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FEATURING SASHA POLAKOW-SURANSKY – November 11, 2017 marked 99 years since Poland became independent. On that day, while the government marked official Independence Day celebrations, elsewhere in the Polish capital of Warsaw an estimated 60,000 protesters marched. They demanded a “white Europe,” and denigrated Muslims, immigrants, and refugees while burning red flares.

Although less than 1 percent of Poland’s population is Muslim, the nation that suffered greatly under Nazi Germany during World War II has now ironically become the epicenter of anti-immigrant sentiment in Europe.

Across Europe, from France, UK, Norway, the Netherlands, and beyond, the pushback from white Europeans against the world’s largest global refugee crisis has been fueled by politicians, exacerbated by the failures of capitalism, and even encouraged by Donald Trump’s white supremacism across the Atlantic.

The author of a new book on European anti-immigrant sentiments worries that the problem lies not with outsiders coming to Europe, but the continent’s internal forces that are jeopardizing the democratic ideals of openness and human rights for all.

Sasha Polakow-Suransky, author of The Unspoken Alliance: Israel’s Secret Relationship with Apartheid South Africa. He is also an Open Society Foundations Fellow and was an op-ed editor at the New York Times and a senior editor at Foreign Affairs. His new book is called Go Back To Where You Came From: The Backlash Against Immigration and the Fate of Western Democracy.

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