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 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.
  • French Frankie

    Not a Trump supporter. Wow, True really into your strawmen aren’t you. Do you clap yourself on the back when you defeat you monsters under the bed too?

  • obbo12

    Yeah mach talk it all you Trump supporters are good at . We will win but just no court case. Written by a moron, signed by halfwit and struck down by judges

  • French Frankie

    Again, your discussing something all by yourself. Do go back and read the thread and see where you’ve gone wrong.

  • obbo12

    ST=till no case filled at the supreme court.

  • French Frankie

    You double down their fella; you’re need to be right is so allencompassing that you’ll build a straw man argument just to knock it down. Like I’ve said many times; vanity, vanity all is vanity.

  • obbo12

    Blah blah, it’s so well drafted that Trump isn’t going to take it to the supreme court.

  • French Frankie

    This discusssion did involve the legality of the document. It was about it being ‘like excluding the Jews during ww2″. Now evidently you can’t maintain that argument so you’ve change de the goal posts.
    But well done, you’ve refrained from personal insults this time (directed at me anyway).

  • obbo12

    You mean that Judges ruling that document written by halfwit is illegal.

  • French Frankie

    Oh dear, now you’re reverting to type. Never mind, any progress means taking steps backwards on the journey. Try again.

  • obbo12

    Blah blah blah. Judges say different.

  • BonniePrinceCharlie

    You still don’t get it, do you Mike. It’s not a Muslim ban. It’s a temporary moratorium on allowing in people from 7 countries identified by the Obama administration as being terrorist hotpots while America reviews its vetting procedures. People seem to forget – or perhaps they didn’t know – that the wife and accomplice of the San Bernardino terrorist had been allowed into America under the current vetting system. Are there any more ‘sleepers’ who’ve slipped in the same way?

  • French Frankie

    You see, now you’re starting to develop an argument rather than just insulting people; I’m glad to see that once again our dialogue is helping you to grow as a person. Now, how about using evidence to back up these claims. Remember PEE. Good boy.

  • obbo12

    Yet again you persist in repeating the lie that white house did not ban green cards from entering the US, overruling Homeland security. Bannon and Trump didn’t even let the Trump appointed White house council look at the order. They are too stupid to work out that having lawyer look at the order might be a good idea. So when the a judge overruled, what do we get, moronic comments from the dear leader blaming judges for his own stupidity. Even his own Supreme court nominee criticised Trump for his comments. Trump isn’t tough, he isn’t strong, he is a pub bore shooting his mouth off with no idea how to actually govern.

    Regan ran a government and won the cold war with the help of smart experienced advisors who were competent. Trump appoints yes men that don’t understand the basics of the law.

  • French Frankie

    Erm what lie, mines a quote substantiating my point. Where’s yours? Notice this time you’re not including abusive language – well done, you’re developing as a human being. Bet your mum’s proud.

  • obbo12

    Yeah yeah, any excuse to keep up the lie you have been caught it.

  • French Frankie

    No, it’s because I can’t be assed finding it, but I’m responding anyway as listening to your little rants is amusing me. Stomp, stomp, stomp go your iddy, biddy feet so every one hears your (un)righteous indignation as you spread hatred whilst pretending to be moral. At least your grammar is improving.

  • obbo12

    I have. Post the link. The only reason you haven’t is because you have been caught being stupid.

  • French Frankie

    Make your argument.

  • obbo12

    Blah blah, lets see the date or your article.

  • French Frankie

    Reds under the beds, reds under the beds!!!
    By the way, I don’t support Trump. I just don’t support thick, hypocritical tosseras either. Yes, that would be you.

  • obbo12

    Small but important point you haven’t provided a link you have provided a quote. I want to see the date of your Kremlin supplied article. As I have already told you Home Security said it wouldn’t apply to greencards before being overridden by the Whitehouse. A judge then ruled against the Whitehouse. Why would a court judgment be necessary if the decision had already been reversed. Yet again you are smug, patronising and wrong. Wonder why people think Trump supporters are thick. Look in the mirror

  • French Frankie

    Ive already provided a link. I don’t think CNN’s a sock puppet for the kremlin. How amusing to find the modern left hunting for reds under the beds as well as their rampant anti-sémitism.
    I’m not going to look up your links, it’s for you to make your argument. You’re u haven’t. Posting links doesn’t count. Here’s a bit of constructive advice for developing an argument, it’s what I used to tell my student. PEE, poin, evidence and explain the link between the two. See how I selected the evidence to prove my point. Give it a try, you may find t hard at first but I’m sure it will really help you develop in your abilities to communicate thoughts.
    By the way it’s liar. I don’t normally do grammatical corrections, but in this instance it’s amusing me due to your constant use of abusive language aimed at my intelligence.

