JEWISH PRO-IMMIGRATION EFFORTS IN OTHER WESTERN COUNTRIES

Kevin MacDonald writes in his book Culture of Critique:

The purpose of this appendix is to show that Jewish organizations have
pursued similar policies regarding immigration in other Western societies. In
France, the official Jewish community has consistently been in favor of
immigration by non-Europeans. Recently the French Jewish community reacted
strongly to pronouncements by actress Bridgette Bardot that “my country,
France, has been invaded again by a foreign population, notably Muslims”
(Forward, May 3, 1996, 4). Chaim Musiquant, executive director of CRIF, the
umbrella organization for French Jewry, stated that Bardot’s statement “skirt[ed]
at the edge of racism.”
Jewish attitudes toward anti-immigrant sentiment in Germany can be seen by
the following incident. A common (presumably self-deceptive) aspect of
contemporary Jewish self-conceptualization is that Israel is an ethnically and
culturally diverse society as a result of large scale immigration of Jews from
different parts of the world (e.g., Peretz 1997, 8; Australia/Israel Review [issue
22.5, April 11-24, 1997]), so much so that it should be held up as a model of
ethnic relations and pro-immigrant attitudes for the rest of the world. Recently
B’nai B’rith, acting in response to what it viewed as indications of a resurgence
of neo-Nazism and anti-immigration sentiment in Germany, received a grant
from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization to
bring German representatives to Israel because Israel is “a diverse, formative
society, which, under strains of war, terrorism and massive, deprived,
immigration, has strived to develop a just, democratic and tolerant society”
(“Toleration and Pluralism: A Comparative Study; UNESCO Evaluation Report
Request no. 9926). “Our view was that the multicultural, multi-ethnic, multireligious
and multi-fissured, democratic society of Israel… could provide a
credible and worthwhile point of comparison for others coming from a similarly
highly-charged society.”
In England, as in the United States, there was an ethnic battle beginning
around 1900 in response to the influx of Eastern European Jews fleeing czarist
anti-Semitism. Jewish political activity was instrumental in defeating an
immigration restriction bill introduced by the Conservative government in 1904.
In this case, the Anglo-Jewish political establishment represented by the Board of
Deputies took a moderate stance, presumably because of fears that further
immigration of Eastern European Jews would fan the flames of anti-Semitism.
However, by this time the majority of the British Jewish community consisted of
recent immigrants, and the Jewish Chronicle, the principle newspaper of the
British Jewish community, campaigned vigorously against the bill (Cesarani
1994, 98). The anti-restrictionist forces won when Nathan Laski, president of the
Manchester Old Hebrew Congregation, got Winston Churchill to oppose the bill.
“Later Churchill freely admitted that, in the Grand Committee of the House of
Commons, he had ‘wrecked the Bill.’ Led by Churchill, the Liberals, Evans-
Gordon [a restrictionist Conservative MP] asserted, ‘choked it [the Bill] with
words until the time-limit was reached.’… A jubilant Laski wrote to Churchill: ‘I
have had over 20 years experience in elections in Manchester—& without
flattery I tell you candidly—there has not been a single man able to arouse the
interest that you have already done—thus I am sure of your future success’”
(Alderman 1983, 71). In the following month Churchill won election from West
Manchester, a district with a large Jewish electorate.
Alderman (p. 72) shows that restrictionist legislation was popular except
among the recent immigrants who had quickly become a numerical majority of
the Jewish community, and, as indicated above, were already able to have a
decisive influence on immigration legislation. However, a more moderate bill
passed in 1905 despite Jewish opposition. In this case Jewish pressure succeeded
in securing exemptions for victims of “prosecution” on religious or political
grounds, but not “persecution” (p. 74). Again the Board of Deputies failed to
make a major effort in opposition to the legislation, and Jewish Ministers of
Parliament did not rise in opposition. However, for the recent immigrants, many
of whom were on the electoral registers illegally, this was a major issue, and “at
the general election of January 1906 these electorates wreaked a terrible
vengeance upon those politicians who had supported the passage of the Aliens’
Immigration Act” (p. 74). Jews overwhelmingly supported candidates who
opposed the legislation, and in at least two districts their votes were decisive,
including the West Manchester district that returned Winston Churchill. The new
Liberal government did not repeal the legislation, but enforced it more leniently.
