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PERSPECTIVES

The Acceptance of Syrian Refugees
by Robert Snider

Whenever we endure a mass killing from fundamental Islamic terrorists the question is asked why someone in the government did not “connect the dots;” i.e. gather together all of the relevant facts and draw the logical inferences so that we may predict that a particular person might commit a terrorist attack at a certain place around a date and time. Then, the government is expected to take some action to prevent the attack; all preventative actions being in accordance with applicable laws that were designed with common criminals in mind. The Obama Administration failed to predict the San Bernardino Massacre, as it failed in other cases such as the Major Hassan killings in Fort Hood and as to the Boston Marathon Bombing, because its ideology causes it to ignore the hard, realistic gathering of facts and the kind of logical progression that effective intelligence work requires. Instead of following the process required, first the facts then the conclusion, the Administration tries to redefine reality by merely relabeling the offending event or by abruptly changing the subject even when there is no logical connection between the two.

The Administration’s ineffective policies are exemplified by its support for Syrian Refugee resettlement in the U.S. The policy rests upon misrepresentations of fact, ignores logic and places the lives and safety of the American people at unacceptable risk. There is no factual basis for the belief that a proper “vetting” will take place. First, the efficacy of the vetting is not dependent upon how long a time elapses between the application and the admission. Just because the process takes up time, unless the actual examination is based on reliable information, the process is ineffective.  There is no reliable way to identify radical Islamic terrorists who intentionally keep their identities secret. The Administration’s own security experts, who are responsible for the accuracy of the process, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and F.B.I. Director James B. Comey, have both pointed out that there is no data base to access for relevant information and the applicable government of Syria is uncooperative to say the least. Director Comey bluntly testified to Congress that ISIS would use the stream of refugees, which is largely composed of young Muslim men of military age, to insert its operatives into Europe and into the U.S. Forged documents are easily obtained and statements that passports and other documentation was lost during the journey is sure to be a common plea; impossible to disprove.

Second, what are they searching for? There is a no official list of persons who have carried out war crimes. The real danger is not just whether a person may have committed a crime in the past but their likelihood for radicalization once in the U.S. That analysis must be based on their attitude about the relationship between the individual and the state, their value system and whether or not their value system is compatible with the fundamental values of America; such as freedom of expression. The reports are clear that most of the refugees want economic benefits; such as Germany’s generous welfare benefits. Indeed, the San Bernardino Massacre shows that gender is not a reliable indicator nor is age as established by the Tsarnaev brothers, admitted while young and who were radicalized in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Predications as to individuals are inherently unreliable but predictions that a percentage of large number refugees or their children will be radicalized are reliable.

The polls tell us that most Americans recognize that those Muslims that hold fundamental views of Islam; e.g. about the unity of the church and state, about the way they view all “unbelievers”, about women and many other principles we regard as fundamental to our nation are potential radicals and some, at least, will not assimilate into the citizenry of America.  The public’s common sense opinion is buttressed by the results of a valid poll conducted by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies located in Doha, Qatar, which polled 26,168 Middle East Arabs including Syrian Refugees. Of the Syrian Refugees, 10% hold positive views of ISIS, 43 % hold negative views of the U.S., 37% oppose U.S. military air strikes against ISIS and 62% hold negative views of U.S. foreign policy as to the Middle East. Americans know from common sense that those attitudes will not change, will be easily hidden and provide fertile ground for radicalization. Indeed, in his Sunday, December 3rd, 2015 Oval Office speech, Obama did not even mention the Refugees; evidently preferring to use his executive authority to prevail in his dangerous policy without Congressional or public support.

Thus, while Americans know that religion should not be a basis for discriminating amongst applicants for a job in the U.S. it is relevant for admission to the U.S. from the Middle East.  Obviously, Christians have been victimized by killings; rapes and enslavement, are far different in their philosophy and prospects and deserve separate, speedy and favorable treatment.

That the refugees are compared to the Jews fleeing Nazi Germany who were kept out of the U.S. by the Roosevelt Administration is a particularly offensive use of guilt and dishonors both the memory of the Jews who were returned to their deaths and the present situation.  Jews had no ideology remotely similar to the tenets of radical Islam and no history of turning on their hosts with acts of terror. Jews assimilated economically and culturally becoming fully merged into American culture both before and after WW II. In addition, Israel did not exist before 1948; Jews had nowhere else to go and yet they were turned away.  There are numerous Muslim majority countries to which the Syrian Refugees can go.  Why does Saudi Arabia, rich and in possession of housing it maintains for the Hajj refuse to give their co-religionist safe harbor? That constitutes a repeat of what the Arab nations did with the “refugees” who fled Palestine in 1948, keeping them as a source of grievance and terrorists to use against unbelievers.

