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November 30, 2015 / 18 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘refugee’

Timely: New Book Explores How 100,000 Jewish Refugees Were Saved by US

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

(JNi.media) As Syrian refugees risk their lives to immigrate to other countries, many are reminded of the attempts of Jews to escape Nazi persecution in the 1930s and 1940s. In 1944, the US government created the War Refugee Board, in an effort to save Jews from the raging European Holocaust. Heather Voight’s new book, “Passionate Crusaders: How Members of the US War Refugee Board Saved Jews and Altered American Foreign Policy during World War II,” her debut work, is the first book ever to focus exclusively on the War Refugee Board and its accomplishments. A well-researched work, it will be of interest to anyone interested in immigration issues in America, today and yesterday.

By January 1944, Treasury Department officials Henry Morgenthau, John Pehle, and Josiah DuBois had already convinced President Franklin Roosevelt to create the War Refugee Board, an agency with the authority to provide rescue and relief for Jews and other groups persecuted by the Nazis. Scholars have criticized the Board for its inability to save more Jews, insisting the agency should have been created sooner. Heather Voight’s research shows that despite its shortcomings, the War Refugee Board changed history and forever altered American foreign policy. Its creation ended the cycle of indifference that the government and the American public had shown to victims of the Holocaust. In the words of Henry Morgenthau, from 1944-1945 “crusaders, passionately persuaded of the need for speed and action” risked their reputations and sometimes their lives to save Jews.

Voight’s book doesn’t merely tell readers the War Refugee Board was important—it shows how it was created, the actions it took to save lives, and the determination of its members to combat anti-Semitic and anti-immigration attitudes. “Passionate Crusaders” shines a light on the agency that President Franklin Roosevelt created in the midst of a State Department scandal, was staffed by mostly non-Jews who risked their reputations and sometimes their lives working for the Board, saved more than 100,000 Jews using a combination of diplomatic and clandestine methods, and pressured the War Crimes Commission to change its definition of war crimes–the same definition used today.

“I first read about the War Refugee Board while working on my college thesis,” Voight told an interviewer. “When I started to talk about the Board to other people, I got a lot of blank stares. Despite the number of people aided by the War Refugee Board and its lasting impact on American foreign policy, few Americans have ever heard of it. I wrote this book to tell the story of the Board’s members who tried to do so much in so little time.”

German Police Chief: Muslim Violence Shows Christian Refugees Must Be Housed Separately

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

(JNi.media) Jörg Radek, deputy head of Germany’s police union, said Christian and Muslim migrants should be lodged separately, following the increasing numbers of attacks on Christians by Muslims in refugee centers. And according to The Independent, a policy of segregation has already been implemented in the German state of Thuringia after Christian migrants in asylum centers were attacked by Sunnis attempting to impose Sharia law.

Rainer Wendt, another German police union official, said violence between groups of illegal migrants in German hostels is common. “We‘ve been seeing this violence for weeks and even months,” Wendt reported. “Groups join forces based on ethnicity, religion or clan structures and attack each other with knives and even weapons they have made themselves.” He explained that “Sunnis fight Shiites, there are Salafists of varying kinds… Women are being forced to wear veils. Men are forced to pray. Islamists want to impose their values.”

International Society for Human Rights official Max Klingberg complained that many migrants arriving in Germany are radical Islamists. “Among the new arrivals is not a small amount of religious intensity, it is at least at the level of the Muslim Brotherhood,” he said.

“I think housing separated according to religion makes perfect sense,” Radek told Die Welt. German police reported that 14 people were injured in two separate clashes that erupted between refugees last Sunday at a temporary migrant shelter in Kassel-Calden in northern Germany. On Thursday evening the week before, a fight broke out among some 200 Syrian and Afghan refugees wielding table legs and slats at a shelter in Leipzig. “They attacked each other with clubs and threw things at each other,” a police spokesman reported, according to the Independent.

“The police have reached their absolute breaking point,” Radek stated, explaining: “Our officials are increasingly being called to confrontations in refugee homes. When there are 4,000 people in a home which only actually has places for 750, this confinement then leads to aggression where even a tiny thing like the corridor to the toilet can lead to violence.”

According to bt2.net, the European establishment media is largely ignoring ethnic violence as illegal immigrants stream into the West. The most recent incident took place this week in a Danish refugee center near Copenhagen where a “a stateless Palestinian” in a refugee center stabbed a police officer.

Germany is expected to get about one million asylum applications this year. The German government has set aside $6.75 billion to fund accommodation, and designated an extra 3,000 police to cope with this influx. But with training for police taking around three years, according to The Independent, Germany’s 16 federal states rely largely on private security firms to maintain the peace.

