Friday, June 21, 2013


60,000 African migrants sought refuge in Israel. Many found hostility, resentment and a one-way ticket to prison. They are Israel's new unwanted.


Rhuba, an Eritrean refugee, claims she was beaten by her Tel Aviv employer when she asked to be paid. Photo by P.J. Tobia.
Eritrean Refugees in Israel.
Before coming to Israel, Rhuba never smoked cigarettes. Now, she smokes like a truck driver.
Her cheeks cave as she huffs the butts down in long, powerful draws, sending nimbus clouds of tobacco floating into the damp air of a south Tel Aviv bar.

Rhuba is 19, petite in bright blue jeans. She stares out from a matching blue hoodie drawn tight to her head, nearly obscuring the crimson pool of blood that fills her right eye. The left side of Rhuba's face isn't so concealed. A dark, amaranthine welt starts in an angry ball on her temple and sprawls out like skinny fingers across her cheekbones.

Her former employer, the owner of a Tel Aviv restaurant, hit her repeatedly when she asked to be paid for two weeks of work.

“There is no freedom here,” she says. 

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