Tag Archives: Conservative

Open Letter to the Jewish community: It’s time to unite

 

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Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We have an important choice to make.  Do we continue to battle each other over differences in political ideology or do we move forward and work towards our mutual safety and survival?  I have no doubt that most people reading this letter will choose to work towards our collective well-being, the question is whether or not we are willing and able to put our differences aside.  I am hopeful the answer is yes.  I realize that many believe it is impossible to make that distinction,  but the threats we face today are far more serious than political philosophies.  They are a matter of life and death.

With graves being desecrated in St. Louis and Philadelphia, and bomb threats against JCCs throughout the country becoming far too frequent, the threat to American Jewry appears to be coordinated and organized.  That would make it significantly more dangerous.  From the time of the first round of bomb scares I was concerned that it was a test run to see how the Jewish community and law enforcement would respond.  The gamble that these will only remain threats is a gamble no one can or should be willing to take, for it is a gamble with lives.

Whether we support or oppose our new administration, it is now time to make a concerted effort to make sure we help our government protect us. Regardless of whether we are staunch Liberals or Conservatives, blaming the other side for the threats and atrocities of today is neither the answer nor is it fair to either side.  Jewish Democrats and Republicans need to stop attacking each other over differences in political ideology.  That doesn’t mean we need to agree, and it doesn’t mean we need to cease our opposition of the other side’s political platform, but it does mean we need to stop the opposition towards each other. We need to cease with the personal attacks and unite against the enemy.We need to realize and accept that most of us want the same thing, a peaceful existence for our people and community.  That means it’s time for both sides to stop seeing the other side as culpable for the dangers facing us, no matter how much we oppose the other’s politics.  If we fight among ourselves we are aiding and abetting the the true enemy.  An enemy who at best wants to terrorize us, at worst wants to kill us.  I guarantee each and every one of you, no matter how far you may lean to the left or the right of the political aisle, the vast majority of Jewish people do not want to see their fellows Jews terrorized or physically harmed.  In most cases the intensity and in some cases extremism is actually motivated by a powerful desire to see our people live safe and happy lives.

It is OK that we disagree on certain policies, even if those policies impact the lives of the Jewish community in Israel and abroad, but that disagreement must stop taking the place of unity, because if it does the enemy has won a very key element of the war, and I know that most of us do not want that.

All discussions can easily descend into criticism of Liberals and Conservatives, but we need to step back and ask ourselves if by doing so we are allowing ourselves to be dangerously distracted.  If we need to mobilize and organize in defense of each other we need to put politics aside.  We need to spend our energies being vigilant in identifying and exposing dangers to the community and we need to provide each other with critical support when needed.

Our next steps need to work with law enforcement and each other in finding out who is doing this and stopping it from not only continuing, but developing into something worse. Our next step is not to bash the other for his or her political choices but to openly discuss and study what’s happening in the hope we find important answers that will help keep our communities safe.

I extend this challenge to all of you, but no less than I extend it to myself.  Let’s work together.

Sincerely,

David Groen

 

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Never Defend the Indefensible

World Leaders Gather In New York For Annual United Nations General Assembly

I have spent the past year, over the course of the US Presidential election cycle speaking out against the concept of what many might call the concept of defending the indefensible.  I take pride in being anything but a hypocrite.  So much so that I sometimes have views that are not in line with where I appear to stand politically. Therefore I can no longer keep silent regarding the current administration’s recent stance regarding Israel and the United Nations condemnation of the only true democracy in the Middle East.

This piece is not about Donald Trump, so I will only refer to him this one time, merely to make a point.  Those who have read my work over the past year or so are fully aware that I did not support him.  I found it bizarre and a bit scary when his supporters defended words and behavior many of us saw as indefensible. I can not be sure of what kind of person he actually is, but as president, to be blunt, I just don’t like him.  That being said, when I speak of dislike, my feeling towards the United Nations is on a different level.  So as I sit here and realize that my president, a man I voted for, has chosen as one of his last acts as leader of the free world to align himself with this bastion of corruption, I find myself in the position where I can not and will not defend the indefensible on a level far greater than any over the past year.

