Over 1500 Israelis have been killed in terrorist attacks since 1993. A large percentage were women and children. The world did not protest
— Holland's Heroes (@HollandsHeroes) July 26, 2014
Author Archives: davidgroen1
To all of you who pretend to care so much about the people of Gaza….Name one city in Gaza
— Holland's Heroes (@HollandsHeroes) July 26, 2014
Check out @ HollandsHeroes’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/ HollandsHeroes/status/ 492865010058551299
Israel rejects cease-fire. The fact that Hamas was inclined to accept it was a hint it would be a bad offer for Israel
— Holland's Heroes (@HollandsHeroes) July 25, 2014
To all those out there who have either been members of, or been exposed to the Jewish youth group B’nei Akiva, the title of this post will immediately strike you with what will most likely be a fond and warm recognition. Although the practice of my faith has a lot to be desired, the rallying cry of Torah v’Avodah seems more important to me today than maybe any other time in my life.
Some of you reading this will have shared some fun times with me when I was part of the organization as a teenager in Philadelphia and London and belonged to what was called, Shevet Amichai, literally the “Tribe of Amichai” based on the names given to each age group. I have no trouble admitting my reasons for being a member were social more than anything else. There were the few, such as the late great Ari Horowitz, or my dear friend Danny, that seemed to be motivated by some idealism at that age, but for me it was simple. It was about the girls and the fun gatherings of friends.
It’s been a long time since I’ve had anything to do with B’nei Akiva. My last memory was one I should be somewhat ashamed of, but seeing as it was over 30 years ago and no one got hurt, I look back at it with more amusement than shame. Me and 3 other friends, 2 from Dublin Ireland and one from Liverpool went to the small town of Petach Tikvah, right outside of Tel-Aviv, went to a B’nei Akiva gathering and falsely portrayed ourselves as the heads of branches. Two in Dublin, one in Liverpool, and myself in London, where I was a member of the organization from 1976-1980. It worked like a charm. We achieved a degree of celebrity status for the day and each of us had dates with some of the cutest girls in the group for one very enjoyable summer Saturday night. It was all in good fun, not all that serious, and went no further than that.
Today I think of B’nei Akiva, and being significantly more mature than I was 30 plus years ago, the 2 words that represent the group have a far greater importance than ever before. Jewish unity is critical. Everyone needs to do something during this very difficult time in our history. It is my feeling that what makes the term Torah v’Avodah so poignant today is that no Jew who genuinely cares about the Jewish people and the State of Israel has an excuse not to at least choose one or the other. If you are a dedicated and practicing Jew who follows the laws and listens to and studies Jewish teachings(TORAH), then you are strengthening the Jewish people. If you question religious dogma or philosophically struggle with Jewish practice, that should not stop you from making some efforts or working (AVODAH) towards helping Israel and the Jewish people. And which ever one you choose, unless it is both, I implore you to show respect towards those who choose the other. For without unity we are lost.
And then there is that one lesson I learned from being part of B’nei Akiva even when I was just there for the girls. That the future of the Jewish people is tied to the State of Israel. Something all Jews need to realize today more than any other time in my lifetime.
FOR THOSE WHO WONDER IF OUR WORDS ON SOCIAL MEDIA MAKE A DIFFERENCE, PLEASE READ THE MESSAGE I RECEIVED EARLY THIS MORNING FROM SOMEONE IN ISRAEL. I DID NOT KNOW THIS PERSON BEFORE THIS MESSAGE. OUT OF RESPECT FOR THE PRIVACY OF THE INDIVIDUAL I AM KEEPING THE POSTING ANONYMOUS.
I couldn’t see a way to send you a private message on WP so I found you on FB. Anyway, what I want to say is please keep writing!! I live in Israel and have first hand experiences of this war. Your words on your blog and support for Israel mean so much to me!
Naturally I like when my posts gets shared. Some of it is ego but a lot of it is that I believe in what I am doing. Be that as it may I almost never ask people to share my posts. This is different. I am not only asking, I am encouraging, practically pleading for ALL of you to share this post. I believe it is that important. To those in Hollywood who have been quiet, I choose not to berate you, but to all those with the means to do so I implore you to do the following. Charter as many jets as necessary to get the Israelis stuck in Turkey out of that country. There are at least 4,000, maybe as many as 10,000. The Turkish government led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made its disdain for Israel so clear and been so vocal that these people are in what is at best an uncomfortable situation, at worst a very dangerous one. Turkey extended the flight ban for EL AL flights to Israel till July 31. To those of you with the means like Steven Spielberg, Rob Reiner, Billy Crystal, etc., I implore you, beg you, charter jets and fly them out of here. I am not asking for your vocal support, I am asking for serious and real action. Fly these Jews home. Everyone share this. Make this so big that they do see this. Let’s use our social media platform to really help!
