Global, Israel

These are not the Jews you're looking for

“The men of Sodom waxed haughtily: Why should we suffer wayfarers who come only to deplete our wealth?” —Sanhedrin 109a
My father was born in a displaced persons camp in Germany in 1945 and came with his parents to America as a refugee. My mother’s father stayed in Europe to setup displaced persons camps after the war, eventually emigrating to America as well.
During the war in Yugoslavia, with the help of the JDC, my family took in refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina, who remain dear family friends to this day. During the war in Kosovo, my mother went on a JDC mission with medicine, clothes, and toys for refugees, and brought two of them home with her who stayed with us for a summer.
Throughout my entire youth, my parents took in those who were cast out by unforgiving families and gave them a roof over their heads and opportunities to earn a living and develop professional skills.
These are the foundations of my Jewish experience and Jewish theology.
Abraham, our father, received the blessing of the Lord and his descendants the inheritance of Israel, because he would race to greet wayfarers and provide them with food, shelter, and lovingkindness. He opened his tent on all four sides. But now, instead of looking towards Israel as a model of compassionate and humane refugee policy, the world is turning towards Israel for security fence technology.


This Israel that calls the absorption of Syrian refugees a demographic threat — despite the fact that it would raise the Arab population by one percent, which persists in decimating the will of asylum seekers from Sudan and Eritrea, and which today began building yet another wall to keep refugees out?
It is the most alien and un-Jewish thing I can conceive of. A nation that does not remember they too were strangers cannot rightly call itself Jewish.

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