Trump’s proposal to ban the entry into US of Muslims is no more racist than similar established policies which raised no outcry by US or anyone else. (Published originally in jewishpress.com.)
With the country, and now, slowly parts of the rest of the world, in a state of outrage over presidential candidate Donald Trump’s controversial statement to cut off immigration and visits by foreign Muslims to the U.S., it is worth noting that Trump is not the first major figure to suggest that a certain class of humans be barred from entry into a country.
Of the following examples, however, there are two significant differences between Trump’s call and that of all the others. See if you can come up with the two differences by the end of this article.
First, what did Trump actually call for? Did he, as some claim, call for all Muslim Americans to leave? No. What he did call for was a halt to Muslim immigration and tourists into the U.S.
Trump’s Call for a Ban
“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” a campaign press release said.
The ban Trump is seeking is based on what he called “the hatred [which] is beyond comprehension.” It is his view that his proposed ban should remain in place “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”
Trump called for the ban on Muslim entry into the U.S. in the wake of the terrorist attack in San Bernardino last week by two previously unknown radicalized Muslims who entered the U.S., Syed Farook and his wife, Nashfeen Malik. While few Americans ever met Malik, Farook was accepted as a “normal,” “average American,” and the two were understood to be “living the American dream,” until the moment they began blasting Farook’s co-workers and associates to death in a bloody rampage which claimed the lives of 14 and injured many more on Dec. 2, 2105.
Trump made what has become known as his “No Muslim” speech on Dec. 7, first in a written statement, which was followed up by a press conference, a video of which is at the end of this article.
Reaction to Trump’s Call for a Ban
Trump has been excoriated – or at least held at a distance with disgust – by leadership in the Democratic and Republican parties, by worldwide media, by colleagues and competitors. An aide to U.S. President Obama suggested Trump is “not qualified” to run for president. He has been attacked by Americans, by a Nobel Prize winner (Egypt’s El Baradei), by hundreds of thousands of Brits, and even by Israelis.
As reported earlier in the Jewish Press, several Opposition Knesset Members and at least one coalition MK signed a letter demanding that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancel a scheduled Dec. 28 meeting with Donald Trump during the Republican presidential candidate’s planned visit. Zionist Union MK Omer Bar Lev called Trump a racist, and Arab Member of Knesset Ahmed Tibi called the presidential contender a Nazi.
Another Arab MK who is a member of the Meretz party, Esawi Frej, said “Trump is not just a racist; he is a man who poses a threat to the free world. A man who through racist incitement tries to gain the post of US president. A man whose presence in the public sphere is based on racism.”
Precedent Set in the US
Daniel Greenfield immediately recalled and posted an article in FrontPage, reminding Americans that then-President Jimmy Carter, during the Iranian Hostage crisis, banned the entry of Iranians into the United States. On April 7, 1980, Carter announced U.S. sanctions against Iran, which included the invalidation of all visas issued to Iranian citizens for future entry into the United States, effective today. We will not reissue visas, nor will we issue new visas, except for compelling and proven humanitarian reasons or where the national interest of our own country requires. This directive will be interpreted very strictly.
Imagine that. Arguably one of the most liberal U.S. presidents ever issued a blanket ban on an entire class of people, because some of them had brutalized Americans.
And guess what? There was no huge outcry over Carter’s ban. No demands that Carter be banned from entry into, say, Britain. Nor did any subsequent American administration ever issue a censure deeming Carter having been unworthy of holding the office of President of the United States, something that the Obama administration has said about Trump because of his proposed ban.
So, there is a fairly recent precedent for banning an entire class of people in the United States.
16 Countries Ban Israelis
Greenfield isn’t the only one on the ball, and America isn’t the only place where national/religious bans are accepted without much pushback, let alone hysteria.
Yair Rosenberg, an American journalist, pointed out on Twitter what should already be an obvious fact, and one for which there has been little public criticism, at least none that has risen to the level of eliciting the ire of major political parties, religious groups or public figures.
