Tag Archives: anti-Semitism

Open Letter to Brigitte Bardot

BBArDear Ms. Bardot,

I’ll be honest.  I’m not even mad.  I actually feel sorry for you.  It seems as though you have not aged happily.  I say this because all your recent pictures make you look like a sourpuss and the only time anyone hears anything from you is when it has to do with animals.  I wouldn’t have said anything at all but since you decided to give your expert opinion about Jewish Dietary laws in your Open Letter, I decided to share my opinions with you in an Open Letter of my own.  The difference is, I have every intention of enjoying the writing of mine. You honestly don’t give the appearance of someone enjoying much of anything anymore, and that’s just sad.  For the record, I do hope I am wrong about that.

Anyway, you referred to Shechita, the Hebrew word for the Jewish ritual slaughter of animals, as a “ritual sacrifice.”  Well Ms. Bardot, as hard as you may find it to believe, I love animals as well as Kosher meat, especially when my mother or sister-in-law prepares it.  You see you can actually love both.  I don’t know if you’ve actually studied the process, but without getting into too much detail, the animals are killed in a way designed to eliminate as much suffering as possible.  So much so that one of the requirements is that the knife used must be sharpened extensively.  By the way, did you know that Jewish law looks so negatively on cruelty to animals that in its teachings it consider non-Jews to have 7 basic commandments, of which one is based on humane treatment of animals?  Although I don’t know that your comments are rooted in any anti-Jewish sentiment, especially with your track record on animals and the fact that you go after Halal rituals too, but they do show an ignorance to the careful process of Shechita.

But here is the issue I really have with all of this.  Like I said in the beginning of the letter, I love animals.  I really do.  I even choose not to have a dog because I’m afraid I wouldn’t give it the proper attention.  I really don’t like cats much, but other than gently pushing one away from me, I could never imagine using any type of physical force on one.  So I agree with the idea that mistreating animals is inhumane, so much so that it is correct that it be punishable under the law.

My problem is when someone who seems to not like people anymore and is high-profile like yourself puts animals way ahead of people.  I mean really. Shechita?  Now? Rising anti-Semitism in your native land and this is what you write a letter about?  Do you realize that your words in the name of humane treatment of animals may give additional fuel to those who want to hurt Jews, who are people by the way, more so in your country than maybe any other in Europe. Don’t get me wrong.  There is anti-Semitism in France whether you say anything or not, but this certainly doesn’t do anything to help.  And if you watch the news you’ll see there are a lot worse things going on, like beheadings, and terrorists overrunning countries and killing and raping and beheadings again.  It’s a nasty world out there. Especially now.  Shechita? Really?

So please, you want to help animals? So do I.  Maybe start by showing some compassion to people.  Because there are plenty of those who are defenseless as well. I know, well I don’t know but I’ve heard, that you are disappointed with people, but that really doesn’t mean you have to put animals first all the time.  Please don’t forget that people matter too.

Anyway, off to dinner.  Won’t tell you what I’m having though.  I don’t think you’d like it.

Sincerely,

David Groen

 

HOW TO BUY THE BOOK

CLICK TO JOIN “THE GLOBAL COALITION FOR ISRAEL” ON FACEBOOK

Follow Holland’s Heroes on Twitter @hollandsheroes

email: hollandsheroes80@gmail.com

 


The Steven Salaita story: Freedom gone mad

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEarlier in August College Professor Steven Salaita was fired from the job he had seemingly just secured at the University of Illinois. The reason for his firing was remarks he made on Twitter regarding Israel and the 3 murdered Yeshiva students.  There has been some controversy regarding his firing, with the opponents claiming he was punished for exercising his freedom of speech.

What was so bad about what Salaita said and how does it connect to the perversion of the concept of true freedom?  Among other things he said the following:

“Zionists: transforming ‘anti-semitism’ from something horrible into something honorable since 1948.”

And in regard to the kidnapping and murder of the Naftali Frenkel, Eyal Yifrach and Gilad Shaar he tweeted:

“You may be too refined to say it, but I’m not: I wish all the (expletive) West Bank settlers would go missing.”

These comments were made after Salaita was offered the position, so the University’s handling of the situation appears to be somewhat commendable.  I say somewhat commendable because although they did the right thing in rescinding the position, I wonder how someone who has a thought process allowing him to say these types of things was not properly investigated prior to his initial hiring. Even more so I ask how it is that someone whose job is to mold young minds is able to secure positions at institutions of higher learning.  It is also a little concerning that the school felt the need to distinguish that its reason for not wanting Salaita was not that he was anti-Israel, but that after reading his statements they concluded he would be a bad teacher.

