(Originally posted on Dec. 8, 2015)
ZOA President Morton A. Klein released the following statement: The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) strongly opposes bringing more Syrian Muslim “refugees” into the United States. Syrian immigrants pose a grave danger to all Americans – and an even greater danger to American Jews, for a host of reasons. Obama’s own FBI director and numerous other top administration and bipartisan U.S. officials openly state that Syrian “refugees” cannot be properly vetted – and that there is no information to vet them with to determine any criminal or terrorist background or dangerous ideological background. A top Lebanese minister warned that two in every 100 Syrian migrants are ISIS fighters, and an ISIS operative has admitted that 4,000 ISIS fighters have been smuggled into Western nations, hidden among the refugees. As the San Bernardino massacre demonstrates, innocent American citizens – especially including innocent American Jews – are at risk of more San Bernardino and Paris-style attacks. Our security services are already stretched too thin – Colorado law enforcement officials revealed that the FBI has nearly 1,000 active ISIS probes inside the U.S.
An Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies’ poll of 900 Syrian refugees in November showed that a third of Syrian refugees are ISIS sympathizers, and 13% support ISIS. One out of every eight supports ISIS.
In addition, Hamas supporters and trainees infiltrating with Syrian refugees are another major danger, even more so to American Jews. American women are likely to be at greater risk of sexual assaults, including rapes, as has occurred in Europe. In addition, the UN High Commissioner on Refugees – who selects the refugees brought into the United States – favors Syrian Sunni Muslims (who are the least “at risk” from ISIS, which is also Sunni), and discriminates against the Syrian Christians and other minorities who are most at risk from ISIS. Some 98% of the Syrian “refugees” admitted to the U.S. to date are Sunni Muslim.
Notably, some organizations (including HIAS, Inc.) that are lobbying to admit more Syrian refugees are in the “refugee resettlement” business – and stand to receive multi-million-dollar refugee resettlement contracts from the U.S. government.
Appallingly, HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) and Jewish groups such as ADL, AJC, Reform movement, and others have joined forces with Muslim anti-Israel organizations and groups that promote anti-Israel boycotts to oppose additional restrictions and security measures on Syrian refugees. Despite the fact that U.S. government officials admit that no Syrian databases exist with which to vet Syrian refugees, this unholy consortium of Jewish and anti-Israel groups falsely claims that Syrian refugees should be admitted without further security restrictions because the refugees’ background information is all “checked against government databases.”
As ZOA previously wrote, there are far less risky ways to compassionately help legitimate Syrian refugees. Humanitarian help can be best achieved without endangering American citizens, by establishing no-fly zone safe havens for Syrian refugees in neighboring Muslim areas in the Middle East.
Even before the recent San Bernardino massacre, a Bloomberg poll showed that most Americans oppose bringing Syrian refugees here: 53% of Americans want to completely stop accepting Syrian refugees; plus 11% want to only accept Christian Syrian refugees. Only 28% favor continuing resettlement here. ZOA implores American Jews, other Jewish organizations, and the pro-Israel community to join with ZOA in opposing bringing more ISIS-infiltrated Syrian refugees here.
It is wrong and absolutely inaccurate for President Obama to portray objections to bringing in more Syrian Muslims as Islamaphobia, or as religious bigotry. People do not oppose Syrian Muslims coming into this country because they are members of a certain religion – but rather, because of the dangers described here.
Below is a comprehensive discussion of this issue:
- There Is No Way To Vet Syrian Refugees: President Obama’s FBI Director James Comey admitted in Congressional testimony that “a number of people who were of serious concern” slipped through the vetting of Iraqi refugees, including two arrested on terrorism charges – despite the fact that we had soldiers on the ground in Iraq collecting data on the local population. Director Comey admitted that Syrian refugees will be even more difficult to vet than Iraqi refugees were, because we are not on the ground there and lack any such data on the Syrians. Director Comey stated: “We can query our database until the cows come home, but there will be nothing showing up because we have no record of them.”
Similarly, Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee of the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee Chairman, Congressman Peter King (NY) recently stated, “There is absolutely no way – no real way of vetting, to any extent, these refugees coming in. . . . there is no intelligence on the ground. We don’t have people on the ground who can vouch for everyone. There’s obviously no government records we can go to. Syria is a totally chaotic country, and it’s a hotbed of al-Qaeda and ISIS. And we have no idea who’s coming out of Syria. . . . it definitely puts the United States at risk.”
