The Right Honourable Benjamin Netanyahu
Office of the Prime Minister
3 Kaplan St.
State of Israel
7 September 2023
Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu,
Re: Incident involving Eritreans in Tel Aviv 2 September 2023
Your Excellency – allow me to introduce Eritrea Focus, a Human Rights Group based in London, United Kingdon, that endeavours to expose the gross human rights abuses perpetrated by the Eritrean Government on its own people. The heinous crimes that the regime in Asmara commits on Eritrean citizens is well document by the United Nations, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and various reputable NGOs. Eritrea today is one of the fastest emptying nations on earth generating the highest number of refugees per capita year-on-year for the last two decades. It is a tragedy for our people who gave so much to liberate their country from Ethiopia’s 30-year oppression just to be brutalised even more in the hands of a self-appointed president who is accountable to none but himself.
We are writing, Mr Prime Minister, as concerned human rights group and global citizens to appeal for your compassion and empathy towards the Eritreans that have found shelter in Israel and started to rebuild their shattered lives. Many Eritreans have made Israel their home with the kind support of Israeli citizens to whom we shall be forever grateful.
The unpleasant incident that occurred in Israel on 2 September 2023 is unfortunate. Any individual that has deliberately and intentionally caused harm to law enforcement agents, civilians or damaged properties should be held accountable. In doing so, however, it is important to identify who the catalysts of such horrific events are. They are the Eritrean Embassy staff and the Eritrean Government Agents – the ineptly called Peoples Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ). These groups are tasked by the regime in Asmara to intimidate and extortionately collect money from the diaspora through the 2 per cent tax and various festivals to finance the imprisonment, torture, rape and to kill, and to destabilise the Horn of Africa. The Eritrean President is a dictator of the worst kind, totally unhinged and a puppet of President Putin of Russia whom he encourages to wage conflict against the West/NATO to which he (Isaias) apparently wants, the tiny State of Eritrea with “zero budget”, to contribute.
It is against the above background that the incident in Tel Aviv last week and indeed other incidents in the rest of Western countries over the summer should be seen. The Eritrean regime has sadly divided the people into two camps. There are those that follow the regime and in particular the President blindly while their country is being destroyed, their families and relatives enslaved in perpetuity, imprisoned, raped, and even killed in front of their eyes. These group represent the Embassy staff and PFDJ members. The other group are the victims who fled their homeland in the dead of a night risking their lives in the hope all and everything will be better when they are out of their madhouse country. These are people who need and deserve protection under the UN Refugee Convention – genuine refugees that we believe every country has the responsibility and duty of care to protect, including, I must add, Mr Prime Minister, the State of Israel – a nation built by refugees.
The Tel Aviv festivals were planned by the Eritrean Embassy as were others across Europe and North America. The Eritrean Embassies across the world (but not in their “friendly” countries of Russia and China) are more interested in selling cans of beer and injera (Eritrean flat bread) rather than focus on the bigger diplomatic picture of Inward Investment and widening the country’s diplomacy network, which one would expect a normal mission to do. The festivals and the ensuing clashes in Israel were not orchestrated by “major intelligence agencies (including MOSSAD)” as the Eritrean Ministry of Information press release of 5 September 2023 suggests. It was without doubt planned and executed by the Eritrean Embassy in Israel supported by pro-government diaspora PFDJ members who ironically and illegally claim asylum fearing persecution by the very regime they are fighting to prop up. Clearly, these PFDJ diaspora who are sent to Israel and other places to spy and carry out the regime’s dirty work obtained their stay by deception. They are not genuine refugees because they do not need protection from a regime, they, love, admire and still work for. They are not refugees or asylum seekers pure and simple. In this regard, Your Excellency, most Eritrean people applaud you when you ask “what are these people doing here if they support the government of Eritrea? Well, they should not and ought to be deported immediately.
It is clear from the international press reporting of the incident that took place in Tel Aviv, the pro-justice and anti-government groups tried their utmost to avert public disorder. Members of the Eritrean community in Israel informed the local law enforcement agencies of the risk of confrontation should the event go ahead. Several cities around the world had cancelled such events and those that did not had witnessed clashes between the regime’s agents/supporters and pro-democracy demonstrators. Unfortunately, the Israeli law enforcement agencies did not heed to the warning from the community and regrettably allowed the event to go ahead to the delight of the Eritrean Embassy and PFDJ members.
As the clashes in Israel have clearly demonstrated, there are now a significant and increasing majority of Eritreans in diaspora that are openly opposing the regime and feel emboldened. In contrast, those that support the regime in Asmara working under the control and direction of the Eritrean Embassies around the world, including in Israel are confused and disoriented. They are no longer seen as the “long arm of the regime in Asmara” but as a group representing a regime in its twilight. It is critically important to differentiate the pro and anti-government as two distinct groups. While the government agents who falsely claimed residence in Israel and elsewhere should be deported back to Eritrea immediately, deporting the genuine refugees and asylum seekers would be akin to “throwing the baby with the bath water”, an abomination of justice and in our view contravention of international law. To deport genuine refugees to Eritrea would be tantamount to sentencing them to death. They will be imprisoned on arrival, tortured and most will be killed with the lucky ones sent to join the military where sooner or later they too will be killed in the country’s numerous and never-ending wars and conflicts. The United Nations and several human rights organisations have fully documented the abuses that take place in Eritrea, including “forced conscription, arbitrary detention, and restrictions on freedom of speech and religion. Deportation to Eritrea would expose these individuals to potential harm, imprisonment, or even loss of life”.
Your Excellency – we plead with you to grant the genuine group of refugees and asylum seekers protection by not only granting them residence permits and refrain from deporting them from Israel but by closing the Eritrean Embassy forthwith so they can live a normal life which they so badly deserve. Eritrean Embassies across the world are the root cause of all these clashes and conflicts within the diaspora and until such time they are closed we fear this despicable violence will sadly continue.
Prime Minister, your compassion can make a profound difference to the lives of tens of thousands of these vulnerable Eritrean individuals. Thank you for your attention to this pressing matter and we remain hopeful for a compassionate solution.
Chair & Co-founder
- FCDO, United Kingdom
- US Department of State
- The African Union
- The European Union
- The State of Israel Embassy, London
- Hotline for Refugees, Israel