Tag Archives: 1938

How Bibi represents Millions of Jews with a New Mentality

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I am not a hero.  Nor am I a military man.  I am however the son of Holocaust survivors.  I am not merely comfortable, I am compelled to stand up in front of people and say that the Jewish people will no longer be pushed around and expected to capitulate to the demands of those with no regard for our safety and well-being.  I know that many Jews of today feel as I do.  We may or may not be great fighters, but in a larger number than maybe any time in our history we are, as a group, prepared to stand up and declare that the days of Jews being victims are over.  As we do so today we do so with a leader who represents that attitude, not just for the people of Israel, but for Jews worldwide.  That leader is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

I am very aware of the fact that not everyone feels that “Bibi”, the nickname Netanyahu is often referred to, represents them, but to millions of Jews worldwide he represents us in a way I have not seen in my lifetime.  Jews tend to be divided.  It must be in our DNA. However, for as long as I can remember the division has been based more on religious observance than on political viewpoints.  What Bibi does is transcend that divide by often making it about neither one of those factors.

In being what is clearly a proud Jew, evident by being someone who goes to the Western Wall to pray after an election victory, Bibi makes us feel that who he is and where he comes from is as important to him as it is to so many of us.  When speaking about the security and safety of the Jewish people he does so in a way we know that the majority of Israelis would agree with.  Politically many might not agree with his methods, and many don’t even like him personally, but I have no doubt that most if not all want Israel to be safe and secure.

What Bibi does when he speaks is give the Jewish people a sense of unity and I dare say even nationalism.  I know some of the strongest haters of the Jewish people and Israel see our nationalism as the problem and even racist in nature, but they conveniently forget that it works in conjunction with an Israeli government with many Arab citizens being represented politically in a free and democratic society.  Are there any Arab nations that can say the same?  Today, with Benjamin Netanyahu’s leadership, more and more people are willing to stand up and say, Israel is our country, but even more significantly stand up and say, we as Jews will no longer be doormats.

I know there are many of us who might not put up a significant fight on a personal level, but with the power of the numbers behind us we have the courage to stand up as one.  The importance of leadership in making people feel this way is more that significant, it’s critical.  I know I am not alone when I say Bibi empowers me to feel that way as a Jew.

I go back again to the conversation I once had with my mother who is 93 and a Holocaust survivor from Holland who once told me that today reminds her of 1938.  I challenged her on that statement saying that today is different because we have the State of Israel.  I would add that today is also different because of one other reason. We have Benjamin Netanyahu.

I commend the people of Israel for making the right choice, and hope to see Bibi lead all the people of Israel to a safer and more secure future.

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An Open Letter of Appreciation to the Christian Community

120810091855-jerusalem-skyline-story-topMy dear friends,

From time to time I refer to the words of my mother, a 92-year-old Holocaust survivor from Holland who compares what is happening today to 1938 Europe.  I always respond the same way, focusing on the fact that the very existence of the State of Israel makes this dangerous and frightening time unlike any other time in the past 2,000 years of Jewish history.  There are other factors I refer to as differentiating today from 1938 such as the tremendous leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu and the countless amount of Jews with the thought of “Never Again” ingrained into their very soul.  There is one other difference from 1938 and it is not only not to be overlooked, it may turn out to be the most important difference in the long-term struggle for survivor.  That difference is the unwavering support of the Christian community.

I am Jewish.  Although my personal conviction doesn’t always translate into behaviors consistent with my beliefs, I believe in the Jewish religion.  It was how I was raised and although I often question the dogma, it is still the religion my life at least to some extent revolves around.  However, I am very grateful for being raised with a respect for those who believe in different things than I do, even if and when I do not agree with them.  I have had very close friends with whom I have had some very enjoyable religious debates. What I always came away with from those debates, and is more evident to me today than during any other time in my life, is that if you truly believe in God, a God that created man in his image and is a God of love and mercy, there is no room for hate, destruction and violence.  I know that as I write this there are some of the more extreme within the Jewish community that are asking if I am unaware of the past.  The answer is that I am very aware of the past, however I am even more aware of the fact that today’s Christian generally lives by a special and moral standard, and that part of that standard is a love for Israel and the Jewish people.

I had been considering writing this letter for quite some time, but it was not till tonight when I saw an interview done by Bill Maher of Benjamin Netanyahu that I felt inspired to get it done(CLICK HERE TO WATCH).  When Bill Maher, someone I like but differ from in philosophy when it comes to the discussion of God, tried to compare Muslim extremists desire for a post apocolyptic world to how Christians speak of the end of time, Netanyahu set him straight.  He clarified that the difference is based on 2 important points.  First of all, even when Christians believe there will be an end of time they are not trying to make it happen by blowing people up. And secondly he stated that the biggest difference is that regardless of how extreme their beliefs may be, Christians are sane people.

I am fully aware of the fact that Christians believe that Israel is a critical element in their belief of how the future of the world plays out.  When I say that it is of no importance to me, I say that with the utmost of respect.  It does not mean that I have anything other than respect for how you feel and what you believe, what it means is that all I care about as a Jew and a Zionist who believes in something different, is that your belief now translates into strong and loving support for Israel and the Jewish people.

I believe that the fight, and I believe subsequent war, is one that can only be won if Christians and Jews work together.  I have come across and continue to come across scores of Christians who appear to feel the same way.  My personal gratitude for what I’ve witnessed from my Christian friends specifically over the past few months has been a wonderful enlightenment and has given me hope for the future of the Jewish people and the planet.  As far as what happens next, once we get through this conflict against evil, and with God’s help victoriously, well we will deal with the differences then.  The good news is I am sure we will do so as friends.

Sincerely,

David Groen

 

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To the Good of the World: Don’t Be Afraid Be Strong

111My 92 year old mother, Holocaust survivor from Holland, thinks today reminds her of 1938. But today in Times Square, with thousands of fellow supporters of Israel, and knowing the efforts and sacrifices Israel is making for all of us, I maintain it is very different from 1938. I say we all fight in whatever way we can. The greatest fighters fight for us in the IDF and in the military forces of the United States and all civilized nations, but you can also fight through social media, through comforting your fellow Jews, and through general acts of goodness and kindness in the name of combating the evil in the world. Do not put your head in the sand people. Realize what is going on. But instead of being scared, be strong. Realize that our faith is what brought us this far and why we survive when empires fall. That is why they hate us. Because they know they can hurt us, but not destroy us. So I encourage you all, replace your fear with determination, turn to the good people you know for support, and make this a battle unlike any the Jews have ever fought. AHL SOMAYCH AHL HANAYS is Hebrew for “Don’t rely on a miracle.” And that is exactly the approach we must have. Don’t wait for miracles. Make them happen.