Tag Archives: Egypt

God’s Disproportionate Response to Egypt

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Despite the fact that many consider the Old Testament to be a man-made fabrication, billions of people worldwide do indeed believe it to be an authentic accounting of what took place thousands of years ago.  With so much of the world’s violence revolving around religious belief and doctrine, the lessons learned from the Bible are indeed relevant today, if for no other reason than the fact that people believe it to be true.  As the Jewish holiday of Passover approaches, the story of the enslavement of the Jewish people in Egypt is front and center.  In a time when Israel’s response to violence is once again being challenged by those who either wish her destruction, feel passivity will lead to peace, or look to appease the enemy, the story of Passover has become even more relevant.  When the statement is made that Israel’s retaliation to violence is a Disproportionate Response, the question one has to ask, especially this time of year is, was God’s reaction to Egypt subsequently a Disproportionate Response as well?

To get a better idea of whether or not this is the case one needs to know a little bit about the history as it is appears in the Bible.  The story starts with the Jewish people being seen as a threat to Egypt by the country’s new  King or “Pharoah”. His concern was that the Jews were multiplying too quickly and becoming too strong, therefore posing a threat to Egyptian society.  Despite the fact that they had done nothing to warrant these suspicions, the Jews were felt to be such a growing danger that they were enslaved, forced to do hard labor, and made to build ostentatious and glorious cities for Egypt’s Pharoah. When their number continued to increase, the Pharoah decreed that all newborn Jewish males should be thrown into the Nile River.  Moses, a child that would survive this systematic murder of Jewish male children, would ultimately be the man who would lead the Jews out of slavery. However, not before the Egyptians would go through tremendous suffering of their own.

When Moses ascended to his leadership role of the Jewish people he ultimately stood before the Egyptian leader and in the name of God implored him to “Let my people Go!”  When the Pharoah refused, God decided to punish the Egyptians with a variety of plagues.  The water turned to blood, the land would be infested with swarms of locusts, there would be a debilitating darkness, and the people and cattle would be cursed with boils and lice, just to name a few of the hardships God brought upon the Egyptian people. Was this fair?  Was it right for the Egyptians to suffer so tremendously merely because the Pharoah wanted to maintain his labor force? After all, the Jews who were allowed to live were  given enough food and shelter to survive.  Their social structure was kept in tact enough that men and women were able to get together and multiply to the point where they were deemed a threat.  Was it really fair for God to come down so hard on the Egyptians?  Did they deserve to suffer on such a high level merely because they would not let the Jewish people break out of their generations of bondage and suffering?  By today’s standards certainly not.  Today every level of injustice is measured with some sort of bias, often in favor of those committing the injustice.  But if you believe the story of Passover, the injustices committed by the Egyptians against the Children of Israel were not going to go unpunished by the most powerful being of all, God.

When Pharoah still refused to let the Jewish people go, the suffering would reach it’s pinnacle.  All of Egypts first born sons would be killed unless the Jews were freed. Pharoah in his arrogance and stubbornness refused to capitulate, causing the death of countless numbers of Egyptians sons, the most notable of which would be the son of the Pharoah himself.  Was all this necessary merely because the Jewish people were living as slaves?  Seeing as there was no United Nations back then there was certainly no governing body to condemn what was happening, but even if there had been, what were they going to do, condemn God?  Maybe, you never know.

When the Pharoah finally gave in, for a large part due to his own immense suffering at the loss of his child, he actually had second thoughts and sent his army after the Jews as they fled Egypt.  Up to the last moment, as the Jews were escaping Egypt, God would still cause suffering on the Egyptian people, causing multitudes of soldiers to be engulfed and washed away to their death in the Red Sea.  All this just so the Jews would live as free people.  All this suffering that befell the Egyptians truly must be seen as a Disproportionate Response on the part of the Almighty, should it not?

Of course the truth is a simple one.  If this did indeed happen as it is portrayed in the Old Testament, these harsh “Disproportionate Responses” were actions by God in defense and protection of the Jewish people.  But regardless of whether it was the Jews or anyone else, the message it sends is that taking away the freedom of an entire nation is indeed a crime punishable by great suffering.  If a people are being attacked or enslaved by another group of people, attacks against those that enslave them, persecute them, or murder them are not only acceptable, they are warranted.  Attacks against those who threaten a people’s sovereignty are warranted, regardless of whether or not the United Nations, the European community, or the likes of a Bernie Sanders find it to be acceptable behavior.

