Tag Archives: apartheid

Open Letter to NFL Player Michael Bennett regarding his cancellation of trip to Israel

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Dear Michael,

I just finished reading your statement as to the reasoning behind you cancelling your trip to Israel, and although your message was masterfully articulated, it is sadly riddled with an enormous undercurrent of serious & unfortunate ignorance.  You see Michael, what you and so many others fail to realize, is that over the years filled with constant terrorist attacks murdering Israelis and manipulated uprisings, citizens of Israel have been victims more than the Palestinians have and most of the victimization of the Palestinians has been predominantly at the hands of their very own leaders, not the Israeli government.

If even a small fraction of the funding given to the Palestinian leadership had been put into developing their neighborhoods and cities, the Palestinian quality of life would be so much better we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.  Instead the billions of dollars received has primarily been used for funding terrorism and making their leaders extremely wealthy people.  Naturally they do not want you to know this because that would destroy their illegitimate narrative of having a plight similar to those of non-white citizens of the former Apartheid regime in South Africa.  The truth is that even blacks from South Africa have come out often attacking this comparison saying that what happens in Israel is far from being Apartheid. I urge you to view this video of a South African member of Parliament and a man of color, Kenneth Meshoe,  discussing the misguided view that Israel is an Apartheid State. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykFVV9QdvZU

I further encourage you to take note of these 3 quotes from the late great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. whose picture you chose to exploit as evidence for your misguided stance.

“When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism!”

“The whole world must see that Israel must exist and has the right to exist, and is one of the great outposts of democracy in the world”

“Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see Israel as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality.”

No one with any decency and reason will say or has ever said that Israel has done everything right, but the stance you have taken puts the entire burden of blame of the government of Israel.  That is not only disingenuous and harmful towards the very people you claim to now care so much about, it is also blatantly anti-Zionist, and if you are to use Dr. King’s picture as a tool on your Twitter page you best know that he would have seen you as being anti-Semitic as a result. Whether that is your intention or not, your judgment and subsequent actions create that perception and destroy your credibility.  I suggest you revisit this issue and reconsider your stance.

Sincerely,
David Groen

 

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Open Letter to the Jewish survivors condemning Israel’s actions in Gaza

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Dear Friends,

If there is one thing you learn being a child of Holocaust survivors, it is that no matter how much you try to put yourself in their shoes, you just can’t.  It is with that knowledge and awareness that I write this letter to you, those survivors that are condemning Israel over its actions towards the Palestinian people.  Despite the shock your comments and sentiments have caused to so many of us, (CLICK HERE TO READ STATEMENT) out of the respect I have for what you went through I have chosen to write this letter as more of a plea for you to come to your senses than a criticism of your actions.  I will make it a given that your intentions are pure, even if I and many more like me believe they are misguided.

No one who survived the horrors of Nazi Germany needs a lesson from me or from anyone else of my generation as to the actions committed during what is one of the blackest mark in the history of humankind.  Having spoken often to my parents, my father of blessed memory and my mother who is, thank God still alive and well, I have as good of an understanding as I can in my position, as to what took place.  I know that Hitler hated the Jews from the start.  Targeted them, scapegoated them, dehumanized them, and ultimately murdered them in massive and devastating numbers.  He made the elimination of the Jewish race more than just an emotional cause, he made it a government sanctioned law.  Even before the mass murdering started, he left no doubt that he wanted Jews to be no part of society, not only in Germany but everywhere his Nazi party occupied.  As is so clearly stated in the definition of Genocide, once he managed to rally the support of a desperate German nation behind him, Hitler specifically targeted the Jews in a deliberate and systematic attempt to exterminate the Jewish people.  I will spend the next paragraph outlining the similarities between what Nazi Germany did to the Jews and what Israel is doing to the Palestinians.

It will be a very short paragraph.  THERE ARE NO SIMILARITIES!

As I previously stated, this is more than a letter to all of you.  This is a plea.  I am practically begging you to come to your collective senses. Israel has not been perfect in its treatment of Palestinians, but it’s not only done more for them than many other nations do for a minority population, it’s done more for them than any Muslim nation in the world has done.

Please read the Hamas charter.  It calls for the elimination of Jews from Israel and the murder of Jews worldwide.  With that in mind I ask you this question. Had there been a Jewish army in 1943 or 1944 would it have been wrong for that army to bomb Berlin, even if in targeting official government locations it would have killed German women and children?

