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Are Eastern European states turning their backs on refugees?

Eastern European states have revealed themselves to be intolerant, illiberal, xenophobic, and incapable of remembering the spirit of solidarity that carried them to freedom a quarter-century ago.

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Post entitled, “Eastern Europe’s Crisis of Shame” originally appeared on Project Syndicate.

As thousands of refugees pour into Europe to escape the horrors of war, with many dying along the way, a different sort of tragedy has played out in many of the European Union’s newest member states. The states known collectively as “Eastern Europe,” including my native Poland, have revealed themselves to be intolerant, illiberal, xenophobic, and incapable of remembering the spirit of solidarity that carried them to freedom a quarter-century ago.

These are the same societies that clamored before and after the fall of communism for a “return to Europe,” proudly proclaiming that they shared its values. But what did they think Europe stands for? Since 1989 – and particularly since 2004, when they joined the EU – they have benefited from massive financial transfers in the form of European structural and cohesion funds. Today, they are unwilling to contribute anything to resolve the greatest refugee crisis facing Europe since World War II.

Indeed, before the eyes of the entire world, the government of Hungary, an EU member state, has mistreated thousands of refugees. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán sees no reason to behave otherwise: the refugees are not a European problem, he insists; they are a German problem.

Orbán is not alone in this view. Even Hungary’s Catholic bishops are following Orbán’s line, with Laszlo Kiss-Rigo, Bishop of Szeged-Csanad, saying that Muslim migrants “want to take over,” and that the Pope, who has called on every Catholic parish in Europe to take in a refugee family, “doesn’t know the situation.”
In Poland, a country of 40 million people, the government initially expressed a readiness to accept 2,000 refugees – but only Christians (Slovakia proposed a similar stipulation). Refugees are not an Eastern European problem, a Polish journalist told National Public Radio in the United States, because these countries did not participate in the decision to bomb Libya (neither did Germany).

Have Eastern Europeans no sense of shame? For centuries, their ancestors emigrated in droves, seeking relief from material hardships and political persecution. And today their leaders’ heartless behavior and callous rhetoric play to popular sentiment. Indeed, the electronic version of Poland’s largest newspaper, Gazeta Wyborcza, now publishes a stunning notice at the end of every article about refugees: “Because of the extraordinarily aggressive content of remarks advocating violence, contrary to the law, and calling for racial, ethnic, and religious hatred, we will not allow readers to publish comments.”

Not so long ago, in the immediate postwar years, Eastern European Jewish Holocaust survivors fled from the murderous anti-Semitism of their Polish, Hungarian, Slovak, or Romanian neighbors to the safety of displaced persons camps in, of all places, Germany. “Safe Among the Germans” proclaimed the title of an important book by the historian Ruth Gay about these 250,000 survivors. Now Muslim refugees and survivors of other wars, having found no refuge in Eastern Europe, also are fleeing to safety among the Germans.

In this case, history is not a metaphor. On the contrary, the root cause of the Eastern European attitudes now on grim display is to be found in World War II and its aftermath.

Consider the Poles, who, deservedly proud of their society’s anti-Nazi resistance, actually killed more Jews than Germans during the war. Although Poland’s Catholics were cruelly victimized during the Nazi occupation, they could find little compassion for the fate of Nazism’s ultimate victims. In the words of Józef Mackiewicz, a conservative, anti-Communist Polish writer with impeccable patriotic credentials: “During the occupation there was not, literally, a single person who would not have heard the saying – ‘One thing Hitler has done correctly is to wipe out the Jews.’ But one should not talk about this openly.”

Of course, there were Poles who helped Jews during the war. Indeed, the number of Polish “Righteous Among Nations,” recognized by Israel’s Yad Vashem for their wartime heroism, is the largest among all European countries (unsurprisingly, given that prewar Poland had Europe’s largest Jewish population by far). But these remarkable individuals typically acted on their own, against prevailing social norms. They were misfits who, long after the war had ended, insisted on keeping their wartime heroism a secret from their neighbors – afraid, it seems, that their own communities would otherwise shun, threaten, and ostracize them.

