British columnist Oliver Kamm succinctly stated in a worth-reading recent article in the Jewish Chronicle concerning Jeremy Corbyn and the Corbynistas: “The left now tolerates bigotry and embraces terror …. It's no longer possible to assume that a declared progressive will defend free speech, secularism, women's rights, homosexual equality, cosmopolitanism and the spread of scientific inquiry. Those are the values that cause me to admire Israel – a nation whose pluralist ethos will be fulfilled when there is an eventual two-state solution with a sovereign Palestine. Yet now we have a left that tolerates bigotry, allies with theocratic reaction, embraces terror groups and espouses irrationalism.” (http://www.thejc.com/comment-and-debate/columnists/142780/corbyns-deplorable-allies)
Australia’s most-read columnist and scourge of the Left Andrew Bolt, as usual pulling no punches, has observed during this past week: “There is now something close to panic in Europe…. Europe has not had so many refugees since World War II, but this time the danger is greater, since many come from cultures and a faith so alien and sometimes hostile. That danger is real. The Charlie Hebdo terrorists were sons of Algerian immigrants; the jihadist who tried to shoot up the Paris-Amsterdam train last week was from Morocco; immigrant areas of Paris and Sweden’s Malmo are repeatedly rocked by riots; and some 4000 Europeans, mainly the children of immigrants, have joined the Islamic State… Unless the Islamists are stopped, millions more refugees will join this invasion of Europe, including parents of tomorrow’s jihadists. And after a decade or two of that, how safe will Europe be for Europeans — and us? Already Jews are fleeing France and Sweden for the comparative safety of Israel. The stakes have got much higher. Defeating the Islamic State is critical” (http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/this-is-a-war-we-must-win-quickly/story-fnj45fva-1227500080892)
But try telling this to the Left, even left-wing Jews. There is something particularly pernicious about the “progressive” Jews – whether progressive in a political or religious sense – when they argue, as many do, for open borders regarding this “refugee” influx.
In its statement of purpose, an Israel-bashing British group of “as-a-Jews” calling itself Independent Jewish Voices (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independent_Jewish_Voices) makes, inter alia, the curious claim: “There is no justification for any form of racism, including … Islamophobia, in any circumstance.” A curious claim indeed, given that Islam is not “a race” and given that there are women and at least one prominent gay among the signatories, all of whom must surely be aware of the trespasses against females and against gays that are often committed by Islamic regimes, Islamic families, and Islamic persons in the name of Islam.
I know of at least one of those signatories who has admitted that coming together with other Jewish and Jew-ish critics of Israel has been his first and only “Jewish communal” activity, while another, the offspring of a mixed marriage, was raised an Anglican and has been described wryly as “an occasional Jew”.
Truly unhelpful is the statement emanating a fortnight of so ago from 200 British Jews, including 20 rabbis, which castigated the Cameron government’s necessarily harsh response to the Calais crisis (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/jewish-community-leaders-speak-out-against-governments-calais-refugee-policy-10450367.html) “Many of us in the Jewish community are appalled by the UK’s response to the ongoing situation in Calais,” said the letter (http://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/your-response-to-migrant-crisis-is-appalling-british-jews-tell-cameron-a2487361.html), sent from the Jewish Council for Racial Equality (JCORE). “Our experience as refugees is not so distant that we’ve forgotten what it’s like to be demonised for seeking safety.” This week Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond described migrants attempting to cross over to Britain as “marauding”. Last week about 200 tried to storm the Channel Tunnel, while hauliers say drivers have been threatened by stowaways. Britain has paid for a £7 million security fence. The letter said: “People fleeing conflict and persecution are not to blame for the crisis in Calais; neither is our welfare system, nor the French government. Above all, we in the UK are not the victims here; we are not being invaded by a ‘swarm’.” The Jewish leaders said refugees were usually seeking a safer society and were not attracted by benefits. Britain accepted almost 10,000 predominantly Jewish children from Nazi Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland in 1938 and 1939. Among those saved were artist Frank Auerbach, now 84, and Labour peer Lord Dubs, 83. Dr Edie Friedman, executive director of JCORE, said: “The Jewish refugee experience is still a vivid memory for many in our community. The Government’s failure to even consider helping those fleeing conflict and persecution today shames us as a nation. Rather than shut ourselves off from the world, it is vitally important that we work with the rest of Europe to create safe and legal routes for refugees to claim asylum.” Since June, nine people have died in the Channel Tunnel while attempting to gain access to the UK. However, 2,000 have died in the Mediterranean trying to enter Europe by sea. Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner said: “No country has a perfect record on immigration. No country could do, such is the complexity of the issue and the lives of those it affects.’ (See also this nice but naive statement by Liberal rabbis (https://jcoreuk.wordpress.com/2015/07/22/rabbis-call-for-government-re-think-on-cuts-in-aid-for-asylum-seekers/).
The letter creates a false analogy between the refugees from Nazi persecution and the hordes of economic migrants, including thousands and thousands of testosterone-fuelled young single men from benighted lands attempting to reach Britain illegally today, as pointed out in by several commenters blow the line in the Evening Standard’s report. To quote just one commenter: ‘I am Jewish and wish to disassociate myself from the 200 Jews who have signed JCORE’S letter suggesting that the Prime Minister’s handling of the Calais migrant crisis is “appalling”. You quote (12 August) Dr Edie Friedman, Director of JCORE, as suggesting that the government has “failed to even consider helping those fleeing conflict and persecution”. The truth is that the refugees in Calais are a mixture of asylum seekers and economic refugees. The problem of migration is a global one and no Western country accepts unlimited migration. In the US the “progressive” Obama administration has removed around 2 million “illegal aliens” and Germany is in the process of removing 94,000 asylum seekers. JCORE seems to suggest that the government grants no asylum applications at all. The truth is that some 8,000 were granted in 2014. JCORE also appears to imply that all Jews who wanted a refuge in the UK from Nazi persecution in the 1930s and 1940s were accepted. This is far from the case, as historians … have shown.”
And then, as one perceptive non-Jewish commenter has observed, with admirable brevity and sound common sense, the signatories are "Licking the Hand That Would Cut Their Throats”.