It’s frustrating to see people do stupid and destructive things or support causes that any reasonable person can see are going to end in tears. This frustration also applies to the phenomena of good people following bad paths, and them being so committed to that bad path that they refuse to see or acknowledge any evidence that runs counter to that path.
If you are a non-Orthodox Jew of the political Right, as I am, then you will have these feelings of frustration at the stupidity of religious leaders quite a lot. It’s galling to see Rabbi’s and others who should know better, individuals who should be more aware of history, banging the drum for dubious left wing causes. These causes are ones that often offend my conscience, and other policies are sometimes downright dangerous both for Jews and non-Jews . Well it appears that I’m not the only one to notice this problem and feel a sense of anger and frustration about this.
In an excellent article for the United With Israel website the writer Larry Levine counsels that there should be a halt to the frankly offensive comparisons with the current migrant crisis/Islamic invasion of Europe, to the long history of Jewish migration, often forced migration. Mr Levine also calls for an end to welcoming Muslim ‘refugees’ who very often hold views that are anathema to any Reform or Liberal Jew.
Before I post the article written by Mr Levine I need to point out that this is an article aimed at an American audience and in the USA their Reform Judaism is about as far left as Britian’s Liberal Judaism organisation is. In the UK Liberal Judaism is further to the Left politically and religiously than UK Reform Judaism and Reform is further Left than Masorti Judaism or Orthodox Judaism. I say this just to give some background on where various communal movements stand both religiously and politically.
There are some things in this article that apply specifically to the USA and other parts that apply more broadly. I’ll point those out in the text. I hope Mr Levine doesn’t mind me reproducing the whole article as it is difficult to know what to excerpt from such an excellent piece. There was also so much in this piece that I wished to comment on or give an opinion on. As is usual policy for this blog the original text is in italics whereas my comments are in plain text. I you want to read the source and the comments generated by Mr Levine’s piece then please visit: http://unitedwithisrael.org/the-jewish-communitys-suicidal-tendencies/
Mr Levine said:
There is a huge problem with letting tens of thousands in from war-torn Muslim countries that cannot be properly vetted. We should at least be cautious.
Just when I think it is safe to read the weekly Reform movement email blast, I view the first “In the News” article. “The Exodus continues today and here is why it matters.
Ok, so far so good, here it comes …. We need to teach our children about our deliverance from Egypt and then relate it to the modern time whose freedom and redemption remain an ongoing journey.
Ok I get it, there are many displaced people from the turmoil in the Middle East. Some families are desperate. I don’t like to see little kids washing up on a beach either. It makes me ill. Being a refugee is a real sore spot with any Jew, especially after the Holocaust. I will never forget hearing a survivor speaking about how he was on an airplane after the Holocaust thinking, the world is so large, vast, why can’t there be a little place for me, a Jew, to live?
I don’t forget that our people were kicked out of almost every European country over the millennia. We are not called the wandering Jews for nothing.
There is, however, a huge difference here.
Comparing our Exodus to today’s refugee crisis is offensive. They are in a civil war with atrocities being committed on both sides. Is a military aged man who should be staying home and fighting the “bad” guys a refugee?
In a world of 1.6 billion Muslims with over 23 Arab countries, why are we responsible to take them in? They have nowhere to go? How many refugees has the rich desert kingdom of Saudi Arabia taken in? Here is a hint – they have taken in as many refugees as they have synagogues….. Zero.
The sage Hillel says, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?” Ethics of the Fathers, 1:14
If not now, when? When the person whom you are helping doesn’t want to kill you!
Some excellent points from Mr Levine. No matter how hard you try it’s difficult to make a sensible comparison between peaceful Jews kicked out of their countries or murdered by bigots and the Muslim horde. It is also extremely noteworthy that the Muslim nations who are cash rich and land rich have taken not a single ‘refugee’. We need to ask ourselves why that is and why are we in the west expected to take in these ‘refugees’ and put up with the problems that they keep bringing? It is indeed offensive to make a comparison with the travails suffered by the Jews throughout history and the current Islamic invasion wave. Decent genuine refugees do their damnedest to get their women and children to a place of safety. We are not seeing such a pattern with the current ‘migrant’ wave. What we see is mainly military age Muslim males, the very people that civilised societies should be wary of allowing into their countries.
