THE PROBLEM IS-RAEL: UNHCR BATTLES OVER MULTICULTURALISM

Emma Doherty for THE AUSTRALIAN

Israel is home to the third-largest amount of Russian expatriates outside of the former Soviet Block, and the Russian capital Moscow is home to the largest percentage of ex-Israeli citizens in the world.

Yet, given the debate that occured today one would assume that the citizens of Israel are a spectacularly homogenous bunch.

Today in discussions, Israel pushed for a form of global asylum seeker policy which places precedence on cultural similarities when processing asylum seeker claims.

Israel cited the fact that ‘Arabic’ persons displaced by any Middle Eastern conflict would find it infinitely more preferable to hosted by or intergrated into a society of a culture similar to theirs rather than to one with a culture such as Israel’s.

Israel also relied heavily on historical arguments to justify the existence of a country which also functions as an insulated ethno-religious state.

The US and Sweden stated that they were committed to a form of internationally-implemented asylum seeker policy that encourages multi rather than monoculture.

The UK was similarly opposed to this statement and put forward that a globally-operating policy which seeks to exclude refugee applicants on the basis of cultural difference skates dangerously closely to openly xenophobic refugee policy.

Claiming itself to be a liberal and multicultural society, the United Kingdom “could never consent to a resolution which would incorporate such principles.”

Russia interjected subsequently labelled the United Kingdom’s stance on multiculturalism ‘hypocritical’; given David Cameron’s now infamous comments regarding the death of multiculturalism made some years prior to the commencement of this committee caucus.

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