Ironically the issue, at least in my opinion, is not so much in the details.  There are many people in Israel who are opposed to the settlements.  There are also many people who believe the only real solution to the conflict is a two state solution.  But that’s not the issue. What is more significant here is the condemnation by the United Nations and the lack of loyalty and support the United States has shown to Israel in not only not obstructing this condemnation, but very possibly being a driving force behind it.  The United Nations has made a very lucrative business out of criticizing and condemning the Jewish State.  While nations have murdered and tortured their citizens, while terrorist groups have begun to form in various parts of the Middle East, and nations like Iran have called for the death and destruction of Israel and the United States, the United Nations has encouraged and arguably promoted the idea that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians.  For any United States government to do anything other than oppose this, truly falls in the category of indefensible.

Just as a lie of omission is  still a lie, an abstention by the United States at a United Nations vote of this significance is the same as a show of support for the vote.  I truly believe Israel will get through this, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that it is a clear act of disloyalty towards an important friend, and if it is personal and based on the relationship between President Obama  and Prime Minister Netanyahu, it is far worse than that. It interferes in Israeli politics in a manner not too dissimilar from a foreign government hacking America’s political parties and possibly influencing the election.  It tells the Israeli people, I don’t like the person you elected through your democratic process and subsequently as a result I am turning my back on you as I walk out the door.

This is not about being a Liberal or Conservative.  Alan Dershowitz, a man as liberal as anyone in the public forum has spoken out against this without any filter, and clearly feels the same sense of betrayal so many of us do at this time.  This is about how to treat a friend and knowing and acknowledging the difference between right and wrong.  Israel is a nation of equality.  A nation where people of all religions, races, nationalities and orientations have the opportunity to live in peace.  If an outgoing president and an international body decide to end the year attacking Israel instead of going after the real manifestations of evil in the world, this becomes nothing other than a vendetta, be it political, racial, or as many believe in this case, personal.  Regardless of the motivation it is an act that is truly indefensible.

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Trump puts Democracy on Notice

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Whenever I make the case against Donald Trump, I am subject to a barrage of, “what about Hillary” comments. As a Jewish American and strong supporter of Israel I’ve often been asked by those who oppose Hillary Clinton how I can choose her over Donald Trump.  Even if I am to  accept that she is not a friend of Israel, something I do not necessarily accept and another discussion irrelevant to my point, my answer has always been as follows.  A weakened American democracy is something that puts the whole world in danger and is something far more perilous for Israel than a president that does not support her.

This is no longer about which candidate you prefer to win on November 8th.  This is now about the future of democracy in the United States of America.  It is dishonest and irresponsible to put Donald Trump’s answers in convenient vacuums.  When the Republican nominee for president indicated at the 3rd and final debate that he would decide after the election on November 8th whether or not he would accept the outcome, this was not an isolated answer.  This was an answer from a man who is pushing a populist movement based on discontent, scapegoating and anger.  This is an answer from a man who has mocked people from almost every ethnic group.  It’s a man who has fired up the extreme right wing of the country. In his answer about the importance of the Supreme Court he honed in on the 2nd Amendment while once “joking” about how supporters of the 2nd Amendment could take matters into their own hands in stopping Hillary Clinton. I take umbrage with the comparison of Trump to Hitler, simply because you can’t compare a man who makes volatile and irresponsible statements to a murderous dictator guilty of the murder of millions of people including the slaughter of 6 million Jewish men, women and children.  However,that being said, that doesn’t mean any of this is good for democracy. That doesn’t take away from from his glib suggestion that his supporters take out his major opposition.

Trump is a high stakes gambler.  He personally has very little to lose by his effort to be president.  The problem is he’s been playing with house money, which in this case means the future of the country.   The only way what Trump has done turns out to be good for the country is if he wins and does a phenomenal job.  Two things that are seen as highly unlikely to a large segment of the American population.  For argument sake however, let’s play this out.  Trump wins, appoints the best advisers, defeats ISIS, stabilizes the Middle East, strengthens relationships with our allies, and orchestrates an historic economic boom.  If this were to happen, not only would American democracy be strengthened, the Republican Party would survive their organizational catastrophe.  As an American, should the unexpected happen and Mr. Trump does win, I hope and pray it plays out this way. Problem is, I am quite certain it won’t.

