Tag Archives: Arab

Open Letter to the Editorial Board of the NY Times regarding article about Israeli Elections









Dear Editorial Board,

The first 3 words of this letter already tells so much of the story.  To be forced to start a letter “Dear Editorial Board” makes you wonder why no individual had the intestinal fortitude to use his or her name when going on the attack as they did against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu one day after his election victory.  For those of you reading on this self-perceived holier than thou and smarter than the rest of us board, here is how criticism is given when you are not afraid to stand by your convictions.

My name is David Groen.  I am a proud American, a proud Jew, and proud Zionist. I am also an ardent supporter of Benjamin Netanyahu who found your editorial titled “An Israeli Election turns ugly” to be not only offensive, but skewed to suit your political agenda and a contradiction to the factors that make democracy great.


Israel is not only a great democracy, it is the only real democracy in the Middle East.  You speak of Benjamin Netanyahu as though he is some fascist dictator on the rise.  This is a man who leads a nation constantly under attack from terrorist organizations and threats from rogue nations such as Iran calling for its annihilation.  Yet somehow you have a problem with Netanyahu trying to defeat the Arab vote knowing full well that their agenda would be to go against his political strategy of how to keep Israel safe and secure.  I’m not debating whether or not his strategy is right or wrong because this letter is not so much to debate his tactics, it is to debate yours.

There is no evidence that voters were harassed, be they left-wing Jews or Arabs, and no reason to believe this was an election ripe with any significant corruption. What it was instead was an example of an ambitious politician using democracy to his advantage.  It is almost comical to me that the NY Times, that great defender of freedom and civil rights would have a problem with democracy functioning on a prime level.  No one forced anyone to vote for Prime Minister Netanyahu.  The Arab population had a big vote in the election.  Their representative party has seats in the Knesset.  They have a say and a role in the Israeli political system.  How many Arab nations have Jewish representation?  None.  Because in most Arab nations the Jews were run out of town.  If “you” don’t like Benjamin Netanyahu that’s fine.  Just don’t attack him for utilizing his country’s democratic structure.

Which bring me back again to that question.  Who is the “you” in all this? Who am I actually writing to? The entire Editorial Board is in agreement on this issue?  How about signing all of your names to it so we know how many of you there are and know you are all in agreement.  Not because I believe there should be anything heinous done to you, but because if you are to criticize someone who speaks to the people just because you are upset he got what he wanted, don’t you think you should at least let everyone know who you are when you criticize him?  To hide behind the title “Editorial Board” is a level of hypocrisy that totally destroys any credibility you have left.  Whoever “you” actually are.

What Benjamin Netanyahu did this election was nothing different from what any other politician would do in any democracy.  He did what he felt he had to do to win.  Creating this perception that his words were racist attacks on the Arab population of Israel is either irresponsible on “your” part, or even worse, an attempt at manipulating the minds of your audience.  But here is the difference between “you” and me.  I accept your right to do this in a democratic society with free speech, and when I don’t like “your” methods, I sign my name to my criticism.


David Groen







Open Letter to Ron Jones regarding BBC’s The Big Questions’ tweet:”Is it time to lay the Holocaust to rest?”









Dear Mr. Jones,

“Is it time to lay the Holocaust to rest?”  I would say “good question”, but in truth it is not a good question.  It is not a wise question, nor a sincere question.  It is a question that exhibits ignorance and hate and lack of understanding of the world as it is meant to be.

I do not know what connection you or your personal viewpoints have to this question tweeted by BBC’s;The Big Questions, but since it is produced by Mentorn Media and you are the Executive Chairman, it is you I will address regarding this matter.

Naturally, as a Jew, I am beyond offended.  I am only in my 50s, so the fact that I never knew my grandparents nor my mother’s only brother and my father’s younger sister, should already indicate that this is not ancient history we are talking about.  To be frank, even if it was ancient history I would find this question offensive.  Should we put Passover to rest as well while we’re at it?  After all, it WAS only Jews who were slaves in Egypt.

