The Son Of A Syrian Refugee

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There is a meme going around that Steve Jobs’ biological father was a Syrian immigrant so if you’re against accepting Syrian refugees you should throw away your iPhone.

This is just one more meme going around that Muslims are a loving peaceful nation and you shouldn’t let a few bad apples get in the way of the unmitigated flow of refugees into your country.

Then there’s this lady’s rant about the whole thing which went viral for some reason.



Here’s my view. My personal view. Take it or leave it.

The following arguments are correct, colour coded red for typically liberal argument, and blue for typically conservative argument:

  1. As a responsible and developed first world nation, there is a responsibility to accept the less fortunate in times of need.
  2. Thou shalt not be racist against Muslims.
  3. There are indeed bad apples in the Muslim nation.
  4. These bad apples really really want to kill you.
  5. These bad apples really really want to kill you and they will do so by infiltrating your first world nation by taking advantage of your generous will to take in war-torn refugees.
  6. Bad apples are not necessarily Muslim, see Columbine, theater shooting, etc.
  7. Steve Jobs’ dad was a Syrian immigrant, not a refugee.
  8. Number 6 is completely irrelevant to this situation.
  9. Jewish refugees were tragically rejected from almost every country during World War II and we should be more compassionate.
  10. #9 is not remotely comparable to the current situation, see #5.
  11. A surge in population through refugees poses no threat on local jobs or resources.

As you can see, the final score is 5.5 for the Liberals, 5.5 for the Conservatives.

Basically the argument boils down to: We the responsible first world nation must be compassionate to these war-torn souls but HOLY CRAP SOME OF THEM WANT TO KILL US.

My Facebook feed is full of posts supporting the full unchecked flow of Muslim refugees because Muslims are not bad people and we shouldn’t be racist etc. I whole-heartedly accept your good will, believe me, but that solution is simply irresponsible. Just like the actions of a few bad apples caused everyone at the airport with a full sized tube of toothpaste to be a potential terrorist, some care must be taken here. Otherwise, you’d just be importing Syria’s war and also, yeah, ISIS too.

Oh and just a note to the people who bring up mass murder incidents not related to Islamic extremism. These were done by evil, sick individuals and not by members of a very organized group who are indoctrinated and trained in the art of killing as many people as possible by their preachers and leaders.

My Facebook feed is also full of posts saying the Boston Marathon bomber was a refugee, and a laundry list of evil doings of Islamic extremism. I also accept that we are dealing with a high-risk group, but the genuinely good people who have suffered through a devastating 5 year civil war should not have to endure this any longer.

The problem with these arguments on both sides is that each side assumes the other wants the complete polar opposite with zero compromise. Listen to each other. Both sides have excellent points. People’s lives need to be saved but there’s a legitimate and real concern of wolves among the sheep. This is not even a hypothetical, they are actually saying this is what they are doing.

Here’s the solution.

The United Nations needs to get its butt in gear and do what it set out to do back when it was established after World War II. Instead of wasting time issuing condemnations every time an Israeli builds a house, or funding the most useless relief and works agency of all time, engage all member nations who have the means to accept refugees and develop a screening and resettlement program.  And that includes you too, Arab countries who have yet to accept a single Syrian refugee.

Syrian_refugees_in_the_Middle_East_map_en.svg

There are a lot of refugees. It’s a burden one single country cannot take on its own. Funding is needed. Countries have to cough it up. Screening is extremely important. Background checks on all applicants will take time, transitional accommodations should be made for the refugees. Security concerns should be properly addressed in these accommodations assuming a small percent may in fact be operatives of a terrorist organization.

This will save many lives in the end, repatriate refugees and give them meaning in their new home. This is what UNRWA should have done back in 1949 and it’s what should be done today. The lesson the UN must learn is not to repeat the absolute clusterf&%# that UNRWA is. Basically. I hate UNRWA. 

So that’s it. Every country should do their part. Arab countries should be pressured to do theirs as well.

And oh, about Steve Jobs’ dad? You know who is the son of a Syrian refugee? Me. When Syria gained independence from France in 1946, the Jewish community of Aleppo (Haleb) suffered devastating pogroms forcing my 6 year old father and his family to seek refuge here in the land of Israel.

Israel built its entire economy and became the strong nation it is today, despite the constant attempts to destroy it from the outside and from within, because refugees with the Zionist dream helped build it throughout the 20th century. That is the potential of refugees who genuinely want to make a better life for themselves and for their host countries. Don’t waste this opportunity. But also don’t ignore the risks made courtesy of those bad apples because that’s just freaking ignorant. 

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I'm a Canadian Israeli, Aliyah Class of '10. You may know me as tweeter @notantisemitic but here I'll tickle your Zionist bone in other ways.