World Bulletin / News Desk
Just days before the tragedy that struck the Mediterranean, with more than 850 refugees drowning, an article by rightwing provocateur Kate Hopkins, in the Rupert Murdoch owned newspaper, The Sun, called migrants “cockroaches and “a plague of feral humans.” Her solution was “bring on the gunships, force migrants back to their shores and burn the boats” .
In an article for Electronic Intifada, Rhania Khalek explained that there is no denying that people smugglers are exploiting the refugees, in particular when smugglers last September deliberately sank a boat, killing nearly 500 people who were mostly Palestinians from Gaza.
Over the last decade, the EU has deliberately sealed its land borders, effectively pushing refugees to use deadly sea routes.
The border between Spain and Morocco, is only one of two land borders that connect Europe to Africa, and that is sealed by fence that is seven yards high and reinforced with barbed wire. The Balkans are also becoming a fast route to Europe but that did not stop Bulgaria, who is currently building a wall at its border with Turkey to keep mostly Syrian refugees out, who ironically, two decades ago celebrated the dismantling of a wall that caged people in.
In September 2013, 400 refugees were left to drown at sea which effectively caused Italy to launch Mare Nostrum, a navy search and rescue operation that saved 150,000 lives, and was scrapped in October 2014. This was then replaced by Operation Triton which is overseen by Frontex, the European border management agency.
Although the EU had agree to triple the budget in wake of this months mass drowning tragedy, the extra funding is unlikely to prevent the deaths. Triton’s aim is surveillance and border protection, and not search and rescue - and that is limited to patrol only to thirty miles off the Italian coast. Even the head of Frontex stated that the agency’s priority is not to rescue migrants.
According to the Guardian, the EU will only offer resettlement to 5,000 people who qualify for asylum, meaning the overwhelming majority who survive the Mediterranean “will be sent back as irregular migrants under a new rapid-return program co-ordinated by the EU’s border agency, Frontex,”
These policies echo the treatment of the Jewish refugees, who were turned away fleeing Nazi persecution,in particular the case of SS St Louis, the cruise liner carrying 900 German Jews who were denied entry in 1939 by Cuba, the United States and Canada, forcing them to sail back to Europe. More than 250 of those on board died at the hands of the Nazis.
Most of today’s refugees are Muslim and by blocking their entry into an increasingly Islamophobic Europe, politicians are stirring up fears of Islamic terrorism and anti-Semitism to rationalize border cruelty.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Nisan 2015, 17:08