6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust.  To make it easier for the small-minded people at the BBC to comprehend, that is the equivalent to filling up Wembley Stadium 66 times.  The question is not an example of enlightenment through journalism, rather an irresponsible, ignorant, and quite honestly a disgraceful opening for a discussion that should not even be considered in the civilized world.

The very question is not much different from blatant Holocaust denial, a media tool perpetuated most significantly by the Iranian government, a regime that has expressed its desire to wipe Israel off the map, a process that would lead to almost the same amount of Jewish deaths.  The question might as well be, “is it time to get rid of the Jews?”

Even from a non-Jewish perspective the question is offensive.  It’s not as though we live in a world without evil.  We still see people getting tortured, persecuted and murdered.  Is it time to put slavery to rest?  How about the Cambodian genocide? Or the Armenian genocide? For that matter we might as well put the Rwandan genocide to rest as well.  After all, we would hate to get in the way of BBC’s quest for enlightenment.

Even without putting the Holocaust to rest the Jewish people face threats and challenges.  If we put the Holocaust to rest it will lead to those acting as though it never happened, empowering those that wish to see it happen all over again.  We as a person are not prepared to let that happen and nothing a staunchly Arab-influenced BBC does will change our resolve.

NEVER AGAIN is the motto many of us live by, and that is exactly the opposite of putting the Holocaust to rest.  Get over it.


David Groen





Defending our brother Alan Dershowitz












Where are the Jews to defend Alan Dershowitz?  This is the question that was presented by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and to be quite frank, it’s a very good one.  Let me be very clear.  If there was clear evidence that Mr. Dershowitz was guilty of the accusations of sex with an underage girl, there would be no defending him.  However, if ever there was a time to invoke the great American principle of “Innocent until proven Guilty”, now is the time.

I am often disgusted by the mentality in parts of the Arab world that promotes accepting immoral behavior by those who share a common hatred for Jews and westerners.  It’s acceptable to treat women poorly, steal, rape and murder, as long as the core of your philosophy speaks to the destruction of Israel and western society. Jews don’t think that way.  If Alan Dershowitz is indeed guilty of this crime, his status in the Jewish community will drop significantly.  He can defend Israel all he wants, attack the enemies of the Jewish people till he is blue in the face, but if he is indeed guilty of statutory rape he will lose the respect and status of most of the community. And rightly so.  However, with all that he has done, with all the clearheaded defense of Israel, and his staunch advocacy of the Jewish people and Jewish state, we owe it to him to accept him on his word unless there is evidence to the contrary.

I do not believe in sticking one’s head in the ground and ignoring harsh realities.  However, it is a lot easier to accept that one person is lying than that many are lying.  This accusation comes from one woman making accusations against many.  Whether some or all of these accusations are true, there is no question that this woman has to be at least somewhat disturbed, be it from crimes committed against her or by her very nature.  I believe all the accusations must be investigated and that any and all guilty parties must be held accountable.  That does not necessarily mean that any of the allegations are true.

Alan Dershowitz is our Jewish brother.  He is our American brother. While other high-profile Jews and Americans remained silent this past summer, Mr. Dershowitz spoke loudly in defense of Israel. Let’s not forget that the allegations against Israel were also mostly fabricated.  Why would it be so difficult to believe allegations against one of Israel’s most high-profile and intellectually capable defenders would be fabricated as well?  This is a man who has defended us loudly and proudly.  He deserves our support.  He’s earned it.

I have no problem with people jumping ship if the allegations are shown to be true, but unless that happens we owe it this man to not only treat him like family, but to treat him like family we have liked and respected.  That means the burden must fall on the accusers to prove his guilt, not on Mr. Dershowitz to prove his innocence.

We owe that to our brother.





For the Ignorant and Complicit history only Started on July 8, 2014

Operation-Protective-Edge-square-564x400July 8, 2014 was the day Israel began Operation Protective Edge.  After countless missile attacks with no end in sight and the kidnapping and murder of 3 Yeshiva students by Hamas, Israel finally had enough.  It began with airstrikes and turned into a ground operation.  Once Israel discovered the terror tunnels, they were committed to staying in Gaza till each and every one was destroyed.  Over 2,000 people died during the operation, a large percentage of which were Palestinian civilians.  Awful.  Just awful.  Especially if the first day of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was July 8, 2014.

