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PR won't be merged because the contributor is an Israeli (github.com/armancodes)
83 points by oferzelig on Sept 3, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 26 comments

Can never stand it when a government steps in between two individuals enriching their shared human experience in a way that harms no one else.

Fuck. That. Shit. May the culture of human independence and individual freedom win over this authoritarian bullshit.

> Can never stand it when a government steps in between two individuals enriching their shared human experience in a way that harms no one else.

The US does this all the time with its horribly restrictive work visa policy.

Some startup wants to hire a passionate engineer from abroad -- and what happens? The US govt says you can't.

Paul Graham wrote about it back in December 2014: http://paulgraham.com/95.html

The US hates immigrants so much that there was at one point an attempt to create a floating ship in international waters near the Bay Area (without being actually in it): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blueseed

And lastly, the craziness of American xenophobia (especially the puzzling intense hatred of skilled immgirants no less) can seen in full blast, right here on HN, any time high-skilled work visas come up -- a lot of people right here on HN just can't wait force every last software developer (even those earning $200k) out of the country for the simple crime of them not being born here. I've conversed with immigrant-haters on HN for a long time[1], like for years. I've never understood why they hate me and other immigrants so much. It's puzzling, tbh. It's very tiring and emotionally tiring (when they effectively repeatedly tell you to "gtfo".) I've given up on engaging with them directly.

[1] One example where a user named ones_and_zeros essentially tells me to gtfo: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11313462 (see the parent of that comment as well). And I was in fact actually even scolded by dang for bringing it up later on: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13599190 dang is right in the sense that it is indeed an extremely emotional topic for me. These people are trying to (quite literally) destroy my life, and want to force me out of what's been my home for 10+ years. But I've learned it's actually best for one's own emotional/mental well-being to not engage with them.

This is the weirdest argument I've ever seen on HN.

1. No nation on Earth allows foreigners to move and work without a visa. Singling out the US here is completely illogical.

2. A nation regulating the movement of people into it's borders is a fundamental function of any government. Not having that would be like removing passwords from your server and opening it to the internet.

It seems like you completely missed the point, or are intentionally being facetious and trolling here. (No where did I say anything about doing away visas. If the US had a less restrictive visa policy, like Canada or other Western countries, I would have few complaints.)

Most countries, at least most Western countries don't have a hard numerical limit on high-skilled work visas. (They might have numerical limits/targets on permanent residents, but rarely on highly-paid, educated, high-skilled workers.)

The only countries that do (that I'm aware of) are the United States and Switzerland. Note: most other countries don't arbitrary numerical limits on high-skilled work visas whatsoever.

Switzerland has a limit of 8,500. This is for one of richest most advanced economies in the world with a population with 8.5 million. The visas are obviously rapidly exhausted. For example, here is an article from 2017 complaining about it: https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/worker-visas_cantons-demand-mor...

The Swiss high-skilled work visa limit as percent of population is ~0.1%. Why is the limit so low in Switzerland? Answer: Xenophobia.

The United States has a limit of 65,000 plus 20,000 for US advanced degree holders (and an exemption for non-profit research). Also an extremely rich country with an advanced economy that would (yes) benefit from high-skilled immigration. People that graduate from Harvard often can't manage to find a way to stay in the country, because of the US' horribly restrictive visa/immigration policy. Here's an article from the Harvard Crimson about it from freaking 2007: https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2007/4/9/raise-the-h-1b-c...

The American high-skilled work visa limit as percent of population is ~0.03%. Why is the limit so low in the US? Also, answer: Xenophobia.

The xenophobia is so bad that the Trump administration has been trying extremely hard to exclude/deport this tiny 0.03% of new highly-paid educated immigrants. I was personally affected by this, as a previous visa of mine was denied for bullshit grounds (that courts have ruled in individual cases as being facetious and motivated by anti-immigrant animus). People with $200k+ salaries are being denied on joke grounds and told to depart the US. The United States is so xenophobic that it cannot tolerate adding 0.03% of highly-skilled well-paid educated people per year to its population.

Preach it, brother. One of the biggest reasons I'm anti-software-union: every place where software engineers fervently advocate for unions they fervently advocate to keep foreigners out.

Thank you. I try. It's a little tiring, and I wonder if all the energy I've expended on it is worth anything, or a complete waste of time.

Title is misleading

Maybe, maybe not.

My immediate reaction was that I was about to read some scandalous anti-semitism (as I'm sure you did too). The truth is a little more bureaucratic with no malice or discrimination from either contributor (I won't comment on the law itself!).

The title is a little click-baity but I'm not sure how it could be more accurate?

How about “Maintainer forced to reject PR due to Israel-Iran conflict”?

It appears to be a decision by a package owner (armancodes), based on Iranian law. The title sounds like it was Github's decision

current title: "GitHub: PR won't be merged because..."

How close is American/China from this level of restriction?

Extremely far. It'd be extraordinarily costly - imagine every Chinese national SWE having to leave American companies - and in the US probably unlawful to impose.

US somehow managed to lawfully (at the time) send all Japanese-American to detention camps, though.

Concentration camps.

Way far.

A lot of these restrictions were imposed by the Arab states in the very early days of Israel's "nationhood" and haven't been lifted since, so you don't have to expel people to do this.

If US/China did this there would be mass expulsions on an India-Pakistan partition level

Isn’t that a breach of US anti-boycott law, that Github as a US based company has to enforce?

No. It is so far from any extant law and so far from any currently proposed law that the idea is preposterous.

Maybe do your research first ... https://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/enforcement/oac

I know what you were talking about. You misunderstand their role fairly deeply. There's so much wrong with the idea that they would make Github enforce anything in this instance that it really is quite hard to start. It's just wrong. Entirely.

But go ahead and prove me wrong. Report that MS/Github is providing support to an anti-Israel boycott and therefore should no longer be permitted to export and should no longer receive tax benefits. They have a hotline.

whispers huawei

You mean the Chinese puppet built with strings made from stolen IP?

In the US a blanket anti-boycott law would be unconstitutional to enforce. Government contractors in some states (maybe federally) are subject to anti-BDS restrictions, but to my knowledge GitHub isn't one.

Also, GitHub as an organization is not boycotting Israel, one of the users of its site is. The law / requirement is to state that you (i.e. the gov't contractor in question) will not boycott Israel. But it doesn't say anything about your customers also abiding by that provision.


Who Is Covered by the Laws?

The antiboycott provisions of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) apply to the activities of U.S. persons in the interstate or foreign commerce of the United States. The term "U.S. person" includes all individuals, corporations and unincorporated associations resident in the United States.

Conduct that may be penalized under the TRA and/or prohibited under the EAR includes:

Agreements to refuse or actual refusal to do business with or in Israel or with blacklisted companies. Agreements to discriminate or actual discrimination against other persons based on race, religion, sex, national origin or nationality.


I would say that discrimination clearly applies in this case, and individuals do have a responsibility under the EAR.

The person "discriminating" is the person that rejected the PR, which they did being subject to the laws of Iran.

Github neither agreed to refuse, actually refused, agreed to discriminate, or actually discriminated against the person proposing the PR.

Github aren't responsible for some code of conduct regarding whether or not a repo owner will accept unsolicted (or solicited) PRs.

In fact, Github is directly engaged in blocking users from NK, Syria and Iran under the US law. They have to, it's the law that has jurisdiction over Github.


The user isn't boycotting Israel, he is obeying his own country's law.

In the same way that a US person shouldn't accept PRs from people in North Korea, Syria, or Iran under US laws.

I don't agree with either the Iranian or the US laws.

As an Australian, we have our own laws regarding interactions with people of other nations to deal with as well.

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