Since the law was directed against “undesirables,” there is considerable doubt
that it prevented any significant number of Jews from entering, although it
probably did encourage many Jews to go to the United States rather than
England. It is noteworthy that in 1908 Churchill lost an election in his
Manchester district when there were defections among his Jewish supporters
displeased about his opposition to repealing the law as a prospective member of
the cabinet and attracted to the Conservative position on support for religious
schools. Churchill nonetheless remained a staunch supporter of Jewish interests
until “in July 1910 Churchill, no longer dependent on Jewish votes, spoke in
glowing terms of the 1905 legislation.”
As in the case of America, there are also indications that Jewish support for
immigration extended beyond advocating Jewish immigration into England. The
Jewish Chronicle, the principle Jewish newspaper in England, opposed
restriction on Commonwealth immigration in an editorial in the October 20, 1961
edition (p. 20). The editorial noted that Jews perceived the 1905 legislation as
directed against them and stated, “all restrictions on immigration are in principle
retrogressive steps, particularly for this country, and a disappointment to those
throughout the world who would like to see the limitations on the freedom of
movement reduced rather than increased. The issue is one of moral principle.”
During the 1970s the Conservative Party opposed immigration into Britain
because, in the words of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Britain was in
danger of being “swamped” by peoples who lacked “fundamental British
characteristics” (Alderman 1983, 148). Conservative politicians attempted to
obtain Jewish support on this issue, but the anti-immigration policy was
condemned by official Jewish organizations, including the Board of Deputies, on
the basis that “Since all British Jews are, or are descended from, immigrants, it
was unethical—even immoral, for a Jew to support immigration control, or at
least tighter immigration control” (Alderman 1983, 148-149). (In its editorial of
February 24, 1978 [p. 22] the Jewish Chronicle supported a non-restrictionist
immigration policy, but was careful to avoid framing the issue as a Jewish issue,
presumably because a Conservative Jewish Minister of Parliament, Keith Joseph,
had appealed to Jews as Jews to support restriction. The Chronicle was most
concerned to deny the existence of a Jewish vote.) Jews who did support the
government policy did so out of fear that increased immigration would lead to a
fascist backlash and therefore increased anti-Semitism.
In the case of Canada, Abella (1990, 234-235) notes the important
contribution of Jews in bringing about a multicultural Canada and, in particular,
in lobbying for more liberal immigration policies. Reflecting this attitude, Arthur
Roebuck, attorney general of Ontario, was greeted “with thunderous applause” at
a 1935 convention for the Zionist Organization of Canada when he stated that he
looked “forward to the time when our economic conditions will be less severe
than they are today and when we may open wide the gates, throw down the
restrictions and make of Canada a Mecca for all the oppressed peoples of the
world” (in M. Brown 1987, 256). Earlier in the century, there were conflicts
between Jews and gentiles over immigration that were entirely analogous to the
situation in England and the United States, including the anti-Semitic motivation
of many attempting to restrict immigration (Abella & Troper 1981, 52-55; M.
Brown 1987, 239). As in the United States, Jews have strongly opposed
majoritarian ethnocentric and nationalist movements, such as the Parti
Québécois, while remaining strong supporters of Zionism (M. Brown 1987,
260ff). Indeed, in the very close 1995 vote on Quebec separatism, the
overwhelming support of Jews and other minorities for preserving links with
Canada was blamed by separatist leader Jaques Parizeau for their defeat.
It is remarkable that the sea change in immigration policy in the Western
world occurred at approximately the same time (1962-1973), and in all countries
the changes reflected the attitudes of elites rather than the great mass of citizens.
In the United States, Britain, Canada, and Australia public opinion polls of
European-derived peoples have consistently shown overwhelming rejection of
immigration by non-European-derived peoples (Betts 1988; Brimelow 1995;
Hawkins 1989; Layton-Henry 1992). A consistent theme has been that
immigration policy has been formulated by elites with control of the media and
that efforts have been made by political leaders of all major parties to keep fear
of immigration off the political agenda (e.g., Betts 1988; Layton-Henry 1992,
82).
In Canada the decision to abandon a “White Canada” policy came from
government officials, not from elected politicians. The White Canada policy was
effectively killed by regulations announced in 1962, and Hawkins (1989, 39)
comments, “This important policy change was made not as a result of
parliamentary or popular demand, but because some senior officials in Canada,
including Dr. [George] Davidson [Deputy Minister of Citizenship and
Immigration and later a senior administrator at the United Nations] rightly saw
that Canada could not operate effectively within the United Nations, or in the
multiracial Commonwealth, with the millstone of a racially discriminatory
immigration policy round her neck.” In neither Australia nor Canada was there
ever any popular sentiment to end the older European bias of immigration policy.