If man is truly created in God’s image, then there is no such thing as Disproportionate Response against those that wish to wipe out a nation.  If no other lesson is to be learned from Passover, this is one that should be, especially in the world in which we live today.

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Lionel Messi Proves that No good deed goes Unpunished

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In a bizarre case of worrying about things that shouldn’t really matter, and Egyptian member of Parliament is angry at Soccer great Lionel Messi for donating his boots to one of the country’s charities.  Here’s a man, an athlete at the highest level of his sport, someone who doesn’t need anyone to care or like him at this point, trying to be nice and instead he hears the following attack from the Egyptian politician: “We have never been so humiliated during our seven thousand years of civilization.”  Really? Want to think about that one more time?  Since I tend to have a more positive than negative opinion of Egyptians I won’t come up with humiliations greater than a celebrity trying to be nice. All I will say is this.  Please try to learn how to be a little more gracious when someone is charitable to your people.  Every nation in the world has people who welcome gifts and need things they would otherwise not get.  If anything I think Messi deserves a thank you followed by an apology.

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How the Lessons of Passover Still hold true

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As we approach the beginning of the holiday of Passover, I am struck by the fact that that many of the lessons learned from the holiday still hold true today.  It is very possible that the most significant lesson is that hatred towards the Jews is more often than not for the mere fact that we exist, not because of the actions we take.

What is so remarkable about the phenomenom of anti-Semitism is that when you look at it closely, it is rarely about the things Jews do wrong.  This is an important point. I do not claim that the Jewish people are perfect by any means.  Like any group we have some character traits that are appealing, some that are not.  We have produced criminals like any other group of people. Yet the rampant growth of anti-Semitism is not generated by a reaction to a Bernie Madoff, someone who actually caused harm to many people, it is more likely because of the religious Jew living in Brooklyn or the West Bank. The reason for this has nothing to do with behavior.  It has to do with growth.

When slavery began in Egypt the Pharoah rallied his people with the following words: ‘Behold the Children of Israel are more and mightier than we. Come, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply.'” But the Jewish people were not violent, they were not aggressive or ambitious, they were merely members of the Egyptian community that were growing and developing.  They were actually more beneficial to Egypt than they were harmful. But despite the lack of reasoning behind this thinking, they were considered a threat.  How were they more and mightier?  They were a minority in Egypt.  But in their structure and cohesiveness they were strong and productive.  This was threatening to the Pharoah.

When we hear of Iran preaching the destruction of Israel, I always wonder how any reasonable person doesn’t ask themselves why Iran would care? Why would anyone care? Israel is a speck of land compared to the land surrounding it. Yet in its hard work and productivity, but most of all in its growth, it is considered a tremendous threat.  The truth be told, most of those calling for Israel’s destruction won’t say, destroy Israel unless Israel gives the Palestinians anything they want, they clearly call for Israel’s demise regardless of what actions Israel does or doesn’t take.  Ultimately it is for one simple and very sad reason.  It is a Jewish nation.

On paper a two-state solution might work if Israel was at war with the United Nations.  However, Israel’s enemies do not merely call on their departure from what they refer to as the “occupied territories”, Israel’s enemies call for its complete and total destruction.  The Palestinian people, the people the world seems to want to believe is persecuted by Israel, are actually the pawns in a much more devious and cynical game.  They are being used to create one of the most disgusting public relations farces in history.

For Israel, a prosperous and peaceful Palestine would be wonderful. But it’s not Israel that doesn’t want to see this happen, it’s those wishing to see the region rid of the Jewish people.  The Muslims and Arabs in the region don’t need Israel’s land.  They control over 99% of the territory in the Middle East. Yet somehow Israel is the cause of all the regions problems. Why?  Just as it was in Egypt at the start of all the troubles, it is merely because it exists.  “Come, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply.”  In the end, that is what is really about.  Not an occupation, not settlements, and not Benjamin Netanyahu. What it is really about is that not only are the Jews not going away, they are actually having the audacity to multiply. Something which was not acceptable to Pharoah, and not acceptable to the anti-Semite of today.  One can only hope and pray that today’s anti-Semitic leaders see the same fate as the Egyptian ruler did so many years ago and that  the Jewish people and all decent civilized people are allowed to live in the freedom so many have sacrificed so much to achieve.

