Slowing immigration from a few select countries and strengthening our vetting process is neither racist nor Islamophobic. 

Last week a friend of mine sent me a letter from Rabbi Z in Columbus regarding the recent executive order on immigration by the Trump administration.

Immigration, refugees – an extremely tough, emotional issue, especially for Jews.

We all know the story of our being freed from slavery in Egypt.  We also are keenly aware of our recent history in Europe. I once attended a conference where a Holocaust survivor described leaving Europe on a plane, he could see the awesomeness of the size of the world that we live in. He said he didn’t understand why there couldn’t be a small little spot on this huge planet for him to feel safe and secure, as tears streamed down his aging face.

There are many recently settled refugees here in Columbus, Ohio. There is the “refugee road project,” where Syrian families are living now. I am extremely proud of our community, which has been at the forefront of helping and welcoming these families from Somalia and, in recent years, Syria. It is a real mitzvah to help these people who came for a better life and to escape, in many cases, oppression and war.

We all know that Jews escaping the Holocaust as refugees faced almost certain death if they didn’t find a home. The world, including the United States, was not welcoming.

There was no place for them to go, there was no Israel. I get it. In the case of today’s refugees from Syria, however, one can argue the cause of this terrible refugee problem was due to then-President Barack Obama sitting on his hands during the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Syrians. It is ironic that many on the left who said and did nothing during these terrible years are now at the forefront of letting refugees into our country with unfettered and unvetted access. Even the Obama administration said that they couldn’t possibly check on every person especially from a failed state like Syria.

The difference is that there are 22 Arab countries, and most of them have done nothing to help their own people. See Saudi Arabia’s empty tent city. There could have been safe zones established within Syria, but that didn’t happen either.

Anti-Semitism at Unprecedented Levels Before Trump’s Election

We are living in very dangerous times. Anti-Semitism has been rising over the last decade. The anti-Semitism that we have seen worldwide in cities like Paris and Malmo, and now on our college campuses, is at unprecedented levels. Many (myself included) have been screaming about this for years.

Immigration, Refugees, Islamophobia

Screenshot from the documentary ‘Crossing the Line 2,’ which shows rising anti-Semitism on US campuses. (Courtesy)

It is not a new phenomenon since Trump became president… Stop it!

The rise in anti-Semitism has been mostly from Muslims and the left. The Black Lives Matter movement has morphed into Black Lives/Palestinian Lives Matter. In short, it has been coopted as yet another outlet for the left’s hatred of Israel.

You can deny it all you want, you can call me Islamophobic (a ridiculous characterization of a real problem) or you can face reality. Jews and Christians do not fare well in today’s world in Muslim-majority countries. Period. Jews and Christians are not faring well in countries with large influxes of Muslims. Muslims are not a minority group. They compromise almost a third of the earth’s population. We are the minority group. Before you start with the nonsense of calling me a racist or a xenophobe, think about this for a minute. In the past year, during the Obama administration, most of the refugees let into our country were Muslim. Over 13,000 Muslims, compared to just 700 Christians. I ask you, who is the supremacist, the racist, the xenophobe here?  Christians have been specifically targeted for the most horrible crimes by ISIS, yet they find it difficult to immigrate to the United States. Doesn’t that bother you? Or is it the fact that Christians are not the “protected” group du jour?

Neither an Islamophobe nor a Bigot. Just a Realist

I do not hate Muslims. I do not hate far-left rabbis. I don’t hate anyone… er, OK, maybe a few, but not generally. I am, however, a realist. Jews have enjoyed freedom, success in our country to date – partly because there is a State of Israel, I believe – and I want to see that continue.

Unfettered Islamic immigration into Sweden has created many No Go zones in that country for Jews and, for that matter, any Swedish non-Muslims. If you really want to understand what’s happening, just look at Malmo, which once boasted a huge Jewish community. Now Jews cannot wear yarmulkes in public for fear of being beaten up – or worse. There is now an exodus from Sweden – I purposely use that word, with all its power.

Paris has become a haven for North African Islamists. We all know what is happening in France.

I would like nothing more than to see our Abrahamic brothers get over their anti-Semitism and assimilate into our open, accepting cultures. I am a person who loves immigrants, learning about other cultures -their food and their customs. I just want to make sure that we do it with our eyes wide open and that we don’t commit suicide because some on the left cannot discern between what is real and what is not.

For example, Rabbi Z of Temple Israel in Columbus, Ohio, in a letter to his congregation, discussed Islamophobia and was proud to share stage with the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Do you know who these people are? They were founded by Hamas and the Muslim brotherhood. They are unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation case (look it up and read about it before you criticize me). Would Rabbi Z be so proud to have spoken on the same stage as, say, the KKK?

Rabbi Z, where were your protests against the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Syrians, some with the use of chemical weapons?  Where were your protests against Iran, which consistently strengthens its proxies, aiming hundreds of thousands of rockets at our brethren in Israel? Where were your protests at the constant threats by Iran to destroy Israel … Remember, there are 6 million Jews there. Or did you not protest because it wasn’t popular in your circles?

I just cannot understand some of our clergy.  I am a huge believer in helping others, but I am not a huge believer in committing collective suicide so that some of you can feel less guilty.

Slowing immigration from a few select countries and strengthening our vetting process is neither racist nor Islamophobic. It is a mature, reasonable response to a real problem. The targeted countries allow no reliable vetting process and, quite frankly, they are dangerous.

Article by Larry Levine

Originally from Long Island, New York, Larry Levine lives in Columbus Ohio. He is an award-winning businessman/pro-Israel activist, writer. Also a standup comedian and talk show host whose guests included Jay Leno, Alexander Haig and Paul Reiser.