Jews, Islamophobia and compassion for refugees

October 3, 2015 by Isi Leibler
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It would be inhumane not to react with compassion to the tragic and harrowing depictions of the suffering of refugees…writes Isi Leibler.

Isi Leibler

Isi Leibler

For Jews, more than any others, these images revive horrific memories of their own collective past and the horrors endured by their families and kinsman when an indifferent world effectively collaborated with the Nazis by denying haven to Jews seeking escape from the gas chambers.

In this context, it is ironic that the most generous assistance to refugees emanates from the Germans, who — even setting aside the Nazi era — were hardly renowned as adherents of multiculturalism. Many attribute this to a guilt reflex and atonement for Germany’s iniquities during the Holocaust.

It is also not surprising that many Jewish communities in Europe, North America and Australia are currently at the vanguard of those calling on governments to be more liberal and accept greater numbers of refugees. We also hear passionate calls from rabbis and Jewish lay leaders citing religious and ethical teachings that oblige us as Jews to provide haven for refugees. Former British Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks even went to the absurd extreme of making an analogy between Syrian refugees and Jews in Europe during the Holocaust.

While reaching out and providing assistance to refugee families in distress is highly commendable, to make analogies between these refugees and Jews facing the Nazi genocidal policies is not merely misleading, but trivialises the Holocaust.

The Jews who found refuge from the Nazis integrated into their host societies and never sought to impose their Jewish values — in stark contrast to the tensions created in Europe over recent decades by Islamic migration of elements who seek to impose anti-democratic values, restrict freedom of expression and promote the equivalent of Shariah law. In fact, the Jews became the most committed advocates for strengthening democracy and made major contributions to the economic and cultural enrichment of the countries that gave them haven.

Nor can one point to a single example of a second-generation Jew transformed into a terrorist by extremist rabbis while this has been the case with many Muslim migrants. Indeed, the idea of Jews engaging in terrorism in Western countries is simply inconceivable.

That European Union bureaucrats are pressuring European countries to absorb refugees indeed reflects commendable humanitarian intentions. But there is a need to act rationally and appreciate that a growing flood of Muslim migrants to Europe could lead to disaster and even ultimately undermine West European civilization.

That may sound hysterical and, in the current climate, such observations automatically provoke accusations of Islamophobia and lack of compassion.

But the reality is that the overwhelming majority of these “refugees” not only originate from Muslim countries other than Syria, but 70% are estimated to be men of military age. That is to say that the majority of this “refugee” population are not traditional families seeking sanctuary, but men seeking economic enhancement.

Furthermore, these large numbers will act as a magnet which could result in profound demographic changes with tens of millions of Muslims seeking to escape Arab countries to better lives in Europe. Taking account of their high fertility rates in a continent with declining birth rates, Islam could yet conquer Europe by demographic means, despite being vanquished militarily hundreds of years ago on the battlefields.

Most European countries already face major problems integrating existing Muslim communities, all of which include substantial extremist elements promoting objectives incompatible with Western values and creating major social upheavals and conflicts.

We should be under no illusions. Most emigrants from Muslim countries have been nurtured with hatred of Western values, contempt for democracy and vicious anti-Semitism. Ironically, Germany’s concern to demonstrate its severance from its evil Nazi past by hosting large numbers of these “refugees” will inevitably strengthen the growing Islamist anti-Semitism in Germany and throughout Europe.

It would be absurd to imagine that these migrants will somehow miraculously be integrated more effectively than their predecessors. We already have the specter of second-generation Muslims educated and nurtured in European countries becoming jihadists, voluntarily serving in terrorist militias in Syria and returning to Western countries to embark on terrorist activities.

In this environment, Europe’s current security problems will exponentially increase if large numbers of Islamic refugees descend upon the continent — especially as there are no means of identifying or excluding potential terrorists. The reality is that a significant proportion support the jihadi movement and will never be integrated into democratic societies.

