Monthly Archives: November 2014

On Thanksgiving, What I like and dont like about Turkey

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

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I must confess that I’ve been waiting about a month to write this post. As soon as I had the Thanksgiving holiday on my radar I admit I started thinking about turkey.  After all, with all due respect and apologies to the vegetarians out there, what is there not to like about turkey?

Well, with the world in upheavel and evil growing exponentially, it seems even the fun holiday of Thanksgiving is somewhat tainted for me this year.  Again I ask the question, what is there not to like about turkey?   Well as it relates to the country, not the bird, there actually are a number of things not to like about Turkey.  Unfortunately it has become impossible for me to answer that question without the image of Prime Minister Erdogan (pronounced Er-doh-wan)abee Hitler popping up in my head. There’s the alignment with Qatar, the fact that ISIS recruits flow through the country, the harassment of American servicemen, and of course the immense hatred the government has for Israel.  Put all this together and I don’t like Turkey, the country, much at all.

But I do enjoy turkey the bird, and I am off to have some with people I love. Hope all of you are doing the same.

Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.

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Open Letter of Gratitude to Benjamin Watson

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Dear Mr. Watson,

Although I do not share all of your religious beliefs, I found your comments on the events in Ferguson, Missouri and subsequent Grand Jury verdict to be so beautiful, eloquent and constructive, I was compelled to write this letter to you.  Please don’t stop here. The country needs more people like you.  People who are looking for solutions, not scapegoats.  People who are looking for kindness, not hatred. People who are looking to unite, not divide. I wish to sincerely thank you, and out of the respect I have for you and what you have written I will make this very brief and just post your great words for others to read.

Thank you Mr. Benjamin Watson.

Sincerely,
David Groen

 

THE FOLLOWING WAS WRITTEN BY NEW ORLEANS SAINTS FOOTBALL PLAYER, BENJAMIN WATSON:

At some point while I was playing or preparing to play Monday Night Football, the news broke about the Ferguson Decision. After trying to figure out how I felt, I decided to write it down. Here are my thoughts:

I’M ANGRY because the stories of injustice that have been passed down for generations seem to be continuing before our very eyes.

I’M FRUSTRATED, because pop culture, music and movies glorify these types of police citizen altercations and promote an invincible attitude that continues to get young men killed in real life, away from safety movie sets and music studios.

I’M FEARFUL because in the back of my mind I know that although I’m a law abiding citizen I could still be looked upon as a “threat” to those who don’t know me. So I will continue to have to go the extra mile to earn the benefit of the doubt.

I’M EMBARRASSED because the looting, violent protests, and law breaking only confirm, and in the minds of many, validate, the stereotypes and thus the inferior treatment.

I’M SAD, because another young life was lost from his family, the racial divide has widened, a community is in shambles, accusations, insensitivity hurt and hatred are boiling over, and we may never know the truth about what happened that day.

I’M SYMPATHETIC, because I wasn’t there so I don’t know exactly what happened. Maybe Darren Wilson acted within his rights and duty as an officer of the law and killed Michael Brown in self defense like any of us would in the circumstance. Now he has to fear the backlash against himself and his loved ones when he was only doing his job. What a horrible thing to endure. OR maybe he provoked Michael and ignited the series of events that led to him eventually murdering the young man to prove a point.

I’M OFFENDED, because of the insulting comments I’ve seen that are not only insensitive but dismissive to the painful experiences of others.

I’M CONFUSED, because I don’t know why it’s so hard to obey a policeman. You will not win!!! And I don’t know why some policeman abuse their power. Power is a responsibility, not a weapon to brandish and lord over the populace.

I’M INTROSPECTIVE, because sometimes I want to take “our” side without looking at the facts in situations like these. Sometimes I feel like it’s us against them. Sometimes I’m just as prejudiced as people I point fingers at. And that’s not right. How can I look at white skin and make assumptions but not want assumptions made about me? That’s not right.

I’M HOPELESS, because I’ve lived long enough to expect things like this to continue to happen. I’m not surprised and at some point my little children are going to inherit the weight of being a minority and all that it entails.

I’M HOPEFUL, because I know that while we still have race issues in America, we enjoy a much different normal than those of our parents and grandparents. I see it in my personal relationships with teammates, friends and mentors. And it’s a beautiful thing.

