(June 26, 2020 / JNS) A firestorm has erupted in recent weeks with a campaign against Morton Klein, director of the Zionist Organization of America, for his politically incorrect, “mean” tweets on Black Lives Matter and radical Islam. Ironically, a key backer of this campaign is an organization that has done more to import racism than perhaps any other so-called “Jewish” organization: HIAS.
Formerly known as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, HIAS’s mission is resettling individuals from conflict zones though it has moved from Jews in need to those of other ethnicities. In pursuing the laudable aim of providing vulnerable populations with better lives, however, HIAS has been front and center in pushing irresponsible immigration policies that increasingly subject Jews to the horrors of racism. Some countries whose inhabitants primarily benefit from its work, for example, have anti-Semitism rates above 90 percent.
Thus far, HIAS has done nothing to explain how, if nine out of 10 members of a population hold dangerous beliefs, HIAS-advocated policies succeed in ensuring only the rare one-in-10 person ends up immigrating to the United States or Europe.
If racism is evil enough to risk not only one’s own life but those of others to join large groups protesting in the midst of a pandemic, as has been made clear by various Democratic officials and fellow travelers, racism should be deemed disqualifying for immigration purposes.
If it were any group other than Jews at risk of experiencing racism, it’s difficult to imagine that HIAS would continue advocating for such immigration without proper ideological screening. After all, imagine if 92 percent of a foreign population held anti-black views. It’s unthinkable that HIAS would call black community leaders “xenophobic,” as they’ve insinuated regarding the ZOA, for raising legitimate concern.
As has become all too clear over the past year, however, Jews are a disfavored community. With reminiscent gas-lighting of what was seen in totalitarian leftist regimes like the Soviet Union, not without its fair share of “Jewish” organizations eager to serve the party, attacks on Jews are downplayed and common-sense safeguards that would readily be afforded to other minorities are deemed inappropriate.
For example, Jews in New York City, particularly Brooklyn, had to fight tooth and nail for greater police protection in the face of unrelenting attacks disproportionately perpetuated by people of color.
It would appear that like the woke naysayers regarding New York, who presented absurd argument after absurd argument as to why Jews should not be protected by the police, HIAS operates under an increasingly pervasive and dangerous dogma in leftists circles. It seems to believe that people of color are not capable of racism and related violence, cannot be held truly responsible for hate crimes (white supremacy and structural factors are the blame), and velvet-glove techniques should be utilized with such populations to erase any racial animosity they possess.
Whereas white people need years of remedial education in critical race theory to cure them of implicit bias and racism, apparently now starting in elementary school, HIAS has determined that what amounts to meet-and-greets between Jews and those from traditionally anti-Jewish Middle Eastern populations will do the trick.
Organizations like HIAS demand a redistribution of suffering in a perversion of utilitarianism. If bestowing the benefits of Western civilization on an influx of insufficiently vetted immigrants requires some members of the native population falling victim to racism, then so be it. The ends justify the means.
In a clever attempt to obscure matters, defenders of HIAS emphasize that the immigrants are rigorously vetted by receiving governments. This might be true for matters unrelated to racism, but those fighting this societal ill aren’t concerned about whether a prospective immigrant cheated in filing taxes or other issues typically covered in the screening process.
HIAS knows that immigrants are not being sufficiently vetted for matters related to anti-Jewish racism. This reckless disregard for the safety of Jews, both in body and mind, renders the organization complicit in racism. Instead of focusing on members of the Jewish community who write mean tweets, perhaps HIAS should look inward.
Matthew Mainen is a Washington resident fellow at the Middle East Forum.
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