By Rabbi Aryeh Spero
President Donald Trump, accompanied by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, right, speaks during a meeting on cyber security in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017.
President Trump has been under relentless attack from those on the Left against his efforts to limit immigration from terrorist-producing areas and his call for comprehensive vetting and background checks. The vituperate accusations and riots, heavily-funded by leftwing sources, as well as the vicious salvos against him by the media and political foes, are fiercer and nastier than almost anything we’ve seen in the past over routine policy disagreements.
The President assuredly needs our moral and vocal support.
A Religious, Historic and Civic Duty
Beyond doubt, it is the president’s first and most important duty to protect the lives of a country’s citizens, especially when terrorists might embed themselves within a particular immigration flow.
Securing the country’s borders until a more fool-proof method of vetting is established is the moral thing to do. In Europe, and here in America, lax vetting has resulted in horrendous explosions and killings of dozens of innocent people as seen in Orlando, San Bernardino, Columbus, Paris, Berlin, Boston and Barcelona and other places infiltrated by terrorist plants within shariah immigrant groups.
It is irresponsible to ignore those who possess an ideological and religious hostility to Americans, our way of life and our laws and who live with deep-seated antagonism to Christianity and Judaism. Saving the lives of fellow Americans is a religious, historic and civic duty.
It is also irresponsible to ignore those and their offspring who possess an ideological and religious hostility to Americans, our way of life and our laws … and who live with deep-seated antagonism to Christianity and Judaism. Saving lives of fellow Americans is a religious, historic and civic duty.
Some are exploiting the Holocaust to promote unrestricted Syrian and other Mideast immigration here. However, there is no parallel between the Jews who fled Europe in the 1930s, who were, as Jews, specific targets for genocide and the Nazi concentration camps, and those today wishing to escape the civil war in their Mideast countries.
The Syrians, for example, are not being targeted because they are Muslims, and there is no Final Solution planned against them. Their civil wars have placed them in a very difficult circumstance, but it is not akin to the deliberate and planned Final Extermination which was specifically directed at Jews as Jews during the once-in-history Holocaust. It’s a different category altogether.
Furthermore, comparisons to the Holocaust situation are improper for other reasons: (1) there were no Nazi agents embedded within the fleeing Jews; (2) nor did any of the Jews harbor a cultural or religious ideology wishing to sow physical destruction on the American people; and (3) there were no rabbis in the 1930s sending forth commands worldwide to destroy the “infidels.”
Indeed (4) the completely innocent Jews of Europe had nowhere to go — there was not yet a State of Israel — whereas there are 57 Islamic states, many exceedingly wealthy, who could be offering safe haven to their Islamic brothers.
The Christian Genocide Parallel
If there is genocide parallel, it involves the Christians of the Middle East who have been targets of the Muslim genocide against them. And yet, the Left has been silent regarding the plight of Christians seeking refuge from Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Egypt, Lebanon, Hamas areas and elsewhere.
By choosing American safety and life over the feel-good platitudes and hate-filled shouts of the Left, Mr. Trump is living up to the age-old clarion call of genuine and moral leadership. He must be congratulated for prioritizing the safety of Americans over self-congratulatory leftists.
During the Obama years, Christian immigration here from Islamic territories was, based on population percentages, 90% less than what it should have been. Mr. Obama moralized about “not using a religious litmus test” to cynically over-weight Muslim immigration while severely undercutting and ignoring Christian refugees begging to be rescued from Islamic jihad against them.
One can’t be blamed for wondering if the Left’s concern for Muslim migrants, and lack of concern for oppressed Christian refugees, has more to do with transforming our demographics and historic culture, voting expectations, and diminishing the Judeo-Christian influence on our civic life. Certainly, Mr. Trump must be congratulated for prioritizing the safety of Americans over self-congratulatory leftists too willing to sacrifice us and our children in behalf of their ideological political gods.
Scripture warns of the need to be wary “Lest enemies enter your domain and become thorns in your sides and pins in your eyes, and vex you in your Land” (Numbers, 33:55). Scripture’s call to “not afflict the stranger” was certainly not intended as a national suicide program. See the numerous citations in Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy exhorting the nation to protect her borders in hope of maintaining her safety, national outlook and civic culture.
Being Kind to the Stranger
Being kind to the stranger was a mandate not to be cruel, torture and harass, nor physically afflict strangers,. Surrounding societies relished harming strangers traveling through their land. In fact, to be afforded resident status (in Hebrew: Ger Toshav) in ancient Judea required a comprehensive vetting and subsequent pledge and loyalty to the norms, behavior and laws of ancient Judea.
By choosing American safety and life over the feel-good platitudes and hate-filled shouts of the Left, Mr. Trump is living up to the age-old clarion call of genuine and moral leadership.