A previous ZOA press release discussing these warnings can be found here.
In addition, House Committee on the Judiciary Chairman Congressman Bob Goodlatte wrote a letter to the president setting forth administration officials’ admissions that data to vet Syrian refugees with “doesn’t exist.” Congressman Goodlatte’s letter (dated October 27, 2015) stated: “your plan to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees to the United States during Fiscal Year 2016 . . . seems ill-conceived considering numerous statements by security officials within your Administration about the current lack of ability to properly vet potential refugees for admission to the United States.” Congressman Goodlatte’s letter quoted admissions by FBI Director Comey (who testified that there is “dramatically” less information available to use during the vetting process of Syrians), Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson (who conceded: “It is true that we’re not going to know a whole lot about a lot of these Syrians…”); officials within U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the agency responsible for processing the refugee applications and ensuring the requisite background checks are performed (who admitted that Syria does not have any databases that the U.S. government can access to run security checks); and FBI Counterterrorism Division Assistant Director Michael Steinbach (who testified that “all the data sets” that the intelligence services would normally go to “don’t exist.”)
As National Review Institute Senior Fellow and former federal terrorism prosecutor Andrew McCarthy recently aptly summed this part of the vetting problem: “A background check is only as good as the available information about a person’s background. In refugee pipelines like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Sudan, such information is virtually nonexistent.”
Further concerns about vetting and ISIS’s threat to the Syrian refugee program were also the subject of a joint hearing recently convened by House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA).
Even when the U.S. is warned about terrorist ties, U.S. “vetting” has spectacularly failed. The Russian intelligence agency cabled the FBI twice warning that Chechen Muslim Tamerlan Tsarnaev was known to have associated with militant Islamists. Yet the FBI found that Tsarnaev had no links to terrorism, and no alert was triggered when Tsarnaev subsequently flew in and out of JFK airport. On September 11, 2011, Tsarnaev and his brother allegedly brutally slit the throats of three young Jewish men (Erik Weissman, Rafael Teken and Brendan Mess), whom the Tsarnaevs had befriended in Waltham, Massachusetts, and in April 2013, they bombed the Boston marathon, murdering three more people and wounding over 264 innocent runners and bystanders.
The supposed robust vetting of San Bernardino killer Tashfeen Malik that allowed her to enter the United States did not even uncover that the address in her Pakistani hometown that Malik listed on her visa application does not exist. Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson observed regarding the deficient vetting that Malik enter the United States: “if that vetting resulted in missing someone who carried out such a horrendous crime, that should be the end of the argument right there,” for admitting Syrian refugees into the U.S.
Andrew McCarthy encapsulated related critical problems with our refugee vetting, when he noted: “vetting only works if you vet for the right thing.” McCarthy explained that unfortunately, Washington only vets for “ties to terrorism” (defined as violent extremism) – and fails to vet for Islamic supremacist ideology, a belief system that breeds tomorrow’s radical Islamist terrorists, seeks to impose harsh Sharia law on all, and endangers bedrock American freedoms and democracy.
The failure to vet for Islamist supremacist ideology is a particularly glaring omission – when the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies’ poll of 900 Syrian refugees last month showed that a third of Syrian refugees are ISIS sympathizers, and 13% support ISIS. We cannot reiterate this enough: One out of every eight supports ISIS!
- ISIS Infiltrators: An ISIS smuggler recently stated that more than 4,000 covert ISIS fighters had been smuggled into Western nations, hidden among refugees. And some of the ISIS attackers including the alleged ringleader of the November 13 Paris massacres slipped into France along with Syrian refugees.
Top officials in the U.S. and elsewhere have been warning of the danger of ISIS infiltration. U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified before Congress that U.S. intelligence officials have a “huge concern” about Islamic State’s ability to infiltrate Syrian refugees flowing into Europe and potentially the United States. And Lebanon’s education minister Elias Bousaab warned British Prime Minister David Cameron that two in every 100 Syrian migrants smuggled into Europe are ISIS-trained jihadists, sent under cover to attack targets in the West. That amounts to 200 jihadists per ten thousand migrants; a significant number in light of the tremendous damage that just 8 ISIS attackers perpetrated in Paris. A handful of ISIS terrorists can cause hundreds of deaths and injuries.
