Riot police separate people holding a German flag and on their way to attend an anti-immigration demonstration organised by right wing movement Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West (PEGIDA) and opponents of PEGIDA in Dresden, Germany, on October 20, 2015.
After intense scrutiny and a wide debate across Europe on the increasing number of refugees coming to the continent, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has admitted that she made some mistakes in the open door policy that welcomed record numbers of migrants.
“We didn’t embrace the problem in an appropriate way. That goes as well for protecting the external border of the Schengen area,” Merkel said in an interview, according to Breitbart News, on Thursday.
“In Germany we ignored the problem for too long and blocked out the need to find a pan-European solution,” she added.
Merkel also said that she “cannot deny” that Germany had become complacent after years of welcoming migrants from other nations.
Politico noted that the German leader also made a promise that the enforcement of law will be tightened, and refugees who do not qualify for asylum in the country will be returned home.
(PHOTO: REUTERS/FABIAN BIMMER)
Migrants from Syria sit in their tent in a refugee camp in Celle, Lower-Saxony, Germany, October 15, 2015. With the approach of winter, authorities are scrambling to find warm places to stay for the thousands of refugees streaming into Germany every day. In desperation, they have turned to sports halls, youth hostels and empty office buildings. But as these options dry up, tent cities have become the fall-back plan: despite falling temperatures, a survey by German newspaper Die Welt showed at least 42,000 refugees were still living in tents.
Still, she expressed confidence that migrants who have won legal right of asylum in Germany will be able to integrate into society.
Merkel has repeatedly stuck to the motto “we can do this,” when it comes to providing a safe place to stay for the 1.1 million refugees who came to Germany in 2015, and many others that have continued to arrive in 2016. But several high-profile incidents have sparked unrest and protest among the German people.
Far-right movements such a PEGIDA have led campaigns against Germany’s welcome of refugees, blaming them for an increase of crime in several cities.
“People are very unhappy with her refugee policies,” said Helmut Schroeder, a 61-year-old unemployed locksmith in Greifswald. “It’s astonishing that one woman could take such a momentous decision on her own. We are not a monarchy.”
Other commentators, such as Stefani Weiss, director and expert on European politics at Bertelsmann Stiftung, an independent, nonprofit German foundation, told The Christian Post back in January that Germany cannot handle Europe’s refugee crisis on its own.
“The member states need to accept that this is a European problem, and that it needs a European solution. We have to be more aware of the risks which might be involved regarding our security and safety, but we shouldn’t put refugees and criminals into one basket,” Weiss told CP.
(PHOTO: REUTERS/MICHAELA REHLE)
Syrian migrants Zake Khalil (3rdR), his wife Nagwa (R) and their four children Joan, Torin, Ellen and newborn Hevin arrive at the Austrian-German border in Achleiten near Passau, Germany, October 27, 2015. The premier of the state of Bavaria Premier Horst Seehofer criticised Austria on Tuesday for failing to coordinate the flow of migrants into southern Germany even as he renewed a challenge to Chancellor Angela Merkel over her management of the refugee crisis. Germany is taking in more migrants than any other EU state. It expects 800,000 to 1 million people, many from war zones in the Middle East, Africa and Afghanistan, to arrive this year.
Reuters reported that it’s not yet clear whether Merkel will decide to run for a fourth term in 2017, as she faces declining popularity ratings while regional elections in September could deliver big gains for her political opponents.
An opinion poll on Thursday reportedly showed that Merkel’s approval rating has fallen to 45 percent, which is the lowest point in five years.
Oxford historian and author Timothy Garton Ash predicted that Merkel might be on her way out of power, despite the Chancellor promising the German people that there will not be as many refugees admitted in 2016 as last year.
“Merkel is Europe’s indispensable leader, because of the position of Germany, but also her standing and experience as a leader,” Ash offered.
“But there is a universal law in politics that says 10 years is enough. When leaders stay longer they start making mistakes. It happened to De Gaulle, Kohl, Thatcher and to Erdogan and Putin. Now it seems to be happening to the pragmatic, cautious Angela Merkel.”