However, despite what Palestinian leadership, the Turkish President, Russell Brand, Bryan Adams and millions of Muslims everywhere want you to believe, this conflict did not begin this past July 8th.  If you are  to look at the events that took place from July 8, 2014 without going back further, you may see Israel as being a lopsided aggressor.  Even then you need to choose to ignore how Hamas uses its people as human shields.  If however you look at the months, years and decades leading up to this operation you see a completely different story.  The true story.

I could go back to 1929 and speak of the Hebron massacre when Jews were slaughtered by Muslims prior to any establishment of a Jewish state.  We could talk about how after the United Nations in 1948 partitioned land for the new Jewish State of Israel, of which the West Bank and Gaza was not included, and how all the surrounding Arab nations attacked it in am attempt to wipe out the Jews and finish Hitler’s work.  We could talk about how the West Bank belonged to Jordan but Jordan didn’t want it back because they didn’t want to deal with the residents.  We could also talk about how Egypt controlled Gaza and never wanted it back for the same reason or how Israel withdrew from Gaza and gave it every opportunity to develop into something special, but instead allowed Hamas to take over and drive it into the ground.

We could  talk about the civilians Israel killed while aiming at missile launchers or we could talk about the thousands of Israelis killed in terrorist attacks.  We could talk about a blockade or bombing of a hospital shielding Hamas missiles, or we could talk about how entire families were blown up in Pizza places and malls by people who were proud to kill as many Jews as possible.  I could go back to Yasser Arafat, the Godfather of terrorism and hijacked planes, murdered passengers and the murder of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics.  I could go back to 3 murdered Yeshiva boys.

But none of the matters if you want Israel to look like the aggressor, because when you do you only go back as far as July 8, 2014.  If you go back any further you might have to admit that Israel has every right to defend itself. Something it has always been forced to do and has become so good at doing it now gets criticized for it.  It’s the greatest lie of omission you will ever see.  It pretends nothing ever happened before July 8, 2014.  And too many people are believing it.




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A Logical and Moral Response

aaron-david-miller-190Yesterday on CNN I watched an interview with Aaron David Miller.  Miller worked for the U.S. Department of State from 1978-2003 and was an adviser on Arab-Israeli relations under 6 different Secretaries of State.  He made a statement that I believe to be the most accurate assessment of what Israel is doing in Gaza and what can be used as an honest response to anyone who accuses Israel of brutality in the ongoing Operation.

He said the following, and I paraphrase: “Israel, without question, is not attempting to cause civilian casualties.  However, Israel is conducting this operation with a specific set of objectives, and their priority is not concern for Palestinian civilians, it is to accomplish these objectives.”

I believe this to be a fair assessment.  I will however elaborate on it somewhat. Israel’s objectives are to wipe out a terrorist organization guilty of killing both Israeli and Palestinian civilians, protect Israel’s civilians in the future, and to restore a peaceful life for all Israelis.  These objectives must be met, for if they are not, a lot more children will be killed in the future, and many of them will be Jewish.  It shows the moral right Israel has to carry out this mission, despite the tragic consequences we see today.


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What We Don’t do when Children Die

kids-three-fingers (1)Unlike the festivities that took place in the Arab world when the 3 Yeshiva Students were reported as kidnapped and subsequently murdered, there is no joy in the Jewish world over the deaths of 4 Palestinian children.  There are no Jewish children being put in front of a camera and told to hold up 4 fingers.  There is no social media blitz with a 4 fingered salute celebrating their deaths.  In fact, the Jewish way of thinking can be summed up with one finger, the pinky finger.

At the Passover Seder, the dinner celebrating the freeing of Jews from slavery in Egypt, when we recount the 10 plagues we dip out pinky finger into the wine and acknowledge the suffering of innocent Egyptians during each of the plagues.  Our respect is so great that we dip twice when we get to the last plague, the killing of the first-born.  The Egyptians were our oppressors and we were freed from this oppression.  We celebrate our freedom.  We thank God.  But at no time do we celebrate the death and suffering of Egyptians.  Next time you see a 3 fingered salute celebrating the death of innocent Jewish children take a moment to acknowledge a people who value life and despise murder, instead of the other way around.

