#1156 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 22 November 2015
A poll in July 1938 by Fortune magazine asked Americans what they thought of accepting political refugees, most of whom were Jewish. Two thirds of respondents (67.4 percent) said “We should try to keep them out.”
One in five (18.2 per cent) said refugees should be allowed in, but immigration quotas should not be raised. Just under 10 percent said they didn’t know, while the remaining 4.9 percent said refugees should be welcomed even if quotas had to be raised.
A subsequent poll, taken after the events of Kristallnacht, asked whether 10,000 Jewish children should be allowed into America. Sixty-one per cent said no, 30 per cent said yes.
This week, dozens of Republican governors, and all Republican Presidential candidates, opposed welcoming Syrian refugees to America. It seems the Syrian orphan of today is the German Jewish child of 1939.
And it’s worth remembering that all identified terrorists in the Paris attacks appear to have been European nationals. Welcoming refugees fleeing terror is part of the solution, not the problem.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.