The subsequent protests and outrage related to his firing are in line with pretty much every other display of outrage these days.  Somewhere between somewhat and totally insane.  Somehow “intellectuals” seem to think that inciting hatred against Jews by calling anti-semitism honorable is acceptable.  They say it is an exercise in freedom. Is it OK when it incites hatred and violence?  Follow that up with a statement that comes very close to sanctioning the murder of every settler in the West Bank, and you have another example of freedom gone mad.

Freedom is an interesting thing. Earlier today I tweeted the following statement:

“Freedom is not merely for the rebellious who protest but it is due the meek and non-violent as well.”

I came up with that thought while riding on a New York City subway.  I saw an Orthodox Jewish man travelling with 2 children.  He did not portray the image of a man who would fight hard for his freedom, rather he would hope those freedoms would  stay in place so he could continue to live his life as a decent and hard-working family man.  Naturally I have no way of knowing if my split second assessment of this man’s character was accurate, but I do know if I was wrong about him there are certainly people who do fit that description.  Who will defend their freedom while people have the gall to debate if a man like Salaita should have been fired and while change.org puts out a petition to demand the reversal of this “scandalous firing”?  The only thing scandalous is the total perversion of values displayed by those defending this hate monger.

To Steven Salaita I say this.  You are the living embodiment of garbage.  You pervert the entire concept of intellectualism by using it as a mask for anger and hatred.  You lead people to believe your mind is something special and that you therefore deserve some sort of automatic respect.  A great mind is a mind that can find the truth in a pool of lies and that can find love in a sea of hatred.  All you are able to do is express your solidarity with the lies and the hatred.  I not only am happy you got fired, I wish you a lifetime of unemployment.  Either way I am still a better person than a so-called professor that wishes for thousands upon thousands of dead settlers and celebrates the murder of  3 teenage boys.

I’m an American who believes freedom is not given to us to promote evil ideals.  Ideals Steven Salaita proudly calls his own and still gets referred to as Professor.

HOW TO BUY THE BOOK

CLICK TO JOIN “THE GLOBAL COALITION FOR ISRAEL” ON FACEBOOK

Follow Holland’s Heroes on Twitter @hollandsheroes

 

 

 

 


My Summer of Gaza

img65649The summer of 2014 was set to be a great one.  I had slimmed down from the year before, had recently moved into a better home closer to the beach, the World Cup had started and I was all set to enjoy the next few months. Although life always presents its challenges, nothing had come up that was so important that it would change my priorities significantly.  Then something happened that changed everything.  3 Yeshiva boys were kidnapped.

I still remember that ray of hope we had that Naftali, Gilad, and Eyal would somehow make it back safely.  The motto “Bring Back our Boys” was everywhere as we all prayed that somehow God would see them back to their homes unharmed.  I have seen many bad actions taken against Jews and decent people everywhere, but somehow I found myself more involved now than I had been for at least 13 years since 9/11.  I related to these boys.  I remember being a Yeshiva student myself in my late teens, in Israel, and knew that even if I wasn’t like these boys, I knew guys who were.  So it hit home and I found myself caring more than usual.  It wasn’t till they were found dead, murdered brutally at what we all knew immediately was the hands of Hamas terrorists, that something truly snapped in me.  That was when I, David, had finally had enough.

When tragedy strikes one never knows exactly how they will react.  Although I related so significantly to these three boys, I did not know them personally. Had I known them personally, maybe I would have been so distraught that I would have had trouble functioning.  So when I say I had finally had enough and I snapped, I felt an anger I had rarely felt in my life and I turned to my weapon of choice, the written word.  And my position as a moderate was now a thing of the past as well, as I realized that moderation is something that needs to be saved for the reasonable and fair, not the racially bigoted and brutally violent.