(PHOTO: REUTERS/WOLFGANG RATTAY)
Supporters of anti-immigration right-wing movement PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West) take part in in demonstration rally, in reaction to mass assaults on women on New Year’s Eve, in Cologne, Germany, January 9, 2016.
A Sa’ar 4.5-class Corvette of the Israeli Navy fires its canons during a naval exercise off the coast of Israel.
Israel’s Defense Ministry on Sunday announced a series of deals for the purchase of combat systems from local defense industries in the amount of $420 million by the end of this year. This is part of a project to acquire warships whose mission would to protect natural gas platforms within Israel’s “economic waters” in the Mediterranean against military threats.
An Israeli soldier training in Krav Maga.
Several dozen members of the Indian military are currently learning how to protect themselves using the Israeli martial art of Krav Maga, India Today reported this weekend.
“I brought Krav Maga to India in year 2002 after intensive training in Israel,” Vikram Kapoor — the head instructor at the International Krav Maga Federation — was quoted as saying. “This is the only self-defense technique that is being evolved every moment and that is why it is the best.”
Culminating a three-year process, delegates at the Mennonite Church USA assembly in Orlando on Thursday adopted a resolution titled “Seeking Peace in Israel and Palestine,” with approximately 98 percent voting in favor. The resolution calls on members to “avoid purchase of products associated with the occupation or produced in settlements in occupied territories.” It also establishes a process for the church to review its investments “for the purpose of withdrawing investments from companies that are profiting from the occupation.”
Rabbi Steven Wernick says Netanyahu recruited progressive Jews to find a compromise for the holy site; now that the PM has reneged, world Jewry won’t be silent
The fight for pluralistic prayer at the Western Wall is a battle already won by Jewry’s Conservative movement. For some 20 years, Conservative Jews have inhabited a spiritual home at Jerusalem’s contentious holy site, which they won through a series of Supreme Court cases — in a section allocated to the Davidson Archaeological
Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. (Photo credit: hebron.com)
In a secret ballot held at the World Heritage Committee’s 41st annual summit in Krakow Poland, on Friday, UNESCO voted twelve to three in favor declaring the Holy City of Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs “Palestinian world heritage sites”.
The resolution described a Muslim history of the city while blatantly ignoring the Biblical narrative describing 3,000 years of Jewish connection to the site. Six countries abstained from the controversial vote which, at the request of Poland, Croatia, and Jamaica, was a secret ballot; a first for such a vote.
During last month’s 2017 Chicago Dyke March, the true face of “inclusion” among “progressives” finally surfaced. According to the Chicago based newspaper Windy City Times, the march proceeded calmly with people “of all races, genders and gender identities” attending, until “the Dyke March Collective ejected three people carrying Jewish Pride flags (a rainbow flag with a Star of David in the center).”
Something is terribly broken in the relationship between American and Israeli Jews. I say this as an American Jew who has lived in Israel for almost half a century. But if anyone thinks this started with Women of the Wall or PM Netanyahu’s recent – and I believe unfortunate – backtracking on the agreement over egalitarian prayer space at the Kotel, he is suffering from selective memory, if not total denial.
gentleman from times gone by. He was soft-spoken, courtly, and wore his pants hoisted high and held up by suspenders; clearly, a European who had personally endured horrors in the last century.
Indeed, he had personally survived the Holocaust in Poland. Therefore, I could not immediately understand why he now attends a very left-wing synagogue—but, totally incomprehensible, was his unexpected and rather passionate defense of Poland and of the Poles. He argued on their behalf as if his very life still depended upon it.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s decision to visit Jerusalem but not Ramallah has prompted much comment.
The expectation of equal treatment goes back to the Oslo Accords’ signing in Sep. 1993, when the prime minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, represented his government in the handshake with Yasir Arafat, the much-despised chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. No one found it strange or inappropriate at the time but things look differently nearly a quarter century later.
Matthew Healy at the Atlantic, one of the few remaining liberal anti-censorship magazines, offers a disingenuous counterpoint to the debate over political correctness.
The attempts to silence dissenting points of view are counter-speech, according to Healy. And counter-speech is an important form of free expression.