All occupied European societies were complicit to some degree in the Nazi effort to destroy the Jews. Each made a different contribution, depending on country-specific circumstances and conditions of German rule. But the Holocaust played out most gruesomely in Eastern Europe, owing to the sheer number of Jews in the region and the incomparable ruthlessness of the Nazi occupation regimes.

When the war ended, Germany – because of the victors’ denazification policies and its responsibility for instigating and carrying out the Holocaust – had no choice but to “work through” its murderous past. This was a long, difficult process; but German society, mindful of its historical misdeeds, has become capable of confronting moral and political challenges of the type posed by the influx of refugees today. And Chancellor Angela Merkel has set an example of leadership on migrants that puts all of Eastern Europe’s leaders to shame.

Eastern Europe, by contrast, has yet to come to terms with its murderous past. Only when it does will its people be able to recognize their obligation to save those fleeing in the face of evil.

References: 

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/eastern-europe-refugee-crisis-xenophobia-by-jan-gross-2015-09#saz2Tp4vAHqzq3za.99

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This Man’s Incredible Story Proves Why Due Process Matters In The Kavanaugh Case

Accused of rape by a fellow student, Brian Banks accepted a plea deal and went to prison on his 18th birthday. Years later he was exonerated.

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Authored by James Miller of The Political Insider:


Somewhere between the creation of the Magna Carta and now, leftists have forgotten why due process matters; and in some cases, such as that of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, they choose to outright ignore the judicial and civil rights put in place by the U.S. Constitution.

In this age of social media justice mobs, the accused are often convicted in the court of (liberal) public opinion long before any substantial evidence emerges to warrant an investigation or trial. This is certainly true for Kavanaugh. His accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, cannot recall the date of the alleged assault and has no supporting witnesses, yet law professors are ready to ruin his entire life and career. Not because they genuinely believe he’s guilty, but because he’s a pro-life Trump nominee for the Supreme Court.

It goes without saying: to “sink Kavanaugh even if” Ford’s allegation is untrue is unethical, unconstitutional, and undemocratic. He has a right to due process, and before liberals sharpen their pitchforks any further they would do well to remember what happened to Brian Banks.

In the summer of 2002, Banks was a highly recruited 16-year-old linebacker at Polytechnic High School in California with plans to play football on a full scholarship to the University of Southern California. However, those plans were destroyed when Banks’s classmate, Wanetta Gibson, claimed that Banks had dragged her into a stairway at their high school and raped her.

Gibson’s claim was false, but it was Banks’s word against hers. Banks had two options: go to trial and risk spending 41 years-to-life in prison, or take a plea deal that included five years in prison, five years probation, and registering as a sex offender. Banks accepted the plea deal under the counsel of his lawyer, who told him that he stood no chance at trial because the all-white jury would “automatically assume” he was guilty because he was a “big, black teenager.”

Gibson and her mother subsequently sued the Long Beach Unified School District and won a $1.5 million settlement. It wasn’t until nearly a decade later, long after Banks’s promising football career had already been tanked, that Gibson admitted she’d fabricated the entire story.

Following Gibson’s confession, Banks was exonerated with the help of the California Innocence Project. Hopeful to get his life back on track, he played for Las Vegas Locomotives of the now-defunct United Football League in 2012 and signed with the Atlanta Falcons in 2013. But while Banks finally received justice, he will never get back the years or the prospective pro football career that Gibson selfishly stole from him.

Banks’ story is timely, and it serves as a powerful warning to anyone too eager to condemn those accused of sexual assault. In fact, a film about Banks’s ordeal, Brian Banks, is set to premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival next week.

Perhaps all the #MeToo Hollywood elites and their liberal friends should attend the screening – and keep Kavanaugh in their minds as they watch.