When the Israeli cabinet met on how to react to the boys’ deaths, I knew one thing.  As a Jew and a Zionist living in New York, unless they did nothing, I would support the Israeli government.  I committed myself to not only stating my feelings, but in rallying as many people as possible to the cause.  Not my cause, not merely the Jewish people’s cause, but in truth what should be seen as the entire world’s cause.   Before this would happen I would call someone a piece of garbage for being anti-Semitic, and occasionally even write something about it, but now it felt more personal than before.  It became so clear to me as it is to almost anyone with an unbiased desire for a peaceful world.  So now I decided to go further than I had ever gone before.  As I state on my Twitter profile, “no longer am I happy not being part of the problem. Now I want to be part of the solution.”

When Israel first went after Hamas with airstrikes in Gaza, no one really knew how serious the situation would turn out to be.  The terror tunnels they discovered were designed to carry out mass murders of Jews, and the intelligence they gathered indicated that it was going to be as soon as this Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year which falls towards the end of September. Israel’s incursion by ground troops into Gaza was used to uncover and destroy these tunnels.  However, while this was happening the situation took an ominous term.

I almost typed unexpected as well, but as a Jew paying attention, anti-Semitism is never completely unexpected.  I’ve been accused of being slightly over-sensitive to comments, but no one has ever accused me of having a persecution complex.  At least not to my face.  So when I say I was not totally shocked by the global spike in anti-Jewish words and behavior, this is not coming from someone who makes declarations that “everyone hates the Jews”.  I know better.  What we’ve seen this summer however has been epic.  Even by the usual standards of hatred.  Gone is the requirement of logic and fact.  Merely wanting to hate the Jews became enough.  Telling half of the story so that the part that exonerated Israel was conveniently missing became the strategy of the vocal and clever anti-Zionist/anti-Semite.  And gone forever is the notion that anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are not two in the same.  When  you have two signs at a protest that say “Free Gaza” and ” Hitler was right”, you have lost the argument that they are different.  When pogrom style attacks took place on French synagogues by people claiming to do things in support of Palestinians it was made abundantly clear that this was about hating the Jew at least as much as it was about opposing Israel.

The more Jews were attacked, whether in Israel or outside of Israel, the more committed I became, expressing my commitment through articles and letters to those expressing damaging sentiments towards the Jewish people, while also writing articles acknowledging our supporters.  Every time I heard “Free Gaza” I felt more and more compelled to shout to the world that the people of Gaza needed to be freed from Hamas not from Israel.  Every time the United Nations revealed its bizarrely obvious bias against Israel I wanted to write something to expose it.  Why?  Partially because it was cathartic, but even more because I wanted to make sure everyone I could reach would know the truth, and once I began to do that, there was no turning back.  With every missile fired at Israel, with every fatality including the 64 members of the IDF fighting to preserve Israel’s survivor, my commitment grew stronger.

Recognizing the need for unity with more than just the Jewish community, I created the Global Coalition for Israel on Facebook as a means of showing a cohesive support for the State of Israel. One month later the group is at 1300 and growing daily.  When the summer began I was worried about when I was going to get to the beach, lay in the sun and get to barbecues.  I’m not saying that I didn’t do those things to some extent during the summer of 2014, but they all took a back seat to something more important.  My new activism.  Watching CNN and FOX on a daily basis to get the news coming from the region, researching websites and news sources online, and meeting people with stories to tell from Israel and Europe, the summer of 2014 became something I never expected it would become, it became my Summer of Gaza.

HOW TO BUY THE BOOK

CLICK TO JOIN “THE GLOBAL COALITION FOR ISRAEL” ON FACEBOOK

Follow Holland’s Heroes on Twitter @hollandsheroes

 

 

 


Genocide and Gaza

stop7Until his death almost 5 years ago, author and journalist William Safire was best known for his column “On Language” in the weekly New York Times Sunday magazine.  I could never come close to matching his brilliant writing skills particularly in picking apart the misuse of words and phrases.  I will say with the word Genocide being thrown around so liberally when discussing Israel’s actions in Gaza, I miss him now more than ever and will take a shot at what he might have said.

It would be morally wrong to attempt to speak for someone who has left this earth, but when I look up Mr. Safire’s background and the history of his political views, I tend to believe he would have been supportive of what Israel has been doing in Gaza.  With that in mind, in honor of his memory I will attempt to deconstruct the most despicable and ridiculous argument made by Israel’s detractors.  The claim of Genocide.

I’ve addressed this before in previous articles but never have I made this one issue, the meaning of the word and its proper application, the primary focus.  I started by looking up the definition.  The definition as stated by Merriam-Webster is as follows: “the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group.”