 

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Open Letter to the Administration Official who called Netanyahu a ChickenSh*t

bibiDear Anonymous,

I purposely address this letter the way that I do because it speaks so well to the cynical irony of your criticism.  The very fact that someone who will remain nameless calls anyone a chickensh*t speaks for itself. The fact that you irresponsibly resort to name calling when expressing displeasure towards the political leader of one of America’s most loyal and important allies is another problem entirely.

Since you, someone without the intestinal fortitude to go publicly on record called out Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, let me tell you a little bit about this “chickensh*t”.  This “chickensh*t” is of course a former member of Israeli Defense Forces.  He was a team leader in Israel’s special forces unit.  He fought in the War of Attrition against Egypt.  He was part of a numerous missions including the mission to rescue hostages of a Sabena Airlines hijacking in 1972 during which he was shot in the shoulder.   This “chickensh*t” studied at MIT and Harvard, neither of which necessarily makes you brave, but the point is that we know this about him while all we know about you is that you remain anonymous.

Whoever you are, and for all we know you might be a high-ranking official in the current administration, as long as you remain unnamed you are the actual chickensh*t.  I know this administration is at odds with some of the policies of the current Israeli government and I, like so many other supporters of Israel are not happy with the disagreements taking place.  Be that as it may, there is a professional and unprofessional way of doing things.  I would not be considered a politician by any means, but I know enough to realize that calling an important friend a chickensh*t and being too much of a chickensh*t to reveal yourself is so far beyond unprofessional, especially coming from an administration official, it is downright scary.

So Anonymous, whoever you are, show some guts, tell us who you are  and apologize to the Prime Minister of the only democracy in the Middle East.  If you don’t, it is fairly clear and obvious who actually is the real chickensh*t.

Sincerely,

David Groen

 

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ISIS: Their problem ISIL: Our problem

isis-flagLet me start by saying that the title of this piece does not reflect my personal opinion. I believe no matter what you call them, ISIS, ISIL, or the Islamic State, that they are everyone’s problem.  I do however feel the title may be reflective of how President Barack Obama feels, or at the very least used to feel about the terrorist group he now only refers to as ISIL.

Much has been made as to what is behind the president’s apparent insistence on only referring to this terrorist organization as “ISIL”.  Some of the most suspicious among you believe it is a way of attacking Israel’s sovereignty, by recognizing their pursuit of the entire Levant, the area of land represented by the “L” in the name of ISIL.  I personally disagree with this assertion. I believe there is something more political behind the President’s language.  “ISIS” stands for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria while “ISIL” stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.  Subsequently the Levant covers significantly more territory.  It also represents the rapid growth of this ambitious and very vicious terrorist organization.

As the Islamic State continues to grow it becomes an even more viable threat to the United States and its allies.  Obama, a president who seems to be ultra-isolationist, has basically made it clear that he believes Iraqis, Kurds and Syrians need to fight the main battle against the terrorist group in Northern Iraq and Syria.  He has spoken of its containment at least as often as he has spoken of its destruction.  It may be that in the eyes of this administration successful containment means the difference between calling it ISIS or ISIL.

Being a president with a tendency of putting appearance over substance, once the terrorists became strong enough to call themselves ISIL, Mr. Obama had the justification within his isolationist logic to get involved in the fight.  He has openly said that part of his strategy is leaving it to the locals to deal with once ISIL gets contained and shrinks back down to a more localized problem.  Perhaps then it will once again be referred to as ISIS.   If this group threatens the entire “Levant” or beyond, we can get involved, but once it only threatens Iraq and Syria it’s their battle to fight.

If this is indeed the President’s logic, it is a dangerously flawed one.  An organization such as this one, with its ambition and financial means, will never be satisfied remaining in the area of  Iraq and Syria. Ultimately it will go after Jordan, Egypt, the Gulf states, and of course most viciously Israel.  All of this is only a means of furthering its global ambitions. Furthermore, as all experts have been saying, it already poses a serious and dangerous terrorist threat to westerners at home and abroad.

Rather than worrying about whether or not it is called ISIS or ISIL, I hope this president mainly sees it as a dangerous and growing problem that needs to be eliminated at all costs. Anything else should be seen as unacceptable.

