With Open Doors and Closed Eyes, Europe Welcomes Refugees

Oct. 26 2015

The massive influx of refugees from the wars, disorders, and economic malaise of the Middle East and North Africa was spurred on by Angela Merkel’s announcement in August that Germany would allow entry to some 800,000 Syrian migrants. Christopher Caldwell explains that the burden of Merkel’s decision will be borne not just by Germany but by its European neighbors:

There is not much willingness to acknowledge the civilizational complexity of the situation into which Germany has now dragged all of its Central European neighbors. Cant rules. . . . The former foreign minister Joschka Fischer has warned that Europe “must not sacrifice its basic values.” By this he means it must remain vigilant against ancient forms of intolerance. New forms of intolerance and complacency escape his gaze. . . .

None dare mention Islam. One young Syrian-Austrian religion professor told the daily Der Standard that five of her students had gone off to join Islamic State. “But Islam is not the problem,” she insists. Germanness is not mentioned, either. The Germans are often referred to in German-language accounts as die einheimische Bevölkerung—the native population. Nor do Austrians give the impression of having great resources of self-knowledge. . . .

There is something in this that reminds one of the financial crisis of 2008. Like a too-big-to-fail bank, Merkel has made a bet that will allow her to pocket the credit if she succeeds and spread the baleful consequences to others if she fails. It appears now that she is going to fail. Her defenders exult that she is showing a different face of Germany than the one the world knows from the last century of its history. It is premature to say so. Merkel is showing the face of a Germany that is acting unilaterally, claiming superior moral authority, and answering those who object by saying they’ll thank her for this someday. As such, she is dragging the whole European continent toward unrest. No German role is older.

Read more at Weekly Standard

More about: Angela Merkel, Austria, European Islam, European Union, Germany, Refugees


The Right and Wrong Ways for the U.S. to Support the Palestinians

Sept. 29 2023

On Wednesday, Elliott Abrams testified before Congress about the Taylor Force Act, passed in 2018 to withhold U.S. funds from the Palestinian Authority (PA) so long as it continues to reward terrorists and their families with cash. Abrams cites several factors explaining the sharp increase in Palestinian terrorism this year, among them Iran’s attempt to wage proxy war on Israel; another is the “Palestinian Authority’s continuing refusal to fight terrorism.” (Video is available at the link below.)

As long as the “pay for slay” system continues, the message to Palestinians is that terrorists should be honored and rewarded. And indeed year after year, the PA honors individuals who have committed acts of terror by naming plazas or schools after them or announcing what heroes they are or were.

There are clear alternatives to “pay to slay.” It would be reasonable for the PA to say that, whatever the crime committed, the criminal’s family and children should not suffer for it. The PA could have implemented a welfare-based system, a system of family allowances based on the number of children—as one example. It has steadfastly refused to do so, precisely because such a system would no longer honor and reward terrorists based on the seriousness of their crimes.

These efforts, like the act itself, are not at all meant to diminish assistance to the Palestinian people. Rather, they are efforts to direct aid to the Palestinian people rather than to convicted terrorists. . . . [T]he Taylor Force Act does not stop U.S. assistance to Palestinians, but keeps it out of hands in the PA that are channels for paying rewards for terror.

[S]hould the United States continue to aid the Palestinian security forces? My answer is yes, and I note that it is also the answer of Israel and Jordan. As I’ve noted, PA efforts against Hamas or other groups may be self-interested—fights among rivals, not principled fights against terrorism. Yet they can have the same effect of lessening the Iranian-backed terrorism committed by Palestinian groups that Iran supports.

Read more at Council on Foreign Relations

More about: Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, U.S. Foreign policy