I’M ENCOURAGED, because ultimately the problem is not a SKIN problem, it is a SIN problem. SIN is the reason we rebel against authority. SIN is the reason we abuse our authority. SIN is the reason we are racist, prejudiced and lie to cover for our own. SIN is the reason we riot, loot and burn. BUT I’M ENCOURAGED because God has provided a solution for sin through the his son Jesus and with it, a transformed heart and mind. One that’s capable of looking past the outward and seeing what’s truly important in every human being. The cure for the Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner tragedies is not education or exposure. It’s the Gospel. So, finally, I’M ENCOURAGED because the Gospel gives mankind hope.

 

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Open Letter to Reggie Bush

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Dear Reggie,

I’m not even sure how to start this letter. Congratulations.  You’ve now entered the world of Roger Waters, Bryan Adams and George Clooney.  You are a high-profile celebrity I will no longer support in any way, shape or form. You’ve never had the ability or skill to stay healthy long enough to perform consistently as a professional, but you somehow had the intestinal fortitude to dig down deep and facilitate a comparison so dumb that you managed to insult the police, the Jews and the black people of Ferguson all in one shot. If only you were this good at football.

I do not like the fact that an unarmed man got shot. I recognize the tragedy of the situation and although I believe the grey areas in this case may very well have given credence to the Grand Jury’s verdict, this is indicative of some very serious problems that still exist in this country.  There are problems of race relations that can not be ignored as well as problems in the training of police officers that must be addressed.  If I am to be as objective as possible I may very well say that it is wrong that Michael Brown is dead and right that Darren Wilson was not indicted.  That’s a difficult statement to make, especially since it can bring on the wrath of both sides, but I am no coward and if, as I learn more facts I feel that way, I will be willing to make that difficult statement.  I don’t make simple divisive statements like: The Palestinian people know what mean to be shot while unarmed because of your ethnicity. #ferguson #justice.” 

Seriously Reggie? Do you realize how incredibly stupid that comment is? Apparently not because you posted a picture of a man holding that sign on your Instagram and followed with your own statement that read, “No matter who you are, what color skin you have, where you live, we are all in this together! This isn’t a Ferguson problem it’s a Global Problem! We need change NOW! What happened to humanity? #JusticeForMikeBrown.”

Well Reggie, you ask a good question.  What happened to humanity? These Palestinians you seem to feel comfortable comparing to the black people of Ferguson have thousands upon thousands of people looking to die in the process of murdering as many Jews and Americans as possible. Two Palestinians stormed a synagogue in Jerusalem last week and brutally murdered 4 Rabbis.  Palestinians have in their ranks people who blow themselves up with the hope, yes the hope of killing dozens of people.  They have people who drive into bus stops and murder a 4 month old baby girl. Let’s not forget how they celebrate in the streets after these murders.  Palestinian demonstrators throw rocks and Molotov Cocktails in the hope that they will injure or kill as many people as possible.  And of course let us not forget the additional Palestinian celebrations in the street after 3,000 Americans got murdered on 9/11.  Putting aside for one second how offensive your approach is to me as a Jewish man, if I was a black man in Ferguson who had knowledge of current affairs, I think I would be even more offended.  To even hint that there is a similarity between the people of Ferguson and the Palestinians may be the worst part of the message you are sending.

As a Jew I can not say I am surprised.  After all, it seems to be fashionable to criticize Israel and the Jewish people even when done by those who are clearly ignorant to the facts.  Abraham Lincoln once said,  “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”  Thank you Reggie for removing all doubt.

Incidentally,  I was such a fan I once had your picture as my icon during an entire Fantasy Football season.  All I can say now is that I am happy I didn’t trade for you this year when it was proposed to me.  Of course I didn’t because you are hardly on the field anyway.  I guess that is why you found the time to use social media to show the world your ignorance.

If you had merely made the comment you made I am certain no one would have had an issue with its intent.  Being someone who sees all Americans as being equal regardless of color or race, something everyone who knows me would corroborate, I might even have liked you more for the comment. After all, there is nothing wrong with expecting better of humanity.  But by showing the picture with that comment you went from portraying yourself as a man who cares to just another idiot with no clue.

