The refugee crisis in Europe is, strangely, giving new life to old borders. Not long ago, Europeans condemned Israel for building fences; now they are learning from us. In Israel, people complained that there was no policy; this week, Hungary changed its policy on a daily basis.
Before we get to the numbers, the difficulties and the dilemmas, one must remember that these are people made of flesh and blood. They have become victims. The vast majority, if not all of them, are true refugees. The dilemma is not Europe’s, which ultimately, even with all the difficulties, will take them all in. The problem is the refugees’ own.
They are the ones who lost a home, family, their familiar surrounding, culture, language, and friends. One toddler washed ashore this week. Thousands of others have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea. But they continue, because they have nowhere to go back to. They are those who fled the terrorizing and murderous rule of global jihad and its offshoots, from the Taliban to the Islamic State. These are not migrant workers from Africa, who seek an improved quality of life. The refugees from Muslim nations are running for their lives. Their countries have become a trap of fire and destruction. For many, many years, and not just for a generation, they will remain foreigners.
Professor Arnon Soffer has for years claimed that this tsunami was on the way. Now he claims it’s only the beginning and that the real tsunami has not yet arrived. Climate change, poverty, and wars will lead to migration of several million people. The south will stream in masses to the rich north. Africa will in a decade grow from a population of one billion to 1.5 billion. And they have less and less water – 800 lakes have already run dry. They will escape to any possible place.
And what about the Middle East? There, too, says Soffer, the political changes go hand in hand with climate change. The thawing ice in the Himalayan Mountains will accomplish whatever the Taliban does not. Another climate crisis on a continental scale. In Syria, 12 million people are seeking asylum, even now. But those who have arrived in recent months are only the vanguard. Soffer expects millions more to arrive in their wake.
Despite Soffer’s predictions, and despite what appears to be a crisis, the numbers are small so far. For now. In July, 107,000 asylum seekers arrived in Europe – triple the number in June 2014, and a record in this era. Once the August figures are tallied, it will break all records. That means an annual average of more than a million people. In the first few months of the year, it was the mass influx from Africa, mainly through the shores of crumbling Libya. The trend has shifted in recent weeks. Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq are at the forefront of the countries exporting refugees.
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