NZZ am Sontaag, Switzerland

[Click Here for NZZ am Sontaag Opinion Page]



Left and Right: Equal Opportunity Immigrant Killers (Trouw, The Netherlands)


"We have never seen an ideology or a religion on trial before a court of law on charges of murder. It is invariably people who should be held accountable. ... To point a cowardly finger at 'the left' or any other political entity or notion is ridiculous. ... If one has a serious accusation to make, it should be taken to a prosecutor, who would reject it, because prosecutors cannot call to account either 'the left' or 'the right.'"


By Ewoud Clay and Jan Jaap de Ruiter


Translated By Marion Pini


October 13, 2013


The Netherlands - Trouw - Original Article (Dutch)

Tombs of unidentified immigrants in the cemetery of the island of Lampedusa, off the Italian coast, October 7. Italy is asking for more E.U. support and an overhaul of immigration rules after last week's shipwreck off Sicily that killed 300 African migrants.


FRANCE 24 NEWS VIDEO: The Lampedusa tragedy puts European unity to the test over asylum and immigration. The panel debates whether mainstream parties can reach a consensus with the anti-immigrant far-right picking off their voters, Oct. 9, 00:17:49RealVideo

We have never seen an ideology or a religion on trial before a court of law on charges of murder. It is invariably people who should be held accountable. A prosecutor will never call an ideology or religion to appear in court. In fact, they cannot.


This thought occurred to us when we read the headline of a column by Joost Niemöller: Today the Left Killed 300 in Lampedusa. If you read the article, you will understand that by "the left," Niemöller mean people in Europe who help immigrants and asylum seekers obtain residence permits. The refugees and illegal immigrants know this help is available, and do anything to get themselves into "Fortress Europe." One might gather from this that were it not for the European left, these fortune seekers would conceivably not arrive. The left-wing beckons and the eager paupers come running.


Were such people to die along their journey, as they did in Lampedusa early this month, then it is not the fault of leftists, but the notion of "leftism." The ship sank and the refugees couldn't swim, but they lost their lives not because they drowned, but because "the left" killed them.


The latter isn't possible. First, the immigrants certainly did drown; and second, "the left" is a concept, not a potential murderer of flesh and blood.


Using examples from history, allow us to explain.


The dramatic journey of the MS St. Louis


On May 13, 1939, 1,938 passengers, most of them Jewish, left Nazi Germany on the steamship MS St. Louis, headed to Cuba for onward travel to the United States. She had applied for U.S. visas and wanted to await processing in Cuba. However, the Cuban government refused entry to most of them. After much diplomatic wrangling, the St. Louis had to leave Cuban waters and made its way toward the continental United States. The passengers sent a telegram to Democratic ("left-wing") President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who never responded. Due to the application of strict U.S. immigration laws and procedures, the ship was eventually forced to sail back to Europe. Fortunately, a large number of the passengers were taken in by European countries other than Nazi Germany, but 254 did eventually fall into Nazi hands and died. Using Niemöller's logic: The "American left" killed the 254 Jewish refugees from Germany."


The sinking of the Struma


On December 12, 1941, a Greek ship, the Struma, departed from the Romanian port of Constanta carrying 769 Jewish passengers fleeing the Holocaust in Europe - they had barely managed to escape. They had been given to understand that they could travel to Palestine by boat, and had paid huge sums to come aboard. The ship first sailed to Istanbul. When the British, who then ruled Palestine, got wind of the voyage, it was the beginning of a tragedy that would end with the deaths of every passenger but one. For fear of Arab nationalism, the British, led by the ("right-wing") Conservative Party under Prime Minister Winston Churchill, refused the Jews access to Palestine, and the Turks refused to allow the them transit by land. Eventually the ship, which was in very poor condition, was forced to leave Turkey’s territorial waters. Less than a day later, the ship sank, allegedly hit by torpedoes from a Soviet submarine. Only one passenger survived the disaster. Again, according to Niemöller's thinking: The "British right" killed 768 people.

Posted By Worldmeets.US


Like Worldmeets.US on Facebook



The British pulled this trick again in 1947, fortunately without it leading to as many victims, when they refused entry to a ship named Exodus which was transporting to Palestine Jewish survivors of the Holocaust. The ship eventually returned to war-torn Germany, where the Jewish refugees were again interned in a German concentration camp.


The soft and hard side of immigration policies


The sad story of Lampedusa is therefore not unique. It has had numerous predecessors, as the examples of the Struma and MS St. Louis testify. The problem of illegal immigrants and refugees has always had a soft side and a hard side. The soft side is human: to speak and act with compassion. The hard side is, however, also human: apply rules to defend interests, however difficult this may be. The art of this is to shape things so there never are any victims.


Now that there are fatalities, however, to point a cowardly finger at "the left" or any other political entity or notion is ridiculous, just as are any "conclusions" about the "British right" and "American left" having killed Jewish refugees in the previous examples. If one has a serious accusation to make, it should be taken to a prosecutor, who would reject it, because prosecutors cannot call to account either "the left" or "the right."



Niemöller had better say exactly who he means. Call a spade a spade. But he cannot, because he doesn't know who the killers are. In fact, there are no killers.


So what's the purpose of this article by Niemöller? Does he wants to share his heartfelt feelings for the poor devils who died in the Mediterranean Sea? No, he does not.


His crusade leads him to everything "left," and walking on the backs of drowned refugees, there is no ocean too deep to silence his aversion to all people on the left, and with the most extreme terms and extreme accusation: murder.


La Jornada, Mexico: Illegal Immigration: Cruelty, Xenophobia and U.S. Business
El Universal, Mexico: Influence-Flush U.S. Latinos Must 'Exploit Unprecedented Moment'
La Jornada, Mexico: Pirates, Puritans and U.S. Immigration
La Jornada, Mexico: Clueless Border Patrol Uses Intelligence to Study Recidivism
La Jornada, Mexico: Undocumented on Edge Before U.S. Supreme Court Ruling
La Jornada, Mexico: Undocumented are Again Caught in U.S. Power Struggle
Excelsior, Mexico: 'Comprehensive' Mexico-U.S. Integration is the Only Answer
La Jornada, Mexico: NAFTA Should Be Reopened to Protect Mexican Workers
La Jornada, Mexico: Mexicans in the U.S.: A Nation Within a Nation
El Universal, Mexico: Lawmakers Condemn Arizona's 'Racist' Anti-Immigrant Law
Diario Co Latino, El Salvador: Europe and U.S. Equally Cruel to Migrant Workers
El Periodico, Guatemala: Obama is Right: U.S. People Need Spanish Lessons!
El País, Spain: Tea Party 'Endangers Health' of American Democracy
El Universal, Mexico: U.S. Conservatives See Writing On Wall: Immigration Reform is Coming
Le Monde, France: U.S. Immigration Plans Set Example French Politicians Should Heed




blog comments powered by Disqus






















































Posted By Worldmeets.US Oct. 13, 2013, 4:55am