The problem facing Europe is not only the vast number of migrants flooding the continent. It is that, from past experience, these people do not escape the Middle East. They bring the Middle East with them. The result is enormous strain on the social fabric of the host nations. It becomes increasingly difficult to assimilate the immigrants with the people already there, as governments try to accommodate the overwhelming weight of strangers who do not know their customs and do not speak their languages. Multiculturalism was a dream. It failed. In its place seems to be an emerging nightmare of unmanageable proportions.
Migrants from the Middle East enter Hungary from Serbia, on August 26, by crawling under a temporary razor wire fence erected by the Hungarian government. (Image source: WSJ video screenshot)
The migrant problem is becoming a huge destabilizing headache for Europe. It should not be. The most humane solution -- respecting the migrant's ethnic and religious origins, and honoring their basic traditions of faith and language -- might be closer to home, at least for the migrants from the Middle East and North Africa.
Had these migrants been Jewish you can be sure that Israel would have taken emergency measures to accept and absorb them into the Jewish State.
These migrants are not Jewish, but the Israeli model of large and successful absorption and integration into society could be the template for the migrants, the vast majority of whom are Muslim and speak Arabic. Therein lays the solution.
Host countries such as wealthy Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, with vast tracts of barren land, might be persuaded to join the world in accepting Arabic-speaking coreligionists and help them build new productive lives that contribute to the state.
To the west of the Libyan ports, from where thousands of migrants set out on a perilous Mediterranean journey, lie Algeria and Morocco. Europe, America, and the Arab League might contribute to funding such a venture.
It must be asked why these Arab nations have remained silent. There can only be one reason. They are equally as reluctant to accept these migrants as many European nations have been. Most of the world is (understandably) reluctant to be swamped by refugees and more scenes like those we have been witnessing. There does, however, seem to be a need to distribute the responsibility. The Arab world, which is at least partly responsible for the mayhem and destruction of this the migrant whirlwind, might be persuaded by the international community to share the burden and open their gates to people of the same faith and of the same tongue.
While Europeans agonize over their moral consciences as they cope with the humanitarian crisis, the Arab leaders have not expressed any remorse or compassion over the fate of their fellow Arabs and coreligionists. This is unacceptable.
European nations individually, or through the European Union, might call on the Arab League to request their assistance to absorb the bulk of the migrants.
Let Europe accept the Christians. Let Muslim Arab countries accept the Muslim Arabs. As for Israel, it has always been in the forefront in extending humanitarian aid whenever possible, including treating thousands of wounded Syrians in recent years. Although it already has the highest percentage of immigrants per capita despite its small size, Israel obviously cannot be expected to absorb migrants from countries that have declared enmity to it.
This division of labor is a simple and practical way of solving the current migrant problem. It could also be the template for similar problems in the future.
Barry Shaw is Senior Associate on Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.