Opinions are gratuitously offered causing tempers to flare as to whether or not this country should open its doors to Syrian immigrants. Such behavior on our parts is to be expected. After all, this is what makes this country the great democracy we know it to be. I would sincerely hope that each person has his or her specific view regarding the matter. What I strenuously object to however are reckless comparisons where Syrian refugees are likened to European Jews prior to and including World War II. Before using the Holocaust as a measuring rod, one would do well to seriously consider the following:
Were Jews seeking asylum during the Third Reich a result of insurgent Jews rising up against a ruthless Jewish dictator as is the current situation in Syria? Doesn’t strike anyone strange that the very same countries who up until now have adopted an attitude of what goes on in any Arab country is an internal matter and who are we to express an opinion, much less become involved, are suddenly responding to the Syrian crises on the most dramatic fashion? Is it possible that these countries are seeking expiation (soul cleansing) for having turned a blind eye as well as a deaf ear to European Jews Jews hoping to flee for their lives three quarters of a century ago? Does it make sense for these countries to bend over backwards for Syrians because they once turned our back on Jews?
Of the precious few Jews who were allowed into this country as well as into England during the nightmare years of 1939-1945, how great was the threat of Jewish terrorism? Were there any bombings here in these United States or in England by terrorist Jews who conveniently slipped through the cracks while other oppressed, downtrodden and bedraggled Jews were spared the death sentence from a megalomaniac who was meticulous in his eradication of Jews? For that matter, was daily life interrupted in England or these United States by Jewish terrorist cells operating out of the Warsaw Ghetto blowing up office buildings at Piccadilly Circus or Columbus Circle or planting bombs on passenger trains leaving Victoria Station or Grand Central Station, carrying innocent Britons and Americans?
Before resorting to the Holocaust comparison, has anyone stopped to consider that while Lebanon and Jordan are opening its doors to Syrian immigrants, there are twenty other Arab countries that make themselves totally oblivious to the plight of their Arab brothers and sisters?
Correct me if I’m wrong, but during the Holocaust there wasn’t a single Jewish country that remained indifferent to the plight of the millions of its people going up in smoke in the crematoria of Europe, in that there was no Jewish country that existed at the time. Recall if you will, the lengths that the Jews of pre-state Israel went to, as they attempted to smuggle shiploads of Jewish refugees into the country only to have the British intercept the vast majority of these ships and reroute the passengers Detention Camps in Cyprus (if the immigrants were lucky) or send them back to Europe.
If you wish to make the case that this country should open its doors to Syrian refugees, that is your prerogative. If you wish to make the case that this country is under no obligation, legal, ethical or otherwise to take in Syrian refugees, you have that right as well. Remember one thing however. The Holocaust is sui generis. It defies comparison. So, don’t ever make the claim that the plight of Syrians fleeing their homeland is no different than the Jews fleeing the Nazis. Ever!