Monday, November 16, 2015

Rejecting refugees because of the actions of ISIS is immoral

On July 22, 1946, the Irgun bombed the King David hotel in the center of Jerusalem. 91 innocent people were killed.
In response, the US declared that they would no longer allow any of the hundreds of thousands of desperate Jewish refugees into the US, because any of them could be terrorists.

Except that's not what happened. President Truman realized the deep human crisis of the countless survivors in the DP camps and the many thousands of others fleeing virulent anti-Semitism. So over the next few years, the US raised the quotas higher and higher, allowing homeless and hopeless Jewish refugees homes and hope, a place to rebuild their lives.

Will Paris really make us forget the lessons of history and cause us to abandon our compassion?

Yes, I know it's not an exact parallel. But the lesson should stand, nonetheless. Punishing desperate refugees who are fleeing murder and hate, because of the actions of a few, is immoral and we, as Jews, should know this better than anyone.

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