When refugees were Jews
Would the Squad have demanded an open border policy in British Mandate Palestine?
The Western crowd that stands on the highest moral hill is crying foul over their governments that are barring refugees from crossing their borders and settling in their territories.
This week, the EU’s Commissioner for Human Rights denounced Polish legislation for restricting access to border areas with Belarus, were tens of thousands of refugees from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria are trying to cross. Last week, 27 migrants drowned in the English Channel. The British government faced criticism for proposing an amendment to its refugee law that would end the current automatic asylum given to anyone who arrives in the UK.
America’s “holier than thou” crowd has also voiced opposition to any attempt at stemming illegal immigration at the southern border with Mexico. Democratic lawmakers — such as AOC and Rashida Tlaib — thrashed the Trump administration for building a wall and for incarcerating and deporting refugees. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota, identifies herself — on her Twitter account — as a refugee, decades after her naturalization and a few years into her tenure in Congress.
The “holier than thou” crowd in Europe, America and Australia argue that Human Rights include the unhindered and unregulated movement of humans, and that borders are an artificial human construct. They also say that because the West (white colonial Man) colonized many of the countries from where refugees come today, then it is only fair that the West should receive people from these failing countries. In the minds of the Western “holier than thou” crowd, human migration is only allowed westward. If Europeans move east, that would be obnoxious colonialism.
And when Western countries allow refugees in, the newcomers are not bound by any assimilation efforts. Newcomers, according to the “holier than thou” crowd, should be allowed to maintain all their backward practices from back home under the guise of freedom, including not learning the language of their new country and continuing to practice notorious old habits, such as oppressing women. Newcomers can then proceed with thrashing their new country, describing it as one built by enslavers, and demanding that its history, and even constitution, be rewritten to give the newcomers a share and make the country look more in their image.
Immigration is good. Countries (mostly liberal democracies) that are immigration destinations are lucky. Immigration can solve the problem of an aging population in developed countries and can bring new blood, new ideas and cultural diversity. However, immigration has to be regulated, just like Canada and Australia pick immigrants in line with their economic needs, depending on the age and skill level of refugees and immigrants.
Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner sent Congress a legislation that copied Canada’s law. It was dead on arrival. Immigration is too toxic for any lawmaker to vote on it in any which way. Immigration has paralyzed Vice President Kamala Harris, who now looks like a deer in the headlight. She has been given the southern border portfolio, and there is no political options for her to proceed. Each one of the two American parties is divided into several schools of thought on how to deal with this issue.
But back to the vocal lawmakers, like Palestinian-American Rashida Tlaib, who advocates for totally open borders and argues that refugees should be allowed to settle wherever they want. Fair enough. Would Tlaib say the same about Jewish refugees who were forced out of Europe between 1850 and 1950, and who roamed the world knocking on countries’ doors and begging for a new home?
When Jews were the ones boarding ships that sailed through oceans and seas, with many of them sinking and leading to the death of hundreds of Jews, the British governors of Palestine closed the country’s doors in the face of Jewish refugees, under pressure from the Arabs, in Palestine and outside of it. Ships carrying Jews that did make it to Palestine without sinking were boarded by the British, their refugees turned back to European countries that threw Jews into gas chambers.
Would Rashida Tlaib, or her grandma (the famous sitty), have fought with the British to let the impoverished and desperate Jewish refugees into Palestine? And once in Palestine, would Tlaib have fought with other Arabs to allow the Jews to practice their religion, pray at the Western Wall and on Temple Mount? Would Tlaib have fought to allow Jews to run for high office in Palestine and keep the country’s borders open for more Jews?
The Palestinian answer to all the questions on Jews taking refuge in Palestine is a resounding no. Jews were not welcome to enter the country, and those who entered were assaulted and harassed. Palestinians banned the sale of land to Jewish refugees and socially shamed — even physically assaulted — Arabs who sold their land.
Then, since the Israelis have built their own successful state, Palestinians have been trying to destroy this state, arguing that Jewish settlers were white Man colonials (and hence deserve to be ejected), even though white Man was the one who persecuted the Jews and forced them to flee to Palestine and to the rest of the world.
Yasmine Ahmed is the UK Director of Human Rights Watch. Her Twitter feed is buzzing with Tweets and articles calling for opening the borders for all kinds of migration and taking them all in and settling them. Her pinned Tweet is a footage of a 10-year old girl in Gaza crying near a pile of rubble, saying that what had befallen her was unfair. Ahmed describes the Israeli blockade of Gaza as apartheid. Yet, she does not mention the reason behind the blockade and the repeated rounds of war.
The rulers of Gaza, Hamas, vow to destroy Israel and deport all its Jews who were not born in the country before 1920. Now how does that sound for a Human Rights director? Would Ahmed want to advocate that descendants of Jewish refugees to Palestine be given rights like the local population, just as she demands that migrants who are being caught on the US border with Mexico or on the Polish border with Belarus be given such rights?