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The Absurdity of Comparing European Asylums for Migrants with Concentration Camps

Sept. 12 2017

Last month, performances in Germany of the play Auschwitz on the Beach were canceled after much outrage over the work’s central conceit: that Europe is guilty of establishing “concentration camps” for the refugees streaming into its borders, mostly from war-torn or impoverished areas of the Middle East and Africa. Nonetheless, writes Giulio Meotti, such analogies persist:

[F]or the last three years, [European] governments, non-governmental organizations, bureaucrats, charities, and the media have embraced migrants in the millions, welcoming them with open arms. The Jews during World War II—most of whom were turned away, turned in, or betrayed by European governments—were not so fortunate. . . .

The current misrepresentation was first formulated by Sweden’s deputy prime minister, Asa Romson. “We are turning the Mediterranean into the new Auschwitz,” she said. Since then, this sham comparison has entered the European mainstream. . . . Even Pope Francis, who compared a center for migrants to “concentration camps,” adopted this nonsense. . . .

In Italy, currently at the center of the migrant crisis, the “Holocaust comparison” has even entered into the country’s jurisprudence. An Italian tribunal recently ordered the government to pay compensation of 30,000 euros to the municipality of Bari for “damage to the image of the town” caused by the presence of a migrant identification center. “Think about Auschwitz, a place that immediately recalls the concentration camp of the Holocaust and certainly not the Polish town in the vicinity,” the magistrate said. . . .

[Such] dramatic remarks seem to reflect a high degree of guilt by Europeans about not having offered more help to the Jews [during the Holocaust. But] the point is that . . . a debate about immigration—how to manage and control it—is being shut down. On one side, you find people who want to “stop the new Shoah” and, on the other side, “collaborators” who want to stop the large wave of unvetted migrants.

Read more at Gatestone

More about: Europe, Holocaust, Politics & Current Affairs, Refugees

Israel’s Economy Thrives While the Middle East Disintegrates

Jan. 19 2018

Now that the data have come in from 2017, it is clear that the Israeli economy had another successful year, expanding at a rate higher than that of any other advanced country. Israel’s per-capita GDP also grew, placing it above those of France and Japan. Daniel Kryger notes some of the implications regarding the Jewish state’s place in the Middle East:

The contrast between first-world Israel and the surrounding third-world Arab states is larger today than ever before. Israel’s GDP per capita is almost twenty times the GDP per capita of impoverished Egypt and five times larger than semi-developed Lebanon.

Like any human project, Israel is a never-ending work in progress and much work remains to integrate ḥaredi Jews and Israeli Arabs into Israel’s knowledge economy. Properly addressing Israel’s high costs of living requires more economic and legislative reforms and breaking up inefficient oligopolies that keep the prices artificially high. However, by any standard, the reborn Jewish state is a remarkable success story. . . .

Much has changed since OPEC launched its oil embargo against the West after the failed Arab aggression against Israel in October 1973. Before the collapse of the pro-Arab Soviet empire, China and India had no official ties with Israel and many Western and Japanese companies avoided doing business with Israel. Collapsing oil prices have dramatically eroded the power of oil-producing countries. It has become obvious that the future belongs to those who innovate, not those who happen to sit on oil. Israel has today strong commercial ties with China and a thriving partnership with India. Business delegations from Jamaica to Japan are eager to do business with Israel and benefit from Israel’s expertise. . . .

[For its part], the boycott, divest, and sanction (BDS) movement may bully Jewish and pro-Israel students on Western campuses. However, in real life, BDS stands no chance of succeeding against Israel. The reason is simple: reborn Israel has . . . become too valuable a player in the global economy.

Read more at Mida

More about: BDS, Israel & Zionism, Israeli economy, Middle East, OPEC