“Remember the Stranger, for You Yourselves Were Strangers”
This could just as well be the motto of the United States as one of the cardinal verses in the Torah. It should be stamped on Bibi Netanyahu’s forehead since he violates this precept virtually every day that he maintains prison camps for African refugees, who he refuses to grant asylum or even an application process. For those who take the passage to heart, it means be humble, remember the refugee, show kindness and hospitality to the less fortunate. The Republican presidential candidates apparently don’t read their Bibles. Or if they do, they’re reading the wrong passages.
The GOP is now making hay out of the Paris terror attacks. Each candidate falls all over himself to be more punitive, more intolerant than the next. 23 governors, including one Democrat, have said they will refuse to accept Syrian refugees within their states. This, despite the fact that governors have no say in immigration matters and may not expel legal refugees. That’s the job of the federal government. But don’t tell the governors that. It might educate them about the separate powers delegated to the states and federal government. A little something called the Constitution.
Another historical fact worth mentioning: in 1938, 937 European Jews boarded the S.S. St. Louis en route to America where they hoped to find refuge from Hitler’s encroaching hordes. They waited for months in Cuba and other sites while their supporters sought a safe haven in this country. At long last, they gave up and sailed back to Europe. Where 250 of them were swallowed in the Holocaust and exterminated along with 6-million other European Jews.
There is a catastrophe enveloping Syria in which nearly 200,000 civilians have died. 500,000 Syrians have fled toward Europe and any other safe harbor they might find. These are not terrorists, not ISIS, though most are Muslim. There is nothing criminal in being either Syrian, a Muslim or a refugee. Despite what viewers saw on this FoxNews panel which quoted approvingly Winston Churchill’s bit of colonial Islamophobia: “Islam is as dangerous in a man as rabies in a dog.” It would take FoxNews to dredge up 19th century British religious-cultural imperialism, spoken by the leader who epitomized empire in all its worst forms.
As an antidote: remember Emma Lazarus’ (a former Jewish refugee, herself) immortal words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty?
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-toss’d to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Yet the idea of a mere 10,000 Syrian refugees “flooding” our shores is enough to send the GOP candidates into apoplexy. I am glad that Democrats like Obama and Sanders are responding in kind. That they are not caving in to this racist xenophobia.
16 thoughts on ““Remember the Stranger, for You Yourselves Were Strangers” – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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“Islam is as dangerous in a man as rabies in a dog.”
I’m afraid you’ve misquoted Prime Minister Churchill.
The actual quote is;
“How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries!
Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy”–Churchill, Winston (1899). The River War Vol. II (1st ed.). London: Longmans, Green & Co.
Mr. Churchill, was not comparing ordinary Muslims to rabid dogs. He was comparing fanatical jihadis, to rabid dogs. A significant difference.
○ Churchill on Islam [cached – page has been removed]
The quote off the Internet typically incorporates one small omission, though: it elides Churchill’s praise of “Moslems” as “brave and loyal soldiers” and covers the gap by combining the remaining part of the sentence with the previous one:
“Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen; all know how to die; but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world.”
Before the gas chambers used by Nazi Germany and after the horrific effects of mustard gas in the trenches of WWI, this “great man” Winston Churchill was such a criminal for dropping gas canisters from aeroplanes on Arab soldiers in Mesopotamia …
“Churchill was particularly keen on chemical weapons, suggesting they be used ‘against recalcitrant Arabs as an experiment.’ He dismissed objections as ‘unreasonable. I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes _ [to] spread a lively terror _’ In today’s terms, ‘the Arab’ needed to be shocked and awed. A good gassing might well do the job.”
Need we be reminded George Bush marched (let US soldiers march) into Iraq with Churchill’s bust at his side. Btw, Obama returned to bust to the British. 😉
Source of my inspiration about Winston Churchill is a little girl who lived in the residence of the British ambassador in The Hague [btw an haunted mansion by the ghost of Catherine de Chasseur]. During the German occupation the Residence/Embassy hid dozens of fugitives sought by the Gestapo. Probably a mix of Jewish Dutch nationals and people from the Resistance. The prison nearby called Orange Hotel was close to the fields where brave men and women were executed by gunfire. See the Waalsdorper Vlakte and Seiss-Inquart’s HQ in Clingendael. Plenty of history around to know what fascism is.
@ Ida: I didn’t misquote CHurchill. I merely quoted the misquote offered by Fox News. However you are wrong about Churchill view of “Mohammedans.” He clearly meant to excoriate the entire religion.
The refugees coming to Europe are not “all” from Syria certainly not in the numbers mentioned in the text. In 2015 Q1 and Q2 about 54,000 came from Syria. Most of the 270 thousand during Q1 and Q2 came from countries to which USA has imported “democracy” in form or an other: Afghanistan, Iraq, Eritrea, Kosovo, Albania, Ukraine, Somalia etc.
To Finland in the end of October of this years 24,909 asylum seekers are 17,523 from Iraq and only 559 from Syria. 3 asylum seekers came from USA. 🙂
This asylum seeker problem is not equal to Syria and its from outside fueled civil war. It is a larger problem of constant destabilizing the region (Middle East, Africa and Central Eurasia), poverty and bad administration.
