A Watershed for America’s Jews?
Are the years when the United States was a supremely comfortable place for American Jews coming to an end? Thanks to President Obama’s polices, the answer may be yes, although most American Jews are not only blind to the dangers, but actively promoting those very policies.
Challenged by what U.S. Secretary of State Kerry calls Germany’s “example to the world” in opening its borders to 800,000 (overwhelmingly Muslim) migrants this year, the Obama administration now proposes to boost the number of refugees it accepts to 100,000 annually, including 10,000 Syrians.
In practice, this means a huge increase in Muslim immigrants, much larger than even that number suggests. Breitbart reported that in 2013 there were 280,276 immigrants from Muslim-majority countries. Of these, just under 40,000 were refugees. The rest were divided almost equally into those given permanent resident status and those coming as temporary (in theory) migrants, including students and foreign workers. With Obama more than doubling the number of those admitted as refugees, there is little doubt there will be a substantial rise in the other categories. Don’t forget, family unification is a major source of legal immigrants.
There is no doubt that the American Jewish community is the one most threatened by this immigration. Unlike in Germany, a million more Muslim immigrants will not upend the religious demographics of the United States with its population of almost 319 million. But the radical growth in the Muslim population will have a dramatic effect on the small U.S. Jewish population. There are estimated to be five and a half million Jews in the United States. Even before the current Obama escalation, the Pew Research Center forecast the Muslim population would more than double by 2030 to 6.2 million, over-matching the number of Jews.
One cultural trait Muslims infallibly bring with them is hatred of Israel — and contempt for Jews – inculcated in them from a very early age. When a reporter for The Times of Israel interviewed migrants at a reception center in Milan, a 21-year-old Syrian refugee named Adman told her, “In Syria we have all races and religions living together. We are all brothers but Israel, Israel is the ultimate enemy.” Rima, a Syrian who has lived in Italy for years and now registers migrants, explained “For Syrians, Israel is Palestinian territory.” When the reporter suggested a two-state solution, Rima replied “I don’t think Jews should have a state. They are a religion, not a people.” The reporter encountered no contrary views among the refugees.
A major increase in the Muslim population means a shift in the electoral landscape. Muslims, like other ethnic communities, tend to cluster together and this will have an impact in electing anti-Israel congressmen. Since attacks on Israel slide quickly into attacks on Jews, antisemitism is also bound to rise, including physical attacks on Jews by Muslims, as is the pattern in Europe. At first, the major effect will presumably be on the Democratic Party, already showing signs of indifference or hostility to issues of Israel’s survival, viz. the backing of Obama’s Iran policy. (Not that this, so far, has had any effect on slavish Jewish devotion to the Democratic Party). Universities, where — as in Europe — Muslims already combine with the Left to demonize Israel, will become even more unwelcoming places for Jewish students.
Jews, in their time-honored pattern of countering their own most basic interests, are in the forefront of celebrating – and urging on – their self-destruction. According to The Jewish Week, 3,500 synagogues signed a petition organized by HIAS, which is campaigning for the U.S. to admit 100,000 Syrian refugees. The number is 10 times the figure Obama has so far promised to take. (HIAS, whose initials stand for the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, is a nakedly self-interested party, since the government provides it with funding for every refugee it settles.)
Jews are emotionally captured by a parallel with the Holocaust when Jews seeking to escape Nazi Germany were denied a haven by an indifferent West. But the overwhelming number of Syrian refugees had already found a haven in Turkey, Jordan or Lebanon. It is not a comfortable haven, but their lives are not in danger. The only groups specifically targeted for death are Christians and Yazidis in parts of both Syria and Iraq. Ironically there are relatively few of these in the mass migration to Europe. Nina Shea of the Hudson Institute‘s Center for Religious Freedom explains why.
Christians and Yazidis have found sanctuary in Kurdistan, where they cluster in informal encampments and the Christians typically around churches. Robbed by ISIS of everything they owned, they don’t have the funds to pay traffickers and are fearful of the other migrants, mainly Sunni men. There is good reason for their fear. In April, Italy reported 12 Christian migrants en route to Europe were thrown overboard by Muslim migrants and drowned. England, like the U.S., takes its refugees from U.N. camps, which both Christians and Yazidis avoid out of fear of the hostile Muslims who dominate them.
The majority of those currently overwhelming political borders in Europe are young men, vigorous and aggressive. They are economic migrants seeking a better life from a host of dysfunctional countries: from Iraq to Afghanistan, to Eritrea to Yemen, to Libya to Nigeria, to Pakistan to Bangladesh. A Polish woman, encountering one group of such migrants at the border between Italy and Austria, blogged about her terrifying experience as they tried to topple the bus she was in, threw feces and spat on the glass. When a car with humanitarian aid came, they toppled it and grabbed the food and water. Her conclusion: “a giant pathology is approaching the E.U., one which we have never seen before.”
