The late Sir Winston Churchill is credited with saying, “If you’re young and you aren’t a socialist, then you haven’t got a heart. But if you’re old and you’re still a Leftist, then you haven’t got a head.
That dichotomy would seem to be what is very much at play right now vis-a-vis the one going discussion as to whether they U.S. should provide safe harbor for the unending high tide of Syrian refugees, which discussion has become particularly poignant following the Paris bombings last week. And all the more so since a Syrian passport was found by one of the bomber’s body at the Batalan concert venue.
Frankly, there are quite a few points to be cleared here, specifically:
- what percentage of Syrian refugees can be considered a potential, or exponential threat to the safety and liberty of the West?
- how horrific really were the Paris bombings?
- whether or not we (specifically Americans, and more over Jews) may be hypocritical in denying Syrians fleeing a sinking ship a life raft on which they can be expected to want to stay.
The first order of business, ladies and gentlemen, is going to have to be a prerequisite of setting emotions aside. Though I consider myself a member of the Right, I will never be a member of the far Right for the simple reason that much of the early part of my life was spent developing a critical faculty that simply will not be put to bed.
That also means that many accredited members of the Right consider me Left, if only because I am thoroughly accustomed to hearing the other side’s arguments, even though my compatriots are not. This position allows me to obviate certain limits, such as polite academic circles tacit agreement that one cannot possibly be a scientist or otherwise enlightened if you are so benighted as to believe in G-d and creation. Decades, generations and even centuries of discussion and thought must be heaped on a Savonarola-type bonfire that would not have spared even the nearby fresco’s of Fra Angelico were it possible to conveniently remove them from the walls.
Having done with that purple patch, there is no point in engaging in any further hand-wringing when considering the plight of those who don’t care to continue to live under Assad, or Daesh or any other conceivable alternative to either of the above. What I am saying is that there is no point in allowing images of drowning babies and miserable children sitting by cooking fires in front of tarpaulin tents to back the kind of clear thinking required when taking a step that may critically endanger, alter and change the future of Western culture.
Beyond those images of humanitarian crisis has to be a viable consideration of the likelihood that the vast majority of Syrians landing in Greece or marching through Eastern Europe are young, unmarried males carrying smartphones and no one knows who is paying their connection charges. Do they?
That means that despite the vetting and the fact that they are presently being kept in pens in Cyprus very like the DPP camps that the Jews went through following the Holocaust, no one can tell what percentage of them is already radicalized and is capable of evading detection.
Very frankly, nutters are attracted to religion. In the days of my youth, I applied to a rabbinical seminar and as part of the admission process had a scheduled meeting with a psychologist. So he asked me, “What Biblical figure do you most identify with?” and, given the situation, the first thing that popped into my mind was Daniel in the lions’ den. But then, my critical faculty kicked in, and I thought: no, that won’t do. So I answered, “Avraham Avinu,” which caused the white-coated expert to nod and jot down what I had said in his notebook.
So you see, it is as easy as that. Plus, given the well known fact that “children are Jung and easily Freudened,” there is no way of knowing when one of these moderate, hard-working, family-oriented Muslims may just go radical. Remember, arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti holds a law degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He was once and assimilated Muslim until one day he decided that terror is the only language that Westernized Israelis will ever understand. And if that isn’t enough for you, here’s a link to The Intercept, which I don’t much care to reference (not being particularly partial to their head honcho’s self-hating point of view based solely on his life-style preferences) that states that the main point of the Paris attacks was to smoke out the moderates and make them ipso facto radicals by increasing their European neighbors intolerance for them.
About 10 yrs ago following the 7 July 2005 London bombings, The Guardian, which is a crotchety sort of English-conservative newspaper, published a very interesting report on religious/racial tolerance vis-a-vis the enormous Arab population of the capital, which had cause parts of it way back then to get nicknamed Londonstan. The bottom line there was that while the English polled expressed very high tolerance bordering for sympathy for the non-Anglo-Saxon population, Muslims should nearly zero interest maintaining a friendly relationship with their surrounding, host culture.
That said, and you will forgive me for this, the Paris bombings were not all that bad. I’m just a seasoned old journalist, and around the newsroom the number of people killed is what makes things print-worthy. One hundred and twenty nine doesn’t much hold a candle to 9/11 or what has been going on for years and years in the Holy Land. I too regret the untimely death of all those beautiful people just out having a good time, and deeply realize that each and everyone of them is mourned by friends and family members. I spent hrs motzei-Shabbos looking at the footage shot out of a window adjacent to the Batalan just trying to understand what was going on. But what happened in gai Paris is notable mainly for shock value. That is what terrorism is about. Meaning: the fact that they got them is tantamount to them being about to get you. So watch out!
And finally as promised, it is historically true that the United States of America is an immigrant nation. But historically it was also a country based on Judeo-Christian values that held by the sanctity of reproductive marriage and publicly considered same-sex whatever to be an abomination. To be terse, things have changed and Liberals might take into account that by definition all nation states have the right to decide to whom to open their borders.
And yes, I am well aware that following WWII many people didn’t want Holocaust survivors to arrive from foreign shores, but then there is not much you can do about the fact that people-don’t-like-Jews. I went to a private day school with a quota and graduated an Ivy League university in the early 70’s, so believe me when I say “I know all about it.”
Don’t play the social diversity card either. Radical Islam, or whatever you please to call it, is not Zen Buddhism. In my day, you had to do an SAT-type writing sample in a proctored venue and got the subject for your impromptu essay in a sealed envelope. Mine said, “It’s good to be open minded, but being too open minded can cause your head to fall off.” I kid you not. So I wrote for an hour or so about the Chinese Empire which continued to exist over the course of centuries by excepting those cultures opposed to it. But finally it failed. So did Rome, which early in the Empire was said to have more cults around than its own native religion. Bottom line here: even America has only so far it can go.