,940 adults.

The children taken away from their parents are labelled “unaccompanied minors” and sent to foster care,  while the parents are labelled criminals and sent to jail.  Some American lawyers have challenged this on the basis that illegal migration is a civil, not a criminal issue.

Part of the danger in the American case is that there are no clear cut processes of keeping track of the children, or being certain where they are being kept; there is also no system of reuniting the children and their parents.

So the danger of permanent separation of the parents and children, is real.  The New York Times also reports that some parents have been deported without their children, against their will.

In May, in blaming the Democrats for enacting the law separating the children and their parents, Trump tweeted : “Put pressure on the Democrats to end the horrible law that separates children from their parents once they cross the border into the US.” In a later tweet he said: “Separating families at the border is the fault of bad legislation passed by the Democrats. Border security laws should be changed but the Dems can’t get their act together.” But  Trump has failed to  produce such a law. In any case, if it were to exist, the fact is that it is his administration that is implementing the inhuman law and all he needs is to put a stop to the implementation.

In the case of Australia, the British migrants, some of them, prisoners sent to the continent by Britain, almost wiped out the indigenous Aborigines. When they realized that some of the Aborigines had ‘half caste’ children, the British settlers from 1905 to the 1970s, seized such children from their parents.  Sometimes, the mothers were tied in their homes while the state kidnapped   their children. In some cases, the children were seized from their parents in public places like post offices. They were then placed in foster homes,  with foster parents or so called charities.  They were taken through so called ‘resocialisation programmes’. The Australian government admits that between one in ten and one in three indigenous Australian children were seized  from their parents and communities.

In the American case, the children are brought in by their parents seeking better life or escaping persecution. They are non-White who have to contend with  an overwhelming White establishment. In the Israeli case, it was one of answering the call that all Jews should return to the homeland. But what  the non-European and non-American Jews failed to understand was that the call did not include them because Zionism is a racist ideology. In that of Australia, it is a case of  colonized people being almost wiped out by the colonialists. Whatever the case, these are  not good times for the children victims to grow.

 


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