Israelis Donate Baby Slings to Syrian Refugees

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

By Alexander J. Apfel

An Israeli humanitarian relief organization has taken to Europe to assist the thousands of Syrian refugees arriving on the Greek island of Lesbos and languishing on the Hungarian-Serbian border.

An Israeli humanitarian relief organization has taken to Europe to assist the thousands of Syrian refugees arriving on the Greek island of Lesbos and languishing on the Hungarian-Serbian border.

IsraAID, an organization founded in 2001, committed to providing emergency aid and rehabilitation support to victims of natural disasters and humanitarian crises, arrived at the scene over the course of the past week and has already begun distributing much-needed supplies and services to the refugees.

Speaking to Tazpit, Program Director, Navonel Glick explained that the the efforts begin with members of the team sometimes having to dive into the water to save drowning children.

Once on shore however, the refugees arrive at the beaches of Lesbos unaware of the arduous journey which lies ahead. In an effort to allay the physical tolls of such journeys, IsraAID has begun distributing baby slings donated by Israeli families to mothers and fathers.

“The Israeli population has been very responsive in all segments of society and because we are a non-political entity and people really see the human side, we are very happy and proud of this,” Glick told Tazpit.

He further added that the Israeli team has encountered neither rejection nor harsh reactions from the Syrians: “We have had no issues whatsoever. At a certain point it goes beyond any of these emotions.”

In addition to the distribution of medical supplies and baby slings, psychological assistance is provided to many victims who are unable to speak about the horrors which they have witnessed in Syria: “People have gone through something very extreme and there is a need for psychological support. So since we have a lot of Arabic speakers, a vast majority of the workers in the field are able to communicate and provide aid to the victims and families,” Glick said.

He further highlighted a series of initiatives being undertaken in cooperation with European governments in order to ease the experience of the refugees and the governmental response efforts.
Citing the case of Germany, which has announced that it will allow thousands of refugees to enter its borders, Glick stated that IsraAID is currently in communication with officials about developing applications which assist arrivals on relevant routes and locations etc. Moreover, he mentioned the creation of information hubs which enable wandering refugees to charge their phones and surf the internet.

US Senator Call to Bring 100K Syrian Refugees into the US

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is calling on the United Stated to increase the number of Syrian refugees allowed into the United States, according to the Huffington Post.

Durbin wants to see the US bringing in 100,000 Syrian refugees, in the next fiscal year.

He had previously suggested the US bring in 65,000 Syrian refugees.

Just recently, Lebanon’s Education Minister Elias Bou Saab warned UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron that he believes that two percent of the refugees entering Europe are Jihadist members of ISIS.

Cameron was visiting Lebanon to review the refugee situation over there first hand, pledging that the UK would donate an additional $92.6 million (60 million pounds) to Lebanon to assist with the Syrian refugees in their borders.

Saab said he based his number on what they found among the refugees located in Lebanon.

The UN Refugee Agency disagrees with Saab, and said such claims are both unprovable and unhelpful to the refugees, according to a report in the UK Independent.

On Monday, the British government appointed a special minister to deal with the arrival of 20,000 more Syrian refugees that the UK has agreed to accept, according to a report in Lebanon’s Daily Star. The UK has already absorbed 5000 Syrian refugees since 2011.

Back in the US, Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee is unhappy with any ideas to resettle Syrian refugees in the US, due to the Jihadi risks.

Certainly, if Saab’s numbers are right, then Senator Durbin’s humanitarian proposal could unintentionally bring in thousands of ISIS terrorists onto US soil.

Huckabee proposed a very different solution to the Syrian refugee crisis, according to the Washington Post:

“I just read that Saudi Arabia has offered to build 600 mosques for all of the Muslims that will come to the U.S. or to Europe,” he said. “I’ve got a better idea: Why doesn’t Saudi Arabia host them, and we will send some assistance through our charitable organizations for some hospitals and schools? We will design the curriculum for those schools. They won’t be madrassas to teach terrorism.”

Austrian Right-Wing Leader Blames US for Refugees and Chutzpah

Sunday, September 6th, 2015

(JNi.media) Heinz-Christian Strache, a member of parliament and Chairman of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ), who is running for mayor of Vienna next month, blames the US and NATO for the refugee crisis that is now engulfing Europe, Reuters reported, dubbing Strache “Far-Right Leader.”

“The USA for decades has started fires in the Middle East and then has then the chutzpah to claim that responsibility for the flood of refugees unleashed lies with Europe. That’s geostrategic detribalization at its finest,” Strache wrote on his Facebook page.

