Thursday, September 10, 2015
As EU Jews rush to refugees’ aid, some worry that they may increase the antisemitic violence plaguing Europe.
As EU Jews rush to refugees’ aid, some worry that they may increase the antisemitic violence plaguing Europe.(cjnews).
When he looks into the tired eyes of the Syrian refugees now flooding Europe’s borders, Guy Sorman is reminded of his father, Nathan, who fled Germany for France just months before Adolf Hitler came to power.
“He wanted to go to the United States. Visa declined. He tried Spain, same result. He ended up in France, neither welcome nor deported,” Sorman wrote last week in an Op-Ed in Le Monde in which he argued that Europe should learn from its abandonment of the Jews during the Holocaust and accommodate the stream of migrants pouring through its borders from the war-torn Middle East.
Sorman’s view is not uncommon among European Jews, many of them living in societies still grappling with a sense of collective guilt for their indifference to the Nazi genocide — or complicity in it. At a Holocaust memorial event in Paris on Sunday, French Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia urged Europe’s leaders to match the actions of non-Jews who saved Jews from the Nazis by welcoming Syrian refugees.
Yet as many European Jews rush to the refugees’ aid in word and deed, some worry that letting them stay may further contribute to the anti-Semitic violence driving Jews to leave Europe, much of it perpetrated by immigrants from the Middle East. Eager to exploit such fears, ISIS claimed in July that it had sent 1,000 fighters to infiltrate Europe as refugees.
“Some of these new immigrants — the Syrians and Iraqis especially — have been taught to hate Jews,” Henri Gutman, president of the left-leaning Belgian Jewish cultural group CCLJ, wrote in an Op-Ed published Aug. 31 on the organization’s website. “We risk further increases in anti-Semitism.”
While urging “generosity” toward the refugees, Gutman said Europeans must observe “imperatives of defense” against Islamism. The Central Jewish Organization of the Netherlands, where two elderly Holocaust survivors were hospitalized recently following an assault by robbers who appeared to be Middle Eastern immigrants, spoke to a similar tension in a statement from its chairman, Ron van der Wieken.
While “aware that some Middle Eastern refugees harbor very negative feelings toward Jews … Jews cannot withdraw support from those in need and fleeing serious violence,” van der Wieken wrote. He urged Holland to devise a “charitable” refugee policy.
Kaldori hopes that having been helped by Jews, refugees with anti-Jewish views may reconsider. But Radnoti, the rabbi from Budapest, says he is less hopeful. Instead, he cites the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah, the sinner cities that Abraham had pleaded with God to spare.
“If there are but five righteous souls in that group,” Radnoti said, “then we must do what we can to save them.” Hmmm.......'some worry that they may increase the antisemitic violence'....does the Sun rise in the East? Read the full story here.