Don’t we believe the Islamic State terrorists, said not too long ago that they would be sending millions of refugees to conquer Europe? Yes, they said it. In February 2015 they threatened to send 500,000 migrants to Europe as a psychological weapon.
Before Hillary Clinton and company decided to get rid of Gaddafi in Libya, he predicted that the Mediterranean will become a sea of chaos.”
ISIS has made no secret of its plans to seed these “refugees” with terrorist sleeper cells.
So why don’t we take these people at their word? After all, they may be horrible, terrible terrorists, but maybe they don’t always lie. ..
We also all heard recently that the State Department finally admitted that there is a genocide going on against Christians.
So what do our “social justice” warriors do or say? Nothing, whatsoever.
These ‘social justice warriors’ are indeed saying nothing. They whine about this that or the other but fail to address the real problems in the world including the real genocide being carried out against Christians. At present this ignored genocide is taking place in what is ostensibly the Muslim world but we should not be so complacent about this, Muslims will soon be killing Christians in the non-Muslim world as well. We can’t ignore this and it is foolish to try.
So why do liberal Jews focus on Muslim refugees? Why aren’t we talking about Christians? Where is the outcry from the organized Jewish community? Christians after all closely share most of our Western values.
In my opinion, Liberal Jews don’t like Christians, especially fundamentalists, because they are antithetical to their world view.
Strong words here, but think about it.
A note of caution here. This is a statement that applies primarily to the United States. I’ve not found such an animus by Leftist Jews towards Christians in the UK. In fact there is a lot of cooperation between the happy clappy Leftists in the Anglican Communion and non-Orthodox Jews.
The religion of many Jews on the left is abortion, gay marriage and social justice. They do not share those values with many Christians. Evangelical Christians are anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, and believe in conservative values.
As Ben Shaprio said in his piece ‘why do American Jews vote Leftist’, many Lefitst Jews have little to do with Judaism the faith at all. They rarely attend synagogue, don’t keep kosher or observe the Sabbath and their connection with Judaism is more cultural than religious. If these Leftist Jews were said to have any faith at all, then that faith is secular Leftism. In the United States the majority of Jews are non-Orthodox with only 10% of US Jews polled saying that they are Orthodox. This is almost a reversal of the situation in the UK where Orthodoxy is the dominant normative form of Judaism and Non-Orthodoxy is is not.
What is ironic is that in most of these countries from where the refugees are coming, the culture is polar opposite to ours. Female circumcision is the norm. Homosexuals are thrown off buildings. Honor killings are acceptable. There is no free speech and no acceptance of any other religion. Try converting from Islam to anything else. Not gonna happen. At best, in some Muslim countries, infidels (Christians, Jews, and Baha’is) are permanent second-class citizens, or dhimmis.
This is to my mind the greatest idiocy of some progressive, non-orthodox Jews. You cannot ignore the culture that someone is brought up in. If someone is raised in a culture that treats women as property or is supremacist, then that should not be discounted. It matters and to ignore that is suicidally stupid.
Now let’s talk about the “refugees.” Have you seen the turmoil that is going on in Europe? Germany is putting women and men on separate trains. Why? There are actually classes about how Muslim men should treat women – hint, don’t rape them.
Many Muslims hate Jews and Christians and the very countries that they have immigrated to. While not every Muslim supports ISIS, many support terrorism in some form. Many are anti-Western and view Western society as evil and corrupt.
Sadly the research bears that statement out. Those who are moving from the Islamic world to the free world make no secret of the fact that they despise us, our faiths and the way we live. The fact that some nations are having to teach basic stuff such as ‘don’t rape the women’ shows just how incompatible many of these Muslims are with our socieites.