The first and important word in the definition is “deliberate”.  In genocide’s throughout history, the governments committing them have made no secret of the desire to exterminate a people.  Israel’s killing of civilians is not only not deliberate, it’s just the opposite.  Israel is publicly stating that it is making every attempt possible not to harm civilians, and is only doing so when Hamas places rockets in area where they are given no choice.  Genocide is not defined as the murder of civilians when given no other choice.

The second word is “systematic”.  This adds another element to this ridiculous claim.  The population in both Gaza and the West Bank is growing at a faster rate than the population in Israel.  If Israel really is committing genocide it’s doing a pretty bad job.  Even the people who hate Israel don’t question its military efficiency and capabilities in accomplishing its goals.  Ironically the only people who do question Israel’s strategy are hardliners within Israel that may actually be in favor of harsher military action, and even they are not trying to wipe out a race, they merely feel the only way Israel will be safe is through a more severe military approach.

The last part of the definition can be just as easily rebutted; “destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group.”   Seriously? What nation that has committed genocide in the past against a group of people allows that group into its parliament? What nation committing genocide goes after this “political or cultural group” only when attacked first?  I guess there may be some credibility to this part of the statement if you are to say that Israel would like to systematically destroy Hamas.  But that only works if rather than realizing Hamas is a terrorist organization you somehow have chosen to see it as a political or cultural group.

I’ve seen signs that say, “Well done Israel. Hitler would have been proud.”  I actually agree with the second part of the sign.  Hitler would have been very proud of all those people going after Israel for no reason other than the fact that it is run by Jews, and the fact that one of the most devious clever forms of anti-Semitism today is comparing Israel to Nazi Germany.

I am sure William Safire would have said it much better than I just did, but all we can do is imagine how well he would have picked apart this ridiculous and cynical argument. An argument we need to stop in its tracks.

HOW TO BUY THE BOOK

CLICK TO JOIN “THE GLOBAL COALITION FOR ISRAEL” ON FACEBOOK

Follow Holland’s Heroes on Twitter @hollandsheroes


A Message from a Former Liberal

liberal2I am here to announce to the world that it is now official.  I am renouncing my Liberal status.  Let me be clear that this is not a total overhaul of my views and opinions on all the social issues that could only label me as a Liberal. Those views have not changed. The reason for me renouncing my status is that I no longer wish to be associated with people making excuses for bad behaviors and for those who are tolerant of anti-Semitism masquerading as anti-Zionism.

I recently wrote 2 letters, one to George Clooney and another to Russell Brand.  Although the vast majority appear to have enjoyed and agreed with the tone and content of the letters, I have received more criticism on these letters than on anything I’ve ever written.  I don’t mind the criticism, on some levels I even like it.  I don’t suppress opinions and generally don’t wish physical harm on anyone for having opinions that differ from mine.  What I do have a problem with are people believing they are taking some sort of moral high ground by not criticizing anti-Semites or being so careful to not unfairly demand the opinion of those who could influence the thoughts of millions. I am convinced they take this approach because they either don’t truly understand how high the stakes are or because they are just too frightened to do otherwise.  Either way it’s a mistake.

Let me break it down and explain something everyone needs to understand before it is too late.  Yes I ridiculed Russell Brand.  I insulted him, referenced his mental illness, and attacked his character more than I attacked his words. Although I stand by everything I said to him, let’s say for argument sake my letter was a despicable and unfair defamation of character.  It’s still not even close to being as bad as what he is doing.  Hamas has two things people need to be aware of when looking at the entire picture.  First they have a charter that speaks of its commitment to driving every Jew out of Israel and its mission to kill every Jew alive.  The second is a sponsor, Iran,  with a large supply of weapons and a hatred for Israel, as well as a budding alliance with a rogue and nuclear North Korea.  Hamas has stated that its conditions for a cessation of hostilities includes the opening of a port and lifting of the Naval blockade.  If this would be done under Hamas leadership, it would put the very survival of the State of Israel in jeopardy.  So when Russell Brand gets on his high horse and criticizes Israel for his actions, he is in essence saying that its survival means absolutely nothing to him.  He is saying to me and to the world that it is perfectly acceptable to have North Korea ship nuclear weapons into Gaza.  So now I ask those of you attacking my words and defending him, what is more offensive? One man insulting and ridiculing another or the other calling for actions that translate into millions of dead Jews?