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“Transphobic” Swedish Professor May Lose Job After Noting Biological Differences Between Sexes

A university professor in Sweden is under investigation after he said that there are fundamental differences between men and women which are “biologically founded”

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Via Zerohedge


A university professor in Sweden is under investigation for “anti-feminism” and “transphobia” after he said that there are fundamental differences between men and women which are “biologically founded” and that genders cannot be regarded as “social constructs alone,” reports Academic Rights Watch.

For his transgression, Germund Hesslow – a professor of neuroscience at Lund University – who holds dual PhDs in philosophy and neurophysiology, may lose his job – telling RT that a “full investigation” has been ordered, and that there “have been discussions about trying to stop the lecture or get rid of me, or have someone else give the lecture or not give the lecture at all.”

“If you answer such a question you are under severe time pressure, you have to be extremely brief — and I used wording which I think was completely innocuous, and that apparently the student didn’t,” Hesslow said.

Hesslow was ordered to attend a meeting by Christer Larsson, chairman of the program board for medical education, after a female student complained that Hesslow had a “personal anti-feminist agenda.” He was asked to distance himself from two specific comments; that gay women have a “male sexual orientation” and that the sexual orientation of transsexuals is “a matter of definition.”

The student’s complaint reads in part (translated):

I have also heard from senior lecturers that Germund Hesslow at the last lecture expressed himself transfobically. In response to a question of transexuallism, he said something like “sex change is a fly”. Secondly, it is outrageous because there may be students during the lecture who are themselves exposed to transfobin, but also because it may affect how later students in their professional lives meet transgender people. Transpersonals already have a high level of overrepresentation in suicide statistics and there are already major shortcomings in the treatment of transgender in care, should not it be countered? How does this kind of statement coincide with the university’s equal treatment plan? What has this statement given for consequences? What has been done for this to not be repeated? –Academic Rights Watch

After being admonished, Hesslow refused to distance himself from his comments, saying that he had “done enough” already and didn’t have to explain and defend his choice of words.

At some point, one must ask for a sense of proportion among those involved. If it were to become acceptable for students to record lectures in order to find compromising formulations and then involve faculty staff with meetings and long letters, we should let go of the medical education altogether,” Hesslow said in a written reply to Larsson.

He also rejected the accusation that he had a political agenda – stating that his only agenda was to let scientific factnot new social conventions, dictate how he teaches his courses.

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Kavanaugh Accuser’s Classmate Backs Off Claims She Heard About Alleged Assault

“That it happened or not, I have no idea,” Cristina King Miranda told NPR’s Nina Totenberg. “I can’t say that it did or didn’t.”

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Authored by Amber Athey via The Daily Caller:


A classmate of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is backing off of claims that she knew anything about an alleged sexual assault committed by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Cristina King Miranda, who attended high school with Ford, wrote on Facebook this week that she heard school rumors about an incident involving Kavanaugh and Ford back in the 1980s. Miranda later deleted the post and said she did not want to talk to the media about her claims.

However, Miranda spoke to NPR on Thursday and clarified that she has no information about an alleged assault.

“That it happened or not, I have no idea,” Cristina King Miranda told NPR’s Nina Totenberg. “I can’t say that it did or didn’t.”

Miranda’s new statement directly contradicts her Facebook post, in which she wrote, “The incident DID happen, many of us heard about it in school.”

“In my post, I was empowered and I was sure it probably did [happen],” Miranda told NPR this morning. “I had no idea that I would now have to go to the specifics and defend it before 50 cable channels and have my face spread all over MSNBC news and Twitter.”

Miranda said the Senate Judiciary Committee reached out to her after her post but that she would not testify if asked.

Dr. Ford previously said she had not told anyone about the incident until a therapist meeting in 2012. Ford also said the incident happened during the summer, contradicting Miranda’s assertion that she heard rumors about it in school.

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