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Horowitz: The disturbing questions following attack on Boston rabbi allegedly by Muslim illegal alien

Op-ed
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Are we needlessly importing anti-Semitism in large amounts to our shores?

Last week, there was a stabbing attack on a Boston rabbi allegedly committed by an illegal alien Muslim from Egypt who was a known anti-Semite. This stabbing incident, which the victim thankfully survived, raises numerous policy questions. However, none of them will ever be asked, because since the suspect is both Muslim and an illegal alien, most people will never know it occurred.

Rabbi Shlomo Noginski was stabbed eight times in front of a Boston Jewish day school last Thursday in what could easily be chalked up to rising crime, but there is so much more to the story. Fox News reports that the suspect, Khaled Awad, is an Egyptian national who entered the country two years ago on a student visa but lost his legal status last month after failing to attend college. ICE currently has a detainer on Awad, but the question is why he wasn't apprehended last month. Moreover, has anyone thought of the hundreds of thousands of foreign students we bring in from the Middle East and how we can vet them for anti-American and anti-Semitic proclivities?

Noginski, who is recovering from stab wounds in the arm and stomach, believes that this was not a robbery gone wrong. "Unequivocally, it was an anti-Semitic incident," Noginski told an Israeli media outlet on Friday. "This is how I feel, I felt in that moment that he was trying to kill me, not [trying] to steal my car. He wanted to capture me and kill me." He explained how he offered the attacker the keys to his car, but he wasn't looking for his keys or wallet. "He didn't want anything. He really tried to aim for my heart, my body, which is significant."

But Awad wasn't a random street thug. He came to this country on a student visa from a very volatile country steeped in anti-Semitism. CBS Boston reports that Awad's college roommates, one of whom was Jewish, said in an interview that the suspect is "violent" and "very much anti-Semitic." The Jewish roommate had to move out and secure a protective order against Awad after he allegedly attacked him one day in the kitchen. "He was very much anti-Semitic. He would say like all types of Jewish jokes. I thought he was joking at first and then I started to see seriousness in his comments," another former roommate told WBZ.

We all know that colleges are becoming increasingly anti-Semitic, but one of the forgotten reasons is the plethora of Middle Eastern foreign students who are brought in every year. Instead of making visa applications from terror-prone countries a red flag, we now admit more than 155,000 foreign students from the Middle East.

According to the Institute of International Education, during the 2019/2020 academic year, there were more than 3,800 Egyptians issued student visas. In 2018, by my best estimate, we handed out more than 150,000 green cards to nationals of predominantly Muslim countries, not including more than 100,000 foreign student visas and other visa categories. How in the world can we vet all these people?

A Pew poll from last decade, which surveyed sentiments towards Jews among those living in Middle Eastern countries, revealed that 95% of Egyptians have an unfavorable view of Jews. Seldom do these views coincide with patriotic pro-American sentiments once they come here on student visas. This mass importation of the Middle East is turning our college campuses into islands of hate for Jews.

In this case, in particular, how can a foreign student of any nationality with a protective order against him be allowed to remain in the country? Don't we only take in the brightest of the brightest?

What is truly unsettling about the hundreds of thousands of unvetted foreign students is that our government failed to properly vet foreign military trainees from Saudi Arabia studying on our naval bases. In December 2019, Saudi Royal Air Force pilot Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, one of an estimated 850 Saudi military personnel training on our bases, shot dead three Americans at Naval Air Station Pensacola. Rather than terminating this program, then-Secretary of Defense Mark Esper promised to expand it.

Alshamrani had a history of openly jihadist social media postings, yet he was allowed to attend a military training program. Can you imagine how little vetting is applied to civilian students coming from the Middle East, China, and other areas of concern?

What's worse than the lack of vetting on the front end is the lack of focus, technology, and resources — or even will — to deal with concerning foreign students even once they lose their visas, as in Awad's case. Why are so many people able to remain in our country completely unvetted after they overstay their visas? Congress passed a law in 1996 mandating the creation of a visa tracking system to monitor and apprehend those caught overstaying their visas, and its implementation was urged by the 9/11 Commission.

Just in fiscal year 2019 alone, almost 700,000 individuals overstayed their visas, and 85% of them still remain in the country. One of the 9/11 hijackers who piloted the plane that flew into the Pentagon, Hani Hanjour, came here on a student visa from Saudi Arabia. We have responded to the threat by increasing the number of foreign students from Saudi Arabia from a few thousand a year to more than 70,000. In 2014, ABC news discovered that 58,000 foreign nationals had overstayed their student visas in particular, of which 6,000 represented a "heightened concern."

Between all those who overstay their visas and the 1 million illegal aliens who remain here after final deportation orders (plus another 1.5 million who have "pending final deportation orders"), ICE obviously has its hands full. But under this administration, it has its hand tied.

Isn't it interesting how our government can contact-trace American citizens and monitor everyone for quarantine, yet it can't monitor security threats among visa recipients?

The distinguishing characteristic of a strong sovereign nation compared to an undeveloped country is the ability to monitor and control an external movement into the territory and the ability to apprehend and remove those who trespass on the national private property rights of the people. Yet in every measure, we seem to fail not just in our ability to prevent people from infiltrating our territory, but in monitoring and apprehending those who successfully remain in our country illegally. We the people are regulated or monitored in every aspect of our lives, but somehow illegal infiltrators seem to evade the juggernaut of Big Brother. At a time when the president is promising to go house to house pressuring those who declined to vaccinate, the question is: Are our leaders are incapable of monitoring foreign national threats, or are they downright unwilling?

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