These are indeed difficult problems and there is no easy solution. To allow compassion to determine policy without reference to long-term repercussions reflects a total lack of resolve to maintain democratic values and is almost comparable to lemmings heading to the slaughter — a true recipe for the demise of Western civilization.

The reality is that Western democratic values are under threat and that while multiculturalism is an idyllic concept, it can only apply in an environment where all parties accept an open democratic society. Alas, the reality is that the Muslim radicals are gaining strength and while distinctions between moderate and radical Muslims may apply in realpolitik on the international global arena, all evidence indicates the rapid expansion of powerful and surging anti-democratic and jihadist elements in every expatriate Muslim community.

This is further highlighted by the astonishing but adamant refusal of the wealthy Arab oil countries — Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, which import vast numbers of Asian workers — to absorb even a minimal number of their own kinsman. They justify their exclusion on the grounds that such people will create disorder and represent security risks.

It is also scandalous that the Arab League and the 57-state Organization of the Islamic Conference make pious comments but turn to the non-Muslim international community to resolve issues created by Islamist extremism from their own ranks. The wealthy Muslim states should be obliged to take the lead role in efforts to integrate their own people.

There must be an intensive effort to stabilise the Middle East region. In this context, it should be noted that the barbarism that today dominates the region is a direct outcome of U.S. President Barack Obama’s concern not to alienate the Iranians, and the repudiation of his commitment to act against the Syrians after Bashar Assad used chemical weapons against his own people.

There are no easy solutions but the Western world must seek to resolve these problems without paving the way for anti-democratic forces to destroy our way of life. As Jews, despite identifying with the harrowing images of suffering endured by those seeking to find a better life in Western countries, we must not let ourselves be ruled by emotions or intimidated by the threat that we will be accused of engaging in Islamophobia. We must rationally consider the long-term repercussions of our actions and, while displaying compassion and joining calls for Christians and Yazidis facing genocide in Syria to be accepted as refugees in Western countries, we must also avoid creating a situation in which we lay the foundations for jihadists to achieve their objectives by demographic means and devour the hand that feeds them.

Isi Leibler lives in Jerusalem. He is a former president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry.


6 Responses to “Jews, Islamophobia and compassion for refugees”
  1. Geoff Seidner says:

    Indeed Issy Leibler
    Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has ‘form’ over the years:you have written on the former Chief Rabbi- but he has rarely been held to account for his irregularly – espoused comments that are ignored by his supporters.

    Sadly – so many remain blind – wilfully blind.
    YOU HAVE WRITTEN TO JANATHAN SACKS ON HIS QUIXOTIC SOMETIMES BIZARRE comments last century methinks. Indeed it was the scandal Sacks created via the anti – Israel interview he gave to the Guardian or The Independent



  2. Liat Nagar says:

    Agree with your commentary, Isi Leibler.

  3. danny kid says:

    And have you comments contributors written to your government to let it know how you feel? If not, then how will your representatives know? Because you can be sure that the do good multiculty leftist progressives are flooding them with suicidal calls to be “compassionate”.

  4. Cody Flecker says:

    My Swedish cousins inform me that if they want to go shopping, they must take their pistols with them. They also tell me that no one leaves the house without taking some sort of weapon, and never do they go out alone anywhere. Sweden was one of the most beautiful countries in the entire world, filled with happy people. Now the Swedes are fearful, and are beginning to feel afraid.

    In the summer, I live at my family estate in Rostock Germany. My family owned this particular estate since the early 800’s and now for the first time, we are training the people who work for my family in small arms tactics. We are forming a militia in an attempt to train the local population in combating the rising tide of negative Islamization. Our woman are afraid to go out alone, and this fear has affected local trade, and tourism in general. We are a Hanseatic city and trade is what we live for.

    Soviet Jews came into Rostock before settling elsewhere in Greater Germany. These people were civil, sane, and we always felt safe when dealing with them even though the locals could speak no Russian, and they had a hard time speaking German, yet we all got along. There was never one rape, or beating of anyone in the greater North Mecklenburg Schwerin areas, unlike today when dealing with these Moslem invaders.

