Between 2005 and 2014, approximately 70,000 asylum-seeking refugees from Sudan and Eritrea entered Israel. This, along with the highly publicised anti-African immigrant riots in Israel in 2012 and 2014, has meant that the issue of African migration is now extremely controversial in Israel. Gilad Ben-Nun looks at this phenomenon, and compares it to the debates surrounding the Palestinian refugees in the region and the concept of their right of return. He argues that this newer, African migration issue has forced Israel to move from conceiving of itself as an ‘exceptional’ state and now has to view itself as a more ‘normal’ and ‘universal’ entity. By highlighting this shift, he ties the problems which the Israeli political and judicial systems (as well as society) have to wider themes of migration and identity in the wider region.
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