Tag Archives: Arabs

My Evolution to Radical









The title is somewhat tongue in cheek because I really don’t see myself as being a radical, but in order to keep the interest of those on the far left who may see me that way, I chose to acknowledge what is very possibly going to be their claim.  The purpose of this piece is to explain how I, David Groen got from Liberal Clinton Democrat who voted for Obama twice, to writing articles and letters that seem to align me far more with the Republican right.  By the time you finish reading, whether you a Conservative or a Liberal I suspect I will surprise you, and very possibly disappoint you.

If it sounds like I am confused let me be clear.  I am more certain of where I stand on most issues than I have been my entire life.  I have not changed my views on some of the most polarizing issues of the day.  As soon as I state my stances on abortion and gay marriage I am certain to get some ire from a large portion of the Conservatives reading this. When I state my views on Israel and Foreign Affairs I am certain to get the same from many of the Liberals.  If this article seems like it is designed to make everyone angry at me, rest assured it is not.  I’m merely someone comfortable expressing his political views and since I try not to be a hypocrite, I see no reason to hide my politics.  In the end it is up to the reader to decide if he or she cares about my views, not me.

Most of the issues I intend to glance over quickly, while those dealing with Israel and Foreign Affairs in particular I will go into more detail. Here are some of the main issues that tend to define today’s Liberal and Conservative, not necessarily in the order stated. My order is based on how much I intend to say about the subject in this particular piece.


1-Abortion      2-Gay Marriage       3-Gun Control  

4-Foreign Affairs   5-Israel; (specifically for Jews, but often for non-Jews as well).


1-Abortion: I am pro-choice. I believe a woman has the right to decide what to do with her own body.

2-Gay Marriage: I really don’t care who people sleep with and since I believe one of the reasons America is a great country is the separation of Church and State, and since the only reason to ban this is a religious one, I believe it’s not the government’s business.  If a religious institution chooses not to marry gay people they have every right to make that choice.

3-Gun Control: I used to be so anti-gun that I would say that Americans had lost the right to bare arms based on our overall behavior with guns.  I believe strict and enforced regulations are important, but in today’s worldwide political climate I see how the need exists for individuals to carry a gun, and since that may even mean me, it would be hypocritical of me to hold the same views I once held.

Before I go on I will take a moment to explain my voting history back to the first Clinton presidency.  Actually the first part is easy.   For right or for wrong back then I didn’t feel the need to analyze it too deeply. I voted for who I liked the most.  I can say I voted Democrat across the board, and that would be true in local elections, but I also voted for Ronald Reagan(at least I think I did. I may have missed an election).

I liked Bill Clinton. The Monica Lewinsky issue aside, I still do. When Al Gore was running I found myself truly getting excited about politics.  I thought he was going to be a tremendous president. Whether or not I was right or wrong we will never know because Florida and hanging chads happened and George W. Bush became president instead.  With the devastation I felt when Gore did not become president and my 3 straight presidential elections voting Democrat, no one would ever have thought I would ever vote for W. That however, is exactly what happened in the next election. Since I greatly approved of his reaction and handling of 9/11, I voted for him when he ran for a second term.  Besides, I wasn’t particularly impressed with John Kerry anyway.  At least that is something that hasn’t changed.

When Barack Obama first hit the scene I was not a supporter.  But not so much because I had a problem with him, but because I was big time for Hilary.  When he defeated her in the primaries I was uncertain of my vote.  I liked John McCain’s toughness and patriotism but I put a lot of stock in who a candidate chooses for Vice President. So when McCain picked Sara Palin it became a much easier decision for me.  I voted for Obama.  When Obama came up for reelection I once again looked at the opponent.  I didn’t like Mitt Romney at all.  I didn’t believe a word he said.  Not because I believed he was necessarily so much less honest than everyone else, but because it always seemed that whatever he said was only designed to win the election.  I never felt like he was true to anything.  I also held out hope and wanted to believe that Obama did actually like Israel and that the things that looked bad were just part of his strategy to bring peace in the Middle East.  His actions still may be designed with that purpose in mind, but since it looks more and more like he is selling Israel out in whatever this process of his is, I’m subsequently not too happy about that vote.

I can’t tell this history without admitting that in retrospect I made some mistakes, but everyone’s truth is what it is, and this is mine. Who knows?  Maybe this piece will make some people admit votes they otherwise would have kept private.  With that said I go back to my list.