 

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Open Letter to Mike Eckford Regarding anti-Israel remarks on his Vancouver radio show

eckford_mDear Mr. Eckford,

I am a Jewish activist and author living in New York who was made aware of your stance on the Canadian government’s approach towards Israel by one of my friends and followers on social media.  As per his request I am reaching out to you in response to some of the  comments you made on your radio show in Vancouver regarding the war and ongoing situation in Gaza.  Albert Einstein once said, “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.  So is a lot.”  Well as evidenced in your statements. you have the first part covered.  You certainly know a little.  However, if you knew a lot you might see this very differently.  Then again, not knowing you and how you feel about Jews in general, I wonder if it would make much of a difference.

You’re not well-known at all in my neck of the woods and I am guessing not in many places outside Western Canada, but because of an uncommon twist to your statements I was intrigued enough to take a half an hour out of my time to write to you. The twist I’m referring to is that unlike so many others who speak out against Israel, you are actually aware and willing to admit the fact that Hamas wants to not only destroy Israel but murder every Jew worldwide.  You are also correct in the statement you make about the people of Gaza being trapped.  And as far as your comments stating that the only peaceful outcome to the situation is a 2 State solution, although it’s a debatable subject, one I no longer have much faith in, it is a reasonable opinion on your part.

And there you have it.  I’ve just reviewed the small amount of knowledge you have and once again seen why Albert Einstein truly was a genius.  For you went on to say that Israel’s actions were acts of barbarism.  Disproportionate, disgusting, inhumane. That the people of Gaza are trapped, implying it is of Israel’s doing.   In saying these things and leaving out some very important points either out of malice or ignorance, your knowledge becomes dangerous due to the fact that people listen to your show and believe they are learning truths from you.  That is why I needed to write this letter.

You see Mr. Eckford, your Canadian government, as it so often does in so many instances, is indeed getting it right.  Lead by one of the world’s great leaders Stephen Harper, the government of Canada realizes that by supporting Israel it is indeed supporting peace.  Words like barbarism and eradication are not words to be thrown around irresponsibly.  War is tragic no matter which way you look at it.  That does not mean however that it is never necessary.  You said the people of Gaza are trapped.  That they are, but not by Israel, by Hamas.  If you look at Israel’s track record with Egypt and Jordan, nations that once were at war with Israel as well, once they were willing to stop fighting Israel and peace was declared, there was a degree of normalization of relations between the countries.  If you think that Israelis don’t dream of a Gaza where they could vacation rather than bomb, you know nothing about the mentality of the Jewish state.  That dream is at least for now, destroyed by Hamas. They took the money provided to develop and build the territory and instead bought missiles and built terror tunnels. The poverty in Gaza is created by Hamas to perpetuate hate and frustration and the people are made to believe it is a result of Israeli occupation.  But Israel neither does, nor do they want to occupy Gaza.  Hamas teaches the children to be terrorists.  They will do anything to destroy Israel, even destroy their own people.  The difference is very clear.  Israel does things they wish they did not have to do in order to provide safety and security to their people, not as you so irresponsibly said, to eradicate a people.  Hamas does everything they do to eradicate Israel.

Benjamin Netanyahu once said, “if the Arabs put down their weapons there would be no more war.  If Israel put down their weapons there would be no more Israel.” Israel did not bomb Gaza because, as you made it sound, they wanted to.  They bombed Gaza because they were given no other choice.  When Hezbollah does it in the north will you criticize Israel for fighting back then too?  Assuming of course they are winning.  Maybe if they are losing or suffering major casualties it will be just fine.  It will be fair, proportionate, not as you called it “lopsided, disgusting, inhumane”.  Does that imply if more Israelis had been killed it would have been humane?  The only reason there was a disproportionate amount of deaths in the Gaza war Mr. Eckford was because Hamas was not successful in its attempts to kill tens of thousands of Jews.  You, like so many others with a bias against Israel seem to be mad at Israel for not allowing themselves to take a beating.  Well I am here to put you on notice Mr. Eckford. The Jewish people are not prepared to be victims any longer. Not victims of Hamas, Iran, and not of a DJ in Western Canada with a little bit of knowledge.  I have a suggestion and a challenge.  The suggestion is you raise the level of your knowledge before you speak about Israel again, and the challenge is, if you want, to invite me to debate you on your show.  Or do you prefer to have no one challenge you when you impart what is merely a little bit of knowledge?  I look forward to finding out.

Sincerely,

David Groen

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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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