The expected response of those who assert an “open door policy” is not to defend their policy on factual grounds but to attack opponents as “Islamophobic, the analogue of the “race card.”  The charge is an admission of the weakness of their contention but is also refuted by the fact that the U.S. has admitted about 100,000 Muslims a year for a number of years without a substantial backlash. Indeed, the Muslim population of Orlando, FL has increased by 473%.

Tolerance in the face of intolerance and risk to others is neither ethical nor wise. Please oppose the further admission of Syrian Refugees and, indeed, all who constitute an unacceptable risk.

 
A Word to the Nations

by Pastor Gary Cristofaro

Israel's calling on the earth is to be a light to the nations. Thus Israel was entrusted with the Oracles of God. The Torah is unparalleled not only within the history and experience of the Nation of Israel but it has set the standard for laws of free nations around the globe. Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs public diplomacy efforts are called "hasbara", which literally means "explanation". The term also encompasses the idea of influence. There is no doubt that Israel has the ability to influence people of faith of every nation. Yet unfortunately the policy of hasbara does not derive from "Torah for the nations". It was developed for the purpose of answering the perpetual barrage of international challenges to every move Israel makes.

For example, the UN committee on Palestinian rights made this statement on January 17th 2011: "Palestinian homes continue to be demolished to make room for illegal settlers in defiance of universal condemnations of such unlawful and provocative practices." The Committee was referring to recent activities in East Jerusalem, more specifically the Shepherd Hotel Compound, which was originally built as a villa for the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. The mufti never lived there and an American Jewish businessman purchased the property in 1985. The truth is, the last residents of this compound were the Israeli border police. When it was demolished on January 10th 2011 to make room for apartments, not one Palestinian was displaced.

I believe it is important to expose truth of this nature, but this is hardly an earth-shattering revelation. Israel spends a great deal of time, effort and energy defending itself before the jury of public opinion. As do those of us who love her. It can be exhausting attempting to counter every lie. I'm afraid hasbara can be a losing battle.

Divine truth, however is another story. I imagine the whole earth shook when God delivered Torah to Moses on the mountain. The Torah and the prophets transcend public diplomacy. It's my feeling that Israel has no need to explain itself to the nations, particularly in reference to following the word of God.

"Many people shall come and say, come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He shall teach us His ways and we shall walk in His paths. For out of Zion shall go forth the law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations and rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and the their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore."(Isaiah 2:3-4)

Please note that Isaiah identifies the God of Jacob, Zion and Jerusalem and it's no surprise that there is no mention of the U.N. in the accomplishment of world peace. Oh house of Jacob come and let us walk in the light of the Lord. (Isaiah 2:5)  And my prayer is that the nations may be drawn to your light.

Two of Israel's brightest lights were recently in Fort Lauderdale Florida, the stars of "Tuesday Night Live in Jerusalem" Ari Abramowitz and Jeremy Gimpel. Ari and Jeremy are living Torah, not hasbara. Tuesday Night Live is a refreshing, unapologetic look at the modern state of Israel. This program represents how Israel can go on the offensive for public opinion and be successful. Jeremy said the following about the thriving communities of Judea and Samaria. "The settlements are not the problem in the Middle-East.  The settlements are the best thing that ever happened to the middle-East."

I believe scripture supports Jeremy's proclamation. Chapter 36 of Ezekiel describes the rebirth of these cities or "settlements" in the mountains of Israel. Firstly God declares that Israel's re-gathering was for His Holy name's sake. Secondly, it is an obvious blessing for His people Israel and others to prosper in this region. But thirdly and most importantly, God reveals His desire that the nations who witness these events shall know that He is the Lord. Psalm 102:16 says: "The Lord shall build up Zion; He shall appear in His glory." A bold biblical proclamation is much more powerful than a clever explanation.

As Christian Friends of Israeli Communities we, therefore, owe no one an explanation for our undying support for the cities of Judea and Samaria. They are meant to be a blessing to the nations. By your steadfast support may you influence others that this is the will of God and may the Holy One of Israel bless you abundantly.

Shalom,
Gary Cristofaro
Director of Outreach and Development
CFOIC Heartland












 


Liberalism Is Not Our Religion

Aryeh Rubin
Special To The Jewish Week

I believe in equality for all. I support civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights, universal health care, feeding the poor, social justice, separation of church and state, access to education, diversity, the arts, animal rights (I have not eaten meat or poultry in 33 years), and more. I marched against the war in Vietnam, protested the bombing in Cambodia, and advocated for affirmative action.

