opinion: abraham h. miller

HIAS, dumping ‘Hebrew,’ isn’t bubbe’s aid society


In parts of Europe, Jews have been warned that wearing anything that identifies them as Jewish means putting a target on their back. In Stockholm, Jews were asked to stay away from the Kristallnacht remembrance ceremonies for fear of sparking violence. French Jews are immigrating to Israel in increasing numbers. In Manchester, England, special police accompany Jewish children to school. The main synagogue in Florence, Italy, looks like an American military outpost in Afghanistan.

All of this is in response to a growing and flourishing anti-Semitism in Europe reminiscent of the 1930s. And while neo-Nazism and a remnant of fascism still lurk in the netherworld of European society, the new anti-Semitism is a direct consequence of the tide of Muslim immigration that has been rising throughout Europe.

In America, anti-Semitism has become an integral part of academic life (at Vassar College it seems to be central to the learning experience itself). At University of California, San Diego, it is possible to stand at a public forum and call for killing Jews, without the remotest consequence on a campus known for its multi-cultural sensitivity and commitment to diversity. Try expressing such sentiments about any other ethnic group and you would be thrown out of school without even a convening of the campus diversity and opportunity Star Chamber.

Invite a speaker to talk positively about Israel, and the Muslim Student Association and its leftist cohorts will be there to impose the heckler’s veto.

So amid all of this, it stands to reason that sponsoring the absorption of even more Syrian Muslim refugees, who have spent a lifetime being indoctrinated in Jew-hatred, is exactly what the Jewish community in America needs. Right?

That’s the mantra of HIAS, formerly known as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, which last December found that the word “Hebrew” no longer worked and thus dropped it from the organizations’ name. Perhaps “Hebrew” would be off-putting to HIAS’s new clients: Syrian Muslim refugees.

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