Congressman Peter King also wrote “we know that ISIL will attempt to infiltrate its members into the United States with these refugees. . . . Since the beginning of the year, the FBI has arrested more than 50 individuals connected with ISIL and plotting attacks in the homeland; we cannot afford to compound this threat.”
- Jewish Americans Face The Greatest Risk: While all Americans may be at great risk from importing ISIS-infiltrated Syrian refugees into our country, Jewish and pro-Israel Americans are at greatest threat.
A Pew Research Center Global Attitudes Survey showed that over 90% of the citizens of predominantly Muslim Middle Eastern countries had negative attitudes towards Jews.
A recent ISGAP survey of antisemitic attitudes among European Muslims noted that “Perpetrators of the most extreme cases of violence against European Jews in recent years were Muslims” and concluded that antisemitic attitudes are “significantly higher” among Muslims than non-Muslims.
The leader of Germany’s Jewish community, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dr. Josef Schuster, warned that many asylum-seekers are from cultures marked by “hate towards Jews and intolerance,” and implored German Chancellor Angela Merkel to set quotas limiting refugees. Dr. Schuster explained: “Many refugees are fleeing the terror of the Islamic State and want to live in peace and freedom, but at the same time they come from cultures in which hate towards Jews and intolerance are fixed components. Don’t only think about the Jews, think about equal rights for women and the treatment of homosexuals.”
Indeed, Syrian Muslims have been indoctrinated to celebrate martyrdom and violence towards “enemies,” and to hate Jews and Israel from an early age. A recent study of the Syrian textbooks used in the Syrian schools from 2001 through the present reveals that Syrian children are taught, from early childhood onward, that fighting against Israel is a manner of honor; that martyrdom and violent acts towards “enemies” are the path of justice and glory; that Jews are evil and a false people and that their religion does not make them a nation; that the Holocaust was a positive event – and that Jews brought the Holocaust upon themselves because of their treachery and financial monopolies; that Jews are racist; that Zionism is the most hostile movement threatening Arab nationalism and the entire Arab homeland in its entirety – including Syria; that Zionism is a racist movement based on lies, similar to Nazism, and a partner of imperialism; that Israel is to blame for Arab backwardness; that the Jews stole the land away from the Arabs and established an illegitimate, racist, cancerous nation that is a threat to the whole Arab world; and that making peace with Israel is treasonous.
- Muslim Immigrants Have Dramatically Harmed Jewish Life In Europe: A glance across the ocean demonstrates what American Jews and all Americans may face.
France’s radical Islamists have terrorized French Jews. Major attacks included an Islamist terrorist’s murders of four Jewish shoppers at a Paris kosher supermarket in January, and Muslim terrorist Mohammed Merah’s murders of a Rabbi and three innocent little Jewish children at a Toulouse Jewish school. There have also been hundreds of lesser-known attacks. France’s Service de Protection de la Communauté Juive (SPCJ), counted 508 antisemitic incidents in just five months (January-May 2015). Almost a quarter of those attacks were violent, and most of the other incidents were death threats. Moreover, the main site of the recent Paris massacres perpetrated by ISIS terrorists, the Bataclan theatre, was repeatedly targeted because it was owned by Jews. The Bataclan’s owners recently fled to Israel along with thousands of French Jews who no longer feel safe in France. Jews are not the only ones who live in fear. As former Bataclan owner Pascal Laloux said: Parisians no longer feel safe “after what happened here.”
We dare not risk importing such fear and terror here.
A recent article by Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, entitled, Opposing Syrian Muslim Refugees is a Jewish Value,” also powerfully depicted how Jewish life is under siege by Muslim migrants in Europe with a few of the many examples of what Jews face in Europe: a Syrian Muslim throwing grenades at Jewish children waiting for a bus, killing a 15-year-old Jewish boy and wounding dozens of others; a violent Muslim attack on elderly Holocaust survivors in their Amsterdam apartment; Iraqi and Jordanian Muslim terrorists attacking a Bar Mitzvah in Austria, trying to murder the children inside; cries of “death to the Jews” on Paris streets; Muslims mobbing Jews in Marseille, shouting “Vive Mohamed Merah ; F— the Jews,” after Mohammed Merah murdered the Jewish children and Rabbi at the Toulouse school; frightening attacks on European synagogues . . . . Greenfield cited the simple and alarming mathematical fact that “any increase in the total number of Muslims also increases the number of attacks on Jews.”