  • Rob

    As an (increasingly elderly) Englishman abroad, I’ve always found it sensible to simply “not mention the War”, particularly in certain company.

  • quotes

    You’d have a point if anyone had actually made the comparison

  • obbo12

    You called me a lair I provide you links to that prove what I said. You maintain your position with no supporting facts. You a moron who gets all their news from kremlin funded sock puppets on twitter. Go back to making comments on Russia today, if you do not want to be called a moron

  • French Frankie

    If you don’t care what I think why are you responding? I think you’ll find that, However, I am right about the green card situation and you’re becoming more and more offensive in your responses as a result.
    By the way, there should be a comma after th smug.

  • Marketthinker

    Interesting that the mention of the ban taking place on Holocaust day and the Primo Levi quote at the end were two points made identically by the Labour spokes-woman on Question Time this week. Two things puzzle me about this rush to judgement however. First, having identified seven countries from which emigrants may represent a security threat (to the US or anywhere else), are we comfortable that the Obama regime has already put in place sufficiently rigorous background checks or are we saying that this temporary ban in order to increase the rigour of these checks is unnecessary? Second, while I understand that the Liberal Left view everything President Trump does through their own identity politics lens leading to the curious contradiction of women’s marches organised by feminist Muslims who believe in Sharia law and a whole host of things seemingly at odds with everything they say they believe in from Women’s rights to the treatment of homosexuals, I am puzzled by the Jewish lobby appearing in favour of Muslim immigration to the extent of joining in with the Liberals of conflating this national security issue with a ‘ban on Muslims’. While fully agreeing with the historic horrors of the Holocaust, I remain puzzled why some high profile members of the Jewish community are suddenly so in favour of Muslim immigration into the US, including from countries where the leaders continue to declare a policy of the extinction of Israel? Have a missed a trick here?

  • obbo12
  • French Frankie

    No, the issue over green cards was discussed before that and with it being quite clear that those with them would be allowed in. Perhaps inconvenient, not putting them in danger. I’m afraid you’re a liar.
    Do you know I used to be left wing, but the blatant lies and hypocrisy of the left actually means that I will be very hard pressed to have any sympathy for them again. Like I said, your abusive tone and lies show you don’t really care about the people you profess to care about, this is just a vanity issue for you.

  • obbo12

    It was rescinded by a different court just and sod all to do with idiot in the white house. In fact home land security initially exempted greencards holders but Steve Bannon, using Trump’s personal authority, overruled them.

  • French Frankie

    From CNN; Another Homeland Security official told CNN the green card holders who are returning to the US will still go through additional screening and national security checks upon landing. However, the government is trying to ease their entry back into the US. Unless they have a significant criminal history or links to terrorism, they will be allowed back in the country after going the check the official said.
    “This is our message to them: get on a plane. Come back to the US. You will be subject to secondary screening, but everything else will be normal,” the Homeland Security official told CNN.
    I love it when someone calls me an idiot after clearly not understanding/ deliberately misunderstanding the issue. By the way, this is very different from ww2.
    One more thing – you obviously don’t give a **** about the issue itself as you’re not trying to persuade, you’re trying to berate, and lying at the same time. This is vanity, not morality. Have a good evening.

  • obbo12

    So you are arguing that Trump’s ban on people with green cards awarded for helping US troops in Iraq isn’t putting their and families lives in danger. Idiot

  • French Frankie

    Cost irrelevant what other countries did at the time; I’m not arguing that the USAs actions towards German Jews during world war 2 was wrong. I’m saying the two supputations have sufficient differences to make them incomparable, despite a cursory similarity.

  • obbo12

    Japan wasn’t at war with Germany and yet they took 22,000 jews. The UK wasn’t at war with Germany when the kindertransports took place

  • French Frankie

    The ban on the Jews was absolute, and could have been lifted for that contingency. Also America wasn’t at war with the country they were coming from.