RE: “The GOP is now making hay out of the Paris terror attacks. Each candidate falls all over himself to be more punitive, more intolerant than the next. 23 governors, including one Democrat, have said they will refuse to accept Syrian refugees within their states.” ~ R.S.
MY COMMENT: The Republicans never miss an opportunity to
miss an opportunitydemagogue an issue! ! !
Making a verse into a cardinal verse in the Torah is a self-contradicting statement.
Although I agree with you about veracity of the statement when the big immigration to the US started in 1890 there was no concern for terrorists etc. I am not staying that every Moslem is a terrorist but that the conditions have changed drastically since then and thus people must be vetted.
As you probably know Israel’s great friend , the USA, makes it virtually impossible for an Israeli to get a visa to come to the US. Seems somewhat strange to me considering all the vetos in the UN and the massive military support given to Israel on a fairly constant basis.יש דברים בגו
Nonsense, and you nothing about U.S. history specifically related to immigration. Immigrants were deeply hated & mistrusted during the period of highest migration. They were viewed as criminals, diseased, Bolsheviks, anarchists, mentally ill–you name it. To attempt to distinguish today from that period is absolutely false.
I know no such thing. If that were so how do so many Israelis visit the U.S. every year as tourists, not to mention the hundreds of thousands who are here legally & permanently as residents & citizens??
Anarchist activity is the United States.
May 4, 1886. Haymarket riot.
Nov. 11, 1887. Four anarchists are hanged for allegedly throwing a bomb at Haymarket.
Sept. 6, 1901. President William McKinley is shot by an anarchist (by a Polish immigrant).
Nov. 1919. Palmer Raids begin. Anarchist bombings in different parts of the United States.
Dec. 21, 1919. 249 political radicals are deported including anarchist leader Emma Goldman.
Sept 16, 1920. A bomb explodes on Wall Street killing 38. Possible anarchist attack.
@Ms. Phleghmstein: You don’t know you’re American history as well as you should. The Haymarket bombings were a false flag operation. No anarchists threw any bombs. The entire event was an attempt to destroy the political left in Chicago by the political elite. It was a fraud.
The Palmer Raids were similarly a grasping attempt by the Attorney General to create a problem where none existed. Anarchists presented no serious threat to the American Republic. The Raids were a gross injustice and violation of the Constitution. The outrage caused by the raids led directly to the foundation of the ACLU in 1920. You can watch this in interviews in the movie “Reds” by Warren Beatty.
Emma Goldman was deported in a sham proceeding. She was railroaded. She is now considered a hero. She is now considered a hero by most Americans who know anything about her case. So much for the “Red Scare threat” to American society. The history of the American approach towards radicals and Goldman’s case is atrocious and a warning sign regarding the way we are currently treating Syrian refugee and other immigrants to this country.
This ‘Syrian’ immigration would not be anarchy but the possibility of terrorism more than anything else.
Immigrants are always disliked because they are the ‘other’. Earlier the Irish were considered the scum of the earth.
Now with all the threats if they are allowed they should at least have papers and be vetted. The last time I read 31 states are refusing to take them into their states. It may be more now but that is an overwhelming landslide for Democracy-%60!
My intention concerning visas for Israelis is that for a vacation it is not so difficult but they must apply. Is there any country in Europe proper that a citizen cannot just buy a ticket and go to the US without problems?
This includes Canada, Austrailia and New Zealand inter alia.
@marty: Read my comments more closely. In the old days they thought that immigrants were the equivalent of terrorists. They thought they were anarchists, Bolsheviks, bomb throwers. In other words bomb throws. In other words terrorists in today’s parlance.
As for why Israelis cannot get visas easily, that is because Israel presents one of the highest threats of any country in terms of intelligence penetration. We have more Israeli spies in the US than most any other country in the world except for Russia and China. Israelis are carefully vetted for that reason. At least I hope so. Until you decrease the level of spy activity in this country you will have to endure such inconvenience. I suggest that you urge the Mossad to back off.
Please-and the CIA doesn’t have agents in Israel?
I assume that most countries are spying on each other so my question basically returns as to why, considering the supposed friendly status of the US and Israel, cannot an Israeli just buy a ticket and fly to the US like the other countries I mentioned above?
@ marty: Of course the U.S. has spies in Israel, because Israel has so many spies in the U.S. And unlike Israel, the U.S. has never denied it spies on Israel. Whereas Israel lies every time one of its spies is caught & claims it would never do such a thing.
BTW, MANY Americans are treated far more harshly by Israeli immigration officials than Israelis trying to visit America are treated by our immigration authorities. So when you stop arresting & deporting our citizens trying to visit your country & Palestine, then perhaps we can treat Israeli tourists more nicely as well.
America’s unwillingness to extend visas to Israelis is strictly economic. Older, settled, Israeli tourists are welcome. Young Israeli singles or couples are not welcome because it is feared that they will take jobs, overstay their visas, or pay off American citizens to marry them ( in pursuit of a green card). The American embassy demands $250 to even consider a visa application from young Israelis. Clearly this is aimed at discouraging young, would be, economic migrants, and not spies.