The U.S.-based Hebrew Immigration Aid Society (HIAS) has demanded that the “United States remains a place where families fleeing war and persecution can find safety and dignity”—in an article published in Israel, the Jewish state which has refused to take refugees, outlaws marriage between Jews and non-Jews, and has a Jews-only immigration policy.
More than 200 attendees pose for a group photo at HIAS’s #JewsforRefugees Assembly in New York, Sept 14, 2016.
Writing in a “communicated content” article in the Jerusalem–based Times of Israel, HIAS president Mark Hetfield said that “America has always been at its greatest when we have welcomed refugees to our shores.”
The article, titled “Join the Jewish movement to support refugees,” urges Jews to join up with HIAS to bring even more “refugees” into America than is currently the case.
“Driven by our people’s shared experience of persecution and flight, and guided by over 135 years helping refugees find safety and freedom, HIAS and the American Jewish community are working together to protect and welcome refugees and asylum seekers,” Hetfield wrote.
“Communities across the United States, and Jewish communities in particular, are going to great lengths to help the newest Americans,” the HIAS president continued.
“Through our network of thousands of rabbis and hundreds of synagogues, we’ve seen these efforts firsthand. During the week of Thanksgiving, advocates in communities including San Diego, Philadelphia, and New York, helped refugees celebrate the holiday for the first time.
“And over the past year, local congregations around the country have volunteered to furnish apartments for newly arrived refugees, organized monthly potluck dinners, and offered language and job training.
“The Jewish community is dedicated to these initiatives because we know all too well the danger of allowing short-sighted and xenophobic rhetoric shape attitudes toward minorities and newcomers. America has always been at its greatest when we have welcomed refugees to our shores and at its weakest when we have shut our doors out of fear. American Jews and HIAS know this better than anyone.
“Moving forward, HIAS will continue to work with our partners in the refugee advocate community, our network of local agencies, all levels of government, and most significantly, the many thousands of refugees we help every year, to defend America’s tradition of welcoming and protecting refugees.”
The article ends with an appeal to its readers to join HIAS and “keep trying to fight darkness with light, and fear with welcome.”
In Israel, however, there is no such “welcome” as what HIAS wants for America. In fact, the Israeli government has refused to accept any “refugees” at all from Syria, Africa, or anywhere else—and is building a new wall to keep them out.
An official statement from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said that “Israel is a small country, a very small country, that lacks demographic and geographic depth. Therefore, we must control our borders, against both illegal migrants and terrorism.”
Israel’s official view on barring Syrian “refugees” was also detailed in the LA Times of September 6, 2015 (“One country that won’t be taking Syrian refugees: Israel”), where Netanyahu repeated his assertion that Israel’s “lack of demographic and geographic depth” required controlling its borders against both “illegal migrants and terrorism.”
HIAS’s chutzpah seems, therefore, to be in line with the already well-established practice of one law for Israel, and another law for all gentile nations.