    Accepting people who only want to commit Jihad is not a responsible way to handle an immigration policy. If these Moslems want to work and become creative, that would be a good sign, but to be frank, they have come to Germany to draw on our Social Benefits, thus becoming a drain upon our society. It will not be long before we see another rise in a national Movement that will mirror what the Nazis attempted to accomplish in Greater Germany. Call it Fascism or extreme Nationalism, that movement is once again rearing its head, not only in Greater Germany, but in France, Norway, Sweden, Austria, and in other European countries. We are looking at a clash of civilizations. It will not end positively for anyone.

    The German nation has a terrible past when it comes to dealing with minorities. Our role in the Holocaust leaves us all in a quandary when dealing with these Moslem refugees. On one hand we would like to extend our hand in friendship to them and towards them in an attempt to make their lives better, and on the other hand, we have become afraid of them, as they seek our destruction and our way of life. We Germans have come to grips with our role in the Holocaust, using the concept of NEVER AGAIN, yet once again we are feeling the pains of feeling inferior to our way of life, especially when dealing with these outsiders who only wish our destruction. One has to wonder what our Germanic Government was thinking by allowing these refugees into Greater Germany?

  5. Gil Solomon says:

    No doubt I’ll take the usual flack for saying what follows but then I’ve never been politically correct and never will be.

    I for one am sick and tired of all the pandering to undocumented Muslim “immigrants” and the constant harping that “as Jews we must think of this” or “as Jews we must consider that” . We don’t “must” do anything.

    In relation to the Muslim tidal wave engulfing Europe, everyone seems to have lost sight of the fact that vast numbers of these people are fleeing persecution from their fellow Muslim co-religionists, where each sect appears more than happy to find an excuse to kill the other. The bottom line is that this is a Muslim problem, so it should be solved by Muslims in the Muslim world and not the Western world.

    But the horse has already bolted as far as Europe is concerned. As Gaddafi once said, words to the effect: “We will defeat Europe without firing a single shot” and guess what, the Arabs are doing just that and in the process turning many areas of Europe into “no go” zones. On a personal note, I couldn’t really care less about Europe and that largely Catholic driven anti-semitic continent deserves all the chaos coming their way, courtesy of Islam.

    However, I for one hope Australia never goes down the European route where the lights are rapidly going out as to their way of life.

    • Paul Winter says:

      Gil, old bean, you might be in a small minority, but Robinson Crusoe you’re not. What you say is spot on and I’ll just add a few points in support.

      The mohammedan mob is performing hajira, invading infidel lands. We see them coming from Turkey in rafts you don’t pick up at the local kebab shop. And the good Turks who want to be part of NATO do diddly-squat about controlling their border. Ditto, Libya. All follow the Indonesian model and will continue to do so until Europe follows the Australian example.

      The mainly young male mob don’t register with the UNHCR at their first point of sanctuary as a refugee would. Those coming from Turkey have a sanctuary. By contrast, Jews went to the most remote parts of the world to save their lives.

      Jews settled in and asked for nothing other than a chance to live. They didn’t go country shopping. They didn’t demonstrate and shout “F*** you” outside a railway station as they did in Budapest. They didn’t throw away food and drink supplied by their host nations. They didn’t go around raping their fellow refugees to the point that a German police officer had to recommend separating men and women “refugees”.

      Jews did not throw other refugees into the ocean to drown and mohammedans treated christians. Jews did not abuse people of other faiths and deny them the use of camp facilities. Jews did not join others of their faith who rape,riot and rob as they do in Holland, Germany, France and Scandinavian countries. In Sweden and France fire and ambulance staff need police protection.

      Jews saving their lives did not seek to take over their host societies, nor did they expect special privileges to accommodate their religion. Had Israel existed, that is where they would have found refuge. By contrast, the wealthy Gulf states provide refuge to none. But that is OK, isn’t it, as long as they belch the right noises in support for the Palestinians whose ancient history is still in the process of concoction.

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