You can’t pick up a newspaper, turn on the TV or go online without seeing blanket media coverage of President Trump’s new tougher visa regulations in the US. I have made it clear that I feel his immigration policies are a stain on the USA and on its proud history. While the ban continues to go through the courts, one interesting detail, that has been largely over-looked, is that the executive order was signed on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. What an irony!
However, when you take the time to reflect on the terrible events that took place in Nazi Germany and the lessons for today, one cannot help being appalled at the comparisons between the attempted systemic annihilation of the Jewish people, and a border restriction implemented by a democratically elected government concerned about protecting its citizens. But the comparisons many are making to the Holocaust are outrageous and misguided.
Moreover, making lazy comparisons not only serves to undermine the cause of those genuinely concerned about the negative implications of the visa policy, it also crucially undermines efforts being made to ensure that the real lessons of the Holocaust are learned and the mistakes of the past not repeated today.
Speaking at a joint event with the European Parliament, my friend and constituent, Dr Moshe Kantor, President of the European Jewish Congress said “The Jewish community in Europe is under attack from far-Right, far-Left and radical Islamists. As ever, the only common cause between these groups is hatred of Jews. The best way for European leaders to commemorate the Holocaust, is not just by talking about the past but by re-committing themselves to a safe future, especially for the Jewish community.” These words could equally be applied to western civilisation now.Thursday, February 09, 2017