I am not a rabbi, but I know that throughout Jewish history, many holidays begin with “They tried to kill us, but we survived. Let’s eat.” As history continues to repeat itself, “they” still want to kill us, and by allowing undocumented immigrants from any country into the U.S., we are inviting danger for dinner.
Recently, almost 2,000 American rabbis wrote a letter to President Trump and congressional officials to “ensure that our refugee program be maintained and strengthened, not halted, paused or restricted.” Although Jews are known for tikkun olam, repairing the world, this request does not use our Jewish noodle – only our bleeding heart. If President Trump and Congress admit unidentified immigrants, they will be derelict in their most important duty: to keep America safe.
The April edition of Fortune Magazine published a poll concluding that 83 percent of Americans do not want to loosen immigration laws. The rabbis’ letter states that we cannot “ignore those seeking deliverance.” There are many ways to assist refugees that will not endanger our population: food donations, clothing, and funding safe zones and security outside Syria, just to name a few. The most logical solution to help the Syrian refugees is to assist their safe immigration to a place where they will be familiar with the language, culture, and laws in nearby Muslim countries. Of the two dozen Muslim countries, none has stepped up to the plate to assist their people. It is the European countries who open their borders for the floods of refugees – into Germany, Britain, France and others, causing a dramatic rise in crime and cultural and social problems.
Countries such as Poland and Hungary are criticized for monitoring their borders. But ten years from now, there will be a dramatic difference between countries who make the decision to secure their population and those liberal countries waving a “come one, come all” sign.
Now I sit on a train in Munich, wondering what locals think about this issue. It is controversial. Much like the rabbis, one person on the train stated that European countries must assist the refugees even if they bring their own values and don’t follow the laws of Germany. I learned from a Turkish man that it is not about the refugees, but he worries that the country is politically leaning to the right. Another stated that he doesn’t want refugees because they have more rights in Germany than the average citizen. A Polish resident stated that refugees cannot cross the border into Poland, and many are leaving to obtain jobs in Germany.
The rabbis’ letter states, “We must be engaged, passionate and energized about what matters to us.” I wholeheartedly agree: what matters to me above all else is the safety of my children. While Chancellor Angela Merkel sought to assist almost a million refugees into Germany, at least three Islamist terrorist attacks were traced directly to these asylum-seekers. Similarly, peaceful Sweden has become a terrorist haven for over 100,000 radical jihadi-Islamists who attack locals and do not assimilate.
The American public must learn from the mistakes of our European allies across the pond and not repeat them. If we do not have proper documentation, the risk of the unknown is insufficient to give a green light for entry. It is gravely problematic to allow Salafi jihadists to enter Western countries, since their American dream includes enforcing sharia law in place of the U.S. Constitution. The home of the brave belongs to those brave enough to protect their home.
Attempting to create moral equivalency between extremist Islamist refugees who perpetrate terror and Jewish refugees fleeing for their lives during the Holocaust is repugnant. While there may be some refugees who do not adhere to the radical jihadi viewpoint, until we are sure that Americans’ safety is not compromised, we are not at liberty to make that judgment. While some Americans are willing to risk their lives for unknown refugees, I prefer to protect my children. Call me a bigot, a racist, or an Islamophobe for choosing my children’s safety over the unknown stranger – and tell that to American parents who have lost children to terrorism.
Making another grave immigration mistake today will not vindicate the immigration mistakes of the past. Were Jews who sought to escape religious persecution by seeking asylum in the U.S. during WWII ever deemed a possible danger or physical threat to Americans? Never. Did Jews threaten to blow up, ram with cars, behead, or stab Americans? Never. Or was there ever a question that Jewish refugees fleeing persecution might not assimilate or accept the U.S. Constitution? Never.
“Never again” means opening our eyes and protecting ourselves from harm. Radical Islam is here. Where is the outcry from American Jews to “deliver” the French Jews currently fleeing religious persecution? Let us not forget the English, Danish, and German Jews who are suffering attacks. Recently, the Coptic Christians were persecuted in Egypt. Where is the outcry?
Supporting a policy of open borders is a dangerous and a grave mistake. Shame on us if we allow those who want to destroy us and our way of life the proximity to do so.
God bailed out the Jews in Egypt, and by the grace of God, we survived Hitler’s attempt at complete extermination. Will we stand up against radical Islamism, or will we depend on God to save us once again?
Valerie Leiser Greenfeld is the author of Backyard Caliphate: Radicalization in Our Neighborhood.