Nasser Yassin, Director of Research, Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, American University of Beirut
With the contribution of:
Rawya Khodor, Refugee Research and Policy Program, Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, American University of Beirut
Refugee Research and Policy Program, July 2019
“The Wolf is Back”, ran the title of the story in the New York Times on April 23, 2019. Wolves, few hundred of them, have been sneaking from the Polish borders into Germany. The packs, apparently, started creeping into the quiet hinterland of Forstgen in East Germany to prey on its sheep. The story, presumably of interest to zoologists and livestock farmers, became a national piece of news, debated in parliament with polarizing views on how to tackle the beasts. Things flared when parallels were made between the “invasion” of wolves and the influx of refugees and migrants. Right-wing politicians made a clear analogy of the wolf, as one violating the serenity and stability of rural landscapes, with the migrants and refugees who have come to transgress the peaceful landscape, suck blood from the economy, and assault the innocents.