Palestinian Flag on a New York Bridge

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A little less than a month after 2 American flags were replaced with white flags on the Brooklyn Bridge, a Palestinian flag with the words Boycott Divestment Sanctions was unfurled on the Manhattan Bridge.  For those who do not know,the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) Movement, is the movement set up by Palestinian Omar Barghouti, ironically a former student of Tel-Aviv University, to conduct economic warfare against the State of Israel.  One of the most high-profile and outspoken members of the BDS Movement is Pink Floyd front man Roger Waters.

I hope this most recent turn of events will be taken seriously by New York City Mayor Bill de Blassio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, not only because it is the same breach in security that occurred one month ago, but also because of the hostile message behind the BDS Movement towards not only Israel, but Jews worldwide.

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The Truth Matters Only if You Value it

liesClearly I am not objective.  I love Israel and hate Hamas.  I believe Hamas is to blame for the deaths of not only Israelis but Palestinians as well.  I believe Benjamin Netanyahu is a great man and Khaleed Meshaal is an evil man.  I agree with Netanyahu when he says, “If the Arabs put down their weapons there would be no more war.  If Israel put down her weapons, there would be no more Israel.”  Clearly I am not objective.

I make no claims to be objective.  However, despite my lack of objectivity I do seek the truth.  So much so that I acknowledge that Israel has made mistakes and done some things they should not have done over the past 66 years.  But there is no truth that justifies the attacks Israel has had to endure, be they violent attacks from terrorists or verbal attacks from anti-Semites.  If presented with factual evidence of a certain truth, even one that opposes my views, I would address it honestly and make every attempt to be fair in my assessment.  The question is, why won’t my enemies do the same?

It’s because the truth has no meaning to them.  Most anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiment is not based in truth.  It’s either based in ideology or communal involvement.  People like to be part of something.  Even something motivated by hate.  The ideology however is what drives everything.  It drives terrorism, stirs up the masses, allows the leaders to make statements they know are not true, but justify with their beliefs.  A friend once said to me, “people buy with emotion and justify it with logic.”  Once the masses buy the bill of goods sold to them by the mini-dictators popping up all over the world, they search for the logic to back it up.  For example, the number one lie being told is that Israel is committing genocide.  Once that message is sold to the Muslim masses by the Imans, all they need now is a complicit al-Jazeera or CNN to show a man holding an injured or dead child in his hand in Gaza and the people have their “logic” to back up the sale.

Here’s the problem with that.  When you use that method the truth is irrelevant.  The only thing that matters is pushing your agenda.  Even visual evidence won’t matter anymore.  You passionately sell an ideal, even one of hate, show one image, maybe only make one ridiculous claim that can be used to back it up, and its sold.  Russell Brand goes on a hateful diatribe against Israel on his online channel he calls the Trews, claiming it is True News, and people who like the movie star buy into it, even though he sits there and blatantly obstructs the truth from his listeners.  Hamas sells the idea that Israel is indiscriminately bombing Gaza, targeting women and children, and those who have already bought into anti-Zionism and Jew hatred see a blown up building and they’ve seen enough.  We could have a 10 page document and 100 pictures proving that Hamas put those innocents in harms way by using them as human shields and it would make no difference.  They’ve already decided what they want to believe.  The truth doesn’t matter anymore.

Do we combat this with lies of our own?  I say no.  But I do think we need to be a little less concerned about whether or not we are unfair to those allowing those lies to be spoken and should be spending less time defending those who only express an (anti-Semitic) opinion.  Tolerance is a very charitable trait, particularly in war time, and as we all know charity starts at home.

As I responded in social media when someone criticized my letter to George Clooney, “Never Again” does not mean Never Again unless we insult George Clooney.  Never Again means recognizing the signs and doing all we can to prevent it.  I believe the truth is always the right way, but being tolerant at our own expense is not.

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The Bright side of Ferguson

628x471I have shied away from addressing the situation in Ferguson, Missouri partially out of lack of information and partially out of focus on what it is I’ve been attempting to accomplish with my articles.  It was not till I felt a connection with what is happening there to the bigger global picture that I felt compelled to write about it.

Let me start by saying that the death of a young man of 18 at the hands of police officers is always a tragedy.  Whether you make the argument that he was an unarmed teenager shot merely because he was black and on the streets or whether you make the argument he was involved in illegal activities and put himself into that situation, his death is a tragedy.  However, despite the tragedy, the behavior of both parties since the events took place ironically magnify the morality that still exists in the United States in comparison to the global atrocities we need to fight.