Of course as most polls show, it is unlikely Donald Trump will win.  But even if we allow that to be considered as a possibility, the demeanor and temperament he has displayed throughout this campaign has to be concerning to anyone looking at this with a level head. I know his surrogates and ardent supporters will make excuses for everything he’s said and allegedly done, but that doesn’t change any of the facts.  Corey Lewandowski and Kayleigh Mcenany can spend all day saying “what Mr. Trump was saying is….”, but that will never actually change the candidate’s words.  And words hold power. Not everything can be blamed on political correctness and not being a typical politician.  Most significantly, telling a debate moderator that “I’ll keep you in suspense” as to whether or not he will accept the will of the people and respect the peaceful transfer of power has nothing to do with being a New Yorker or an anti-establishment candidate.  It has more to do with an inability to accept defeat as an option.  That happens to be quality I love in an athlete and to some extent see as a positive in a political figure, but that does not mean Mr. Trump’s inability to accept defeat supersedes the will of the American voter or a political system that has worked for 240 years.  And let’s be honest and say what is on everyone’s mind and is everyone’s ultimate concern.  Trump’s refusal to agree to accept the outcome until he sees what happens is just short of incitement to riot and undermines the very core of American democracy.  His supporters have already shown that he can say anything he wants and they will still listen to him.  What happens if he loses, claims the election is rigged, and tells his supporters to take to the streets in protest?  The United States of America may face a problem greater than any it has faced in its history.

How is that possible you may ask?  Simply put, even in the face of the greatest threats, the most incompetent leadership, or the greatest discontent of the populous, America has always been able to rest its head on one basic fact. It has, at least functioned on the perceived principal of democracy.  It’s impossible to give full credit to a nation that once considered slavery legal, but even then it was a country that respected its system.  That respect held it together and allowed it to grow from a place where black slaves helped build the White House to a place where a black man resides in it as President of the United States.  Politics aside, I believe any reasonable and decent person has to see the beauty in a system that allows for that kind of growth.

I fear that Donald Trump’s America has a danger of damaging that freedom to grow.  I don’t know what is in the man’s heart and what his true intentions are. There are people I like and respect who think he is doing this for selfless reasons.  Others believe he is doing this to attain the greatest power, either for personal benefit or at worse, anarchy and destruction.  I don’t know the answer, but I do know that his words have put a dent in our democracy greater than any put by any of our external foes, because the more Mr. Trump falls behind the more he pivots from challenging the establishment to challenging the system.  He does this in what appears to be an effort to mold the system to his liking and his benefit, something that terrifies many for one very important reason.  Even a system with a corrupt establishment within its ranks is better than a country running on one individual’s idea of what the system should be.  A system running the way only one person wants it to run is nothing short of a dictatorship.

This election has transcended Republican against Democrat, Conservative against Liberal, or Trump against Clinton.  This election is now a referendum on the democratic system that has held this country together for almost 2 and a half centuries, and regardless of the outcome, that is something that should concern and disturb many American citizens because it should never have gotten to this point in the first place. When this election is over, if the democracy remains in tact, the challenge of leadership, media and all concerned citizens is to find out why.  Otherwise it will only get worse.

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Why are America’s Major Political Parties so Surprised? They are Reaping what they Sowed

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With Donald Trump all over the media and the crisis facing the Republican Party taking center stage, it’s easy for people to overlook the issues the Democrats are dealing with almost simultaneously.  On the surface the two  most significant differences are the number of candidates remaining, and more importantly, the fact that the front runner for the Republicans is the candidate making the most noise and getting the most attention.  This does not necessarily mean he is the most controversial.  Objectively speaking, that distinction could at least as easily be given to the Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton.  What both parties do have in common is that neither have any right to be surprised about where they are today.  In essence, both parties are reaping what they sowed.

It’s far easier to see this when looking at the Republican primaries.  Ultra conservatives and the Republican establishment have been attacking everything Democrat at least since the days of Bill Clinton.  Even before he got started Barack Obama’s opponents were attacking him from day one.  Whether you believe he’s been a great president or a failing president, his opponents assumed, almost immediately that he would be wrong on every policy move he ever made.  However, in reality it’s always been at least as much about his party as it was about his policies.

In fairness, the Republicans had just finished facing the same thing with George W. Bush.  After 9/11, and the subsequent invasion of Afghanistan, there was a short period of time, maybe the only time in decades  that the nation actually stood together as one. But as soon as things got a little better, the unity fell apart.  Nothing represented it more than the war in Iraq.   Very few people reading this will likely take an objective stance on that issue.  There are stances that Republicans and Democrats have taken that are clearly the party line.  Democrats generally say they opposed the war in Iraq. Ironically, even many of the ones that voted in favor of it now prefer to say they made a mistake than breaking away from the party rhetoric.  Republicans say the war was the correct move but it turned into a disaster once the Obama administration came into power.  I challenge people reading this to come up with an original thought on this issue possibly even in breaking with their party affiliation.  Why?  Because when you don’t look at things objectively and avoid telling people the truth, guess what you get? Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