Rosenberg pointed out that there are currently 16 countries in the world which completely ban the entry of Israelis. No one is permitted to enter the following nations with an Israeli passport: Algeria, Bangladesh, Brunei, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
Please, choke back any response that consists of something along the lines of: “well, those are Arab or Muslim countries, we expect more of a U.S. presidential candidate.” Anyone who considers acceptable because “to be expected” the blanket banning of Israelis by any nation, yet is outraged to action by The Donald must be prepared to be called a hypocrite.
And just to point out the extent of the mass hypocrisy regarding national or religious entry bans Rosenberg also pointed out that five of these 16 Arab/Muslim nations which bar Israelis from entering are currently “members of the United Nations Human Rights Council. No Punchline.” *Drop mic.*
Palestinian Authority Categorically Rejects Jews
But there is yet another, even more straightforward way to reveal the hypocrisy of those hysterically denouncing Trump’s suggestion of a temporary ban on Muslim entry into the United States.
This is the already declared position of Mahmoud Abbas, the acting president of the Palestinian Authority, who has unequivocally announced that there will be no Jews – not one, not ever – in the nation he hopes will arise: Palestine.
The precondition of a Judenrein nation has never been rejected as racist, xenophobic, undemocratic, discriminatory or anything else at all either by this American administration which has struggled for the past seven years to help birth Palestine, nor any previous ones. Nor has any other nation or national leader or self-declared human rights activist, civil rights activist or other do-gooders challenged that precondition to statehood.
‘Hypocrisy and Double Standards’
This point was made first by Kay Wilson, a resident of Israel. Wilson tweeted early Wednesday morning, in response to the Trump brouhaha, that she hoped the next will be “when the whole world” is “outraged by Abbas” who has said there will be “no Jews in Palestine.”
Wilson is particularly attuned to the hatefulness and incitement of the Palestinian Authority. In late 2010, she and a friend were stabbed repeatedly and left to die by two Palestinian Arabs who tried to murder them both, just because it was assumed they were Jews. As it turned out, Wilson’s friend, Kristine Luken, who died from the assault, was a Christian. Wilson was stabbed with a machete 13 times. She was stabbed with such ferocity, that 30 of Wilson’s bones were shattered in the attack.
When asked by the JewishPress.com why she was claiming the Trump detractors were being hypocritical, Wilson, who, despite her trauma is a funny and loving person, laid out her response.
Wilson said that Jews being upset by Trump’s statement was not particularly surprising because “speaking up for our neighbour is both a calling and a conviction – born out of our task as Jews – to be ‘our brothers keeper.’”
What outraged Wilson, however, was what she described as planted “amongst this ruckus of goodwill” was “a concoction of hypocrisy and double standards of the international community towards the Jewish people.”
Nobody Speaks Out Against ‘Jew-Free’ State
This is because although the PA’s Abbas has always made it clear, openly and repeatedly, that any future Palestinian state will be “Jew-free.”
From the time Abbas took over as leader of the Palestinian Authority, Wilson pointed out, “he made it clear that ANY future state under his jurisdiction will be “Jew-free.” But, she bemoans, “there has not been one politician, one spokesman, one foreign dignitary or one non-Jewish community that has EVER had the courage, the moral fortitude or just the plain common decency to speak out.
“There have been no op-eds, 24/7 news coverage, street protests or even tweets about this form of racism. And there have never been any public protests from the Muslim community to ‘be my brothers keeper,’” said Wilson.
So what are the two differences between Trump’s ban and all the others? The first is obvious, the lack of outrage. The utter lack of concern by the entire world that Israelis are barred from entry into other countries simply because they are from the only Jewish State in the world. The other? Trump is a businessman, he is not in any position of power, at least not yet. The other bans were all made by people who were or are in positions of leadership, equipped to, or already enforcing such a ban.