No Return: Non-Jewish Migrants in the Jewish State

A spectrum of Israeli society including Israelis, refugees, and migrant workers, at a bus stop. Credit: Nicky Kelvin/Flash90

Mya Guarnieri Jaradat, an American-Israeli journalist, discusses her book The Unchosen: The Lives of Israel’s New Others, which is the result of a decade of research into the lives and legal hardships of Israel’s migrant workers and asylum seekers.



This season of the Tel Aviv Review is made possible by The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, which promotes humanistic, democratic, and liberal values in the social discourse in Israel.


Tel Aviv Review is also supported by the Public Discourse Grant from the Israel Institute, which is dedicated to strengthening the field of Israel Studies in order to promote knowledge and enhance understanding of modern Israel.


1 comment on “No Return: Non-Jewish Migrants in the Jewish State

  1. Greg Pollock says:

    There is a strange twist in the asylum claimant refugee thread. After the second High Court decision on the Holot intern camp, such claimants may be housed up to a year without trial, thereafter being released whence they were taken–the general population. Since no trial is needed, the power to intern for a year is solely the States, which gives the police an explicit threat over individuals the Court has said cannot be removed without an asylum hearing–hearings the State has refused to hold for over a decade. The High Court’s compromise on Holot (initially the Court had ordered the camp closed) has then created a new police power to which only a tiny fraction of residents are vulnerable. Without checks, police will expand to use whatever powers they are given. Since individuals ultimately must be released from Holot (unless they take an outstanding offer to exit the country), new openings will appear. Administrative pressure to use what one has will then produce intimidation and fear over what is essentially an arbitrary use of power. Even if the State uses Holot rather than prosecute a minor criminal case (surely less costly), the State here becomes both prosecution and judge; indeed, the prosecution/police itself becomes judge. The decision is infirm because it cannot be implemented fairly–rather, it creates an essential capricious use of power.

    I recall Mya’s days on 972 where she was quite honest and brave.

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