“The USA and NATO have destroyed Iraq and Libya with their military intervention, bombs and missiles; provided financial, logistical and military support to the opposition against President Assad in Syria, and thus made possible the destruction, chaos, suffering and radical Islamism (IS) in the region,” Strache, who prefers being addressed as HC, wrote.

According to Reuters, Strache’s FPO party—which is leading both Social Democrats and the People’s Party coalition partners in current polls—”typically espouses anti-Muslim and isolationist approaches to dealing with foreign policy.” But Strache is renowned for his declaration, back in 2011: “I am not hostile to foreigners!” The consensus in the Austrian media is that the up and coming political leader, in a manner reminiscent of American presidential hopeful Donald Trump, often starts out with a headline grabbing, provocative statement, which he then walks back.

Echoing a statement made last Thursday by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Strache told radio broadcaster ORF: “We don’t want an Islamisation of Europe. We don’t want our Christian-Western culture to perish,” he said.

In the 2010 Vienna elections for mayor, city council, and district councils, Strache’s party received 26% of the vote, increasing its number of seats in the city council to 27. The party’s support was strongest among young people under 30.

In Midst of Refugee Influx, EU Chief Promising to Label Jewish Products

Saturday, September 5th, 2015

(JNi.media) EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Saturday, after a two-day informal meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg that Europe will soon decide on the rules concerning labels that will inform consumers when imported Israeli products come from Jewish farmers in Judea and Samaria.

“The work is close to being finished but it is still ongoing,” she said. Some EU countries, including Britain, already warn consumers about products made by Jews in the area largely east of the 1949 armistice line, also known as the “green line.” That area, which includes parts of Jerusalem, was captured by Jordan in 1949 but was never formally annexed, so that when it was captured by Israel in 1967, it had the status of a no man’s land. International Law forbids an occupying country to transfer civilians into land taken in war, but it does not hold the same restrictions in a case where the land did not legally belong to anyone.

Having resolved the issue of alerting European consumers about the different identities of the Jews who sell them goods, Mogherini turned to dealing with the influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria, Iraq, and east and north Africa, declaring that the refugees are not going anywhere, and member states must adjust to this new reality.

“It is here to stay; the sooner we accept it, the sooner we will be able to respond effectively [and] united as Europeans,” Mogherini said, admitting that the problem “affects all of us. A few months ago, it was Italy, Greece and Malta. Now it is Hungary and it could (be the) turn of other member states in the future.”

Even while Mogherini speaking, Austrian police reported that 4,000 people had crossed into the country early Saturday morning, with their number rising to as much as 10,000 during the day.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said his country had an understanding with Austria and Hungary on easing the pressure by letting the refugees through this time, but warned that this should not set a precedent. “The help in the emergency situation was linked to an urgent appeal not to make out of this the practice for the coming days,” he said.

Peace With Gaza Need Not Be Expensive

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

It’s estimated that the direct and indirect economic cost to Israel for the 51 day Gaza war was in the area of $3 billion dollars. It’s broken up between military costs, and economic damage.

I only mention that number because of an interesting article I read in Makor Rishon this weekend.

Assaf Gibor interviewed some young men (in their 20s and 30s) in Gaza who wanted to leave. They want to move to Europe, to start new lives and families there, away from Gaza, Hamas and war.

One man gave broke down the costs. He needed $12,000 to make a new life.

$5000 goes to pay the tunnel smugglers to get him out of Gaza and into the Sinai. Another thousand more to get him from the Sinai to Alexandria in Egypt. And two thousand dollars more to pay off a former Syrian woman named Um-Salim who helps Syrians (and now also Gazans) sneak into Europe via boat.

The boat goes out every Thursday with 300 people on it.

Once the boat reaches Italy, and the passengers reach shore (whether by docking or swimming), they head over to the local Red Cross office, they then get sent to jail for a short period of time, and soon after that, they are set free to go look for work and life in Europe.

At $12,000 a person, you could smuggle a million Gazans into Europe, and it would be far cheaper than what the European Union is going to waste in rebuilding Gaza, just so Hamas can get it all destroyed, when they attack Israel again. And the EU wouldn’t even notice the minuscule spike in new immigrants.

You’d need a lot more boats, but you get the idea.

When at least 70% of Arabs want to leave the Land of Israel (including Gaza), relocation is a concept seriously worth exploring.

There are financial solutions that would bring real peace. Just no one wants to talk about them.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/muqata/peace-with-gaza-need-not-be-expensive/2014/09/14/

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