Liberal news outlets have also reported the same disastrous situation. The Atlantic‘s April 2015 article, entitled, “Is It Time for the Jews to Leave Europe?” described the precarious plight of European Jewry today:
“[L]ast year, according to the French Interior Ministry, 51 percent of all racist attacks targeted Jews. The statistics in other countries, including Great Britain, are similarly dismal. In 2014, Jews in Europe were murdered, raped, beaten, stalked, chased, harassed, spat on, and insulted for being Jewish. Sale Juif —“dirty Jew” — rang in the streets, as did “Death to the Jews,” and “Jews to the gas.”. . . .
But what makes this new era of antisemitic violence in Europe different from previous ones is that traditional Western patterns of antisemitic thought have now merged with a potent strain of Muslim Judeophobia. Violence against Jews in Western Europe today, according to those who track it, appears to come mainly from Muslims, who in France, the epicenter of Europe’s Jewish crisis, outnumber Jews 10 to 1.”
We cannot afford to also turn America into a country where Jews are murdered, raped, beaten, stalked, chased, harassed, spat on, insulted for being Jewish, called “dirty Jew” and terrorized by “Death to the Jews” and “Jews to the gas.”
- American Jews (especially college students) are Already Being Subjected to Antisemitic Attacks, Which Have Vastly Increased as the Muslim Influx into the U.S. Has Increased in Recent Years:
Our children on American college campuses are already being subjected to rampant, even violent antisemitism here. At CUNY (City University of New York)’s Hunter College last month, the anti-Israel hate group “Students for Justice in Palestine” (SJP) chanted “Zionists out of CUNY!” and “Intifada! Intifada! Long live the Intifada, Death to the Zionists” (Intifada is the “uprising” in which Palestinian Arabs murdered and maimed thousands of innocent Jews.) At Temple University, an SJP member or sympathizer punched an innocent Jewish student in the face, and a gang of SJP members screamed at the Jewish student that he was a “Zionist pig” and “kike” and deserved what he got. Repeated antisemitic incidents, including speakers that advocated the ethnic cleansing of Jews from the Middle East and exhorted students to rise up against Zionists have reportedly made it unsafe to be Jewish at Vassar College.
Muslim students shouted: we support the intifada! (the murder of innocent Jews in Israel) during an antisemitic, anti-Israel rally, led by the anti-Israel hate group, SJP, on the UC Berkeley campus in October.
And American synagogues in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. have already been the repeated target of terrorist plots.
On New York’s Upper West Side just last week (on December 1, 2015), a Muslim man attacked and struck a Jewish bookstore owner in the face, while repeatedly screaming “F— the Jews!”
San Bernardino terrorist Sayed Farook specifically targeted and killed a pro-Israel Messianic Jewish co-worker, Nicholas Thalasinos, who wore a Star of David and tzitzit. According to a close friend of this victim, Farook had been threatening Mr. Thalasinos, and “telling him that Islam will rule the world, that Christians and Jews deserve to die; and that he (Nicholas) was going to die.”
We dare not increase this scourge.
Importing ISIS-infiltrated Syrian Muslims into the U.S. is likely to make these dangerous situations far worse.
- Syrian Hamas Supporters and Trainees: Daniel Greenfield also explained that a 2007 poll showed that a staggering 77% of Syrians support Hamas, and bringing a population that supports Hamas to America will threaten the safety and security of American Jews as well as other Americans. The U.S. State Department designates Hamas as a foreign terrorist organization. Hamas’ mission, written in its charter, is to murder Jews; Hamas carries out this mission with daily terrorist attacks against innocent Jews.
Support for Hamas among Syrian “refugees” may very well be even higher today than it was in 2007, given Hamas’ ties to the anti-Assad refugee population. Hamas’s decision-making “politburo” was headquartered in Damascus, Syria, until 2012, when Hamas’s leaders left Syria because Hamas sided with anti-Assad forces.
Moreover, the Hamas leadership reportedly left behind 200 former Hamas al Qassam Brigades members, who have been training Syrian anti-Assad groups to dig tunnels and make rockets and explosives. Syrian Hamas trainees may also very well enter the United States as Syrian “refugees.”
- Increased “Everyday” Antisemitism: In addition to the terrorism dangers that an influx of Syrian Muslim refugees infiltrated by ISIS and supporting Hamas would bring to our shores, there is likely to be an increase in “mundane” antisemitic incidents and attitudes, such as the recent incident in Belgium, in which a Muslim bus driver refused to allow a Jewish girl wearing a small Jewish star to board, saying that as a Muslim, he could not allow her to enter the bus. A 2011 study relates that one out of every two Muslim students in Brussels, half are antisemitic. Is this what we want our children to be subjected to here?
