Marc Cohen contrasts the faux outrage at Donald Trump’s US visa restrictions to the seeming ambivalence directed at the 16 Muslim countries with a blanket ban on Israelis entering their country.

Edmond Burke once said that “hypocrisy can afford to be magnificent in its promises, for never intending to go beyond promise, it costs nothing”. I don’t think he was talking about the shallow outcry of faux rage surrounding Donald Trump’s new tougher US visa restrictions, but were he around today his words would ring true.

No country or individual should prejudice another based on colour, religion, race or sexual orientation, and I have no great affection for this blunt and crude policy. However, what I find baffling is that whilst the US has imposed a temporary ban and restrictions on citizens of seven countries, there are no fewer than 16 Muslim countries in the world with an indefinite, total and blanket ban on granting visas to Israeli citizens.

The governments of Algeria, Bangladesh, Brunei, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen deem it acceptable to ban Israelis from entering their countries. Moreover, Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen do not allow entry to people with evidence of travel to Israel, or whose passports have either a used or an unused Israeli visa. People with last names like mine regularly fret about even entering some of these countries.

Where are the marches calling out the injustice? Where is the show of support for the Jews – as let’s be honest, the overwhelming majority of those denied entry to these Muslim countries are Jews – refused entry entirely due to religious and ethnic hatred? Where are the petitions, the parliamentary questions and the columns written to denounce the racism and injustice of these policies?

I would have much more sympathy and support for the bleeding-heart liberals and right-on politicians taking to the streets to demonstrate against Trump, if they apply the same standards to the 16 Muslim countries banning Israelis from entering.

Forgive me, but I find the double standard galling. One wonders if this is more a case of simply not liking Trump, rather than actually giving a hoot about the individuals affected. Yes, it is clearly nuts if Sir Mo Farrah can’t enter the US, and it almost goes without saying that the implementation of the policy has been a bit shambolic. However, I am sure that things will level out, more guidance will be given and there will be a sensible correction. It is not as if the US government could say that you all have a year to get into the US and then we are tightening restrictions! It would be like extending an open invitation to would-be Jihadists to make the trip before the borders shut.

That said, it is also pretty clear that President Trump’s actions are about more than just national security. It was a clear campaign pledge that was perhaps a key reason for his electoral victory, and so he is arguably democratically and morally obliged to follow up on his promise. Imagine the outcry if he just ignored all his campaign pledges? I know this is common place in the UK (hi Nick Clegg), but in a functioning democracy, keeping true to a major campaign pledge should be rule number one upon entering Government. Let us not forget that Trump won the election fair and square, so the way to counter his policies is for US citizens to vote him out in 2020, and not embark on pointless, hypocritical and fruitless marches that serve only to assuage their own middle class guilt rather than actually achieving anything constructive.

As the irrepressible and rather hilarious Rod Liddle wrote in the Sunday Times last week, and I paraphrase, “I did not care much for Trump, but if those looney lefties are against him then heck, he must be doing something right”. Well said Rod, well said.

4.91 avg. rating (97% score) - 23 votes