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ERITREAN PUNISHED IN AN ISRAELI COURT

ERITREAN FOUND GUILTY OF ROBBERY GIVEN HARSH SENTENCE

TO DETER “FOREIGN CITIZENS”

By Noam Wiener

The Tel Aviv District Court, roughly comparable to a circuit court in the American federal system, sentenced on Wednesday an Eritrean refugee convicted of aggravated robbery to four and a half years imprisonment. Explaining the harsh sentence, he cited the need to deter “foreign citizens” from committing crimes.

Without detracting from the brutality of the individuals who attacked refugee shops and cars last week, this is a far more insidious form of racism. And if anybody was so deluded into thinking that only the less fortunate lower classes are so racist, Judge Zvi Gurfinkel has proven that the virus of racism against African refugees is firmly ingrained in the system.

 

According to the court (Hebrew), the defendant, Kabri Angsom, is an Eritrean national residing in Israel as an asylum seeker. Angsom, according to the verdict, pushed a woman to the ground, punched her and stole her purse. Such an offense, according to the court, usually carries a punishment of between three and four years’ incarceration.

But instead of reiterating the facts and meting out the sentence, as judges usually do, Judge Gurfinkel took another direction in his decision. Instead of punishing Angsom for his crime, the judge described the danger posed by “foreign laborers, refugees, or work immigrants,” choosing to make him an example to other “foreign citizens.”

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