The harshest reactions to this post will come from two opposing sides of the spectrum.  Since I anticipate that, I will address them both in this piece.  One side will say that this is another example of the injustice a young black man consistently has to face.  They will say that there are too many out there, be it the average citizen or the law enforcement official that see a young black man and suspect him to be a criminal merely because he is black.  The other side will say that the behavior of young black men has created this environment and that if the crime level in that demographic was not so high that people would not react that way.

Everyone who knows me well knows that my opinions are never determined by the color of one’s skin.  They also know that I am a supporter of the police. That doesn’t mean I don’t recognize that there are both people of color and police officers that commit crimes.  I say this because other than saying that Michael Brown should not have been killed, I am not using this platform to analyze the more detailed rights and wrongs of what took place here.  The point to this piece is to bring attention to the relative greatness of our society.

This is where the critics on both sides are shaking their hands and wagging their fingers at me.  “Tell that to Michael Brown’s mother”, one might say.  “Try being a cop and never knowing if someone is going to pull out a gun and shoot you”, another might say.  I’m not saying either is wrong nor am I ignoring the problems that do exist in this country, what I am doing is making a larger point.  Other than the looters and rioters on one side and the racists on the other, this case has magnified the way Americans deal with issues.  They scream and shout and protest, go on TV, look to their political leaders, have investigations and most of all, pursue justice.  They don’t always enact justice,  but the pursuit is allowed, not stifled for the most part, and not met with government sanctioned resistance. Yes there are still glaring flaws, and yes both young black men and police officers still have to endure unfair behaviors, but when push comes to shove we still see a society where people are relatively free to express their grievances, and that all that most decent people want is justice.

It’s far from perfect, but it still needs to be recognized and appreciated.  Even by those getting the worst of it.  Because in so many other places it would be, and is a lot worse.

 

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Time to Wake Up

JamesFoleyThere was once an unwritten rule in war-torn regions of the world that journalists were left alone due to their understood neutrality.  Those days are over as evident in this horrific story of the beheading of America journalist James Foley.  First and foremost it is an awful story and our hearts go out to his family.

What this incident does is bring up an important and meaningful question. Paraphrasing the term used when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, I ask this question.  At what point will the sleeping giant wake up?  In this case the sleeping giant consists of a lot more than just the United States of America.  All of these European countries attempting to appease their radical Muslim elements,  entertainers from all over the globe making excuses for the bad behavior, frightened politicians, and most significantly now the media, need to wake up before it is too late.  How much more do they need to see they’ve taken the wrong side?  The time will come when the damage these people do will not be localized and will not be limited to small numbers.  When that time comes their force will be too powerful to stop.

Maybe these types of actions will be what it takes to wake people up.  Or maybe people will just continue to hide under the covers pretending to sleep, hoping the murderer invading their home will leave them alone.  It doesn’t work that way.  He came to kill.  Our one best hope is that the brazen evil will make enough people mad giving them the resolve to take the actions necessary to stop it.  It may be a bitter pill to swallow, but it far outweighs the other option.

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What Offends You?

MummyBomberL_468x468In light of all the comments I’ve received recently, some attacking my comments, many supporting them, I’ve decided to make a post reviewing my observations of what I perceive as some of those things offensive to those not sharing my sensitivities and drawing a comparison or similarity to mine when applicable.  At least inasmuch as I am not offended by the same things that they are, even if they are offended by the same things that offend me. Confused? So am I.  If the “you” I refer to is not you, don’t worry.  I clearly don’t mean you.  This piece is for those occasionally or commonly directing their passions in different directions than I do.

WHAT OFFENDS YOU

Israel’s actions in Gaza

Benjamin Netanyahu

When you perceive someone as insulting towards George Clooney

Someone drawing a connection between a high-profile woman and her high-profile future husband in regard to her anti-Israel statements

Someone using Russell Brand’s addiction problems as a means to ridicule him

Blanket anti-Muslim sentiment

Someone insulting the famous people you worship

A one-sided approach to the Israeli-Palestinian problem

Jews invoking the memory of the Holocaust to use it as justification for actions and attitudes today

Pictures representing Palestinian children as terrorists

 

WHAT OFFENDS ME

Hamas training Palestinian children to be terrorists

Using injured or dead children as a media ploy against Israel

Jewish people defending George Clooney with more vigor than they defend Benjamin Netanyahu

Terrorism

Jewish families being blown up in Pizza places

The United Nations

Russell Brand’s remake of Arthur

People blatantly ignoring the truth to suit their argument against Israel

Jewish people who distance themselves from Israel

Anti-Semitism

 

This post is a very general post.  It does not target specific people.  Some of you fall partially into a category, some completely, some not at all.  This is how I feel.  I have approved every comment made in my blog in an effort to not stifle opinions, regardless of how offensive they may be to me and others. However, in turn, I have no intention of remaining silent about those issues that I find offensive and feel are damaging to our future and in many cases I know that what offends me, offends you as well.  In the meantime I hope you continue to enjoy the read.

