Author Archives: davidgroen1

Open Letter to Bill Gates

bill-gatesDear Mr. Gates,

There is an excellent chance that you will never read this. It is my hope however, that at the very least, someone makes you aware of this letter, for in it I am showing appreciation for your actions and overall approach towards the world’s problems.  What makes this so important and frankly somewhat personal, is that it is a lot more common for the famous of the world to gravitate towards the “popular” issues and nowadays that often means attacking Israel, something you clearly do not do.  On the contrary, while others look for and often fabricate reasons to hate Israel, in this clip (CLICK HERE) you speak highly of Israel’s achievements in technology.

While so many are weighing in on Gaza, Israel, and the rise of ISIS, on your Twitter page you see more about Ethiopia, Rwanda, Ebola, and education.  To be quite honest, I am just as guilty of this as anyone.  Most of my letters and articles discuss Israel, Gaza, and the rise of terrorism.  Like so many others out there, I am far too ignorant to what is happening in other parts of the world or the challenges facing us in the United States.  That is why I am so grateful to you at this time.  I have constantly sat here questioning where everyone is when there are true human rights violations and people who are suffering in tragically large numbers.  I am not alone in feeling this way.  As a Jew and a Zionist, I sit here wondering why people remain silent to the suffering of millions of people but open their mouths all of a sudden when Israel bombs Gaza in defense of their homeland.  So today when I looked at your Twitter page and saw what you wrote about your trip to Ethiopia, your concern for the well-being of those in Rwanda, and the attention you gave to the rising danger of the Ebola virus, I couldn’t help but think, this man truly gets it.  This really is a good man.  (CLICK HERE FOR BILL GATES BLOG, GATENOTES)

You do not stop there.  You are clearly focusing tremendously on education, something so critical to the future of America.

It must not be ignored that your “involvement” in issues also means that you provide tremendous amounts of resources providing substantial funds to help these causes.  My point being, you are the furthest thing from all talk. You are doing many special things and providing so much  for many of the most needy people of the world.

Mr. Gates, I am no one particularly important in the world’s big picture.  I have somewhat of an audience, but it pales in comparison to many others and I am certainly a small fish in a very large ocean.  As I said to start this letter, I don’t imagine you will ever see this, but to be honest, seeing all the good you are actually doing, I truly believe you have more important things to do with your time.  I just wanted to say that this small fish appreciates your genuine efforts to make the world a better place and hopes that others who prefer to spend their time obsessed with what Israel does will spend more time worrying about the millions of people out there neglected even if it’s not as big or popular of a news story.

Wishing you continued strength and success in your efforts.

Sincerely,

David Groen

 

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My 92 Year Old Mother Weighs in on the NFL and off the field Violence

momdayEarlier today I had a conversation with my mother regarding the violent behavior of football players in the National Football League.  It is important that I clearly indicate that the football players I am referring to play in the NFL because my mother, Sipora Groen, a 92-year-old Holocaust survivor from Holland, takes umbrage in the fact that we call the sport football.  I’ve heard her say countless times, ” That’s not football. They call it that but it’s not football.”  For my mother, what Americans call soccer is the REAL football.  It’s no secret how she feels about American football either.  She hates it.  And for her, the recent rash of violence from its players is vindication for her opinion.

The point she wants to make, and specifically asked me to relate to my readers, is that the nature of the sport creates an inevitability of this behavior.  She believes that a sport with constant violent hits, and men jumping on top of each other to keep the other men down, sometimes in large piles, creates such a pent-up aggression that these men are left with a need to relieve this aggression in some manner or another.  She is appalled by the domestic violence as any other normal person would be, but she also feels that the sport is not a normal sport and that as it exists in its current form will ultimately lead to more violence off the field.

She went on to say that she even believes that boxing is better because it only involves two people and the actions of these 2 people in the ring are carefully monitored.  She dismissed out of hand my notion that football is carefully monitored as well because in football men just haphazardly pile on top of each other.  She  is very clear about her opinion.  Unless the actual sport of football changes, more players will be involved in off the field violence.  She feels so strongly about this that it is her opinion that Ray Rice would not have hit his fiance, now his wife, in the elevator if it were not for his involvement in football.  I disagreed with this, but she insisted she was right, and at 92 and sharp as a tack, she very well could be.

