Global Xenophobia and Historical Amnesia
I saw a photo in the NY Times today of African immigrants who’d survived a Mediterranean crossing after being picked up by a humanitarian relief ship. The ship has been refused docking privileges in ports in Italy and Malta. No one wants these refugees from starvation, civil war, and tribal conflict. Shame on Europe. Shame on these amnesiacs who don’t remember what German Nazis did to ‘undesirables’ eighty years ago.
In 1939, a German ocean liner, the MS St. Louis, set sail from Hamburg with 937 German and European Jews aboard who sought refuge in the New World, away from the madness swamping Europe. The ship sailed for over a month without finding anyone who would take it. No Latin American countries would. It docked in Cuba in the hope of refuge. Appeals were made to U.S. government officials to help. Canada shut its doors too. All was in vain. No countries would open their borders or hearts. The refugees sailed back to Europe where 250 of them later died at the hands of the Nazis during the Holocaust.
Thousands of African refugees are dying making the Mediterranean crossing. Hundreds of thousands are stranded in Europe, stateless and essentially homeless. Some countries like Germany have done more than their share. Others like Hungary and Poland are beset with rank nationalist fervor which sees foreigners are alien creatures who would pollute the national gene pool.
Nor are Europeans the sole offenders here. We have a president who, despite taking an oath to defend the constitution, appears hell-bent on throwing it onto the trash heap. Not only has he tweeted that all immigrants arriving at our borders should be summarily denied entry and sent back wherever they came, in the process he’s thrown due process and the rule of law, key pillars of our Constitution, to the wind. There isn’t even any recognition on his part that we have such safeguards and, at one time, honored them. Trump is devoid of memory, devoid of knowledge, devoid of conscience. Those are key elements of the diagnosis of sociopath: if the shoe fits…
Today, a member of the Oregon national guard defaced a Facebook page raising money to reunite immigrant children torn from their parents by Trump’s family separation policy. He wrote that they were lucky that we didn’t execute them at the border. In the land of the morally blind, a one-eyed man is king. Except that Trump has no moral sight and thus is blind himself. Somehow he fooled all the other blind into believing that he could see and lead them.
9 thoughts on “Global Xenophobia and Historical Amnesia – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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Agreed that Trump is blind, but this situation and these policies existed under Obama and his deportation policies, as well- and I also saw it first hand when Clinton was president- it’s just that they had much better public relations and support from the mainstream press- and each of those presidents were skilled at deflecting attention from it; Recall that one of Obama’s top advisors was Ben Rhodes, brother of David Rhodes, President of CBS News.
@ Edding: Great example of diversionary tactics, also known as whataboutism: these policies did not exist under previous presidents. Otherwise, why would Trump take the trouble to tout his new policies as more draconian than his predecessors? Yes, previous immigration policies, thanks to Congress’ inability to reform the system, were inhumane. But that’s as much the fault of Congress as the president. And they were nowhere near the level of brutality of this president.
You might also want to include Algeria and Libya to your list of villains.
@ Philly Freeze: Why would you want to add two Muslim countries to your list? Hmm?
I will if you’ll include Israel in YOUR list of villains…I didn’t think so.
African migrants are dying in Algeria and Libya, so the correct question is, ‘why wouldn’t they be included on your list?’
BTW. I don’t care that Algeria and Libya are Muslim countries, and I doubt that imperilled African migrants care either.
I also don’t see what Israel has to do with this.
@ Philly Freeze: Maybe because Europe is the third largest economy in the world and Libya and Algeria are about the 500th largest (est.), hence the Europeans both share a greater blame for the African refugee crisis and have far greater financial means to resolve it. Not to mention that they were the colonial powers who helped make the tribal conflicts and genocide that constitutes latter day Africa.
Israel had 60,000 African refugees till it started illegally expelling them. It has never offered any asylum until a trickle recently. So it has the same refugee crisis on its doorstep.
Why do I have to explain the obvious to you? Either you are thick or deliberately obtuse. Which is it?
And in 2018 we should say “shame!” on Israel, England, and France for being such good partners to the US in creating another “Nakba” for so many in the Arab world. Our heartless destruction of their modern and ancient civilizations will live in infamy.
“It’s an invented crisis”, opines and expert on migration to Europe.
Migrant immigration into Hungary is down 99%, while migrant migration to Italy is down 67% from the crisis levels of 2018.
Apparently, this ‘crisis’ has been created by politicians on the extreme left and right.
@ Philly Frozen: I don’t know who this “expert” is. I don’t know anything about him. But I do know that he is only an expert on Italian migration. But you conveniently neglected to acknowledge that immigration via the western Mediterranean is up 147%. I know there are 11,000 Africans who tried to enter Europe via Spain, Greece and Italy this year. I know that hundreds of others died at sea. I know that European leaders are cynically and cruelly closing their doors to them. And I know that your buddy, Bibi Netanyahu is one of them. That’s all I need to know.
If the crisis is invented it’s been invented by right wing nationalist white supremacist governments favored by Bibi Netanyahu.