I appreciate and agree that dead women and children dying in war is always a tragedy.  I just urge you to realize that the deaths are not always the fault of the ones dropping the bombs.

In the name of God and all that is good and decent I ask all of you to stop this madness.  The last line of your statement may be the most important one in that it references the phrase “Never Again”.  I agree that “Never Again” means NEVER AGAIN FOR ANYONE, but it also means that sometimes actions, often harsh and painful actions, need to be taken to back up that phrase.

Sincerely,

David Groen

 

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All Good People are Welcome

is2One of the loudest ovations at the Pro-Israel rally in Times Square yesterday July 20, 2014, was for none other than a Palestinian man.  When the man took the microphone and shouted the words, “I am a Palestinian.  I love Israel and I hate Hamas”, the crowd erupted.  To all those who call Israel an Apartheid state I present this challenge.  Find me one none-white individual who ever said they love South Africa during the reign of Apartheid.  And then find me an instance of a crowd gathering in support of South Africa’s government of that era that welcomed a person of color with love and support as this man was yesterday. You won’t find it.  It’s very simple.  Those who want to live in peace are welcome and will be treated like everyone else.  Sure there are people in any group that have an indestructible hate in their heart, but as a general rule this is the morality we live by.  A morality of which we can and should all be proud.


These things happened….

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These things happened,

The publishing of Ulysses by James Joyce;  The first swimmer crossed the English Channel; Calvin Coolidge became president; the first Winter Olympics took place; Charles Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic Ocean; Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse; Herbert Hoover became president; the Stock Market crashed;Penicillin was discovered; the planet Pluto was discovered; Empire State Building was completed; Amelia Earhart crossed the Atlantic; Adolph Hitler’s Nazi Party became ruling party in Germany; Social security was established; Golden Gate Bridge was opened; Japan invaded China; Germany annexed Austria; World War II;  Japan attacked Pearl Harbor; Atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki; 60 million people killed in World War II;  6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust; Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier; the State of Israel was founded; United Nations was formed;  NATO was formed; Korean War; Elvis Presley; Polio vaccine created;  Disneyland Opened; JFK became President; I was born; Cuban Missile Crisis; JFK assassinated; The Beatles; Vietnam War; Star Trek series; first Super Bowl; Apollo 11 landed on the moon; Terrorists Killed Israeli Athletes at Munich Olympics; Watergate scandal forced President Richard Nixon’s resignation; the movie Star Wars; John Paul II became Pope; Iranian Muslim revolution; CNN was formed; AIDS discovered; Personal Computers were invented; Soviet Union collapsed; Apartheid ended; Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa; 2 different Bush’s became Presidents; Bill Clinton became president; the Euro currency was formed; 3,000 killed in 9/11 attack in New York; Iraq War; the Internet was created; Holland lost 3 World cup finals; Justin and Kim got married.

These things happened, in the 92 years between the birth of these 2 people, my mother Sipora Groen and my youngest family member and great-niece Jara.

If this doesn’t give you hope nothing does.


Are These the Actions of an Evil Regime?

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Israel, the Apartheid State.  The government that is persecuting Palestinians.  The regime committing genocide against the people of Palestine.   Really?  Does this sound like a country that would be taking care of the wife of the leader of the Palestinian authority?  Well that is exactly what happened this past weekend as the wife of Mahmoud Abbas had leg surgery in a hospital near Tel-Aviv.  But did the fair-minded speak out about this?  Did they ever stop to consider what would have happened if three Palestinian students had been kidnapped and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife would need surgery in most Arab nations?  Or even closer to home in the West Bank or Gaza?  As three Yeshiva students remain missing, likely kidnapped by Hamas or another similar terrorist organization, the Israeli government welcomed in and allowed the wife of Abbas to be cared for.  Does this strike you as the behavior of a state motivated to wipe the Palestinians off the planet.  Does it look like a government lacking in ethical human rights behavior?

We all know the answer.  Roger Waters knows the answer.  Emma Thompson knows the answer.  Alice Walker knows the answer.  But these phonies, Anti-Semites masquerading as humanitarians would never utter the words of truth that are so evident from the events taking place.   The worldwide movements to discredit Zionists, a smokescreen for decreasingly less subtle attacks on Jews, would never declare the truth about Israel, that it is a true democracy with true freedom and the highest level of human rights.  To do that would result in elevating the status of Jews worldwide, which in reality is why it is not done.  If you doubt this to be true just look at what it is happening in France on a regular basis to people because they are Jews, not because they are Zionists. And look at the recent murders in Brussels and wake up to the truth.  And that truth is that there are people who want to wipe the Jewish people from the planet, regardless of where they live.

