President Donald Trump’s executive order banning refugees from entering the USA left much of the American Jewish community horrified — particularly as the announcement came on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The order immediately suspends all refugee resettlement from seven Muslim-majority nations for 90 days; and forbids those from war-ravaged Syria from entering the country indefinitely.
On Twitter, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the head of the Union of Reform Jewry, compared the order to the Dred Scott court decision upholding slavery in the antebellum South; and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.
The Anti-Defamation League’s CEO Jonathan Greenblatt vowed in a statement Thursday to “relentlessly fight this policy,” noting “our Jewish history and heritage compel us to take a stand.” The ADL, a Jewish civil rights group, monitors and combats anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry across the globe.
On Saturday, Greenblatt, noted that the presidential executive order was signed on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, likening it to passengers of the MS St. Louis, a German ship filled with 937 Jewish refugees, who were denied entry into the United States, as well as Cuba and Canada, in 1939.
Greenblatt has already vowed to register as a Muslim if the USA creates a database of Muslim Americans. The idea of a Muslim database arose in November 2015, when Mr Trump told a reporter he would "certainly implement that. Absolutely".
Jonathan Greenblatt said: "If one day Muslim Americans will be forced to register their identities, then that is the day that this proud Jew will register as a Muslim”.
I predict that hundreds of American Rabbis, and tens of thousands of proud American Jews will sign up as Muslims if American Muslim are forced to register.
After all, everyone who believes in the One God of Abraham; and faithfully follows the religion of God’s prophets; actually is a ‘muslim’ in faith.
Let us all follow the example of Jonathan Greenblatt, and the words of Pope Francis who delivered a ringing plea to the world and his own Catholic Church to reject “the virus of polarization and animosity” and the growing temptation to “demonize” those who are different.
Rabbi Maller’s web site is: www.rabbimaller.com