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Open Letter to Russell Brand

Russell-Brand-006Dear Russell,

Before writing you this letter I did a little research on you. Although no one, including myself ever thought you had it all together, I never realized how messed up you truly are.  ADHD, bi-polar, substance abuse, and bulimia?  Your accomplishments are astounding.  I guess that is what qualifies you as an expert in Middle Eastern affairs.

I’ve listened to your delusional rants and since you won’t stop talking I finally felt compelled to address you.  I guess when your biggest problem in life is should I fall off the wagon this week or next week and what movie should I suck in next, it is hard to relate to what is it like to live under the constant threat of terror attacks and missiles.  I normally make an argument in favor of my position when writing one of these letters, but for the most part I will make an exception in your case.  The reason being is that I am on to you.  This isn’t about your concern for the people of Gaza.  Those who care about the people of Gaza focus on their plight rather than regurgitate the usual nonsensical anti-Israel propaganda they picked up in Hamas for Dummies.  As you can see, despite the fact that I am Jewish and a Zionist, I am not actually heartless.  I don’t attack those who legitimately care about the safety of innocent people.  But that’s not you. What this is about Russ, may I call you Russ? No? Good.  What this is about Russ is your need for attention and purpose in life.  You sit and ramble from some dumb couch all cozy and comfortable, speaking about matters that are life and death for the people you speak about, but all you are really doing is looking for a way for an addict to feel important and some satirical way for you to promote yourself and some stupid home based show you think matters to people.  You appeal to idiots, because quite frankly you are one.

You are also a coward.  I say that because if you were so concerned about human rights violations and had any integrity at all you’d be going after ISIS, not Israel.  But you know, as do so many other cowards like yourself, that the worst you have to face when going after Israel and the Jews are economic consequences and letters like this.  If you went after Hamas or ISIS you might actually get hurt, and then you wouldn’t be able to sit on your couch chuckling like a manic moron waiting for the pills to take effect.

Russ, I’m the son of Holocaust survivors.  That means my parents were not among the 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis, but that they did live through that horrific time.  I know people such as yourself tend to shake their heads when we bring that up, saying things like, “there goes a Jew whining about the Holocaust again”, but I genuinely don’t care if you like it or not.  What I do care about is the approach you take that if successful would contribute to the possibility of another Holocaust.  Of course you don’t see that because frankly, you don’t want to.  If your attempt at intelligent and original thought went beyond some big words most of your followers don’t even understand, you might see the Trewth, and then the Trews might have some credibility.  Now all you are doing is establishing another anti-Israel and anti-Semitic platform with no basis in fact and honesty.

I don’t usually say this to an addict, but I think you need to go full throttle back into the drugs and alcohol man. Chances are you’d do a lot less harm than you are now.  You’d like it more too.  After all, if you don’t know what you’re talking about anyway, you might as well do it under the influence.

Sincerely,

David Groen

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Where’s the Love?

Hamas-Children-600x350The great Golda Meir one said, “Peace will come when the Arabs love their children more than they hate us.” Sadly I believe we are further away from that being a reality today than any other time since that incredibly poignant statement.  As sad as it may be that they hate us even more now than they did then, is the fact that in their actions they appear to love their children even less.

Despite the impression some may have from reading my posts, I am both a hopeless romantic and a softy.  I am not a hardened bitter person.  I not only believe in love, I have always accepted it in my life.  It doesn’t matter what kind of love either, be it in romance or the type you have for good friends and family.  I am a fan of love, think its important that it exists in everyone’s life, and feel it needs to be one of the core values present for any individual and in any family or community.

So last night I had a revelation.  With the exception of one thing, the members of  Hamas and their terrorist buddies never speak of the love for anything. They certainly hate a lot, especially anything Jewish or American, but love is hardly ever mentioned.  The one thing they do proudly and openly love, is, of all things, death.

As so much of the world chooses to blame Israel for the plight of these poor children in Gaza, even with the tragedy of those killed in this recent war, the larger tragedy is the life being given to these children by those who should love them.  I am by no means presuming to say that Palestinian mothers don’t love their children, but in allowing Hamas to rule and to educate their children on the path their life should follow, they are not manifesting their love correctly. They are giving their children over to a regime that proudly states, “We love Death for Allah like Israelis love life.”

There’s a genocide going on in Gaza alright, but it’s being committed from within and by the same people using the term to generate hate against Israel and the Jews.

Golda Meir’s words were wonderful, wise and correct.  Even with that said, it would be a good start if they loved their children more than death. They need to work on that before they work on not hating us.  Until that happens there won’t be much improvement for anyone’s situation, either in Israel or in Gaza.

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