Both Donald Trump and His Critics Are Wrong about Immigration and Refugees

In issuing the recent restrictions on entry to the U.S., writes Tom Gross, the president has done much damage. But the hysterical reactions of his critics have not displayed much understanding, or ethical discernment:

The executive order is morally unacceptable (it amounts to collective punishment), strategically dubious (since many terrorists are home-grown or came from countries other than those seven), and was initially implemented in a confusing and clumsy way which caused [unnecessary] distress and uncertainty to many travelers, including U.S. residents, even if they were not in the end affected by the order. Additionally, it sets an anti-immigrant tone, when immigrants can hugely benefit their new countries. . . .

But whereas those protesting Trump are in many ways correct, the self-righteousness and double standards of some is troubling. . . . [T]he war in Syria descended into barbarity in part because President Obama encouraged the rebels, and the Sunni majority population of Syria who supported them, promising them arms and protection, and then abandoned them. Obama went on to release billions of dollars in funds to the Iranian regime, whose forces and Shiite militias in Syria have done much, if not most, of the killing there these past six years. The new funds helped the Iranians fuel the effort to cleanse Sunnis from Syria, leading many to seek sanctuary in Europe and beyond. While millions of people in America, Britain, and elsewhere have protested Trump’s refugee policies in just one week, they had little to say about Obama’s foreign policies over the last eight years. . . .

The Guardian’s Owen Jones helped promote last night’s “Emergency demo against Trump’s #MuslimBan” outside [the British prime minister’s residence on] Downing Street. But where was the protest when Israelis were banned from Malaysia and fifteen other Muslim-majority countries—including Yemen, Syria, Libya, Sudan, and Iran, the same countries whose citizens will now face increased vetting before visiting the U.S.? . . .

Donald Trump’s start as president has not been good. But he may yet find creative ways to stop the refugee flow in the first place. He is reportedly in talks with the Saudis about setting up safe zones for Syrians inside Saudi Arabia (if not inside Syria itself), and limiting Iran’s “destabilizing regional activities” in the region. If this works, it could, in the longer term, be more significant in helping Syrians than anything that was done under Obama.

You have 2 free articles left this month

Sign up now for unlimited access

Subscribe Now

Read more at Spectator

More about: Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Immigration, Politics & Current Affairs, Refu, Refugees, Syrian civil war

 

To Israel’s Leading Strategist, Strength, Not Concessions, Has Brought a Measure of Calm

Aug. 14 2018

Following a long and distinguished career in the IDF, Yaakov Amidror served as Israel’s national-security adviser from 2011 to 2013. He speaks with Armin Rosen about the threats from Gaza, Hizballah, and Iran:

For Israel’s entire existence, would-be peacemakers have argued that the key to regional harmony is the reduction of the Jewish state’s hard power through territorial withdrawals and/or the legitimization of the country’s non-state enemies. In Amidror’s view, reality has thoroughly debunked this line of reasoning.

Amidror believes peace—or calm, at least—came as a result of Israeli muscle. Israel proved to its former enemies in the Sunni Arab world that it’s powerful enough to fill the vacuum left by America’s exit from the region and to stand up to Iran on the rest of the Middle East’s behalf. “The stronger Israel is, the more the ability of Arab countries to cooperate [with it] grows,” Amidror explained. On the whole, Amidror said he’s “very optimistic. I remember the threat that we faced when we were young. We fought the Six-Day War and I remember the Yom Kippur War, and I see what we are facing today. We have only one-and-a-half problems. One problem is Iran, and the half-problem is Hizballah.” . . .

In all likelihood the next Israeli-Iranian confrontation will be a clash with Amidror’s half-threat: the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hizballah, Iran’s most effective proxy in the Middle East and perhaps the best armed non-state military force on earth. . . . “We should neutralize the military capability of Hizballah,” [in the event of war], he said. “We should not destroy the organization as a political tool. If the Shiites want these people to represent them, it’s their problem.” . . .

“It will be a very nasty war,” Amidror said. “A very, very nasty war.” Hizballah will fire “thousands and thousands” of long-range missiles of improved precision, speed, and range at Israeli population centers, a bombardment larger than Israel’s various layers of missile defense will be able to neutralize in full. . . . This will, [however], be a blow Israel can withstand. “Israelis will be killed, no question,” Amidror said. “But it’s not going to be catastrophic.”

You have 1 free article left this month

Sign up now for unlimited access

Subscribe Now

Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Lebanon