4-Foreign Affairs: On no issue have I “radicalized” more.  We all know the phrase history repeats itself.  I believe that history is not as likely to repeat itself as it is to mimic itself.  The difference may seem subtle but it is extremely significant and very important. As a son of Holocaust survivors, the history of the Jews in Europe has always been doubly personal.  Both as a Jew and as the son of Dutch Jews.  The Nazis rose to power under the unsuspecting noses of a hopeful Europe and somewhat detached America.  By the time it was too late, Hitler had put together a juggernaut of evil and terror that ran over the continent and caused a war that saw the death of tens of millions of people, including 6 millions Jews killed in genocidal manner.  The enemy was devastatingly powerful and ruthless.  The tactics of the Nazis were as evil as anything the world has ever seen. They were organized, cohesive and powerful.  But the allies had one advantage in attacking them. They were based in one country.  Yes there was a 5th column, the “ordinary people” placed in other countries to do a form of reconnaissance, but for the most part Nazi Germany was based out of Germany.  Although today’s evil uses some tactics very similar to the Nazis, and similarly their 2 main enemies are Americans and Jews, Muslim extremists are spread out in so many parts of the world, able to attack in so many different locations at any time, that the rising threat may have similarities to 1930s Europe, but nothing is a better example of history mimicking itself instead of repeating itself as the threats we face today.

That being said, the similarities are significant enough that I have formed the belief that negotiation and trust are just not a reasonable option. It hurts me to say that this is a fight I believe can only be won by force, but what do we see to tell us otherwise?  If we are only looking for history to repeat itself, we can make the argument that this is nothing like 1930s Europe and the rise of Nazism. But the language is similar, the lack of morality which justifies killing is similar, and the growth is even faster.  I don’t want to see innocent people get hurt, but innocent people needed to get hurt in Germany to stop the Nazis, and had that not happened millions of more innocent people would ultimately have gotten slaughtered.  To me and to all civilized people that is something that should be unacceptable.

5-Israel: I have made a very clear statement that I have no intention of wavering from. My next vote for president will be for whichever candidate I believe is most pro-Israel and toughest in foreign affairs.  I have been very vocal in my support of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  The other day I decided to listen to a J Street video regarding the need for a two-state Solution.  I think J Street is divisive and disingenuous, but in many ways I don’t believe a desire for a two-state solution is a bad thing necessarily.  Much of the statements in the video carried a lot of merit. The status quo will not be good for Israel.  It does create an even more dangerous future.  The prices that have been paid by so many are very high, and yes, it is a lot easier to speak this way from the United States than it is from Israel.  All that being said, it is not that I am opposed to a two-state solution per se, it is that under the current conditions a two-state solution is not a road to peace, it is a road to another Final Solution, not that different from the one attempted, and carried out to a large extent in devastating fashion by the Nazis against the Jews. 

To make peace you either need more than one willing party or for one party to be significantly stronger.  Those who criticize Israel the loudest do so because Israel, at the moment at least is stuck with the second choice.  Being a more powerful nation Israel is still able to win their wars.  With the lack of a willing peace partner Israel has 2 choices.  Keep the enemy down or die.  Forgive us “radicals” if we find the 2nd choice unacceptable.  No reasonable caring person is blind to the price Israel has to pay.  I can say with utmost confidence that the overwhelming majority of Israelis and Jews worldwide would gladly accept a two-state solution if it was with a party that truly wanted peace with the Jewish people.  If I felt Jewish lives would be saved I would support it.  But I believe, as do many like me, that more Jewish lives would be lost as a result of a two-state solution under the current conditions.  And it’s just plain anti-Israel cynicism to believe it falls solely on Israel to change these conditions.  

I can not and will not be moderate if I feel that a moderate viewpoint puts my people in danger.  

People who truly know Israelis and truly know the Jewish people as a whole, know that we are a people who desire to live in peace.  My lack of moderation is not based on some irrational hatred of Arabs and Muslims, my lack of moderation is based on those in power who talk about wanting to annihilate Israel and murder Jews while declaring a desire for peace for political or public relations expediency.  It’s baffling to me that anyone would believe the intentions of those calling for the murder of innocents were good at all, and to be quite honest it baffles me that the view opposing Israel somehow became one more often affiliated with a liberal status.   Maybe these people need to listen a little more to Alan Dershowitz.