I hate war. I hate violence. I hate cowards that hide behind women and children. I hate seeing women and children dying because these cowards make them targets. I hate terrorists. I hate what these terrorists make young soldiers do. I hate being hated for being Jewish. I hate Roger Waters. I hate that I’m not welcome in Teheran or Beirut or Istanbul. I hate that Jews in Paris can’t walk the streets safely. I hate the leaders of the wealthy countries that sponsor terrorists. I hate the people attempting to destroy civilization. I hate that Israel has never lived in peace. I hate that so many in the world don’t realize that all Israel wants is to live in peace. I hate the United Nations. I hate Iran’s leadership. I hate terror tunnels. I hate anti-Semites. I hate double standards. I hate the lies being told. I hate the instigators of violence. I hate missiles being fired at my people. I hate those who don’t think my people have a right to make those missiles stop. I hate those who desecrate the name of God by preaching murder. I hate those who make me hate others. And I hate that I could keep going and going, but I will stop. Because most of all, I hate hating.
I’m a hater
If the report from Channel 2 News in Israel is accurate, the Israeli government outmaneuvered the American government in what might be described as a political game of Chicken. The report from Arad Nir of Channel 2 Israel states that the Israeli government told the US that it understands the rules and reasoning of the FAA in banning flights to Tel-Aviv, but that the situation could not continue this way and that to change it they would need to amp up and accelerate the operation in Gaza. Click to see the report by the Jewish Press.
In doing this Israel reinforced one fact and may have proven another. The fact that it reinforced is once again that it has been showing incredible amounts of restraint. This fact has been reinforced over and over in numerous ways so there is no reason to believe those denying it will change their tune, but this indeed does provide one more piece of evidence. The second claim it may have verified is that the ban from the FAA was more about politics than it was about safety. If indeed the US Government was using the banning of flights into Ben-Gurion as a way of strong-arming Israel into stopping or pulling back on its operation in Gaza, Israel’s response politically outmaneuvered the U.S.
The fact that Israel may have been put into a position where it needed to outmaneuver the United States, a nation that traditionally has been a close friend and ally, is another sad commentary of a very sad time.
In some ways it feels like we are watching the first 45 minutes of an epic disaster movie. Of course we all know about the war in Gaza. Israel, a free and democratic country fighting a government controlled by the terrorist organization Hamas. That in itself is bad enough. But my friends, when you look at today’s events, and what tomorrow is on the Muslim calendar, it could get a lot worse. It is not in my nature to be alarmist or sensationalist, but we also live in a time when all things need to be considered, no matter how frightening they may be.
Earlier today we get word that Ali Hosseini Khamenei, the spiritual leader of Iran made the following comments regarding Israel: “As said by Imam Khomeini [the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran] Israel must be destroyed…However, until that time with the help of God for this cruel and murderous regime to be destroyed, strong confrontation with steadfast armed resistance is the only solution against this destructive regime.” He also stated, regarding the United States: “The anti-American and anti-West view in Iran is a logical view based on experience and a righteous calculation.”
His sentiments are not news. We know he feels this way, as do millions of his followers. What is different is the timing, and hopefully not, but possibly another difference is the biggest news story of the day.
First the timing. Tomorrow is “Quds Day”. Quds, Arabic for Jerusalem, is a day created by Iran since its revolution in 1979, celebrated on the last day of Ramadan, as a day to express solidarity for the Palestinians against the State of Israel. Comments made by any Muslim leader today are at least partially designed to motivate and instigate the people into not only protesting and demonstrating, but to do so as violently as possible. There is no question that Khameini is looking to incite as much violence against Jews as possible, not only in Israel, but throughout the world.
And then there is the biggest news story of today. A plane taking off from Algeria has gone missing. Yes, you read correctly, gone missing. Algeria, a North African Muslim nation that donated money made in the World Cup to Hamas and a people who make up the majority of France’s Muslim population committing brutal acts of anti-Semitism. It is from that country that a plane has gone missing on the eve of Quds Day. It’s an awful day in world history when one must say, let’s hope the plane only crashed.
It is possible that tomorrow comes and goes and is a repeat of many of the days of the past few weeks. Awful, but not catastrophic. But the days of underestimating the enemy’s brutality and capabilities are behind us now. We no longer have that luxury.