DE­FEND­ING MI­GRANTS

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT&ANALYSIS -

Bar­ring­ton Black’s views move from the sound Bib­li­cal mes­sage of kind­ness to strangers to stereo­typ­ing Al­ba­ni­ans, Chi­nese, Ja­maicans, Nige­ri­ans, Ghana­ians, So­ma­lis and Ro­ma­ni­ans in much the way that Jews have been stereo­typed as Shy­lock and Fa­gin ( JC, Novem­ber 2). Mr Black, as a crim­i­nal judge, was hardly see­ing typ­i­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tives of those groups. Such crim­i­nals were no more like or­di­nary mem­bers of their com­mu­ni­ties than Fa­gin was a typ­i­cal Jew.

Hav­ing spot­ted this him­self, Mr Black says, “but one can­not ig­nore the pro­por­tions”. What pro­por­tions? He cites no sta­tis­tics: he sim­ply re­lies on his own un­rep­re­sen­ta­tive ex­pe­ri­ence. Un­for­tu­nately, com­ment of this na­ture about im­mi­gra­tion may be in­ter­preted by some as a cloak for racist big­otry.

The over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of le­gal mi­grants are a great as­set to the UK. Ju­dith Moss judy­moss@ya­hoo.co.uk that she men­tions, how civilised was it to send 16-year-old refugees un­der armed guard to Aus­tralia and Canada? Ernest G Kol­man Old­field Lane North, Green­ford, Middx

Aus­trian Jewish Holo­caust sur­vivors were in­volved in ev­ery as­pect of the ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Aus­trian gov­ern­ment ( My Holo­caust Com­pen­sa­tion is an In­sult, Oc­to­ber 26). Sup­port­ing that agree­ment were the Amer­i­can Coun­cil for Equal Com­pen­sa­tion of Nazi Vic­tims from Aus­tria and the Cen­tral Com­mit­tee of Jews from Aus­tria in Is­rael.

The Gen­eral Set­tle­ment Fund was only one com­po­nent of the 2001 agree­ment, which was for more than $500 mil­lion. Also in­cluded in the agree­ment were $7,000 pay­ments to ev­ery sur­viv­ing Aus­trian Jewish vic­tim, later in­creased by an­other $1,200. A key part was ob­tain­ing nurs­ing and pen­sion pay­ments for 2,400 Aus­trian sur­vivors liv­ing out­side of Aus­tria.

In ad­di­tion, the Claims Con­fer­ence has se­cured and dis­trib­uted $10 mil­lion from Aus­trian sources to as­sist sur­vivors around the world. Hil­lary Kessler-Godin, Di­rec­tor of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Claims Con­fer­ence New York, NY 10010, USA

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