February 8, 2017

US visa rules no Holocaust

US visa rules no Holocaust

Comparing the Trump administration’s new US visa rules to the Holocaust is misguided and outrageous, says Mike Freer MP.

You can’t pick up a newspaper, turn on the TV or go online without seeing blanket media coverage of President Trump’s new tougher visa regulations in the US. I have made it clear that I feel his immigration policies are a stain on the USA and on its proud history. While the ban continues to go through the courts, one interesting detail, that has been largely over-looked, is that the executive order was signed on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. What an irony!

However, when you take the time to reflect on the terrible events that took place in Nazi Germany and the lessons for today, one cannot help being appalled at the comparisons between the attempted systemic annihilation of the Jewish people, and a border restriction implemented by a democratically elected government concerned about protecting its citizens. But the comparisons many are making to the Holocaust are outrageous and misguided.

Moreover, making lazy comparisons not only serves to undermine the cause of those genuinely concerned about the negative implications of the visa policy, it also crucially undermines efforts being made to ensure that the real lessons of the Holocaust are learned and the mistakes of the past not repeated today.

Speaking at a joint event with the European Parliament, my friend and constituent, Dr Moshe Kantor, President of the European Jewish Congress said “The Jewish community in Europe is under attack from far-Right, far-Left and radical Islamists. As ever, the only common cause between these groups is hatred of Jews. The best way for European leaders to commemorate the Holocaust, is not just by talking about the past but by re-committing themselves to a safe future, especially for the Jewish community.” These words could equally be applied to western civilisation now.

One thing that the so-called “Muslim ban” has done is show that the public is willing to stand up for the free society they believe in and help the refugees. When I reflect on my visit to Auschwitz a few years ago, my overwhelming memory is the anger I felt at all those who let this atrocity take place. Next to the town of Auschwitz-Birkenau there is a town called Oswiecim, it had an estimated pre-war population of 12,000 people of which 58% were Jewish. Whilst the town’s people lived and worked peacefully together, after the war started the community’s Jewish population was decimated.  Why didn’t anyone do more to protect what was right, not just in that town but across the world?

Listening to survivors this year in my constituency was as harrowing as it is sobering. We need to work harder than ever to make sure we learn the lessons of the Holocaust. As Moshe Kantor discussed in an audience with Pope Francis, governments and society at large must work together to stand-up to right-wing extremism and challenge hatred wherever it rears its ugly head.

As we reflect on the horrific and unprecedented events that took place in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s, we must ensure that we do not passively stand by and allow extremism and intolerance to flourish again in our midst today, but fight for what we know is right.  I am proud that so many are willing to make their voices heard and defend complete strangers living many thousands of miles away.

While I do not want to draw parallels between today and the 1930’s, we must all remember that Hitler’s rise was not by stealth but rather as the result of an election. War-torn Germany needed a new voice and to take it in a new direction. Along came an individual who put his hand up and offered a new way. The public bought into it and voted, few could have imagined the atrocities that followed, but it is clear the path they sought was change.

In today’s troubled world, it sometimes seems we are in danger of repeating the mistakes of the past. I agree that we must not be complacent and that dangerous seeds are being sowed. However, I would also caution against taking a more apocalyptic view, I am determined that we should all use our voices for good and not seek to undermine the values on which our country has been built.

As Primo Levi famously wrote, “Monsters exist, but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the common men, the functionaries ready to believe and to act without asking questions.”  Let us internalise Primo Levi’s harrowing and eternal warning, let us heed the siren calls of Jewish leaders like Moshe Kantor and let us listen to our own conscious so we can ensure we do not sacrifice our democratic principles.

3.00 avg. rating (69% score) - 2 votes
Mike Freer MP
Mike Freer is the Conservative Member of Parliament for Finchley and Golders Green. He is a Vice Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Jews.
  • Shadow Warrior

    Hammond is continuity Brown. He is a hand-wringing lefty looking for clever wheezes to raise more tax in ways that people don’t immediately notice.

  • captainslugwash

    I predict the Budget will attempt to show the Left how caring the Tories are, and it will be funded by screwing over the working man.
    If Corp Tax comes down, I bet Divi tax will be going up.
    I would love to be wrong.