- Emma Lazarus Would Not Have Supported Immigration of a Population That Contains ISIS Terrorists and Supports Hamas Jew-Killers: Those arguing in favor of more Syrian Muslim immigration into the U.S. frequently and wrongly invoke American Jewish poetess Emma Lazarus’s famous poem, The New Colossus, part of which is inscribed on a plaque at the Statue of Liberty. In fact, Emma Lazarus was a Zionist whose main concerns were saving Jewish lives and fostering an America consisting of freedom-loving people. Emma Lazarus’s poems and other writings reveal that she would have been appalled at the idea of bringing immigrants to America who support an organization committed to killing Jews and infiltrated by ISIS members who want to conquer and slaughter American citizens.
In The New Colossus, Emma Lazarus spoke of welcoming into America those who “yearn to breathe free.” In the same poem, she denounced conquerors and told them to stay away: “Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs, astride from land to land. . . . Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!”
After the Russian pogroms of 1881, Emma Lazarus wrote in 1882: “I am all Israel’s now. I have no thought, no passion, no desire save for my own people.”
And in her poem, The Banner of the Jew, Emma Lazarus wrote about saving Israel and Jewish lives, and recognizing the “urgent hour,” including the following lines:
Oh for Jerusalem’s trumpet now,
To blow a blast of shattering power,
To wake the sleepers high and low,
And rouse them to the urgent hour!
No hand for vengeance-but to save,
A million naked swords should wave.
It is again an urgent hour now, for saving Jewish and American lives.
- Infiltrated Syrian Refugees Are Not Like Past Waves of Refugees To The U.S.: There is no comparison between ISIS-infiltrated Syrian refugees and past waves of refugees to America, such as the Cuban-American families of Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio fleeing from Castro, Jewish-Americans fleeing from the Nazis, Irish-Americans fleeing from famine, and Vietnamese-Americans fleeing the Viet Cong. As Congressman Peter King noted, in previous refugee situations, “the refugees coming were not a threat to the United States.” Infiltration by terrorists was not an issue in previous refugee crises.
- Increased Crimes Against Women And Increased Hatred Toward Gays: Crimes against women are also likely to increase with an increase in Syrian Muslim refugees. In Europe (including France, Sweden, Holland, Austria, the United Kingdom, Denmark and Norway), there has been a dramatic increase in Muslim men raping non-Muslim women, Muslim men gang-raping non-Muslim women, and Muslim gangs running child sex trafficking rings.
For instance, in the wake of an enormous influx into Sweden of Somali and Syrian Muslims during the past 10-15 years, Sweden has become the “rape capital of the West” and now has the distinction of being the country with the second highest percentage of rapes in the world. Immigrants perpetrated 2.1 to 19. 5 times as many rapes than Swedes in the 2000s. In 2002 (the only year with a research report on immigrant crime), 85% of the rapists sentenced to at least 2 years in prison were foreign born or second-generation immigrants. Somali and Iraqi Muslims recently perpetrated brutal gang rapes of a 15-year-old girl and other defenseless Swedish women.
In Denmark, more than half the convicted rapists were Middle Eastern immigrants.
There is also a “rape epidemic” in Germany, of male Muslim asylum seekers raping German women and girls, and female Muslim asylum seekers. A coalition of German social work organizations and women’s rights groups sent a letter to their regional parliament warning of this worsening situation for women and girls. In Britain, dozens of Muslim rape gangs have brutally victimized at least 2,400 confirmed child victims in a 14-month period (confirmed by UK government estimates), with another 16,500 children at risk of such sexual exploitation.
As the head of Germany’s Jewish community noted when he implored Angela Merkel to place a quota limiting Muslim refugees: “Don’t only think about the Jews, think about equal rights for women and the treatment of homosexuals.”
- U.S. Immigration Discriminates in Favor of Sunni Muslims, and Against Christians And Other Minorities Persecuted by ISIS: Islam specialist Raymond Ibrahim, a Fellow at Dr. Daniel Pipes’ Middle East Forum and a Shillman fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, recently documented in detail that President Obama inordinately favors Sunni Muslim immigrants over Christian immigrants (or even over other Muslims). Ibrahim explained that ISIS is Sunni Muslim, and ISIS is not persecuting the Sunnis. On the other hand, ISIS and related radical Islamist groups behead, rape and brutally persecute Christians and other minorities. Among other revealing facts, Mr. Ibrahim noted that only 53 (only two and a half percent) of the 2,184 Syrian immigrants resettled in the U.S. thus far are Christians, even though Christians are ten percent of the Syrian population.
