Immigration policy now has a face – a pretty one even. That can only help as the hyperventilating media turn their attention to Europe’s most pressing issue.
Last week, 14-year-old Palestinian Reem Sahwil became a symbol of the immigration debate when she discussed her dreams and objectives in her new home of Germany with the country’s chancellor.
Angela Merkel – in her dispassionate, chancellor-like demeanor that is so praised elsewhere – repeatedly pointed out to the teenager that Germany cannot accommodate all asylum seekers. When the girl started to cry, Ms. Merkel tried, awkwardly, to comfort her – and outrage exploded on the Internet about the supposedly hardhearted head of government.
The criticism is both cheap and inaccurate, because it diverts our attention from the real problem. It really isn’t about the chancellor’s lack of empathy. It’s not even about the nicely integrated Reem, who probably needn’t worry about being deported ever since her public tears.