Notice I have not even mentioned terrorism or terrorists. I wanted to save that one for last. Even the Obama administration admits that they cannot with any degree of confidence confirm that we will not be letting in Al Qaeda and ISIS members. We all know how concerned he is about terrorists getting nuclear weapons. See the Iran deal …
So, sounds good to me, let’s let many more in. After all, Jews in the United States have enjoyed a renaissance, and anti-Semitism here is very low. Jews are represented in every profession and are an integral part of the United States. So, let’s mess that all up and invite millions in that don’t like or support us.
Well said. More Islam in free countries isn’t good for the Jews. Come to think of it, it’s not much good for anybody else either. Islamic immigration is bad for Jews, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, followers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster along with atheists, gays and women.
We will become like Malmo, Sweden, which once had a large Jewish community and is almost a complete no-go zone now for Jews. Jews cannot wear anything identifiable as Jewish in these areas.
Some areas of the United Kingdom, such as the London Boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Newham and Luton in Bedfordshire are already de facto no go zones for Jews. Although some non-Jews may not notice it, for Jews the ‘Malmo effect’ is already here.
I personally believe that immigration, foreigners, different cultures are an important ingredient is what has made our country great. You can have a neighborhood that has a Jew, an Arab, a Christian, etc. all living together. We celebrate other cultures. We do, however, have to be honest about this. There is a huge problem with letting tens of thousands in from war-torn Muslim countries that cannot be properly vetted. We should at least be cautious.
Mr Levine is speaking to an American audience which is an audience overwhelmingly made up of immigrants and the descendants of immigrants. I agree with him however that some types of immigration has benefited countries like the United Kingdom, whole new industries have been brought into being by the vigour of immigrants and their offspring. It has been proved that different peaceful faiths and different races can live alongside each other in mutual respect. However there is one exception to that and that is Islam. Islam has proved that it cannot live in peace with others, cannot subsume itself into the great mosaic of a mixed religion society. It has to dominate, it has to control because that is its primary imperative.
If we don’t, we will end up like Europe. Many in Europe now feel that their relaxed tolerance has led to an influx of immigrants who are intolerant.
My parents used to say, finish your dinner because there are starving kids in Asia. There are millions who are facing oppression, starvation, religious persecution.
As Jews, as Americans, as human beings we should have empathy. However, our first responsibility is to survive and make sure that we are not committing suicide at the same time.
I find it difficult to disagree with Mr Levine’s final sentences. We have imported far too much Islamic intolerance. Mr Levine is also correct when he says that it’s right to be aware of the suffering of others, to have empathy and to help where we can. However survival is and should be the primary concern and we should cease to import and pander to those who wish to kill us all. To continue to turn a blind eye to Islam and the problems it brings is indeed suicide.
To conclude I’d like to add this bit of thought and advice. Although it may be painful or may risk a bit of a row, I’d advise those Liberal and Reform Jews in Britain who find that their organisation is getting involved in the ‘refugees welcome’ idiocy, to challenge the rabbinate and the leadership of our synagogal movements about it. Point out to them, that although it’s right to help the ‘refugees’ by assisting them in their countries of origin or neighbouring countries, it’s going to cause all manner of problems to allow these ‘refugees’ to come to places like Britain. Britain’s non-Orthodox Jews need to challenge the secular Leftists among our people who are involved in this suicidal foolishness and call them out on it. We need to explain to them and their allies as accurately and persuasively as we can what is at stake and how the secular Leftist policies of the leadership of non-Orthodox Judaism is endangering us all.
It is right, as the Bible says, to not oppress the stranger as we were once strangers and slaves in Egypt. However I’m not going to stand by and support the strangers who want my child dead, my wife dead, myself dead and my nation dead. That is suicide, and suicide by Islam is NOT a choice that anyone or any community of sound mind should make.