Likewise, an analysis by Refugee Resettlement Watch of Syrian immigrants from October 1, 2015 through November 15, 2015 (the first six weeks of fiscal year 2016), found that 98% of the Syrian immigrants to the U.S. were Sunni Muslim. Only 1 Christian, 3 Catholics and 1 Orthodox Syrian were admitted to the U.S. during this period.
The favoritism toward Sunni Muslims is expected to continue. Refugee Resettlement Watch has repeatedly reported: “The UN High Commissioner for Refugees picks most of our refugees and in the case of the Syrians they come from UN camps populated by mostly Muslims. . . . As long as the UNHCR is choosing most of our refugees, I don’t expect the percentage of Muslims in the stream to change much.”
Moreover, in response to a question as to why the vast majority of Syrians chosen for America are Muslims, and such a tiny percentage are Christians, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonia Guterres responded that Christians aren’t being persecuted by their government (the Assad regime) and so are not in as great a need as Muslims. This ignores the fact that ISIS is persecuting Christians and minorities, and that they accordingly have far greater need than the Sunni Muslims pouring into the U.S.
According to a report, the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration informed officials at The Barnabas Fund, a Christian relief agency, that “there is no way that Christians will be supported because of their religious affiliation.”
The Institute of Religion and Democracy’s Religious Liberty Director Faith McDonnell reported that: “Christians cannot go to UN-run refugee camps because they face the same persecution and terror there from which they fled. If they are not in the refugee camps, they are not included in the application process for asylum. The State Department knows this, but continues to allow the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to select refugees for asylum with no regard to the endangered religious minorities.”
McDonnell noted that resettlement contractor organizations are also to blame for this discriminatory situation, and that “ironically, these [resettlement contractor organizations] include Christian groups that resist any special focus on Christian victims of ISIS.”
The same issue has been raised about HIAS, Inc., which used to be called the “Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society” and recently joined with other resettlement contractors to lobby against a law requiring vetting of Syrian refugees. The head of Refugee Resettlement Watch noted: “I continue to be perplexed why a Jewish organization is so eager to admit mostly Muslim Syrians!”
- Resettling Muslim Refugees in America is Big Business – At Taxpayers’ Expense and the Expense of Our Safety and Security: According to an analysis by Ann Corcoran of Refugee Resettlement Watch of information filings(Form 990s, auditor reports or annual reports), of nine major agencies that contract with the federal government to resettle refugees in the United States, these nine resettlement contractors received over a billion dollars in just one year (2012; in other words, before the more recent and planned influxes of Middle Eastern immigrants) in taxpayer-funded U.S. government grants and contracts. (Church World Service – $45,431,775; Ethiopian Community Development Council – $14,609,687; Episcopal Migration Ministries, now knows as Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church of America – $17,365,325; HIAS, Inc. – $15,426,116; International Rescue Committee – $332,271,151; US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants – $38,817,939; Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service – $42,047,935; World Relief – National Association of Evangelicals – $38,837,294; US Conference of Catholic Bishops – $69534,230).
- Those Jewish Organizations That Are Promoting Large Influxes of Syrian Muslim Refugees Are Acting Shamefully, Ignoring Anti-Jewish Dangers and Allying Themselves With Anti-Israel Groups:
It is alarming that certain Jewish organizations are abetting the immigration of those who may endanger all Americans and especially the American Jewish community. HIAS, Inc. – which used to be called the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, is advocating to resettle 100,000 Syrians in the United States, and is lobbying against Senate passage of the America Safe Act, a bill aimed at improving the vetting of Syrian refugees. As noted above, HIAS, Inc. is a resettlement contractor that received over $15 million of government contracts in 2012 according to the above analysis.
Carol Greenwald of the Coalition for Israel Advocates explained that HIAS, Inc. is no longer the philanthropic organization that assisted Jews in the previous century. Rather, HIAS is now a government contractor that “stands to reap $100 million in its budget if it can get the U.S. to admit the 100,000 Syrian Muslims that it is petitioning the government to admit. Follow the money. As Daniel Greenfield wrote in Front Page Magazine, “‘HIAS is now just a factory for importing hundreds of thousands of antisemites to America.’”
