ISCI is a cross-disciplinary research centre working to further our understanding of state crime: organisational deviance violating human rights

Making Their Lives Miserable: Structural Violence and State Racism Towards Asylum Seekers from Sudan and Eritrea in Israel

SCJ 11(1) front cover

State Crime Journal Special Issue on Migration and Racist State Violence

Vol. 11, No. 1 (2022) – open access

Maayan Ravid (Bar Ilan University, Israel)

This article examines state racism and structural violence inflicted upon Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers in Israel by surveying various exclusionary policies and their harmful effects. It situates exclusionary state practices of migration control in Israel’s racialized social dynamics, contextualized in Israel’s origins as a settler society and subsequent national ordering. Israel’s treatment of African asylum seekers is conceptualized as structural violence through an examination of unnecessary, preventable, or avoidable harms that were differentially inflicted upon this distinct, racialized migrant group both directly and indirectly. Claims in the article are based on ethnographic research conducted with asylum seekers who had been detained in Israel’s Holot detention facility. In contrast to Israel’s purported adherence to international commitments to human rights, including asylum protections, understanding asylum seekers’ destitution through the lens of structural violence enables us to place the onus and responsibility for human suffering upon the state… (read more)

State Crime Journal Special Issue on Migration and Racist State Violence