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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 14, 2014 / 14 Nissan, 5774

Our immigration prejudices and the spirit of 'St. Louis'

By Christine M. Flowers




JewishWorldReview.com | Jeb Bush made some very provocative comments about immigration the other day. They were red meat for a conservative base that thinks in broad brushstrokes about foreigners. Actually, they were more like a bullfighter's red cape, or scarlet blood in the water.

Commenting on the wave of illegal bodies present in our country, this brother of one compassionate conservative president and son of another observed: "The way I look at this is someone who comes to our country because they couldn't come legally, they come to our country because their families — the dad who loved their children — was worried that their children didn't have food on the table. ... They broke the law, but it's not a felony. It's an act of love. It's an act of commitment to your family."

Frankly, those observations were a little too Jean Valjean for me. It is a simplification to say that everyone who crosses the border does so to provide a better life for his children (unless you believe that drug traffickers are also loving parents). But on the whole, Bush is absolutely right: The men and women who take a short-cut around the legal process generally do so for the most basic of reasons — desperation.

That doesn't mean we should just throw up our hands and let the floodgates open. Of course there needs to be order and, as the great Charles Krauthammer said, Americans have a right to decide who comes in and out of the country.

But this brings me to another point about the whole immigration debate. There is a mean-spiritedness that infects the discussion and keeps us from arriving at an equitable result. We don't need the saccharine comments of a presidential hopeful, but neither do we need the vitriol spewed by some of the anti-immigrant groups who equate "the other" with disease, crime and a "brownification" of society.

I think we need to take a step back for a moment and understand the animating principles that define this country and undergird all the great religions. And, then, we need to remember a time when those principles, among them compassion, were horrifically rejected. I hope we can take some philosophical lessons from that tragedy.

Earlier this week, I listened to a radio interview with a man whose grandfather and uncle had been murdered in the Holocaust. The most wrenching part of the story was the fact that they could have been saved had it not been for politics and politicians. In 1939, a group of German Jews attempted to flee the Nazi regime on an ocean liner called the "St. Louis." They sought admission at numerous ports, including the United States and Canada. Fearing the political repercussions, FDR refused to allow the passengers to disembark and, after having the door closed in their faces during a three week "voyage of the damned," the ship returned to Europe. Not surprisingly, the majority of the passengers ended up dying in concentration camps.


We obviously can't analogize the cross-border journey of a Mexican to the desperate flight from Hitler. The comparison is as ridiculous as Bush's comments about loving parents: too gross, too broadly aimed, too discordant and polemical. But it's legitimate to point out the similarity in the way that Americans have come to approach the issue of immigration, one that echoes the "not in my backyard" anxiety of 75 years ago.

Realistically, we cannot open our arms in a universal embrace. Emma Lazarus was a great poet, but she would have failed miserably as a diplomat. In a world of limited resources, we have to do human triage. I spent four hours the other day in front of an immigration judge trying to convince him that the deep scars on my client's face and the shadow in his eyes had earned him a grant of asylum. The judge had the difficult job of deciding whether to believe his story and, even if credible, whether the tales of beatings and threats warranted a refugee's welcome. It's not an easy calculus to make, and I'm not one to second-guess judges or, for that matter, crippled wartime presidents.

Still, it does put things into a better perspective than any of the talking heads on television, the ones who might never in their lives have met a refugee or who think that turnstiles at the border are feasible.

When Bush started talking about the "loving" father, I knew he was firing the opening salvo for 2016. He might be sincere, but his timing leads me to believe that there's a lot more politics in his comments than principle. And that's OK, since even the most revered among us, the ones with our names engraved in marble and on coinage, are capable of selling our souls for a few votes.

But it would still be good for conservatives to soften the sharp edges of their tongues. And it would be good for liberals to remember that it was one of their own who padlocked the Golden Door.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Christine M. Flowers Archives

Christine M. Flowers is a lawyer and columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News.

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