So there you have my evolution to “radical”.  Make no mistake though.  This is one radical that hopes and prays that one day people will wake up and no longer allow their leaders to be preachers of death and destruction.  When that happens I suspect  I will no longer be seen as a radical, for I will be excited and supportive of what would then be a genuine peace process.













How Bibi represents Millions of Jews with a New Mentality








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.




Where’s the Love?

Hamas-Children-600x350The great Golda Meir one said, “Peace will come when the Arabs love their children more than they hate us.” Sadly I believe we are further away from that being a reality today than any other time since that incredibly poignant statement.  As sad as it may be that they hate us even more now than they did then, is the fact that in their actions they appear to love their children even less.

Despite the impression some may have from reading my posts, I am both a hopeless romantic and a softy.  I am not a hardened bitter person.  I not only believe in love, I have always accepted it in my life.  It doesn’t matter what kind of love either, be it in romance or the type you have for good friends and family.  I am a fan of love, think its important that it exists in everyone’s life, and feel it needs to be one of the core values present for any individual and in any family or community.

So last night I had a revelation.  With the exception of one thing, the members of  Hamas and their terrorist buddies never speak of the love for anything. They certainly hate a lot, especially anything Jewish or American, but love is hardly ever mentioned.  The one thing they do proudly and openly love, is, of all things, death.

As so much of the world chooses to blame Israel for the plight of these poor children in Gaza, even with the tragedy of those killed in this recent war, the larger tragedy is the life being given to these children by those who should love them.  I am by no means presuming to say that Palestinian mothers don’t love their children, but in allowing Hamas to rule and to educate their children on the path their life should follow, they are not manifesting their love correctly. They are giving their children over to a regime that proudly states, “We love Death for Allah like Israelis love life.”

There’s a genocide going on in Gaza alright, but it’s being committed from within and by the same people using the term to generate hate against Israel and the Jews.

Golda Meir’s words were wonderful, wise and correct.  Even with that said, it would be a good start if they loved their children more than death. They need to work on that before they work on not hating us.  Until that happens there won’t be much improvement for anyone’s situation, either in Israel or in Gaza.



Follow Holland’s Heroes on Twitter @hollandsheroes

And the DOPA goes to…

dove of peaceStarting today Holland’s Heroes is rolling out a new feature.  It is called the Dove of Peace Award (DOPA).  The DOPA will be presented to friends of Israel and the Jewish people who display exceptionally strong and vocal support when it is needed most.  The people I speak of are people who have a clear understanding of  the damage and carnage being caused by, and as a result of the actions of Hamas and terrorists organizations like it, as well as a clarity about Israel’s true motivation, PEACE.  Normally there will be one at a time with an unspecified degree of frequency, but since there were 4 people I wanted to start with today, I am starting with a countdown of my assessment of the 4 most deserving of this weeks DOPA’s.



Bob Schieffer 715In an atypical fashion for a journalist of his tenure, Bob Schieffer gave his very strong opinion of the situation in Israel and Gaza, and in doing so quoted the late great Prime Minister of Israel Golda Meir.  Schieffer said the following:

In the Middle East, the Palestinian people find themselves in the grip of a terrorist group that has embarked on a strategy to get its own children killed in order to build sympathy for its cause, a strategy that might actually be working, at least in some quarters. Last week, I found a quote of many years ago by Golda Meir, one of Israel’s early leaders, which might have been said yesterday. “We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children, she said, “but we can never forgive them for forcing us to kill their children.”




ted-cruz-has-just-wrapped-up-his-epic-21-hour-defund-obamacare-talk-a-thonLet me start with an overdue apology.  I once called Senator Cruz a sideshow act. Now I call him Senator Cruz and do so respectfully.  He has shown himself to be a consistently staunch supporter of Israel, has given one of the most impassioned speeches on the Senate floor  supporting Israel in the past few weeks, and has shown his sincerity even further by going across party lines and working with Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of NY in pushing for a resolution condemning Hamas.  Senator Cruz said the following:

“Hamas is undoubtedly guilty of violating international humanitarian law through its deliberate, repeated, and consistent use of civilians as human shields. “The United States of America, along with the entire international community must expose and denounce Hamas’ barbaric tactics and unequivocally support Israel’s right to self-defense.”