Sincerely,

David Groen

 

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The True Face of Iran’s Islamic Revolution

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This is a fascinating and terrifying video that must be watched. We are seeing evil rise in a way we have not seen since Adolph Hitler’s Nazi Germany.  As I wrote once in a previous post, they are using the age-old formula.  They are rallying the people around hate and telling them who is to blame for their anger.  We are not perfect in the western world, and Israel does not do everything right, but find me a group of thousands in any western democracy, shouting death to entire countries.   You won’t.  This is a quest for power and control that is meant to conquer, kill and destroy.  It is not about religion or God.  It is using religion and God as a means to control the masses to give those in power dominion over as many people as possible.  The masses have been blinded to how illogical their methods are, and unless stopped will help their rulers see this through to the destructive outcome.

THE TRUE FACE OF IRAN’S ISLAMIC REVOLUTION ….

Courtesy of the Israel Project

 

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Open Letter to Joe Stork, Human Rights Watch Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director

shamseddin20110329161441810Dear Mr. Stork,

There is this disturbing trend I’ve wanted to address for some time now, and with your recent comments I am able to do so with what may very well be a relevant and glaring example of the problem.  I call it the Chicken Critic Effect.  It’s when people have a loud voice of criticism against one combatant because taking a stand against the other more heinous combatant they perceive as being just too dangerous.  The fact that your voice is what I hear coming out of HRW (Human Rights Watch) this week epitomizes this problem.  You made the following statement: “Punitive home demolitions are blatantly unlawful. Israel should prosecute, convict, and punish criminals, not carry out vengeful destruction that harms entire families.”

I don’t know what religion you are, and frankly I don’t care.  I respect anyone who practices any religion as long as hate is not part of their religious structure.  You may or may not either regularly or on occasion attend a religious service, but most adults have spent enough time in some place of worship to know what that environment is supposed to feel like.  Whether the leader or congregants of the service are sincere or not, the atmosphere is at the very least more often than not portrayed as one of worship, love, and maybe most importantly peace.  Now imagine 2 insanely hateful individuals storming that service with butcher knives and guns and attacking anyone they find.  Would you not expect, even demand an organization created to protect human rights to address this attack with a louder voice than they do its response?  That’s assuming all you had to do was see this attack and weren’t actually one of the victims.

Here is why I believe HRW is doing what so many others seem to do on a regular basis.  It comes down to fear.  I don’t  criticize fear.  Fear is not only understandable, very often it’s an appropriate and wise emotion.  However, what I believe causes people such as yourself to be heard when attacking Israel for its response to this horrific terrorist attack, but being nowhere to be seen or heard after the attack itself, is the fear of those with the similar mentality of the attackers.  I understand the fear.  These are brutal, scary people.  But to go after one side because it’s safer than going after the perpetrators of barbarism is irresponsible hypocrisy.  It makes you a Chicken Critic.

I think this mentality, assuming it is not based in pure anti-Semitism which is also possible, is the epitome of cowardice.  It’s one thing to stay quiet because you’re scared of the bad guy.  It’s an entirely different thing to attack their victim.  I see it all the time. It is easy to go after Israel and the Jews.  Let’s face it, and I say this with pride, we live in a world where you can piss off 10 million Jews and not put your life in danger, but if you say anything against Muslim extremism you become a target.  So people like yourself feel they will take it one step further and say something aligning with those who are far more dangerous giving themselves an illusion of safety.

I see this Chicken Critic Effect on a small-scale on social media when people go after the easy target and stay clear of the difficult one, but for the most part the people who do this are harmless and often even good people who were just rubbed the wrong way by a comment or post.  Your comments however are irresponsible.  They strengthen the terrorist mindset by criticizing the response. It’s an ugly thing that Israel had to do in response, but given a choice between doing the one thing that might help and doing either nothing or a ceremonious and useless action, the choice that might help is the only true option.  And if you were genuine you would recognize that Israel was forced into this position.  But I am guessing you are either too scared or hate Israel too much to approach this situation honestly.

