Many organizations and groups have protested U.S. president Donald Trump’s decision to sign an executive order on Friday, temporarily barring refugees from entering the country. The President’s decision indefinitely bars all Syrian refugees from entering the United States and puts a 120-day bar on refugees from other 6 Muslim majority countries. Among the many groups panning the decision are members of the Jewish community, who specially condemned the president’s decision to sign such an order on the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, calling it “an ironic tragedy.”
Mark Hetfield, the president of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, speaking with Haaretz.com called the timing of the decision “incredibly offensive.” The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society is a faith-based nonprofit organization that helps refugees settle in the United States.
“It’s a deep and tragic irony that Donald Trump is slamming the door in the faces of refugees right before International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
“It was during the Holocaust that the world shamefully refused to give asylum to Jews and to others who were being murdered or about to be murdered in Nazi Germany.”
Of course Hetfield was referring to the U.S. government’s decision to turn away European refugees during World War II. He pointed out how the whole refugee convention had come out of the Holocaust following the international community’s failure to protect and accept the Jews and other survivors of World War II.
The progressive Jewish organization J Street also released a statement condemning the president’s decision, specifically the fact that it was targeting Muslims, comparing them to the Jews that were turned away by the United States during World War II.
“The fact that President Trump’s order appears designed to specifically limit the entry of Muslims evokes horrible memories. Most ultimately perished in the Holocaust. That episode remains a blot on the conscience of the United States. It is a terrible irony that today, the same day on which this order is to be signed, is also International Holocaust Remembrance Day.”
Jonathan Greenblatt, President of the Anti-Defamation League, emphasized on the timing of Trump’s action calling it “tone deaf.” Greenblatt also criticized the first Holocaust Remembrance Day statement made by President Trump, saying that Trump had failed to mention the fact that most of these victims had been targeted for their religious faith, that is for being Jewish, much like Trump’s orders have targetted Muslims. Here is a part of the statement made by President Trump:
“It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust. It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror.”
Former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, herself a refugee from Czechoslovakia, pointed out that “by specifically targeting Muslim-majority countries for these immigration bans, and by expressing a clear preference for refugees who are religious minorities” Trump had clearly established that his decisions were biased against Muslims.
“And when one faith is targeted, it puts us all at risk.”
Trump decision indefinitely bars all Syrian Refugees from entering the United States and puts refugees from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen on a 120 day bar. Further more, no visa will be issued to the citizens of these seven countries (all Muslim majority) for the next 30 days, until extreme vetting has been applied. Trump justifies his decision saying this action will keep radical Islamist terrorists out of U.S. soil.
“We don’t want to admit the very threats our soldiers are fighting overseas. We only want to admit those that support our country and love, deeply, our people.”
I promise that our administration will ALWAYS have your back. We will ALWAYS be with you! pic.twitter.com/D0aOWhOH4X
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 27, 2017
[Featured Image by Susan Barimo/Getty Images]