866px-Howard_SternWhen I heard Howard Stern’s recent assessment of the situation in Israel and Gaza, I almost stopped writing in Holland’s Heroes.  There was nothing to add. He nailed it.  It is one of the best 5 minutes you will ever spend. CLICK HERE TO HEAR HIS SPEECH. Howard leaves no doubt as to what he thinks in this humorous, intelligent, and candid accounting of what is really happening in the Middle East.  Just be careful.  If you don’t like bad language you better find the edited version.  But let’s face it, some people deserve a Go F&*(& Yourself.

He said the following:

“Israel’s at no fault,” he said. “Jews get enough s**t all over the world … Jews are the indigenous people of that area. The Arabs don’t even want those Palestinians .. nobody wants them.  If you’re anti-Israel you’re anti-America. [It’s] the only democracy over there, the only friend we have .. who’s willing to fight and stand up for what’s right.”




Jon-Voight1I have to admit, I loved Howard Stern’s 5 minute speech so much, I could listen to it 10 times a day.  So then why does Jon Voight get number 1? Because in his support and defense of Israel one forgets Jon Voight isn’t Jewish.  When he gets going he sounds as passionate as someone who was born and raised Jewish and conscience of Israel and the Jewish world.  And he not only shows his support, he makes it an obvious priority in a way that shows it is not only important, it is personal.  His passion is so strong he even goes after the administration.

Jon Voight said the following:

Instead of telling Hamas to stop sending rockets into Israel aimed at its civilian population, [Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry] say Israel has to stop killing civilians. What a travesty of justice! Every patriotic America- Jew and non-Jew alike- must show their outrage and that we will not tolerate propaganda and lies about Israel being the aggressors and suppressors of the Palestinians.”



dove of peaceIf you have anyone you want to nominate for future DOPAs please feel free to leave a comment on this page.



Follow Holland’s Heroes on Twitter @hollandsheroes

A Liberal with Zero Tolerance

img65649I am a self-proclaimed Liberal.  I believe in being tolerant.  However, like everything else in life, tolerance has a breaking point as well.  Today mine was broken.  With the murder of Eyal Yifrach, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Frenkel, 16, I no longer believe a peaceful solution is possible with our Palestinian enemies.  Yes, I said enemies.  I did not say partners, I did not say neighbors, I did not say counterparts.  Just as the Germany that existed between 1933 and 1945 were enemies of not only the Jewish people but the entire civilized world, so too the Arabs in and around Israel have developed into the same opponents of decency not seen since Nazi Germany.

I am by nature, a pacifist.  I am no “tough guy”, nor do I ever proclaim to be. However, tolerance and liberalism needs to be saved for human beings who you have differences with, not with animals set on the destruction of anything decent.  With that said I wholeheartedly support the harshest of actions.  I also will no longer, and urge every human being who believes in what is right to do the same, support any government’s policies that stand in the way of Israel doing what needs to be done.

And now I will make a statement totally removing myself from my Liberal positions.  All of you out there, be you anti-Semites who like seeing Jews suffer, residents of civilized nations who thinks it is only the problem of Israel and the Jewish people, or Liberal Americans, Jew and non-Jew alike, listen very carefully.  They’re coming for you as well.  Like the Nazi sympathizers who thought they were exempt, anyone who supports this cause or does not fight against it will only be useful for as long as they are needed to push their agenda.  Once they do, if they can reach you, me, all of us, they will kill us as well.

To President Obama I say this.  At best you are exhibiting a similarity to Neville Chamberlain, at worst you’ve picked the wrong side.  Either way  you’ve got it wrong.  You want a legacy Mr. President?  Try using your powers as leader of the Free World to keep it free.  If nothing else please stay out of Israel’s way.

Sadly I now feel that the slogan “Bring back out Boys” needs to be changed to “Avenge our Boys”.

Why this Picture is Right

Lionel Messi with kidnapped kids shirtOf the over 17,500 hits I received from posting this picture, together with the article titled “A Beautiful Irony”, I have also received approximately 10 comments stating that this picture is indeed a fake one, with some claiming Lionel Messi is not pro-Israel or pro-Jewish at all.  Let me address that.  It is very clear to anyone who understands the timeline of the kidnappings and the current soccer schedule of Lionel Messi that this picture is a result of photo-shop.  But the statements made in my article are accurate.  Lionel Messi has indeed exhibited a pro-Israel and pro-Jewish sentiment and I will use his stance on the politics of the issue to make an important point.  Not all people who show sympathy towards the Palestinians are anti-Israel.  In fact, to show support for the development of the residents of the West Bank and Gaza while showing solidarity towards Israel makes the statement that the disadvantages that these people have are not the result of a mistreatment from the Israeli people and their government.  If anything it makes the statement that it is not Israel’s fault at all, rather the result of corrupt leaders, terrorist regimes, and lack of concern and even worse, manipulation by their fellow Arabs in the region.

