Before Hitler implemented his horrible “final solution” Many nations had the opportunity to save Jews. In the United States, for example, the number of immigrants was limited to 153,744 per year, divided by country of origin. On top of that, entry requirements were so tough that available quotas were often not filled. Other countries, particularly those in Latin America, adopted immigration policies that were similar or even more restrictive than the US, thus closing the doors to prospective immigrants from the Third Reich. Great Britain, while somewhat more liberal than the United States on the entry of immigrants, took measures to severely limit Jewish immigration to Palestine to appease the Arabs. In May 1939, the British issued a “White Paper” stipulating that only 75,000 Jewish immigrants would be allowed to enter Palestine over the course of the next five years (10,000 a year, plus an additional 25,000). This decision prevented hundreds of thousands of Jews from escaping the gas chambers. Remember the St Louis? The ship departed from Hamburg, Germany, on May 13, 1939. The 937 passengers were mostly German Jews. Cuba and then the United States denied these refugees entry. On 4 June 1939, the St. Louis was refused permission to unload on orders of President Roosevelt as the ship waited in the Caribbean Sea between Florida and Cuba. Initially, Roosevelt showed limited willingness to take in some of those on board, but vehement opposition came from Roosevelt’s Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, and from Southern Democrats— some of whom went so far as to threaten to withhold their support of Roosevelt in the 1940 Presidential election if this occurred.The St. Louis then tried to enter Canada but was denied as well. Running low on food and supplies the St. Louis was forced to return to Europe on June 6.
After difficult negotiations, initiated by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the ship was able to dock in Antwerp, Belgium, and the governments of Belgium, Holland, France, and the United Kingdom agreed to accept the refugees. By 1940, all of the passengers, except those who escaped to England, found themselves once again under Nazi rule. A number of these Jewish refugees, who had seen the lights of Miami, subsequently perished in the Holocaust (source US Holocaust Museum)
This is how the Jews were treated when they tried to escape Nazi Europe…this is how Ehud Olmert’s government wants to treat the Sudanese refugees. These refugees are trying to escape the campaign of rape/torture and murder waged in the Darfur region by Muslim death squads appointed by their government. Estimates of a half a million killed by the Arab “militias” in Darfur have been reported.
So far about 2,500 of the refugees from Darfur have made their way into Israel. Olmart has made an agreement with Egypt to send them to Egypt where they will f more torture. I submit to you that Olmert’s intention to rid Israel of the refugees not only shows that he is blind to Jewish history but is a despicable affront to the Jewish tradition of helping others. I am not a Rabbi but I will bet you that it is also an affront to Halacha.
Folks I have talked about Darfur before, you guys know how horrible things are. PLEASE take the time to e-mail Ehud Olmert [email protected]— remind him that the Jewish people were created to be a shining light of truth to the nation. That’s what that chosen people thing is all about. We were chosen to show other people how to act. We need to remind Olmert that he must act with the love and compassion that others did not show us in the 1930s. The refugees are guests in our tent, we must not kick them out
SHEERA CLAIRE FRENKEL and JPOST.COM STAFF, THE JERUSALEM POST
Israel has a moral imperative to provide shelter for the Sudanese refugees and stop their deportation to Egypt, according to a petition signed by more than half the Knesset this week. The petition was signed by 63 MKs from across the political spectrum including Opposition Chairman Binyamin Netanyahu, and MKs Amir Peretz (Labor), Effie Eitam (NU-NRP), and Dov Henin (Hadash). It was initiated by a group of students from universities in Jerusalem and Beersheba. “The refugees need protection and sanctuary, and the Jewish people’s history as well as the values of democracy and humanity pose a moral imperative for us to give them that shelter,” read the petition. The MKs proposed that Israel allow the refugees to stay until an arrangement can be made to find them asylum abroad. In the past, Ghana, Kenya and Eritrea have been proposed as possible safe havens for the refugees. The legislators also suggested that the government should implement its plan to build a security fence between Israel and Egypt to stop the flow of smuggling that allowed the refugees to cross into Israel. More than 2,400 African refugees are currently in Israel, with nearly half of them from Sudan. Last month, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced that he had reached an agreement with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to deport the refugees. The decision was denounced by human rights organizations who said that there are human rights abuses being perpetrated against the refugees in Egypt and that Mubarak cannot assure their safety. While the government has currently said that it will consider allowing the 300-400 refugees from the Darfur region of Sudan stay in Israel, the MKs petition calls for all the Sudanese to be given asylum. As part of the agreement with Israel, Egypt has been stepping up efforts to stop the flow of refugees into Israel. This week, IDF soldiers patrolling the border said that the Egyptians have taken overly aggressive measures. In an interview with Channel Ten news Thursday night, an IDF reserve soldier said that he had witnessed Egyptian soldiers killing four Sudanese who were straddling the border. According to the soldier, female IDF troops operating night vision devices identified several refugees approaching the border in an attempt to infiltrate Israel and alerted other soldiers who arrived after a few minutes in an army jeep. However, Egyptian troops who also discovered the refugees, fired upon them, immediately killing two and wounding a third. A fourth refugee ran towards the fence and an IDF soldier stretched out his hands, trying to help him cross. At that point, the soldier recalled, two Egyptian soldiers arrived and started pulling at the refugee’s legs. “It was literally like we were playing ‘tug of war’ with this man,” the soldier said. The soldier eventually loosened his grip on the man, fearing the Egyptians would shoot him. “They were aiming loaded weapons straight at us, I was afraid they were going to shoot us,” he said. The Egyptians then carried the man several meters away from the border fence, and proceeded to beat him and another wounded refugee to death with stones and clubs. “What happened there yesterday was a lynch. These are not men, they’re animals. They killed him without even using firearms,” the soldier said. “We just heard screams of pain and the sounds of beatings. Then the screams stopped.” The entire event was caught on IDF tapes, but the soldier said that his commanders, who were not at the site, would not dare watch them. A Channel 10 commentator said the channel preferred not to show the tape, so as not to cause a diplomatic row with Egypt. Egyptian authorities said that they would investigate the incident.