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September 4, 2015 7:11 pm

Former British Chief Rabbi Calls for Kindertransport-Type Rescue of Syrian Refugees

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Former UK Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

Former UK Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

Former British Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks called on the U.K. to absorb thousands of Syrian refugees in light of the growing crisis that took the world by storm this week, spawned in part by pictures of a lifeless Syrian boy who drowned attempting to reach the Turkish island of Kos.

Sacks said the U.K. should launch an initiative similar to the Kindertransport rescue of some 10,000 Jewish children before World War II.

The prominent religious leader told the BBC that the images that have surfaced over the last few days of over-packed dinghies, lifeless children and families torn apart have “brought back images we though we would never see again. They take our mind way back to the Holocaust and it is important to remember simple humanitarian gestures like the Kindertransport, which rescued 10,000 children in Germany.”

His comments came after British Prime Minister David Cameron changed his stance on the issue and said the country would take in “thousands” of refugees from camps suffering near fighting in the Syrian civil war, which has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands and raged for nearly five years.

“I think 10,000 is a figure that we could handle and it is a figure to which Britain would respond well – the churches, the religious groups, the charities, would all join in and we would be better for doing it,” said Sacks, criticizing Hungary’s aversion to accepting in the thousands of Syrians who have fled to Budapest.

“I hope that European countries will realize that the very ideals on which the EU were founded are being tested right now,” said Sacks.

Thousands of Syrian refugees have reportedly died this year attempting to reach Europe to escape war-ravaged Syria, including many women and children.

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  • Joseph Feld

    When children arrived on the Kindertransport each sponsor had to guarantee £50 for the return trip if war did not happen and it was safe to return to Gemany and Austria. If peace returns to Syria. asylum seekers would expect to return to Syria. The Kindertransport was assisted by a law passed in Parliament saying there was no limit to the number of refugees under 17 years old. The USA was asked to do a similar Kindertrsnaport scheme, but the Senate rejected the suggestion as ‘immoral’ for separating children from parents — even though the USA closed the gates to the parents.

  • Robert Weintraub

    Why invite more potential anti-Semites into Europe? Saudi Arabia has more than enough room to house all of the refugees from the Arab countries.

  • Graciela

    a) Big difference: the boy was not Syrian but KURDISH.

    b) Assad just wants to hold on to power in Syria, and Russia and the Iranian ayatollas are helping him, but he does NOT want to exterminate his own population, as opposed to Hitler and the European Jews.

    c) The refugees that succeed in getting to Europe pay anywhere between 3 and 10 thousand euros to the smugglers. They use their numbers to put pressure on the European borders and countries to let them get in without registration so that they can pick and choose the richest European countries to file for “asylum” there. It is very doubtful that ALL refugees need asylum protection, since the mayority are illegal economic migrants from African and Arab countries.

    d) The millions of poor Syrians and Kurds that cannot pay these amounts to the smugglers stay in refugee camps in Turkey, Jordan, etc.

    e) How dare you compare all this with the monstruous situation in which our Jewish families were put in by the Europeans between 1933 and 1945?

    All I can say to you is: “cobbler stick to your last”.

  • E Pluribus Wombat

    90-100,000 UK Jews should plan on having to emigrate in the next 3 years or less. Take in all the Syrians you like, but make haste to leave.