America is facing something far more complicated than a country divided.  This is actually a country with its two main parties divided before we even get to the growing division between Conservatives and Liberals, Democrats and Republicans.  The big question is, why is anyone surprised?  After years of vitriolic criticism from both sides, the 2 men that represent the subsequent backlash on both sides are a Socialist touting a political revolution and a Reality TV star and businessman with such extreme views he is garnishing support of the country’s worst racists and bigots. But what did people expect?  If you spend enough time telling people how evil everyone on the other side of the political aisle is, do you expect a happy populous?  Do you expect tranquil political discussion?  Or do you stop and realize that what’s been created is  an environment fertile to the growth of far left or far right extremism.

Sadly it never ends.  Even with the issue of Donald Trump’s rallies, supporters of Trump say one thing, detractors say the other.  People don’t seem to realize that this is part of what people are fed up with.  Not every “expert” on TV has to always sound like a paid representative of one side or the other.  Most people do some things wrong and some things right.  But when you listen to the pundits, their side does everything right, and the other side does everything wrong.  For once I would like to hear someone say something that both sides would disagree with.  At least then we would know they were being honest.

In an era when politics looks like wrestling, and I mean the fake kind, not the Olympic kind, and political nastiness and controversy is blown out of proportion for TV ratings-case in point the constant replay of the same punches from this past Friday night-we can hardly be surprised by what we are seeing in both parties.  After all, when true leadership is lacking, people are often left with strong expressions of anger and frustration.  What would really be surprising would be if it wasn’t happening.

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How The Gun Debate Magnifies the biggest problem in American Politics

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A valid argument can be made that the present gun debate does wonders for the campaign of Republican front runner Donald Trump, or any outsider candidate for that matter.  This is one of those bizarre debates in American politics in which one side vilifies the other in order to gain an upper hand with the American electorate even if in reality most people want the same thing.

I say this because regardless of whether the person reading this is a Conservative or a Liberal, chances are they are a decent human being that wants to see a reduction in the amount of deaths caused by gun violence.  But that’s not how each side portrays the other.  Sadly, and to the benefit of the non-politician in the presidential race, too much of what we hear about all day is how the other side doesn’t care about the safety and well-being of the average citizen.  If we are to be honest, and not opportunistic campaigners for a political party or candidate, we’d start from the premise that most Americans want a safer country.  The big debate only needs to be about how to make that happen.

In fairness there are many whose discussion revolves around what is the correct way to achieve the desired goal.  Unfortunately however, there are far too many people on the right who like to portray anti-gun Liberals as people who hate America, and far too many people on the left who portray pro-gun Conservatives as barbaric and irresponsible. For the most part both of these narratives are unfair and untrue.  You want to argue about policy?   I totally get that.  But if you want to debate intent, all you are doing is disillusioning an American population already disgusted with the typical politician.  The result?  A candidate like Donald Trump.  It doesn’t even matter whether or not he makes the same claims about the left as other Republicans. What matters to people is that he doesn’t represent politics or politicians as usual and therefore becomes a breath of fresh air to the disillusioned.

At this critical juncture in history, all Americans need to make the same demands of their leaders. Demand that they worry more about getting the job done and less about winning elections. Worry more about putting together a plan that works towards making the country safer and less about putting together a strategy of how to discredit your political opponent. Otherwise we’ll all be left with a crumbling society more focused on the entertainment of a political debate than the safety of upcoming generations.  Or possibly the biggest gamble in American political history.  The presidency of one Donald Trump.

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Time to Change the Liberal Discussion

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I am not a Liberal.  Maybe I was once, but with my views on foreign policy as they are today I just don’t fall in line with what has become the “liberal” way of thinking.  Sadly, the more I think about it, the more I realize that the liberal way of thinking has been hijacked by those with self-serving devious agendas who have no willingness to truly advance a liberal viewpoint.  What they are doing instead is manipulating the minds of those who think being liberal means listening to anything new, even if it means hurting the innocent.

I’ve been very bothered in recent weeks by one question.  When did the Palestinian cause become a liberal anti-Israel cause?  If a liberal is to say that all they care about is peace at all costs, and they are against anyone who opposes or obstructs that peace, I would be happy to accept any logical conclusion that might come from that position. But when looking at Israel and its ongoing conflict, a true analysis of the situation should result in that liberal being anything but against Israel’s position.  To be liberal is one thing.  To be partisan at all costs, or even worse to be ignorant and stupid, doesn’t justify a misguided stance on a very serious situation.

