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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

The Movement to Return Jewish Worship to the Temple Mount Has Gone Mainstream

Sept. 25 2017

During the eruption of violence against Israelis in Jerusalem this summer, and the subsequent struggle over metal detectors, the Islamic authorities briefly boycotted the Temple Mount. As a result, Jewish visitors, normally prohibited from praying there, immediately began to do so. Meir Soloveichik puts the episode in context and describes its meaning:

The Temple Mount is fast becoming a pilgrimage site for religious Jews. In the past, most abstained from visiting out of concern that they might enter a sacred area in a state of ritual impurity, but many now believe that, with a knowledge of the layout, history, and religious laws pertaining to the location, it is permissible to visit certain parts of the Temple Mount plaza. They thus visit the site under religious guidance—immersing first in a ritual bath, or mikveh—and tread only in specific areas. What was once a trickle of pilgrims has become a stream, and this year they numbered in the many thousands. . . .

[Indeed, a] sea change has taken place in the past fifteen years: . . . the segment of Jews visiting the Temple Mount is becoming more and more mainstream, supported by rabbis noted for their liberalism in social or religious affairs. . . .

Visiting Jews were, for a brief and brilliant moment [this summer], able to utter several words of prayer without interference. The Israeli media published photos of a diverse group of Jews standing on the Temple Mount reciting the kaddish, so close to where their ancestors, on Yom Kippur, had once stood listening to the high priest pronounce the Name of God. Soon after this kaddish, the [status quo ante] returned; Jews again were no longer free to pray at the site toward which all Jewish prayer has been directed for thousands of years. But images of that one unimpeded kaddish remain; to study them is to look back on the miraculous and heartbreaking past half-century in Jerusalem, to celebrate what has been achieved, and to mourn what might have been.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Judaism, Palestinian terror, Religion & Holidays, Temple Mount