The idea of settling myriads of Syrian “refugees” here in the U.S. is, I’m glad to see, meeting some heavy headwinds. Dozens of governors have refused to comply, and now the House has passed a bill that seeks to make the “vetting” process more rigorous. (That latter, though, is really just a gesture; “vetting” Muslim asylum-seekers based on Mideastern record-keeping and our own anti-terrorism databases is nothing more than a comforting illusion. How do you “vet” beliefs, allegiances, sympathies, hatreds, and intentions?)
One thing I’ve been hearing a lot is that to refuse mass admission of this wave of migrants is no different from our turning away of Jewish refugees in the 1930s. This is hogwash, as an excellent piece by Ian Tuttle, writing at NRO, explains:
This is prima facie nonsense, which should be obvious from the terms being compared: Jews, an ethnic group, with Syrians, a national one. An honest, apples-to-apples comparison would line up German Jews and Syrian Muslims — the relevant ethnic group within the relevant political entity. But do this, and the failure of the analogy becomes clear. The first, and most obvious, difference: There was no international conspiracy of German Jews in the 1930s attempting to carry out daily attacks on civilians on several continents. No self-identifying Jews in the early 20th century were randomly massacring European citizens in magazine offices and concert halls, and there was no “Jewish State” establishing sovereignty over tens of thousands of square miles of territory, and publicly slaughtering anyone who opposed its advance. Among Syrian Muslims, there is. The vast majority of Syrian Muslims are not party to these strains of radicalism and violence, but it would be dangerous to suggest that they do not exist, or that our refugee-resettlement program need not take account of them.