  • French Frankie

    Whenever people talk about the current political climate and how it aligns with the 1930s I’m always amused that they focus on the treatment of the outsider (valid) but never on a global policy that, although was evidently wrong and caused poverty and suffering to huge swathes of people, was not challenged. People have talked about reducing immigration, whilst those at the bottom get poorer and suffer from a financial crises still whilst an elite who are still very wealthy focus on sex and debauchery, just as Germans talked about reducing punitive measures after ww1in a climate of those who were very wealthy indulging in debauched lifestyles, and they’ve been insulted with those on top believing they had the moral high ground. Perhaps this is why we’re at a situation we’re ‘populists’ are being listed to?

  • Derek

    Isn’t politics all about repeating the mistakes of the past? On average democracies last around 200 years before reverting to some form of authoritarian government.

  • brownowl

    Assuming your question isn’t rhetorical, my reply would be “I have no idea”.

    There are two reasons for that. Firstly, I didn’t make the statement you quote, and secondly, I had (and still have) no idea that “the same Jewish community the loudest, most radical pro-open borders lobby out there”.

    I hope that helps.

  • Johnnydub

    ““The Jewish community in Europe is under attack from far-Right, far-Left and radical Islamists”

    So why is the same Jewish community the loudest, most radical pro-open borders lobby out there?

    As one of Michel Houellebecq charcaters says in his book Submission, Europeans don’t have an Israel to run to when it all goes pear shaped.

  • ale bro

    israel has a permanent ban on palestinian refugees returning home – that’s a much more draconian position than the US’s temporary restrictions.

  • Nockian

    A terribly confused piece. Democracy is the tyranny of the majority over the minority. The greater the state is, the more interventionist and controlling, the more democracy reveals its flaws. In modern states it is socialism/collectivism which drives Government to expand and as it does so, freedom is reduced. True, peaceful, profitable multiculturalism is enacted in freer states with smaller governments, not by draconian positive discrimination/mass immigration created through socialistic welfarism. The answer to peaceful co-existence is laissez faire capitalism and strong laws that protect the freedoms emboldened in the US constitution. It is the freedom to act morally that increases wealth for everybody, and it is increasing wealth generation that reduces the need for witch hunts amongst the population.

    It is pointless to try to eradicate tribalism in the way proposed ‘by being vigilant’. We should have been vigilant against growing state power, wealth distribution, taxation, protectionism, priviliges and welfarism in order to hold onto our freedom, it’s too late once that has disappeared.

  • Dougie

    There was actually no need for you to mention Trump’s travel ban at all, Mike, was there? Your piece on the Holocaust and growing anti-Semitism stands on its own. But you just couldn’t help yourself, could you, and thus you did exactly what you are criticising others for.

  • obbo12

    The ban maybe no holocaust but just like US visa restrictions on Jews escaping the Nazis, these rules are trapping people in danger of their lives. There is nothing wrong with running extra checks but this ban is stupid macho posturing that is just as bad as all the virtue signalling from the twitter numpties. Its perfectly possible to say that both are extreme behaviour based on irrational grandstanding of monstrous egos.

  • Ken

    ” … governments and society at large must work together to stand-up to right-wing extremism…”

    It’s not right wing extremism that worries but left-wing extremism. We saw it rise in Europe after WW1 resulting in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. We are seeing it rise again in Europe and the US with their on-going protests against Trump.

  • brownowl

    Quite. Further, he quotes Dr Moshe Kantor as having 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.” Then he goes on to say: “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.”

    So now it’s only “right-wing extremism”? This might seem semantics, but words are important, and this is really sloppy writing.

  • Little Black Censored

    “I have made it clear” – gets the virtue-signal out of the way at the start.

  • ethanedwards2002

    With the greatest of respect you are wrong. Polls suggest 55% of usa voters are happy with Trump’s exec order. Your confusing the vocal Twitterati crowd with an actual majority. They are no such thing. Loud strident passionate yes violent perhaps but a majority no.
    Secondly using the term Muslim ban is hyperbole. It’s no such thing as you well realise. I await calm reasoned debate about the exec order..honest I do. Yet to hear any.

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