The primary and identical motivation of Canadian and
Australian politicians in trying to exclude first the Chinese, then
other Asian migrants and finally all potential non-white
immigrants, was the desire to build and preserve societies and
political systems in their hard-won, distant lands very like those
of the United Kingdom. They also wished to establish without
challenge the primary role there of her founding peoples of
European origin… Undisputed ownership of these territories of
continental size was felt to be confirmed forever, not only by the
fact of possession, but by the hardships and dangers endured by
the early explorers and settlers; the years of back-breaking work
to build the foundations of urban and rural life… The idea that
other peoples, who had taken no part in these pioneering efforts,
might simply arrive in large numbers to exploit important local
resources, or to take advantage of these earlier settlement efforts,
was anathema. (Hawkins 1989, 23)
Given the elite origins of the non-European immigration policies that
emerged throughout the West during this period despite popular opposition, it is
of considerable interest that very little publicity was given to certain critical
events. In Canada, the Report of the Special Joint Committee of 1975 was a
critical event in shaping non-European immigration policy of the 1978
immigration law, but “sad to say, since the press failed to comment on the report
and the electronic media had remained uninvolved, the Canadian public heard
little of it” (Hawkins 1989, 59-60).
Looking back on this national debate on immigration and
population which lasted for six months at most, it can be said
now that it was a very effective one-time consultation with the
immigration world, and with those Canadian institutions and
organizations to whom immigration is an important matter. It did
not reach “the average Canadian” for one simple reason: The
Minister and Cabinet did not trust the average Canadian to
respond in a positive way on this issue, and thought this would
create more trouble than it was worth. As a result of this view,
they did not want to commit the funds to organize extensive
public participation, and made only a minimal effort to mobilize
the media on behalf of a truly national debate. The principle
benefit of this approach was that the badly needed new
Immigration Act was on the statute book only a little later than
Mr. [Robert] Andras [Minister of Manpower and Immigration]
and his colleagues [Hawkins emphasizes Andras’ Deputy
Minister Alan Gotlieb as the second prime mover of this
legislation] originally envisaged. The principle loss was what
some would regard as a golden opportunity to bring a great many
individual Canadians together, to discuss the future of their vast
under-populated land. (Hawkins 1989, 63)
Only after the 1978 law was in effect did the government embark on a public
information campaign to inform Canadians of their new immigration policy
(Hawkins 1989, 79). Hawkins (1989) and Betts (1988) make similar points about
the changes in Australian immigration policy. In Australia the impetus for change
in immigration policy came from small groups of reformers that began appearing
in some Australian universities in the 1960s (Hawkins 1989, 22). Betts (1988,
99ff) in particular emphasizes the idea that the intellectual, academic, and media
elite “trained in the humanities and social sciences” (p. 100) developed a sense of
being a member of a morally and intellectually superior ingroup battling against
Australian parochial nonintellectuals as an outgroup. As in the United States,
there is a perception among Jews that a multicultural society will be a bulwark
against anti-Semitism: Miriam Faine, an editorial committee member of the
Australian Jewish Democrat stated, “The strengthening of multicultural or
diverse Australia is also our most effective insurance policy against antisemitism.
The day Australia has a Chinese Australian Governor General I would
feel more confident of my freedom to live as a Jewish Australian” (in
McCormack 1994, 11).
As in the United States, family unification became a centerpiece of
immigration policy in Canada and Australia and led to the “chaining”
phenomenon mentioned above. Hawkins shows that in Canada, family reunion
was the policy of liberal Ministers of Parliament desiring higher levels of Third
World immigration (p. 87). In Australia, family reunion became increasingly
important during the 1980s, which also saw a declining importance of Australian
development as a criterion for immigration policy (p. 150). Reflecting these
trends, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry passed a resolution at its
December 1, 1996, meeting to express “its support for the proposition that
Australia’s long term interests are best served by a non-discriminatory
immigration policy which adopts a benevolent attitude to refugees and family
reunion and gives priority to humanitarian considerations.” The main Jewish
publication, the Australia/Israel Review, has consistently editorialized in favor of
high levels of immigration of all racial and ethnic groups. It has published
unflattering portraits of anti-restrictionists (e.g., Kapel 1997) and, in an effort at
punishment and intimidation, published a list of 2000 people associated with
Pauline Hanson’s anti-immigration One Nation party (“Gotcha! One Nation’s
Secret Membership List”; July 8, 1998).
It seems fair to conclude that Jewish organizations have uniformly advocated
high levels of immigration of all racial and ethnic groups into Western societies
and have also advocated a multicultural model for these societies.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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