There are both Liberals and Conservatives out there that are outspoken and loudmouthed who consider themselves smarter than everyone else.  If a Liberal is to take a strong stance on the situation in Israel and oppose Israel, he or she may think they’re smarter, but their very position shows stupidity and ignorance.  Anyone who looks at the situation with a clear and open mind will see 67 years of evidence to prove that Israel has always wanted peace.  Just because that desire has translated more often into strength than weakness does not mean that desire is not there.  A liberal stance may be to back the weak, and that is fine, but does that mean it should oppose the strong, especially when the strong are doing more to pursue good than bad and more often than not merely defending their right to live in peace?

The Palestinians are weak. But is it really Israel’s fault?  Money has been plundered by Palestinian leaders for decades.  Yasser Arafat, “the statesman”, died a very wealthy man.  Statesmanship clearly has its privileges, especially when you take billions of dollars meant for your people and keep it for yourself.  Similar “privileges” have been taken by the leaders of Hamas.  Meanwhile the Palestinians are taught by their leaders to hate Israel and the Jewish people, to some extent at least to make sure the profit remains in “statesmanship”.   After all, if you teach Palestinians to hate Israel, they may never realize where the money is really going and who it is that is actually keeping them down.

If I am to be as objective as possible I would say I have compassion for a people who don’t know better because their leaders keep them from the truth.  But people in the western world need only to open their eyes to see the truth, and the truth is that Israel’s government’s may not have always done everything right, but they do not hold most of the culpability for the Palestinians’ plight.  Yet somehow organizations like the BDS Movement and terrorist groups like Hamas have hijacked the narrative and led those either too lazy to research the truth, too dumb to understand, or far too willing to distort it into believing Israel stands for everything intolerant in the world.  That distortion of reality doesn’t make it a true liberal position, it makes it a destructive one.

If you are someone opposed to right-wing governments, and you are a liberal in another country, than be sincere about your efforts. Realize that as right-wing as you might conclude Benjamin Netanyahu is, he is still a democratically elected official in a free society.  If you have chosen to stand against Israel in favor of its enemies, you have somehow come to a choice that is diametrically opposed to one of the most important things you claim to believe in, the right to a free society.  I always thought that to be liberal meant to be tolerant, sometimes to a fault.  If the debate of the Conservative against the Liberal is over what one should be tolerant of or not, that is fine, but both sides need to be true to their position. Israel is a country where women are treated as equals, where gays can live openly and politicians are elected democratically.  Israel had a great woman as Prime Minister before many young people with the new distorted liberal stance were even born.  To oppose Israel in favor of totalitarian governments and societies just because you believe what is written and said by devious manipulators doesn’t make you a Liberal, it makes you a fool.  If you really want to forward a liberal agenda than do so with some semblance of intelligence.  Not all will have the brilliance of an Alan Dershowitz, but that doesn’t excuse the stupidity of so many today who claim to be liberal.  We all have a lot more to gain if the argument is between the Conservative and the Liberal as opposed to what some want to turn it into, a debate between the educated and the ignorant, all to suit their ultimate goal of dividing what would otherwise be primarily decent people.

It is my hope that those Conservative Republicans who are vehemently opposed to anything Liberal and Democrat will be put into a position to battle them based on issues that really are issues of how much tolerance is acceptable.  I believe both sides should be fighting against this for the following reasons.  Conservatives who love Israel more than partisan politics should want the discussion to change because it will unite people in support, and Liberals should realize if the discussion does not change, not only are they losing a lot of support, they are basically aligning themselves with evil forces that ultimately want their destruction.  So you see, it benefits everyone to change the discussion.  We just need to help everyone see how important it really is.

 

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Are we being Divided and Conquered?

 

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So you like to fight do you?  You want to go after the enemy? It’s very possible that many will not even pay attention to this post once they find out what it is really about. After all, a call for peaceful interaction between people isn’t any fun.  What’s interesting about that?  It’s a lot more fun to attack someone for their views.  Everywhere I look I see Jews attacking each other over their politics.  It is my view that the biggest problem facing the Jewish people today is lack of unity, and at this point, and I am sure this will raise some eyebrows, I don’t even care whose fault it is.  The bottom line is that it MUST stop.  If it doesn’t we will continue to play into the hands of the true enemy, the one that actually openly calls for our death, and in the process we will become more and more divided until we are ultimately conquered.

