As a young Jewish boy in the United States during the 1930s it was common to encounter Jews in my neighborhood who had fled Nazi Germany. We also knew that thousands of Jews were desperate to escape the fate which awaited if they could not leave Germany. Most nations in Europe closed their doors to Jewish asylum seekers on grounds they had enough problems. Fast forward seventy years and now the Jewish state of Israel is turning its back on asylum seekers on ground they are a small society which can not allow thousands to enter.
A vast detention center which could hold 11,000 human beings is being constructed in the Negev desert. It will become the world’s largest detention center. The Knesset already has passed legislation which classifies anyone entering the country from its southern border as “an infiltrator” who can be sent to prison for up to three years.
We have come a long way from Jews being the refugees seeking entry to the Jews building deterntion centers for asylum seekers.