Once my mother was done giving her opinion I promised I’d write this, but also told her I had to go.  I wanted to watch the football game.

 

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The importance of Walid Shoebat

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Yesterday I pushed the idea of not giving in to fear, and while I still feel that way, I nearly called this piece, “Why Walid Shoebat scare me”.  It’s not because Shoebat is a frightening or evil man.  It’s because he once was, and therefore understands the inner thoughts, motives and capabilities of those that still are.

CLICK HERE FOR WALID SHOEBAT’S WEBSITE

Walid Shoebat is one of the most remarkable and brave men on the planet. A former Palestinian terrorist, Shoebat came to his own intelligent, thoughtful and logical conclusion that the ways of his people were not only evil, but self-destructive to their goals.  I can’t even imagine the threats this man receives and the caution he needs to exercise.  Here is a man who openly denounces a group of people who claim their entire structure revolves around a perverse sense of honor.  He is not merely an outspoken critic of their ways or supporter of Israel like a Sean Hannity, Howard Stern or Jon Voight.  This man is someone who once was within their ranks and committed acts of terror along side the very men he is now trying to expose to the world.  He does it openly and without apology, and without disguise or camouflage.

Walid Shoebat reached his conclusions based on an understanding that the entire system he once believed in was orchestrated around one major concept, the hatred and destruction of the Jewish people.  Interestingly enough, and the reason I find this man most genuine and increasingly credible, is that although he does support Israel, the bulk of his dialogue does not revolve around professing his love for the Jewish people or the State of Israel.  He just no longer functions from principals of hate.   In the absence of hate you don’t always find love.  Nor do you need to.  The absence of hate is enough.  And the insight this man provides, clarifying the education and thought process of the Palestinian terrorist and the ideology being forced on the entire population is more beneficial than some sugar-coated sweet talk. This man’s perspective can help save lives.

The flip side however is that when Shoebat explains things, the reality of the dangers we, particularly those of us who are Jewish, face in the days ahead becomes even more clear.  The entire culture he was raised in indoctrinates its people to hate the Jews.  Just as the Nazis used hatred of the Jews as a means from which to rally the people around their power, so too the Palestinian leadership  uses the hatred of the Jews to rally the people to their cause.   Except this  may ultimately turn out to be worse.  Entire generations are being taught that hating Jewish people is as normal as enjoying a meal.  Let me make something very clear as I write this.  I am not writing this as opinion, even though I have little to no trouble believing it.  I am writing this as an account of what is told not only by someone who lived in it, but by someone who committed acts of terror while living it.  When you hear Shoebat speak of their desires, plans and capabilities, it is chilling, alarming and needs to be taken very seriously.

We need more people like Walid Shoebat and son of Hamas author, Mosab Hassan Yousef.  These are people I suspect are prepared to not live long lives, although I hope they do. The key to so much that we hope for in the future lies in the emergence of more significant amounts of people like Shoebat who have found the inner decency and incredible courage to speak up for what is right even in the face of the gravest dangers.  He’s someone worth listening to.  Just be prepared.  You may not like what you hear.

 

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No More ISIS Horror Images:My personal stand

dhBritish aid worker David Haines is the latest westerner to be executed by ISIS. Earlier today images were released hauntingly similar to those taken of murdered journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. After hearing the arguments made against even showing the pictures taken just before the executions of the 2 journalists, I’ve decided that starting today I am taking my own personal stand.  I will do my small part to no longer give these murderers the soapbox they so sickeningly crave.  I will not feed into their hate, I will not contribute to the fear they are trying to generate, and I will encourage everyone to follow suit. I will not show them even the slightest amount of respect and I will only give honor to the men and women they murder without conscience.