Although I don’t know the number, nor do I care, let’s say for argument’s sake that 4 million of the 6 million Jews murdered by Hitler were Liberal?  Would an angry Conservative say they only mourn 2 million because the rest brought it on themselves? Would an angry Liberal say that the 2 million caused the hatred of the Jews with their right-wing approach? Would we ever mourn someone more or less for their level of religious observance? Fortunately I’ve never heard anyone from either side say anything so heinous, but the way people talk today you would almost be led to believe that the value of each person’s life is directly connected to their political view. Maybe I’ve never hears it because in retrospect, when speaking against a specific enemy defeated 70 years ago it is relatively safe and there’s no reason not to attack those who deserve to be attacked.  But today, given a choice between going after the real enemy, a very dangerous one, or going after each other, sadly it seems people have chosen to go after each other.

It is the epitome of arrogance to believe that just because someone disagrees with you on how to keep Israel safe, that the same person cares less for Israel than you do.  Sitting with my family over Passover, I heard one person who believes in no compromise whatsoever and that the Palestinians should be part of Jordan, one that believes a two-state solution is critical but hates the deal with Iran and no longer cares for Obama, and one who was hopeful over the deal with Iran and believes the details were promising.  Every single one of these 3 people are strong supporters of Israel and proud Jews.  Yet if any of those 3 would post their views on social media, someone out there would call them an idiot, or even worse a traitor.  Ironically, the person who would attack them, very often does nothing other than come online and talk garbage, while these 3 individuals have done a lot more than just talk about supporting Israel.

Yet here we are thinking we are helping by berating each other. I do not claim to be perfect.  I am by no means a moderate. But I don’t believe someone who disagrees with me is an idiot or a traitor.  We need to start from one basic premise and understand that it is that premise that should bring us together no matter what.  The premise is the safety and security of Israel and the Jewish people.  If we are to debate the strategy to achieve this goal, and we will, we must do so with a mutual respect and appreciation for those that want this goal achieved as we do.

Are we to sit in judgement over people whose viewpoints we find to be misguided or even harmful?  Can we not debate the argument without attacking the individual?  There are some who will see this post and immediately comment on how Liberals are tolerant for everyone but Conservatives, and Liberals that will call Conservatives vicious people with irrational views, and use that statement as a distorted way of supporting this piece.  Here is my absolute statement in response to anyone who does that.

If it is more important to you to show yourself to be better than your fellow Jew and fellow-man than it is to protect your fellow Jew and fellow-man, your very actions are an indication of your failure. If you are more concerned with showing a few dozen people how tough you are online than you are with doing something constructive, it is not Israel or the Jewish people you care about, it is only yourself and your ego.  I have an ego. Everyone reading this knows that I have an ego. I continuously write my feelings on issues and actually believe that what I am saying is important enough for others to read.  That is unquestionably ego and I am very willing to admit it.  But I can also say with confidence and a lot of evidence that I primarily go after people whose viewpoints are clearly anti-Israel and anti-Semitic.  I don’t come on here to berate my fellow Jew and Zionist.  That’s easy to do.  All they are most likely to do is berate me back.  I much rather go after those who make no bones about being against me and my people.

It is time for all of us to do some serious self-examination.  Are we here to show how smart we are or are we here to make a difference for this generation and future generations.  If we are only here for the sport of arguing than have fun and while you are doing so, please stay out of my way.  I have better things to do with my time than argue just for the sake of arguing.  I rather do my little part in making things better.

 

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Open Letter to my fellow Jews

me2Dear Brothers and Sisters,

What’s this I am hearing? Many of you support a deal Iran? A large percentage of you like Obama better than Netanyahu? This whole line of thinking creates all kinds of issues.  Not just regarding those of you who do think this way, but regarding the way other Jews address you.  It’s really quite complicated and to be very honest, more than a little disturbing.

For the record, I am absolutely opposed to any type of agreement with Iran.  Their open desire to murder Jews is the most open one from a country of any significance since Nazi Germany came into power in 1933.  I am also someone who prefers Netanyahu to Obama.  I believe Netanyahu cares about the well-being of Israel and the Jewish people while unfortunately I am far from certain Obama has anything close to the same concerns.  I’ll elaborate more on this later on in the letter, but first I want to address what I consider to be an even greater concern of mine.

