तुझे पहली बार मैं मिलता हूँ
He looked at her face as he always did, absorbing its details as if for the first time.
— Jhumpa Lahiri, The Lowland
A Health Ministry inspector poured bleach over pots full of food in a Sudanese restaurant in Tel Aviv Sunday night.
The inspector, from the ministry’s district office for Tel Aviv, was participating in a raid by police and municipal inspectors on illegal businesses owned by African migrants. Altogether, the raid shut down 10 businesses in the city’s Neveh Sha’anan neighborhood, confiscating their equipment and welding the doors shut. The equipment was then loaded onto vans by other African migrants who had been hired as contract workers.
Many diners saw the inspector pouring bleach on the food, and one, asylum-seeker Aladin Abaker from Sudan’s Darfur region, posted photos of the incident on his Facebook page. He also described his feelings of humiliation.
“Everyone − except the destroyers − was in tears from the humiliation,” he wrote. “The waitress told us, ‘I’ve seen very harsh things in my life, like torture in Sinai, but this humiliated me more than what happened to me in Sinai.”
Abaker accused the inspector of “insensitivity to people and their culture, which sees food as a sacred thing that must be respected,” and said the raid was aimed at “embittering our lives so we’ll return to Africa ‘voluntarily.’”
Altogether, he said, more than 200 kilograms of meat, chicken and fish and over 500 prepared meals were destroyed.
The inspectors said they didn’t know where the meat came from and therefore feared for the diners’ health, Abaker wrote. “We told them: But this is the only place we’ve eaten all our meals for four years now, and none of us ever had stomach problems. Even whites eat here.”
The Health Ministry responded that inspectors had discovered “deplorable sanitary conditions, food stored under unsuitable conditions and temperatures, and food from unknown sources. In order to preserve the public’s health and that of the diners themselves, it was decided to destroy the food immediately. As part of the process of destroying the food, chemicals suitable to this purpose are used. It should be noted that this was a routine process of food destruction that is no different from other destructions of food/meat.”
Tel Aviv’s deputy city manager, Ruby Zelof, said the raids were carried out “to eradicate the undesirable phenomenon of businesses operating illegally, with sanitation and safety problems and illegal connections to electricity and water, and sales of alcoholic beverages without permits.”
Haaretz | Photo credit: Aladin Abaker
Knesset Member Miri Regev — a member of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud Party — called the refugees “a cancer in our body” and Danny Danon — also a Likud Knesset Member — wrote on his Facebook page referring to the Africans as “infiltrators”. Interior Minister Eli Yishai said the African asylum seekers threaten “the Zionist dream,” adding, “Jobs will root them here.”
- Why is the birth rate in Israel’s Ethiopian community declining? Ethiopian women who immigrated to Israel were coaxed into agreeing to injections of long-acting birth control drugs, or told they would not be allowed into the country
- Israeli woman has her photo taken with Africans, titles the Facebook album: “Late night tour of the Tel Aviv Safari”, captions the photo: “There are no signs forbidding taking pictures with the animals. There were no signs that forbid feeding, but we passed on that.”
— when my mother struggles to spell a word in english
I want to break the entire language
into little pieces
so the edges of these letters
will stop cutting her
Tatyana Fazlalizadeh will be in town April 2-8th producing and installing work around STWTS.
On April 2nd, Tatyana will give a presentation and lecture hosted by Georgia State University. All are invited.
Wednesday, April 2nd
100 Auburn Avenue Building, 120 Conference Room
For STWTS’s April 4th International Wheat Pasting Night, we are looking for volunteers to be a part of the Atlanta wheat pasting team. To participate, email email@example.com
Additional times and dates for events will be added soon.
Richard Brautigan, “Passing to Where?”