The Refugee Problem Is Being Treated with Band-Aids and Aspirin

While it is important to ease the pain of a headache with a pill or rest and relaxation, it is no less important to know what is causing the headache as the cause will lead to the ultimate solution. Headaches can be from hunger, dehydration, anger, sunstroke, emotional stress, disease or physical injury. Recursive pain, in the best case scenario, and death, in the worst, will result if the root cause is not identified and treated.

Similarly, the refugee problem. European countries are now either barricading themselves behind fences or ranting at those that do and suggesting that everyone from war-torn Syria and Iraq should be let into Europe. Along come the Pakistanis and Bangladeshis and others who also flee less than humane places in Asia and Africa looking for safe homes in which to raise their children.

But admitting the runaways into Europe or other countries is merely applying a Band-Aid to a deep infected wound that needs to be surgically cleaned out and sewn up. The result of ignoring the source of the refugee problem may lead to the death of the world as we know it. Europe can certainly not remain the Europe we have always known — inundated with other peoples who come, not to integrate into their host countries, but to be safe as they bring their own unmodified ways of life with them, with seemingly no intention of adapting their cultural mores or traditions to the new environment.

Multiculturalism has been a flag proudly flown aloft in many countries, but multiculturalism only works when there is a strong and proud cultural base that can absorb others up to a critical threshold, beyond which it becomes untenable. Australia provides a good example of a nation protecting its own language and culture. Apparently they have seen the dire consequences of being overly solicitous and “politically correct” and they have decided to stand up for themselves. However, the far away island is not likely to be flooded with boat people or overland migrants, a challenge that places each European nation in the jousting arena with its humanitarian principles astride one horse facing off its survival instincts on the other.

We have all seen the nature of the evil spreading throughout the Middle East and parts of Africa — extreme political Islam that seeks to turn the entire world into one unified Islamic State. How do Europeans sleep soundly in their beds at night not knowing whether or not some of the neck-slitting warriors have slipped into the make-shift refugee camps? After all, they too have wives and children. And we have seen how they desensitize their children to the cutting of throats and the chopping off of hands and more! How are Europeans so sure they have not let ISIS slip into their midst unheeded and then, because they are Syrian or Iraqi, let them buy train tickets to Germany and Austria?

Is it not possible that the root cause of today’s refugee problem is European colonialism in Asia and Africa? (Are the Americas going to follow suit one day?) Imperialist and arrogant, they stole the land and lay down borders without concern for the tribal associations of those living there; they exploited the riches on and beneath the land, and in some places frightened the indigenous peoples into abandoning their traditional religions to accept a Christ they painted white. By interfering in the natural evolutionary processes these indigenous cultures and traditions would have undergone, they created a cancer. When you interfere with the very DNA of a culture, you do not know what havoc you will create. And, while we cannot know what would have happened without European interference over the three-quarters of the globe that they colonized, we do know that we are now faced with a deep-rooted disease that threatens all of humanity.

The solution to the refugee problem is not to endlessly absorb swarms of deserving and undeserving individuals into the democratic countries whose hearts bleed for the unfortunate and tragic. NO! To devise the solution you need first to define the problem and its cause. If today’s refugee problem is because of yesterday’s imperialist Empires and colonies, that might suggest some potential solutions and if it is not, it might suggest others. But please, let’s get beyond discussing relieving symptoms and talk about cures.

About the Author
Sheri Oz, owner of, is a retired family therapist exploring mutual interactions between politics and Israeli society.
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