The second Beit Hamikdash, the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was mainly destroyed because of one thing.  Sinat Chinam, which means baseless hatred, referred to the hatred of Jew towards one another. I fear that we as Jews are dangerously close to reaching that same level today.  Caught in the ongoing schism between Conservatives and Liberals in American politics, Jews find themselves at odds against each other in some very important issues. Issues that impact our very survival.

I personally feel very strongly that these statistics I am reading about reflect a misguided and dangerous shift in Jewish public opinion, but I also feel that it is just as dangerous to attack every Jew who feels differently than I do as being a self-hating Jew or traitor.  There are certain people with influence and a following who have anti-Israel sentiment, some of which openly feel a disconnect to the Judaism they were born into who may be considered borderline if not complete traitors, but to put this title on all who hold contrary views is unfair and dangerous.

Let me reiterate.  I believe any compromise, recognition, or negotiation with the Islamic Republic of Iran is dangerous, naive and ultimately suicidal.  I’ll shout at the top of my voice to anyone who will listen to get them to see how misguided it is to consider it a viable option to deal with this dishonest government of murderers and liars that want to destroy the State of Israel and ultimately rid the planet of Jews, before and or while they attempt to destroy the United States of America.  Simply put, Iran is evil and there is no negotiating with evil.  I  will also reiterate that I believe in Benjamin Netanyahu and feel his priority is to protect Jews in Israel and around the globe.  I believe Jews in the diaspora must support the Israeli government.  I believe the Obama administration’s policies and rhetoric is increasingly antagonistic and damaging to Israel and subsequently can’t relate to the thought process that causes one of my fellow Jews to prefer Obama over Netanyahu.  But just as I believe comparing Obama to Hitler is irresponsible and harmful, so too I believe calling someone a self-hating Jew or traitor because of these opinions is damaging and divisive.  I don’t think my fellow Jews who feel this way are bad, I just think they drank the Kool-Aid, and I take it upon myself as being one of I hope many people who will help them to see the truth.

To those reading this who feel anger and even hatred towards their fellow Jew for what I know to be misguided viewpoints, I ask the following question.  Are they really the enemy?  I think not.  I propose that you see them as brothers and sisters as I did when I addressed this letter.  Protect them, don’t exile them.

To those of you I am calling the misguided I will not apologize for what you may see as an arrogance in my approach.  I believe you are supporting causes and ideas that would lead to your death as well as mine.   However, I also don’t believe that is your intention.  I believe you want what I want, a safe and happy future for the Jewish people and all the good people of the world.  I just believe you are wrong and that I would be just as wrong if I didn’t let you know how I feel.   However, I also feel I would be equally wrong to hate you for it, when what the Jewish people need now more than ever is love and unity.

I wish all of you all the best.

Sincerely,

David Groen

 

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Open Letter to Lady Gaga

Lady-Gaga-7Dear Lady Gaga,

The reason I write to you today is very simple.  I am an American Jew and a Zionist. I am also very active in blogging and in social media in providing whatever support I can for Israel and the Jewish people at a very difficult and scary time. I have attempted to reach a number of celebrities through my use of Open Letters.  Most of these letters are letters in which I harshly criticize these “stars” for their very blatant anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic stance.  To be quite frank with you it sometimes becomes a bit draining.  It often feels like I am banging my head against a wall when I try to wake people up to how their political viewpoints and so-called humanitarian stances are really just prejudice against Jews.  So thanks to you I have an opportunity for once to write a more pleasant letter, and seeing how I always have enjoyed your music and style anyway, I decided to take advantage of this opportunity.

In my last paragraph I referred to these people as “stars”, using quotation marks to make the point that many of these people are shells of their former celebrity selves with their careers on downturns.  That is part of why I am so intrigued and grateful to you.  You are still as true star.  Your talent has not diminished, your fan base is still growing, and you never have and never will pander to a certain group because you have nothing better to do or nowhere else to achieve your fame.  You are a real and genuine individual with real and genuine ideals.  A large percentage of the people who read my work fall into the category of Conservative so I am sure they don’t agree with your stance on certain issues, but in this world where evil and hatred are gaining a strong foothold, I hope they recognize your actions in standing behind Israel are a shining light in a darkening world.

Don’t you find it interesting that the supporters of Israel like myself only get mad at those who hate Israel and the Jews while those on the other side get mad at you for not hating Israel?  I would never be mad at you for showing compassion for anyone, as long as you continue your fair and clear-minded treatment of Israel and the Jewish people.