  • skynine

    We really need to look at tax credits, in particular in work tax credits that encourage people to work part time to preserve the benefits. 45% of women work part time and I would hazard a guess that tax credits are the main cause. This leads to low pay, low skill work in supermarkets and the retail sector including coffee shops. The government needs to get back to the employer paying people to do a job for economic reasons rather than to get onto the tax credit ladder. Like all government benefits it distorts the market and diverts government expenditure into non productive areas.
    The refrain that the government has cut expenditure is not true, it increases every year as more and more goes into welfare.

  • MrVeryAngry

    fat chance

  • MrSauce

    So, when wouldn’t we want a ‘budget for growth’?

  • Rob

    I note that the UK Government has just slapped on a 25% tax charge for anyone moving abroad and wishing to move out their private pension from the UK.

  • SonofBoudica

    The Remoaners will do their utmost to sabotage the Government’s negotiating position. They do not want a successful outcome; they want a failure. They want to be able to scream “Told you so!” from the rooftops.

  • EnglandLaments

    Thank goodness for Andrew Neil, the one media hack who scares the pants off the established politicians. He was spot on with Heidi Allen!

  • joshuafalken

    I had a very long, hard, studied and considered look at the hope, care and aspirations of all Europeans, before I voted to get the UK out of the toxic grasp of Brussels.

    The European Union and it’s charge of “ever closer union” has borrowed and spent its way to oblivion, whilst enslaving the working and middle classes in debt.

    The central control mantra of the unaccountable Brussels ruling elite, delivered through a mixture of socialism, globalism and corporatism is entirely responsible for the populist revolt by the millions of “Just About Managings” across Europe.

    We must remember the ultimate goal of socialists, globalists and corporatists is control, not prosperity. see https://mises.org/blog/goal-socialists-socialism-—-not-prosperity.

    Social equality and economic growth always fail under central control and fighting against the Brussels doctrine on behalf of all Europeans is why I voted for Brexit.

    Britain has a long history of helping Europeans depose tyrants and Brussels is just the latest incarnation.

    Britain is the most racially advanced and accepting society on the planet. We welcome those in need and those that can help us with open arms and a smile; that will not change.

    We are also one of the most innovative, talented and open societies in the world, which why everyone wants to live here. However, we cannot fit everyone in, so we have to have clear, balanced and fair immigration policy which is where the arguments start between the monetarists and humanists will never be reconciled.

    I thought long and hard before coming to the conclusion that leaving the EU was in the best interest of all Europeans, as Brussels is toxic and cannot be reformed from within.

    Also, I find it insulting that people who voted Remain have insufficient faith in British ingenuity, compassion and skill to get a good deal for us and see the Europe that we love get a better deal from Brussels and the reform that European people deserve. https://mishtalk.com/2017/03/29/bad-brexit-deal-better-than-no-deal-mathematical-idiocy-odds-of-no-deal/ and https://www.worldheadlines.info/2017/03/after-brexit-9-reasons-to-be-bullish-on-great-britain/

    The politics of left verses right are dead because neither have delivered the promised economic growth and social mobility for anyone, but themselves. The populists are not selfish per-se, they just want to take back control of their own destiny that left/right politicians have freely given away and/or exploited for their own ends. In my constituency, the local residents group are taking over the councils as politicians ignore voters, so Westminster should beware of the well-organised, local resident independents at the next election. This is a peoples revolution which should be shouted from the rooftops, but liberals remained deafened by the socialist, globalist and corporatist “vested interests” that have spectacularly failed us and are obediently crying foul and fake.

    There will be an initial unpalatable inflationary cost to fighting globalism and rolling back central control that few appear to have factored in, but dismantling failed left/right vested interests should eventually free libertarian socially-conservative capitalism from the shackles of TBTF corporatism to feed economic growth and social mobility.

  • agdpa

    The EU usually makes the wrong decision – on immigration, on freedom of movement, on the euro, on the Ukraine, etc. etc. Little hope it will get Brexit right.

  • brownowl

    Eh? Reference please!

  • Neil2

    Sod caring. Screw the spongers and breeders. Kill HS2. Stop all “green” subsidies. Slash “foreign aid” and walk away from the EUSSR with immediate effect.

  • Rob
  • John C

    What a confused article. It conflates surveillance by the security services with poor defences against fraud.

  • John C

    Err, it’s the UK that’s leaving the EU, not vice versa.

  • John C

    Me, now. ‘Growth’ is a manic obsession.

  • La Face Nord

    Mr Redwood – are you aware of the Biased BBC website? It’s been exposing their agenda for a long time, but I imagine you’ve been well aware of the BBC’s agenda for quite some time…

  • Contact Rvtech

    The post is great

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