We all say Never Again to something that on some very frightening levels has begun to happen again.  Did we ever know what we would do to stop it if it did?  Maybe not.  But it starts by seeing the reality of the situation and not closing our eyes, pretending it is not there and hoping it will go away.  That never worked and never will.


Why Now?

obamaUnfortunately the current situation in Nigeria and the public outcry regarding the kidnapped school girls brings to the forefront the misplaced priorities running rampant in today’s world.   Make no mistake, the kidnappings are horrific.   However, it sadly is another example of people finding a cause without knowing what has really been going on for quite some time.

Boko Haram is one of the most vicious, heartless groups of evil murderers roaming the planet.  For years they have been killing people in Nigeria in the most callous and terrifying ways imaginable.  Primarily targeting Christians and law enforcement officials, these terrorists have crucified people and burnt them alive.  Their behavior is reminiscent of the Nazis in the way they show absolutely no remorse or mercy in how they kill.   As awful as the kidnappings are, this action of terrorism is by no means their first act of terror and begs the following question.  Where has everyone been till now?

I won’t criticize Michelle Obama or anyone else for tweeting to release the prisoners nor will I criticize anyone for being an activist in the release of these poor girls, because regardless of the motivation the behavior is good behavior and not where the problem lies.  Even though I agree with George Will when he makes the statement that the exercise is one in futility and an exercise in self esteem, I also believe in the concept of a good action for the wrong reasons still being a good action.   And to be quite frank, that’s not the part that disturbs me.  What disturbs me is that we live in a world when no one cares enough when people get murdered and burned alive to take action.  Our leadership and the leadership of other nations around the world keep silent until it becomes a popular cause.  And the so-called activists who call Israel an apartheid state will never, and I say that confidently, NEVER find any Israeli behaving in the vicious and callous way that the member of Boko Haram have behaved.   Yet they have all remained silent.  Why?  Simply put it is because there is no financial gain or benefit towards their popularity.  That and the fact that some people hate Jews more than they value human life.

I hope and pray these girls get returned safely, but I hope and pray even more that somehow the world starts turning into a place where innocent human life is valued.  Sadly I am not confident at this time that it will happen any time soon, but in the meantime I’ll keep hoping and praying.

 

 

 


How the Oscars Helped Show the BDS Movement’s Lack of Credibility

Omar_poster_croppedBy now I know I was not alone in cringing when a film from Palestine was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Foreign Film category.  My personal discomfort wasn’t out of any objection that a film was made in the Palestinian territory, but rather for my immediate nervousness at the prospect of an acceptance speech.  When I thought about it further however, I was actually quite pleased by the nomination.  Not so much because I feel any personal investment in the growth of the Palestinian film industry, but rather because of the damage it does to the argument made by the BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions) Movement.

The movement, one that has influenced wealthy corporations and high-profile entertainers to boycott Israel, pushes the agenda that Israel is an apartheid state where Palestinians are persecuted with no hope for any sort of future.  Along comes a movie, “Omar”, a movie that tells a story of a young Palestinian man accused of being an accomplice in the murder of an Israeli soldier.  In the movie the man is beaten by an Israeli interrogator and convinced to collaborate with Israeli intelligence.  Having not seen the movie I can not speak to how good or bad it makes the Israeli authorities look, but I do know that in an apartheid state a film of this sensitive nature would never have been made.  This movie was made in Nazareth, in what is territory ultimately under control of the Israeli government.  It is hard to imagine a film like this would even get off the ground in China or Russia if a filmmaker from one of those countries showed either of those governments in a similar light.  So when the nomination of this film was read out loud for the entire world to hear, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences was making the statement for those who needed to hear it that Israel is not only NOT an apartheid state, but a country where people can express themselves freely, be they Arab or Jew.

I don’t expect the anti-Semites who mold the BDS Movement to their agenda to be influenced by this at all, but I am hoping that the message was loud and clear to anyone out there who is objective and maybe not as educated to the reality of the situation.  For this I would like to thank the Academy.