I also hope your actions wake up those who seem to have tolerance for everything other than the most free and democratic society in the Middle East.  I don’t know if your enlightenment is based on studying and understanding issues or you were just “Born this way”, but whatever it is I thank you and hope you have the time of your life performing in Tel-Aviv.

Thank you again.

Sincerely,

David Groen

P.S. When I write the nasty letters I try to find the ugliest pics of the people I write to, but in your case I picked this one because I think you look super cute.

D

 

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Letter to President Obama Regarding the Administrations Foreign Policy

pobamaDear Mr. President,

Please allow me to start by saying that I write this letter to you with the utmost respect for the office you hold and will therefore address you accordingly.  However, as a citizen of the United States and as a Jewish American exercising my right to free speech I intend to speak on some issues I find both concerning and disappointing.

I am by no means your usual critic.  I am a Democrat and a social Liberal who voted for you twice.  I’ve defended your performance and I’ve verbally attacked those I have felt were opposed to your presidency for inappropriate reasons.  I have been aware and willing to speak out against those whose criticism seemed to be a smokescreen for racial bias caused by the color of your skin or your middle name.  I have recognized that you have encountered serious opposition from the House of Representatives and Senate often making your job more difficult than it would normally be.  I say all this to emphasize that I, as a citizen and a supporter, have been more than fair in my personal judgments.  So with that in mind you will understand that this is not a letter from a Conservative Republican that would have found very little favor in your performance, nor is it from a racist that would have found none at all. This is a letter from someone who has been somewhat of a supporter and defender of you and your efforts over the past  6 years.

Even as I write this letter I hold out hope that the issues I find disturbing do not tell the whole story and that you are doing things behind the scenes that would explain their logic and benefit, and that I, as someone with no understanding of the inner working of politics would have no way of knowing what actually is the true reality.   I accept that as a possibility, but with the information that I do have available and with my somewhat limited understanding, I will share with you my major concerns, specifically with your administration’s foreign policy.

My biggest concern has been with the administration’s approach towards Islamic extremism.  I understand and will not question your acknowledgment of people of all faiths.  It is a commendable sentiment and in a perfect world people of all faiths can live side by side with dignity and respect.  However, as you are fully aware, not everyone in the world is pursuing that same utopia. I do not think for one second that you are not aware of the threat ISIS and other terrorist organizations pose to the free world, but as a citizen observing your actions or inaction toward their development and growth, I respectfully question your strategy.  I can understand your reluctance to engage in military conflict unless completely necessary, what I am questioning, as are many other Americans, is at what point do you actually deem it necessary? The humanitarian mission recently carried out in Iraq was a commendable one and it was easy to see the necessity there, but at what point is action taken to eliminate a serious threat to America and its allies?  ISIS has taken over land, weapons, and large sums of cash with what appears to be little to no resistance.  I understand not getting involved in the internal problems of other countries, but it seems abundantly clear that ISIS is not merely a problem that will remain isolated to the region.  Are we to wait until they do attack us on American soil?  I am sure you feel as we all do, that waiting for that to happen is unacceptable.  I just don’t see what is being done to prevent that.

There are those on the far right that not only question your tactics in dealing with Muslim extremism, but your motives as well.  I am under the assumption and belief that you mean to do what is best for the country even if I question your methods.  This is what baffles me most about your dealings with Israel. I am not alone in feeling at least some degree of abandonment and betrayal towards Israel and the Jewish people.  I recognize some of the support you have given to Israel, particularly in the funding of Iron Dome, but some of the actions taken by the administration as well as some of the statements made, have been anything but positive.  I have often said, in an attempt to be fair and objective, that the Jewish people need to understand that you were elected President of the United States, not Prime Minister of Israel.  But knowing that as I do, I am baffled that you would not put your complete support behind Israel, the country most likely to fight an enemy not only committed to its destruction, but to America’s destruction as well.

Mr. President, I know that compared to the ocean that is your set of accomplishments in life I am a mere drop of water. I also know that I do not match up to you intellectually.  That being said I am still an American with a voice and an opinion that is shared by many other Americans.  Our opinion deserves to be considered.   As a Jew who has lost a significant degree of faith in your friendship towards the Jewish people, I ask you to recognize Israel’s need for support in combating not only its enemy, but America’s as well.  Most of all, I ask you to tell us how you intend to keep us and future generations safe from enemies that appear to be growing with little resistance.

Sincerely,

David Groen

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