Lv 7
Kevin7 asked in TravelAfrica & Middle EastIsrael · 1 decade ago

can someone tell me about Vietnamese refugees in Israel?

9 Answers

  • connie
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The number of Vietnamese people in Israel is estimated as 200. Most of them came to Israel in between 1976-1979, after prime minister Menachem Begin authorized their admission to Israel, granted them political asylum, and it granted them immediate citizenship, as if they were Jews immigrating under the Law of Return. The Vietnamese people living in Israel are Israeli citizens who also serve in the Israel Defence Forces. Today, the majority of the community lives in the Gush Dan area in the center of Israel. They are Buddhists and more than half the Vietnamese Israelis are ethnic Chinese, who attempt to transfer their culture to their children.

    The Vietnamese community in Israel is surprisingly small, all of the 200 or so living in Tel-Aviv know each other, with most having arrived there by chance. Nguyen Le Bach, former Vietnamese ambassador to Israel, said most of them came there in the 70s on boats from the north. After being on the high seas for days with food running out, they were picked up by an Israeli ship. The ship's captain sought sanctuary for them in several countries but was refused, so he took them on to Israel. Israel then allowed them to live in resettlement camps in Tel-Aviv.

    The community likes to work in restaurants and most have Israel nationality. At least six are now owners of restaurants catering to Asian cuisines. Hung, a young man, is working at one and said he was saving to open one himself. Recently, he came to Ho Chi Minh City to get married and took his wife back to Israel. Thi Viet, currently working for the Israel News, chatted in a mixture of Vietnamese, English and Hebrew when Thanh Nien visited her. Even so, her father smiled proudly, saying that it was thanks to his asking her to speak Vietnamese at home. Nguyen Van De, who arrived in Israel 32 years ago, said he now wanted to come back to Vietnam, visit the tomb of President Ho Chi Minh in Hanoi, but was worried about visas.

    Vietnamese restaurant review

    Two-thirds of the 343 Vietnamese refugees resettled in Israel in the late 1970s remain there happily, most working in the restaurant business, though religion causes some problems. The Vietnamese are Buddhists or Confucians, but Israeli law requires marriages, divorces, and burials to be handled by Jewish, Christian, or Muslim authorities. The younger generation views itself as almost exclusively Israeli. Many of these Israeli-Vietnamese have leapt at the chance in recent years to visit their homeland.

    Directed by Duki Dror, the 2005 film, "The Journey of Vaan Nguyen," Vaan Nguyen was born in Israel to parents who fled Vietnam in 1975, became boat people and found asylum in Israel.

    Today Vaan is a fixture among Tel Aviv’s young, beautiful and fashionable. She sounds and feels totally Israeli. She thinks in Hebrew, but she is also very aware of the painful absurdities of being a Vietnamese Israeli in the Jewish state. Israel is her home and her nation, but because of her appearance and family origins she cannot help but feel something of an outsider. (more about film)

    Source(s): A couple of brief videos about Vietnamese in Israel: Vietnamese 'boat person' Kien Wong now lives in Haifa and owns Yan Yan, a popular Chinese restaurant. Vietnamese girls born in Israel serving in Israel Defense forces.
  • pibe
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Asylum Granted to the Vietnamese Boat People

    June 26, 1977

    During the 1960's and 1970's, conflict and hardship was

    not exclusive to just the Middle East. The nation states

    of Asia were also fighting to rid themselves of colonialist

    rule and in some cases battling themselves in search of a

    national direction.

    The people of Vietnam were no exception. For much of the

    1960's and 1970's, they were a people that knew nothing other

    than conflict, pain and hardship. During the mid 1970's,

    many Vietnamese citizens, frustrated and fatigued from years

    of conflict, chose to seek a better life elsewhere. Setting

    sail on ships of poor integrity, these people sailed from

    nation to nation seeking asylum. Over time, they would come

    to be known as the (Vietnamese) “boat people”.

    During 1977, one particular group of refugees after being

    denied entry by many other nations would ultimately find their

    sanctuary on June 26, 1997 in the State of Israel.

    For 66 Vietnamese refugees, the Jewish State became their

    new home. Today, a strong Vietnamese community thrives in


    As a Jewish people, we remember the USS St. Louis and the fate

    that its passengers met in Nazi Europe because no nation would

    offer her asylum. We remember the refugee ship Exodus and her

    crew of Holocaust survivors denied entry during the British

    Mandate period when immigration was shut off to Palestine.

    The lessons of our people run deep and long. Whenever and

    wherever possible, we have reached out to help those in times

    of crisis and need. The 1977 Vietnamese example is just one

    of many. More recently, Israel has provided refuge to the

    Kurds and citizens of war torn Albania and Bosnia.

    It is important to make the distinction that these are not Jews,

    but people of other faiths. When we look to these examples of

    humanity, we realize that Zionism is an experiment that has

    learned from its past and has done its small part to assure

    that history for our people or people of other faiths and

    nations is not repeated.

  • dandyl
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    In April 1975, North Vietnamese totalitarian communists defeated the South Vietnam regime and the United States army. Hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese secretly fled South Vietnam to escape communist persecution and torture. Many escaped in small, unreliable boats and faced harsh weather and threats from pirates as they were turned away by neighboring local authorities. More and more Vietnamese began escaping. One June 10, 1977, an Israeli cargo ship en route to Japan crossed paths with a boat full of 66 Vietnamese. They were out of food and water, were extremely lost and scared, and their boat was leaking. Their SOS signals had gone ignored by passing East German, Norwegian, Japanese, and Panamanian boats. The Israeli captain and crew immediately offered food and water and decided to bring the passengers on board and transported them to Israel. There, Prime Minister Menachem Begin authorized their Israeli citizenship, comparing their situation to the plight of Jewish refugees seeking a haven during the Holocaust. Following this rescue, between 1977 and 1979, Israel welcomed over three hundred Vietnamese refugees.

    The documentary The Journey of Vaan Nguyen made by Israeli film director Duki Dror follows Hanmoi Nguyen, one of the original refugees, as he lives in Israel and returns to his town in Vietnam. A writer and restaurant worker, he finds himself suspended between two civilizations, without being fully at home in either one.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    None are permitted to become citizens. if this is an attempt to portray a tribal state as a modern multi-ethnic society you'll have to try harder - much harder. I hope I've told you "more".

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  • 1 decade ago

    the left be refugees in Israel.

  • 1 decade ago

    well, they were in israel. o and they are vietnamese

  • 1 decade ago

    that's were Jesus was born

  • 1 decade ago

    did not know that was done

  • jd
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    I don't buy it.

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