Back when I was a Moderate…2 weeks ago

111Two weeks ago I would have been considered a moderate regarding the situation with Israel and the Palestinians.   I even held hope that the Palestinian Authority would do the right thing in response to what then was the kidnapping of the 3 Israeli teens.  However, like anyone else in life I have a breaking point. Mine was the moment it was clear that these 3 boys had not only been kidnapped, but murdered as well.  Having reached that breaking point I have come to following conclusions. Any person who does not believe Israel is in its rights to use any manner of force necessary, be it in Gaza, Judea or Samaria (aka ‘The West Bank’) falls into one of the following categories:

Non Jew: Ignorant; Gullible; Anti-Semitic

Jew: Ignorant; Naïve; Flat-out stupid; Self-hating

As a Jew, two weeks ago I fell into the naïve category.  That is a category with many different levels.  My naiveté was rooted in the belief and hope that a peaceful solution was possible.  I was a moderate.  The 3 murdered Israeli teens are 3 among thousands killed by terrorists, but somehow it was their murder that destroyed my moderate status as well.  Yes I questioned my moderation even then, but I was always open to the idea that there were enough people in power on their side who wanted peace more than they wanted the destruction of Israel to create an atmosphere of coexistence.   Sadly that is not the case.  As Golda Meir once said so eloquently, “Peace will come when the Arabs love their children more than they hate us.”  It is with genuine pain that I say that day is further away from us than ever before.

First to the Non-Jewish people I make mention of, I say this.  I respect anyone whose genuine desire is a world of peace.  Even if you are ignorant to the truth or gullible as to the intentions of Israel’s Arab enemies, you may desperately cling to the hope that peace can break out.  I admire your motivation and appreciate your decency.  However, if you really take time to look at the situation you will come to the same tragic conclusion.  They do not want peace.  They want dead Jews.  If you can show me any concrete evidence to prove otherwise I would be happy to see it, but I truly do not believe that evidence exists.

If you are anti-Semitic I have nothing to say to you.  You live with hate in your heart and to make matters even worse, that hate is directed towards me and my family.  You therefore are nothing to me other than disgusting and potentially dangerous.

To the Jews in these categories I say this.  Please learn from the past.  The Nazis set out to kill every last Jew.  Not merely the Jew who opposed them, but even the Jew whose fear motivated them to work for them in concert in the hope that they would be spared.  They were all targets.  As we all are today.  The naïve amongst you who believe in a peaceful solution, are making the mistake I so genuinely understand.  You are applying rational thinking to irrational minds.  These are people who are taught that the greatest honor they can achieve in life is through death.  Not merely death, but death through murder and destruction.  I am sure those of you who are applying your rational standards do not for one second relate to that way of thinking, but if you analyze it honestly and without personal prejudice you may see the sad truth.

To the self-hating Jew, the one who chooses to be extra vocal about criticism of Jews when they do things wrong but are only half as vocal, at best, when Jews are attacked and murdered, I say this.  It is not just your fellow Jew you will bring suffering to, but to yourself as well.  You are a pawn on a chessboard of evil, and those who play chess know that the pawns are the most expendable.  My father, Rabbi Nardus Groen of Blessed Memory once wrote when referring back to his account of the Holocaust,  “We may in the course of it meet people who, for whatever it’s worth,may be portrayed as heroes, while others are cowards, pacifists, or activists.They are all the products of mankind. For them, there will always be a place under the sun (with the exception of the traitor).”   It is not my place to determine who are the cowards and pacifists and who are the traitors.  God will know what is in your heart and I trust will judge you accordingly.

One may make the argument that every day a moderate turns radical Hamas has gained another victory.  That may be true.  But it is safer to be a realistic radical than a delusional moderate.  Unfortunately I now believe those are the only two choices.