I’m more concerned as to whether or not George Clooney, a man who potentially can influence millions feels as his anti-Semitic fiance does, than I am with whether or not someone thinks I am out of line for connecting her words to him.  That misplaced use of Liberal ideals and so-called tolerance is unacceptable to me.  As I’ve said many times, “Never Again” does not mean Never Again unless it insults George Clooney.

Listen to the words of someone who has called himself a Liberal till now and has done so without apology.  Wake up and start realizing what is at stake here.  I do not have any children of my own, but I have many children in my family who I hope will be able to live a happy and safe life.  Too much tolerance for anti-Semitic behavior and too much concern for the feelings of people who aren’t helping us when they should is what truly offends me.  They threaten the safety of all Jewish children and ultimately all children on the planet, including the very children they pretend to defend.  If that doesn’t offend you more than a personal attack on an actor, I urge you to reexamine your values. Furthermore, this thought process that has people thinking my “nasty” letters somehow contribute to anti-Semitism is dangerously naive.  One person even said that Amal Alamuddin, George Clooney’s fiance, gave us a gift by turning down a spot on the panel as though she did it for any other reason other than her own benefit.  I am not going to thank an ant-Semite for something merely because they took one less action of hatred against Jews.

I used to believe that the ideal of Liberalism brought people together even when they disagreed on important issues.  Maybe it does that on some levels, but when it becomes a tool with which to hold views that translate into serious harm for the Jewish people and the entire civilized world, not only do I want no part of it, I question why anyone else who loves a peaceful and secure world would.

HOW TO BUY THE BOOK

CLICK TO JOIN “THE GLOBAL COALITION FOR ISRAEL” ON FACEBOOK

Follow Holland’s Heroes on Twitter @hollandsheroes


What Offends You?

MummyBomberL_468x468In light of all the comments I’ve received recently, some attacking my comments, many supporting them, I’ve decided to make a post reviewing my observations of what I perceive as some of those things offensive to those not sharing my sensitivities and drawing a comparison or similarity to mine when applicable.  At least inasmuch as I am not offended by the same things that they are, even if they are offended by the same things that offend me. Confused? So am I.  If the “you” I refer to is not you, don’t worry.  I clearly don’t mean you.  This piece is for those occasionally or commonly directing their passions in different directions than I do.

WHAT OFFENDS YOU

Israel’s actions in Gaza

Benjamin Netanyahu

When you perceive someone as insulting towards George Clooney

Someone drawing a connection between a high-profile woman and her high-profile future husband in regard to her anti-Israel statements

Someone using Russell Brand’s addiction problems as a means to ridicule him

Blanket anti-Muslim sentiment

Someone insulting the famous people you worship

A one-sided approach to the Israeli-Palestinian problem

Jews invoking the memory of the Holocaust to use it as justification for actions and attitudes today

Pictures representing Palestinian children as terrorists

 

WHAT OFFENDS ME

Hamas training Palestinian children to be terrorists

Using injured or dead children as a media ploy against Israel

Jewish people defending George Clooney with more vigor than they defend Benjamin Netanyahu

Terrorism

Jewish families being blown up in Pizza places

The United Nations

Russell Brand’s remake of Arthur

People blatantly ignoring the truth to suit their argument against Israel

Jewish people who distance themselves from Israel

Anti-Semitism

 

This post is a very general post.  It does not target specific people.  Some of you fall partially into a category, some completely, some not at all.  This is how I feel.  I have approved every comment made in my blog in an effort to not stifle opinions, regardless of how offensive they may be to me and others. However, in turn, I have no intention of remaining silent about those issues that I find offensive and feel are damaging to our future and in many cases I know that what offends me, offends you as well.  In the meantime I hope you continue to enjoy the read.

HOW TO BUY THE BOOK

CLICK TO JOIN “THE GLOBAL COALITION FOR ISRAEL” ON FACEBOOK

Follow Holland’s Heroes on Twitter @hollandsheroes

 


It never was about Gaza or Dead Babies

I am posting this very short clip about rising anti-Semitism in Europe for one important reason. It was made February of 2013 and talks about the rise of hate crimes against Jews in the year 2012. Guess these “humanitarians” don’t really care about the people of Gaza. It wasn’t about them then and it isn’t about them now.

 

CLICK TO JOIN “THE GLOBAL COALITION FOR ISRAEL” ON FACEBOOK

Follow Holland’s Heroes on Twitter @hollandsheroes