Thank you Mr. Hetfield for your clear and well written thoughts about the immigration issue. We all struggle as Jews to understand what God wants from us. Yours is indeed a Jewish response to immigration. It is not “the” Jewish response. I respect it. Here is another very different, but I think more true and better one.
We do indeed as Americans and Jews have to show kindness to the stranger, the alien in our midst. But, as it also says in our great tradition, “do not be guided by the heart.”
Most of your argument is primarily heart and feelings- based; namely I care for the Syrian refugee; therefore open my door to have him settle in America. Many with what you call “the Jewish response” would, in fact, follow such a heart-felt passion to its logical conclusion; completely open our boarders. If kindness means 100,000 Syrian refugees per year, then would not exponential kindness and Cosmic- Level Judaism mean bringing in the 4 billion of the world living in poverty, despair, and oppression? And if not; why not Mr. Hetfield?
I think the other critical part missing from your proscription is the mind part, the rational assessment of the historical, cultural and consequential issues for your policy proscriptions. Jewish values are both heart and mind- based.
Do not trust you heart alone says our tradition. When you are facing 100,000 Syrian refugees you are not facing 100,000 Jews in 1930’s Europe , 100,000 Cubans in 1961 Havana, 100,000 Falashas from the 1980’s Ethiopia, or 100,000 Irishman from the 19th century potato famine. Those other souls in general longed to embrace the good, kind, open Western culture of America or Israel.
Do not trust your heart alone. I think any reasonable mind would understand that somewhere between 2 to 90% of these people from Syria, and likely closer to 90% have been raised in and have embraced a culture of profound hatred towards Western Judeo-Christian values. They long for a society run by Sharia law. They look forward to the day when the great and little Satan’s, America and Israel are destroyed. They have been steeped in vile and raw hatred for the infidel, particularly the American and the Jew.
Anybody, I think with a rational assessment would also know that dozens, if not hundreds or even thousands of them are terrorists sent by Isis, Hezbollah, Hamas, or Al Qaida to bring many other 911’s to our shores. It would be beyond foolish to reason that any but a tiny fraction of them come here steeped with love for our culture, values and traditions.
But I am sure the argument from your Jewish, very heart -felt perspective would be, “educate them; embrace them with love and open arms; understand people can change; understand the love we Americans show will soon be returned. That’s what we do in America. That’s the Jewish response as well.”
I would call this fantasy. This is unkind and bound to create havoc and great damage. This fantasy is in a sense what we used to do in America. We used to have mature, thoughtful, civilized, lawful immigration, doing at essence what is best for America- not what is best for the immigrant. We used to have standards. We used to bring in people in intermittent bursts and methodically. We then used to have respites to allow for assimilation to take hold. We used to bring in people who we vetted to be potential contributors to our society and embracers of our values. We used to reject those who rejected American values or who would be long term drains on our economies, schools, businesses and hospitals. We used to demand that the immigrants’ cultures be left behind and that they embrace and assimilate to American culture. Our schools and civil institutions demanded and encouraged such assimilation. There was not “press six for Urdu or seven for Arabic.” There was not Cinco de Mayo days at our elementary schools or Presidential candidates giving speeches in a foreign language.
No more. Our Leftist Democratic party seeks to be just like Europe. Our American Leftists call for essentially open boarders, lawless disregard for our rule of law, anarchy at our gates, no assimilation, celebration of multiculturalism, and even further expansion of our bankrupt welfare state to accommodate millions more of poor, uneducated and often America -hating immigrants. For the left, assimilation, standards, and American values are considered regressive, intolerant, and xenophobic.
Just look across the pond Mr. Hetfeld and see where such policies get you with your heart –felt thing you call “the Jewish response.” Europe is where the hard, cold facts face the fuzzy warm feelings. It is where it is loud and clear that your Jewish view is wrong and terribly harmful.
European society today is on the verge of collapse. And most of that is do to two things, the Leftist social welfare state bankrupting its economic life and its open boarder Leftist immigration policies where vast numbers of non-assimilating, Western- hating Muslim populations deconstruct the foundations of European culture.
You can’t walk into certain neighborhoods in Europe as a non -Muslim. Sharia law is being demanded in communities throughout Europe. Millions of poor immigrants on social welfare are draining the wealth of Europe. Whole countries are being Balkanized. Israel is vilified. The last of the French Jews are flooding to Israel. Holocaust studies are being removed from schools. Trains are being blown up. Terrorists are wielding AK47’s on commuter rails. The streets of Western cities are kippah -free zones. Honor killings are now present. Women are walking the streets in essentially a large cloth bag with only their eyes showing. Vicious hatred for America and Israel are routine on media and campuses all over the Old World.
The great Nobel winner and man with deep Jewish values said you cannot have open immigration and a welfare state. You also cannot have immigration of people that hate you . Neither can you have immigration without intense assimilation. The brew is toxic , dangerous and deadly.
Americans and Jews should deeply empathize with this human tragedy coming from Syria. Much of it was brought about by our radical leftist President disconnecting America from the world. Such disconnect eventually brings the world to us.
We should indeed give aid to and strong encouragement for Muslim countries to take in their fellow Muslim suffering from the civil war in Syria. At worst, we should join with other decent people to set up temporary camps in the region to feed and house these people until they can return home.
This Jew with both feelings and mindfulness rejects the call for American cultural and economic suicide with your Jewish response to immigration. Self -destruction is in no way “the Jewish response.”