Objections that have been raised to admitting large numbers of Muslims into the U.S. are on grounds of security. But while there can be no doubt that ISIS will, as it has promised, infiltrate some members, the greater danger is that over time it will find large Islamic communities a fertile soil for new recruits, especially among young people disappointed that their new home does not offer them success that lives up to their high expectations.
As for Europe, the situation for Jews, already tenuous as a result of hate-filled Muslim minorities, will become intolerable. At the instigation of Germany and Sweden (the latter up to now had mainly demonstrated its pretensions to the status of “moral superpower” by harassing Israel), Europe is engaged in a giant potlatch. A potlatch is a gift-giving competition that was practiced by tribes in the Pacific Northwest to give away or destroy wealth. (Who says civilizations abandon more primitive kinds of conduct?)
Thanks to this potlatch, the migrants experience not just the push of war and economic tribulation, but the pull of major social benefits from the taxpayers of Europe’s welfare states. Germany is the migrant’s first choice, because it holds out the most active welcome mat. Columnist Diana West nails the irony. “Merkel hints at the subtext informing her actions – more expiation for Hitler’s crimes of destroying European Jewry. All the more gruesome, then, to see Germany — Germany! — doing so by welcoming into Europe massive new colonies of the worst Jew haters in the world.”
But this potlatch goes beyond the traditional kind in that it is enforced. The EU is dragging along four furiously protesting members — Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and the Czech Republic — into the great European give-away. Hungary’s Orban accuses Germany of moral imperialism. In turn, France’s Hollande slams Hungary, suggesting it might need to leave the E.U.: “Europe is a community of values. Those who don’t share those values and principles have to question their presence in the E.U.”
But what are those values? Imre Kertesz, the Auschwitz and Buchenwald survivor who won the Nobel Literature prize in 2002, calls them suicidal liberalism. In his diaries from 2001-2009, published as The Last Refuge, he prophesied: “Europe will soon go under because of its previous liberalism, which has proven childish and suicidal. Europe produced Hitler and after Hitler there stands a continent with no arguments. The doors are wide open for Islam; no longer does anyone dare talk about race and religion, while at the same time Islam only knows the language of hatred against all foreign races and religions.”
Perhaps English journalist Peter Hitchens said it best: “We can’t do what we like with this country. We inherited it from our parents and grandparents and we have a duty to hand it on to our children and grandchildren, preferably improved and certainly undamaged….We cannot just give it away to complete strangers on an impulse because it makes us feel good about ourselves…Our advantages depend very much on our shared past, our inherited traditions, habits and memories. Newcomers can learn them, but only if they come in small enough numbers. Mass immigration means we adapt to them, when they should be adapting to us…So now, on the basis of an emotional spasm, dressed up as civilization and generosity, are we going to say that we abandon this legacy and decline our obligation to pass it on, like the enfeebled, wastrel heirs of an ancient inheritance letting the great house and the estate go to ruin? I can see neither sense nor justice in allowing these things to become a pretext for an unstoppable demographic revolution in which Europe (including, alas, our islands) merges its culture and its economy with North Africa and the Middle East…If we let this happen, Europe would lose almost all the things that make others want to live there.”
Jews are again the canary in the coal mine. They stand to lose the most in the shortest period of time, but European countries stand to lose their identities in the longer term. The E.U. has been squabbling over the distribution of 120,000 refugees, a small percentage of those already on Europe’s shores and a drop in the bucket compared to those in waiting, who are entering Europe at the rate of 6,000 a day. The BBC reported on Oct. 5 that an internal official German report, leaked in the German daily Bild, estimated that the number of people seeking asylum in Germany this year will be as high as 1.5 million, nearly double the 800,000 the government earlier forecast. In The Weekly Standard of Sept. 28, Christopher Caldwell describes a queue of young men from rough, tough parts of the Muslim world that stretches east to Bangladesh and beyond and deep in to sub-Saharan Africa. It will take strong measures to stop this flood. The billions of euros the E.U. now proposes to subsidize Syrian refugee camps in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon are not likely to have much impact. Although they have come up with no viable solutions, European leaders are beginning to wake up to the danger that existing policies will lead to a surge in right wing extremist parties. Of course, the ugly forces apt to come to the fore will be equally inhospitable to Jews.
The title of this article ends with a question mark: A watershed for America’s Jews? But if massive numbers of Muslim immigrants are allowed to enter, there is no question mark. The Golden Age of American Jewry will be at an end.