New Leftist #HotTake: "Syrian" Refugees Are Just Like the Jews In the 1930s

Syrian refugees strike in front of  Budapest Keleti railway station. Refugee crisis. Budapest, Hungary, Central Europe, 3 September 2015.

Writing at the Washington Post, one of their reporters, a guy named Ishaan Tharoor, claims, against all evidence: Europe’s fear of Muslim refugees echoes rhetoric of 1930s anti-Semitism.

Tharoor, comes at this problem from the point of view of any other privileged Ivy League graduate who would never, ever have to live in the craphole he is trying to foist upon others. Small wonder:

After a Yale career defined by an involvement in left-wing political activism, Ishaan Tharoor ’06 joined TIME magazine as a Hong Kong-based correspondent writing on Asian geopolitics. He now works out of TIME’s New York headquarters and edits Global Spin, the magazine’s foreign affairs blog. WEEKEND met with the busy journo before a Masters’s tea he gave Tuesday to discuss careerist Yalies, journalistic commitment and how he got heads of state to take him seriously.

What Tharoor claims is that the current refugee invasion of Europe is just like the plight of the Jews fleeing Germany in the 1930s and it is being met with the same bigotry.

Over the past year, many in Europe have bristled at the influx — from far-right political movements and fear-mongering tabloids to established politicians and leaders. The resentment has to do, in part, with the burden of coping with the refugees. But it’s also activated a good amount of latent xenophobia–leading to anti-Islam protests, attacks on asylum centers and a good deal of bigoted bluster.

It’s important to recognize that this is hardly the first time the West has warily eyed masses of refugees. And while some characterize Muslim arrivals as a supposedly unique threat, the xenophobia of the present carries direct echoes of a very different moment: The years before World War II, when tens of thousands of German Jews were compelled to flee Nazi Germany.

Meanwhile, those trapped within Nazi-controlled Europe faced the horrors of the Holocaust. Millions were systematically killed. Yet it was only in 1944, when the extent of the genocide had become better known, that the United States made a real effort to rescue European Jews. Even during World War II, let alone before it started, antisemitism was rife in American political and public life.

Unwanted foreigners have always caused consternation among a section of any society. Thankfully, there’s an equally vociferous chorus in Europe currently championing the plight of Syrian refugees, and urging others to help make a new home for those displaced by conflict and other hardships.

Everyone deserves the chance to live a better life, activists argue.

This is cheap agitprop of the most dishonest type possible. Let’s look at the differences:

First, the context. The Jews were fleeing a genocidal regime bent on their destruction. The current flow of refugees into Europe are economic migrants. They aren’t fleeing a warzone, rather they are leaving refugee camps in Turkey and looking for work. Unlike the Jews, the current refugees might be uncomfortable if they had stayed home but the overwhelming majority of them were in no danger of being harmed or killed. As has been demonstrated, they were not trapped. These refugees had already left their homes for camps in Turkey.

Second, the demographics. Take a look at these two pictures:

jewish refugees


refugees europe

The UN High Commissioner on Refugees says the demographic breakout of current refugees are 65% male, 14% women, and 20% children. By contrast, the pattern of Jewish refugees was primarily the elderly (folks the age of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton), women, and children. The men arriving are mostly what would be called military aged, i.e. 17-45.

In short, there is really no valid comparison between the refugees entering Western Europe and the Jews fleeing the Holocaust. These refugees were safe at their point of origin. They are voluntarily making a economic migration to Western Europe. They are overwhelmingly young men which calls into question, especially after Friday and Paris, their true motives. The are in no danger if they go back to Turkey and, in most cases, they are in no danger if they go back to Syria.

Tharoor simply strings together a bunch of facts, some of them not even germane to the conversation, like this bit of nonsense:

In 2014, the number of refugees, asylum-seekers and people forced to flee within their country surged to nearly 60 million people.

He fabricates stuff directly or by inference. And he uses the amalgamation of falsehood, omission, and misdirection to label anyone who disagrees with him as no different from anti-Semites that turned away Jews fleeing Hitler.