Apparently  you have a rich history of supporting evil, having reportedly written an article praising the Munich massacre and attending an anti-Zionist conference hosted by Saddam Husseim.  So maybe I am giving you too much credit when I call you a Chicken Critic.  With that said you may be just one more bad man in a world giving too much credibility to the bad people.  Either way it’s another example of civilization being destroyed by self-serving short-sighted individuals and groups.  This is something that will make us all suffer, and when we do, you Mr. Stork will be one of the culprits responsible for our suffering.  Pretty ironic for someone who claims to care about human rights.

Sincerely,

David Groen

 

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Global Coalition for Israel hits 3,000

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NEVER AGAIN IS HERE

Global Coalition for Israel (GCI) has reached 3,000 members. Although it is great that we are on here debating and discussing, I am hopeful we can somehow find a way to work together to actually make a difference. That starts in my opinion, with 2 things. Focus and commitment. Although I respect and do my best to address any complaints I receive about other members comments or posts, I believe our true focus needs to be on combating those that want to truly destroy Israel and working together with those who want to protect it. Commitment is a little harder than focus because we all have our lives and priorities, but if we have time to find the fault with what others, maybe we can find the time to come up with ways to make some impact in support of Israel. I will do my part and try to come up with concrete ideas and programs and hope that there are those of you out there with the time to work together with me and anyone else to do some good.

This group was formed soon after the brutal murders of Naftali, Gilad and Eyal, and done so in hope that we would mobilize the good to combat the bad. The bad not being the person who says something off-color in a post or has religious beliefs contrary to your own, the bad being the individual, organization or country that puts no value on Jewish blood and wants Israel and all free democracies destroyed. There are enough of those out there to keep us busy, and I hope our focus stays on them and on how to strengthen ourselves. There are people on here who hold views I do not share and in some cases strongly oppose, but as long as they hold Jewish life as sacred, wish to defend all good people of the world and wish to see Israel survive and grow, I welcome them as my friend. It starts with solidarity and with a group of 3,000 plus, solidarity can lead to something great. Let’s do it people.   So many of us use the term NEVER AGAIN, it is time for us to realize that NEVER AGAIN IS HERE.

 

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Sadly, it’s about Killing Jews

ShowImageThis isn’t the face of a military man.  This isn’t the face of an oppressor. This isn’t the face of a politician. This is the face of a Rabbi. The face of a Jew. And tragically today, a murdered Jew. I did not know Rabbi Moshe Twersky, but since I know that everyone is flawed, I am fairly certain he was as well.  Despite whatever flaws he may have had, if the enemy was truly only fighting what they consider to be oppression and occupation, this would not be the face of their enemy. What this is, is the face of a Jew.

Whenever something horrific takes place along the lines of today’s terror attack in Jerusalem, I try to find a different angle.  Every normal human being is saddened, angered and horrified by what took place.  To write about those feelings would certainly be appropriate, but it has been and will be done by so many others, and rightly so, that for me to write something today I needed to feel something more specific, more personal.  That happened as soon as I saw the picture of Rabbi Twersky.

In 1940 when the Nazis invaded Holland, my mother had what would be considered the face of a Jew.  I partially based the title of the book I wrote about what my parents experienced during the occupation on the fact that the Germans identified what they saw as a Jew and murdered them.

It’s very simple albeit tragic and frightening. This is not about an occupation, oppression, naval blockades, land grabs or the building of settlements.  This is about the hatred of Jews.  This is reminiscent of the hatred and murderous ways of Hitler’s Nazis.  The term “two state solution” is just another way of saying “final solution”.  In Amsterdam in 1940 the typical face of a Jew was my mother, with her dark hair and dark complexion.  In 2014 Jerusalem, Rabbi Moshe Twersky is not the face of a soldier, an oppressor or a politician.  He is the face of a Jew.  The enemy’s purpose, their goal is not to live peacefully together with Jews.  Their purpose and goal is to not only rid Israel of Jews, but to rid the entire world of Jews.  In that way they are exactly like the Nazis.

Don’t tell me this is about occupation, oppression or land grabs and then storm a place of worship and brutally murder 4 Rabbis.  Rabbi Aryeh Kopinsky, 43, Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, 68, and Rabbi Calman Levine, 55, and the man in the picture Rabbi Moshe Twersky, 59.  Take a look at the face of this man and recognize the truth.  This is not about helping innocent Palestinians or living in peace.  This is about killing Jews, and Never Again is here.

 

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