I am writing this before the case has been decided and before we know whether a Nigerian mother who is seeking asylum in Ireland for herself and her daughters is allowed to remain in Ireland.
Much has been said about Pamela Izevbekhai’s case. Her recent admission, on the Marion Finnucane show, that her asylum claim was based on forged documents provided a dramatic turning point not only in her own case, but in the whole complex relations between the Irish state and African, particularly Nigerian, asylum seekers.
Just a day after the revelations about what Israeli soldiers really did in Gaza came the story about the Jaffa T shirt factory, where 500 T shirts per month with dead babies, mothers weeping on their children’s graves, a gun aimed at a child and a bombed-out mosque accompanies with slogans such as ‘better use Durex’ (next to a picture of a dead Palestinian baby with his weeping mpther and a teddy bear beside him), ‘1 shot, 2 kills’, (beside a pregnant Palestinian woman with a bull’s eye superimposed on her belly), and ‘no matter how it begins, we’ll put an end to it’ (Uri Blau, Dead Palestinian babies and bombed mosques – IDF fashion 2009 – Haaretz – Israel News). Haaretz reports plenty of shirts with blatant sexual messages, such as a drawing of a soldier next to a young woman with bruises, and the slogan, ‘Bet you got raped!’
A few of the images describe actions whose existence the army officially denies – such as ‘confirming the kill’ (shooting a bullet into an enemy victim’s head from close range, to ensure he is dead), or harming religious sites, or female or child non-combatants.