My friends, these are evil and scary people, but rest assured their days are numbered.  In their efforts to destroy civilization as we know it I believe they will galvanize the good of the world to exhibit force not seen since 1945, and maybe even surpassing that element of force.  The time will come when they push the wrong button on the wrong leaders nerve and then they will be hit with force they never even imagined.  It might be Israel who does it, it might be the U.S., it might even be Britain, Russia or China.  But it will happen. It’s always darkest before the dawn.  It is yet to get darker, but there is a dawn on the horizon.  Of this I am sure.

David Haines left behind a wife and 2 children.  He was 44.  May he rest in peace.

 

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An Anchorman Tells the World he is Dying

dave_benton2007-01-25-1169779168It’s one thing to talk the talk, and yet another to walk the walk.  Anchorman Dave Benton does both.  In a stunning announcement on air, Benton told his audience that his brain cancer had returned and that the doctors have told him he has 4-6 months to providing inspiration and strength to us all at a challenging time .  A man of faith, he also said the following statement:

“I am at peace and I know he’s going to take care of the days ahead and that the goal here is to have the best ones possible,” he said.

CLICK HERE TO SEE HIS MOVING ON AIR STATEMENT

The 51-year-old Benton of WICA-TV in Illinois clearly does walk the walk as much as he talks the talk.  It is hard not to be moved by this video of a man telling the world he is dying, and doing it with what is clearly a total faith and trust in God’s decision.  When Dave Benton says on air he hopes he can help other people, you know it’s not self-promoting.  You know it is genuine.  I wish him and his family strength, pray his experimental treatment works, but most of all hope his days ahead are meaningful and blessed.

 

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Respecting a Mother’s Love

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This is the picture that Diane Foley, the mother of murdered journalist James Foley wants the world to see.  Apparently she has requested this picture to be put out there for everyone to see and that it be the picture people use to remember her son. Sadly most of us are remembering the pictures connected to the moments surrounding his death.  However, as a son who loves and respects his mother,  I am glad to make this post honoring the wishes of James Foley’s grieving mother.  I do this, not just for Diane Foley, but in honor and respect to all the mothers out there who should never have to experience what she and the mother of Steven Sotloff had to experience.  May God give them strength to get through this horrible time.

 

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ISIS-ISIL-IS: The only Constant is Islamic

isis-2No matter what you call the terror group now running an area of land the size of Belgium, the one thing you must call them is Islamic.  I wish this was the worst of it, but the whole name thing is making me a little crazy. First they were called ISIS:The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.  Then they were called ISIL:The Islamic State of Syria and the Levant. Finally they are IS:TheIslamic State.  Or are they? Depends on who you listen to.  Even then pronunciations seem to change.

In the beginning everyone called them ISIS, pronouncing it as one word sounding almost identical to the English world Ices.  Back then, when the administration saw them as the JV(Junior Varsity) team, they went along with calling them ISIS as well.  Even when the terrorists started calling themselves ISIL, initially most people  still called them ISIS.  Now however, the administration has such an insistence on calling them ISIL they won’t even acknowledge the name ISIS when mentioned.  What makes it even more bizarre, or even irritating is that the President and Secretary of State call the group ISIL and pronounce close to the English words, ICE-ILL, while the President’s Press Secretary and Pentagon Spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby spell it out, referring to them as  I-S-I-L.   This all creates an annoying distraction at press conferences.  A CNN reporter might ask: “What’s the next move against ISIS (ICES)?” Then, depending on who answers, “We must degrade and destroy ISIL(ICE-ILL) or I-S-I-L.”  One area in which the administration is coordinated though is that they never respond using the name ISIS anymore.

Despite the theories from those most suspicious of the President’s motives, I don’t believe the insistence on calling it ISIL is based on something dangerously devious, rather an acknowledgment that it is a threat to a greater area, since the IL covers significant more territory than the IS.  The last IS that is.  The first IS, whether you call it ISIS or ISIL stands for Islamic, which means very simply this group is an Islamic group, no matter what anyone including the President might want you to believe.  And more importantly, no matter what you call them, they are very dangerous.  This is a war.  Oh wait. Not sure if that’s what it’s being called either.  It just might also depend on who you ask.  At least I hope what we have now is a coordinated effort to conduct this whatever they’re calling it against whatever it is they call them.

 

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