It is downright shameful that an organization that was originally founded to assist Jews fleeing from Russian and Eastern European pogroms is now at the forefront of the efforts to bring a group into the United States that endangers the lives of the descendants of the Jews that HIAS once helped.
It is revealing that the anti-Israel group J Street has joined and is fundraising for HIAS’ campaign to bring in 100,000 of the largely antisemitic Syrian Muslims.
HIAS should be using its resources to assist Jews in Europe who need to flee antisemitic attacks, instead of assisting those who may increase attacks on Jews and Americans.
And disgracefully, the Anti-Defamation League criticized the over 2 dozen American governors who are justifiably refusing to risk their states’ residents’ safety by admitting ISIS-infiltrated Syrian refugees. The ADL’s position is diametrically opposed to the ADL’s raison d’etre of combatting antisemitism.
In this time of danger to Jews and the West, the ADL needs to return to its core mission.
Shamefully, various “Jewish” groups banded together with radical Muslim organizations and other groups that promote anti-Israel boycotts to sign an ACLU letter supporting bringing Syrian refugees (who hate Jews and Israel) into the United States, without additional restrictions or vetting. Despite the overwhelming government testimony that there are no databases to check, the ACLU letter absurdly argues that we need no further restrictions or security measures because the refugees’ backgrounds are “checked against government databases.”
The “Jewish” organizations that signed on to this letter include: resettlement contractor HIAS; the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ); the National Council of Jewish Women, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL); American Jewish Committee; Association of Jewish Family and Children’s Agencies; Habonim Dror NA; Jewish Council for Public Affairs; Jewish Labor Committee; the hostile-to-Israel T’ruah; and Workmen’s Circle. (The OU also wrote a separate letter.)
Other signers of the same letter included: the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC, which called Israelis “the worst terrorists in the world,” defends Hezbollah and says that Israel should be suspected for perpetrating 9/11); the National Lawyers Guild (which assists the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel); Presbyterian Church USA (which boycotts and divested from companies that do business with Israel); and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR, an unindicted conspirator in the Holy Land Funding Trial against groups that funneled funds to the terrorist group Hamas). Nice bedfellows.
International Jewish leader and Jerusalem Post columnist Isi Liebler summed up the situation well when he recently condemned “the dangerous and irrational gut response from bleeding-heart rabbis, Jewish leaders and organizations blindly calling on governments to absorb en masse the so-called “Syrian refugees” and trivializing the Holocaust by comparing them to the Jews of Nazi Europe. . . Setting aside the broad threat to Western civilization in Europe, it will be the Jews who will initially bear the brunt of Islamic fundamentalist hatred. It is therefore utterly ironic that at a time when Jewish institutions and schools in Europe require military protection and many are leaving the continent because of escalating antisemitism, we find Jews worldwide at the vanguard promoting a migration movement comprising primarily the bitterest antisemitic elements.
- Muslim Majority Nations Closer to Syria Should Be Pressured to Take In Syrian Refugees: There are over 50 Muslim-majority countries that are far closer to Syria than America is. Why isn’t America pressuring those countries to take in the refugees?
Isi Liebler aptly noted the “astonishing but adamant refusal of the wealthy Arab oil countries – Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, which import vast numbers of Asian workers – to absorb even a minimal number of their own kinsman. They justify their exclusion on the grounds that such people will create disorder and represent security risks. It is also scandalous that the Arab League and the 57-state Organization of the Islamic Conference make pious comments but turn to the non-Muslim international community to resolve issues created by Islamist extremism from their own ranks.”
The wealthy Muslim states should be obliged to take the lead role in efforts to integrate their own people.
- The Real Lesson of the Holocaust Is That American Jews Should Not Promote Policies That Will Lead To Murders and Attacks on Jews: Those Jewish groups who have allied themselves with anti-Israel groups to promote bringing Syrian refugees into the United States have not learned the real lesson of World War II. The real lesson is that promoting policies that endanger fellow Jews leads to disaster.
Attacks on Jews in America are already on the rise; we should not further endanger our children, our families, and all our fellow Americans by bringing more Jew-hating, ISIS/terrorist-supporting Syrians who cannot be properly vetted into the United States – not to mention the very important issue of these Syrian Muslims likely adding strength to the American Arab anti-Israel lobbying force that is growing in America.