Most importantly, as a result of that last post, more people have seen the picture showing the 3 kidnapped Yeshiva students, with the slogan that we must make everyone hear or see till they are freed, “Bring Back Our Boys”.  Not that I can speak for him, but from what I can tell, Lionel Messi has never shown anything other than behavior that would indicate that he would want the same.  One of the reasons I loved seeing him score 2 more goals today against Nigeria.

Arabs and Me-The Unedited Version

feature_IsraelPalestineConflictWhenever I write something about Israel, the Jewish people, and the Mideast situation, I stop, plan, and do some degree of research.  I never just write and share my basic fears and feelings.  So I thought I would try something new.  I’d speak, or write the thoughts that come to my mind, whether they are rational or not, and see where the article ends up.  We are all products of our environment and experiences, so as you read this know that this is not a planned or structured piece.   This is how I feel, directly and uncensored.

I don’t hate Arabs.  If anything I have found it somewhat exciting when I’ve befriended one over the years.  I worked with a bunch of Egyptians who were decent, hardworking people.  I worked in an office with a beautiful woman who was at least half Saudi.  She was classy, intelligent, and sweet.  Years ago I bought sandwiches in a Bodega from a Palestinian store owner.  The guy was friendly and the sandwiches were great.  All was good in the world.  But I never spoke about Israel with any of them, and only spoke of religion to the degree in which we needed to show respect for each other’s practices.  Honestly, I was afraid to broach any political discussion because in my heart I expected them to have nothing nice to say about Israel, and since I considered that unfair and knew it would at best tarnish how I felt about them, at worst cause a conflict, I kept quiet.

I live in New York.  In New York, whether Arab or Jew, you are removed from the real problems.  I am just another outspoken Jew who sits comfortable in safety and talks a big game.  Granted I know there are some who have served in either the U.S. or Israeli military and have put themselves in real situations, but myself and many others talk about “what needs to be done” and then go home to relative or complete safety.

Is Israel wrong? Is that even possible? Well I’ve heard the arguments and I guess I need to seriously consider it, but as a Jew I almost feel like I am betraying my people.  Even so, I’ll try, for the sake of argument to understand the Palestinian’s “plight” and consider Israel’s fault in the conflict.  Israel is, by far, the stronger of the parties involved.  Israel controls, or as they like to say, occupies the territories, so can it really be fair to call it the victim?  All the Palestinians want is to live peacefully without an outside force controlling their lives, right?  I want to be fair and try to accept that on some level, but it just doesn’t happen.  Do I feel bad when innocent people get killed? Of course I do.  But do I believe the Israeli government and its officials or population get any joy in killing an innocent Palestinian? For the most part, I believe the answer is no.  There will always be people seeking revenge or caught up in their own personal hatred, but an overwhelming percentage do not see hurting Palestinians as a priority or pleasure.

Do all Palestinians want all Jews dead?  Of course I don’t think that.  But I do believe perception becomes reality, and that an overwhelming amount of Arab leaders create power from creating a perception that Israel is a war-mongering, bloodthirsty occupier that wants to commit genocide against the Palestinians and possibly all Arabs and Muslims worldwide.   The Palestinian population, handcuffed by poverty and lack of options, is powerless to fight the information fed them, and buys into that perception.   What that basically means is that they don’t hate me because they want to hate me; they hate me because their leaders give them no choice.

So where does this leave us?  Honestly? With a nation, Israel, that has no choice.  With the attitude that many in the world have, which is “please be a good Jew and take what we do to you without resistance”, I’m happy Israel is hated by them.  In the Arab world it means they’re respected and feared, and unfortunately that is what it takes to be safe.

In some ways the whole thing breaks my heart because it would be great to live in a world with no hate, no hunger, and no violence.  But if it has to exist, you always prefer it to happen to someone else.  In that sense very few people are like a Gandhi or Mother Teresa.  To people like them, hardships to anyone is like hardships to everyone.  Most of us, even those of us not gaining pleasure from other’s pain, still take solace in knowing that their pain is what prevents a worse pain and suffering being put on us.  And as a Jew, and with our history, can you blame us?