In terms of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I met with the Palestinian leadership, including Yasir Arafat, as part of my peace activism. I believed, up to a point, in Oslo, and maintain that while a failure, it was not a mistake. I am hopeful that the two sides will keep talking until there is a deal.

Still, I have not elevated liberalism to the status of religion. I do not blindly follow the liberal agenda and my convictions take a backseat to my commitment to the well-being of Israel and the Jewish people. Unfortunately, this is not the case for the majority of U.S. Jews, who have substituted liberalism for Judaism and whose actions are often governed by misguided priorities. In lieu of traditional Jewish belief or value systems, many American Jews have adopted what is essentially a theology of universalism and tikkun olam, or social justice. In doing so, much of American Jewry has essentially become de-Judaicized.

When the lives of my family, my friends, and my people are in jeopardy because we are Jewish, when there are very real threats to the continued existence of the State of Israel and by extension the Jewish people, when our enemies have declared that their intention is to annihilate us and are acquiring tools to this end with the world standing by, then my pro-humanist beliefs give way to my commitment to the sanctity and security of Israel and the Jewish people.

American Jewry’s loyalty to the liberal political dogma is disturbing when things are going well for the Jews. But when things are not going well, this behavior is self-destructive and helps our enemies.
The future of Israel is at stake. Not only is Israel threatened by the soon-to-be nuclear Iran and its satellites, but its right to exist is being questioned by a virulent, global delegitimization campaign that is being led and energized by the academic left and supported by the elements of the liberal wing. In not speaking out, many Jews are, in effect, endangering Israel and abdicating their responsibility as Jews.
Many American Jews have become distanced from Judaism’s larger core values and are uncomfortable making moral judgments concerning the distinction between good and evil, which is an inherent part of our heritage. In addition, many are uncomfortable with the notion of the exceptionalism of Israel, and even with the exceptionalism of the U.S.

Historically, the vulnerability of diaspora Jews led many to make a habit of ingratiating themselves to their non-Jewish hosts. For some Jews, this knee-jerk accommodation, while no longer a survival technique, seems to have become integrated into the genetic code — hence, the quintessential galut (diaspora) Jew. History has shown us over and over again that this approach is ultimately unsuccessful. Witness the tragic outcomes of previous golden ages of Jewry in Spain, France, and Germany. We must not allow these genes to express themselves; we must show strength and become proactive.

When our ancestors were permitted to exit the ghetto, they gravitated towards those expressing universalist ideas, which were most often part of the ideology of the left. It was from the universalists that they experienced the first indications of tolerance. It’s therefore not surprising that they proceeded to derive intellectual sustenance and a modicum of physical security from the left, hence our historic loyalty. But today it is the American right that has evolved to the point where it is much more philo-Semitic and more pro-Israel than the left. The hawks and the evangelicals among them are the most fervent supporters of the State of Israel. From the perspective of our own survival, we must gravitate to, and work with, those who wish us well and support our standing in the world.

Despite the pacifist attitude espoused by many children of Holocaust survivors, despite the anti-war rhetoric spouted by many of the Jewish baby boomers, and despite what for many of us is an innate opposition to war, ultimately it is only the strength of Israel that earns us the respect of our enemies. It is not our intellect, not our Nobel prizes, not our supposed financial acumen. As the Italian-Jewish intellectual Alain Elkann noted, the only antidote to Auschwitz is Israel — and its military might. As such, Israel is fighting not only for itself, but for all Jews. I would argue that by extension, it is fighting for the well-being of the Western world and its values.

Liberal Jews should be making the case for Israel as a bastion of liberal values. Israel is the only country in the Middle East with a free press. It is the only true democracy in the Middle East, with equal rights for women and, in practice, a refuge for gay Arab men from neighboring countries. In Israel there are no honor killings, no stonings, no capital punishment, no cutting off of the hands of thieves.

Throughout our history there have been Jews who have opted out, and this is an acceptable reality. What is not acceptable is that today, entire legions of Jews, in the name of liberalism, are in effect working against the survival of the Jewish people, whether out of ignorance, different priorities, or a lack of understanding of the global perspective.

Confronted with both old and new enemies seeking to destroy us, and vilified by anti-Zionism — anti-Semitism in new clothes — the majority of American Jewry needs to look in the mirror, re-examine its convictions and make a shift.

Abiding by one’s political philosophy, values and convictions is a noble way of living — but not when they are coming to chop your head off. At that point, and I believe we are there now, one’s moral and political compass needs to revert to survival mode.

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