Open Letter to Bethany Koval, anti-Israel Jersey teen


Dear Benny,

As a 54 year old man it is my responsibility to address you, a 16 year old girl in an appropriate, not combatant fashion.  Although I strongly disagree with your viewpoints on Israel, I start by recognizing a few very important and pertinent facts.  Firstly, to the best of my knowledge you are not a criminal. You are a young lady, apparently a Jewish-Israeli young lady, expressing your views in a democratic society that has rules in place to protect your right to do so.  Secondly, as much as I disagree with you, I do not believe that you are, in any way part of the problem.  On the contrary. Responding to you correctly can actually work towards helping the problem.  Calling you names or attacking you for speaking up is not only wrong, it digs us all into a deeper moral hole.  So with that said I would like to bring some points to your attention and hope that it opens your eyes to factors you may not have considered.

I recently saw a video on the wall separating the Palestinians in the territories from the rest of Israel.  Since it was an anti-Israel video it naturally portrayed the wall in a totally negative light. When I thought about it later I realized the tactic being used, not only in that video but in so much of the anti-Israel propaganda being put out today.  It is a tactic that almost automatically has to be one of the driving forces in you feeling as you do today.  The tactic is, portraying history as starting from a later date.

Let me explain.  If you go to Israel today and see a wall separating 2 people who technically live in the same country I can understand how it can be a difficult thing to wrap your head around.  By itself the whole concept of a wall for that purpose is not something anyone decent would want or approve of.  But that’s only if you look at it today out of the context of why it was put up in the first place.  If history starts from the construction of the wall, Israel seems wrong.  But it does not. If history starts from the current living conditions of the Palestinians, Israel seems wrong. But it does not. If history starts from the Israeli bombs dropping in Gaza, Israel seems wrong.  But it does not.  If history starts from Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Israel might be wrong.  But it does not. You see Bethany, rather than get mad at you for exercising your First Amendment right to Free Speech, it is my responsibility to explain to you that which you may be intentionally or unintentionally be ignoring when stating your opinion.

The United Nations, the very same United Nations that at every turn attacks Israel for its “occupation”, out of the ashes of the genocide of 6 million Jewish men, women and children, sanctioned and supported the creation of the Jewish State in 1948.  Almost immediately after doing so, every neighboring country in the region ganged up on Israel and attacked her.  Israel fought them off in 1948, again in 1956, in 1967, and in 1973 the Yom Kippur War in which Israel’s enemies waited till the holiest day of the Jewish year to attack.   The war in 1967, also known as the 6 day war was the war in which Israel, finally having enough of the threat it incurred from its neighbors, captured territories as a buffer from future attacks. The Sinai, Gaza, the Golan and the West Bank were all captured in this war.  The Sinai Desert, land controlled by Egypt prior to the 6 Day War, was returned to Egypt in the very successful peace accord of 1979.  The Golan still remains in Israel as there has never been a true partner in which to discuss peace over this land captured from Syria.  Syria’s leadership which murders its own people is certainly not a willing partner in peace for Israel to negotiate with.

Here is where the problem, and the true history really starts.  Starting from Yasser Arafat to Mahmoud Abbas and later the more brazen and direct Hamas and Hezbollah, Israel has been surrounded at almost every border by terrorist organizations seeking its destruction.  Israel has made attempts to negotiate peace settlements, but even when it has offered territories, the controlling forces have found a way to crush the agreements.   These same controlling forces have received countless billions to improve the living conditions of the Palestinian people, but rather than doing so they’ve either pocketed the money or used it to fund terrorist activities in Israel.  They’ve kept the population down because let’s face it, a satisfied population is not an angry one, and they need angry people to do their bidding.  They’ve blown up entire families in one moment.  They’ve murdered little children, pregnant women and elderly citizens, not because of collateral damage but with intent.  Is it a tragedy when Palestinian children get killed in Israeli attacks?  Of course it is. But the Israeli government makes it very clear that its targets are terrorist bases of operation, not innocent civilians. When innocent people die Israel shows regret.  When innocent Jewish people get killed in terrorist attacks by members of Palestinian terror groups the attackers are glorified by far too many as heroes achieving a great success and certainly with no regret.

Yes the plight of the Palestinian people is a tragedy, just not one created by Israel.  I do not sit here saying Israel does nothing wrong Benny, all I am trying to make you understand is that the history of this conflict is a lot older than the years which you as a young lady have witnessed.  They are older than the years I have witnessed.  You are clearly intelligent and caring. If you were not you would never have bothered tweeting in the first place.  As opposed as I am to your views, in some ways I am equally opposed to you being attacked for them.  In fact, many of my open letters are scathing attacks against people expressing what I see as unfair and dishonest opinions against Israel and the Jewish people.  Seeing as you are Jewish, Israeli, and 16, I believe a harsh approach to you is not only inappropriate, it’s damaging to all those who want the same thing.  Peace. I just ask one very important thing of you. Use your intelligence and compassion to research the whole history, do so with an open and honest mind and I hope and believe you will come to a significantly different conclusion than you do today.


David Groen







2 responses to “Open Letter to Bethany Koval, anti-Israel Jersey teen

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