Tag Archives: European

Open Letter to Viggo Mortensen

Viggo Mortensen (10)Dear Viggo,

I recently had the displeasure of reading the comments you made regarding Israel and FOX News.  I probably would have left this alone if you had done nothing other than accuse FOX News of lying, but since you followed up with distorted and dishonest comments about Israel it had an almost natural and immediate relevance.

As I normally do before writing a letter, I looked up your history. You’ve spent a lot of time in Venezuela, Argentina, and most recently Turkey.  All places so well-known for their history of free government.   Since you are someone paid to act as opposed to think, let me clue you in.  That last comment about the freedom in those countries was sarcasm.  Incidentally I’ve seen some of your films, and you get paid far too much for your acting.  But in fairness, I probably have as much knowledge of what’s fair payment for an actor’s performances as you have for, let’s say, international politics.

Your pearls of wisdom (more sarcasm) came in the form of the following comments.

When asked how you feel about FOX News you replied:

They lie—that would be the word for it.

I normally don’t defend FOX News, merely because they are a news agency and to disagree or attack a news agency is something that often doesn’t do heinous damage to them.  In fact sometimes it makes people watch them more.  But let’s face it.  If you are an intelligent and compassionate thinker as opposed to an ignorant blowhard, you don’t come out with a blanket statement like “they lie”, when referring to FOX News.  It shows personal bias and a disingenuous agenda particularly when followed up with blatantly biased and untrue statements about Israel.

When questioned about Israel you said the following:

Sadly, very little has changed in terms of the free rein that the government of Israel is given by the U.S. and other influential governments in terms of their handling of the Palestinian question. Sadly, too, the violent acts from a small minority of Palestinian terrorists also continue unabated. No one in the media seems to have a problem with anyone criticizing Palestinian terrorism, but if anyone dares express any objection to the Israeli government’s acts of state terrorism against Palestinian civilians, one is rapidly vilified and censored. Truly even-handed reporting and diplomacy are the only way to peaceful coexistence, in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world. Unfortunately, we are nowhere near seeing either of these happening in the mainstream U.S. or European media as regards the state of Israel and its behavior.

Wow!  Where do I start?  I must compliment you.  You are very economical. You’ve managed to put so much nonsense in such a short statement.  Hugo Chavez, your deceased Venezuelan buddy, would most likely have been very proud.  Abraham Lincoln once said,  “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

Israel is given free rein? Seriously?  No country on the planet is more unfairly scrutinized, criticized and vilified than the State of Israel.  The United Nations might as well change its name to the United Nations against Israel. I wonder what you would want done to them to take away what you call this “free rein”.

This next comment is actually my favorite.

No one in the media seems to have a problem with anyone criticizing Palestinian terrorism…

I’m sorry, should they?  The “liars” at FOX News certainly don’t.  You go on to compare Israel’s actions to these Palestinian terrorists you so passionately defend.  You call Israel’s actions acts of state terrorism against Palestinians. Did you lose your moral compass while shooting a film in Turkey by any chance?  After all, the politicians and journalists in Turkey seem to be a lot more careful about criticizing Palestinian terrorists.  The government actually supports them.  That should be right up your ally.  After all, Israel’s the real problem, right?

And then the coup de grace: Truly even-handed reporting and diplomacy are the only way to peaceful coexistence, something you say is not happening in the U.S. or European media as regards the state of Israel and its behavior.

Oh yes, because we all know that Israel is the media’s darling.  That’s why hundreds of thousands of dead civilians in a Syrian civil war get almost no attention compared to the 2,000 dead in Gaza.  Because the media isn’t concerned about Israel’s “behavior”.

Mr. Mortensen, I understand you are from Danish descent. I want you to see a quote from the diary of the late Christian X, King of Denmark from 1912-1947.

When you look at the inhumane treatment of Jews, not only in Germany but occupied countries as well, you start worrying that such a demand might also be put on us, but we must clearly refuse such this due to their protection under the Danish constitution. I stated that I could not meet such a demand towards Danish citizens. If such a demand is made, we would best meet it by all wearing the Star of David.

Your words, words of prejudice against the Jewish people, dishonor the people you descend from.  I am sure that like so many others you will say your views are anti-Israel as opposed to anti-Semitic, but in all honesty, when downplaying the acts of terrorists as well as the consequence of their actions, you show no value for Jewish life.   Maybe you should take an example from a great Danish king who once realized the value of Jewish life was directly connected to the value of the life of his subjects.  He likely would have realized that what Hamas wants to do to the Jewish people is eerily similar to what the Nazis did to the Jews.  I’m confident King Christian X would also have had no problem criticizing Palestinian terrorism and would never have seen self-defense against it as acts of state terrorism.

I’ll be honest, since I know honesty is so important to you.  I never liked you as an actor.   Until now at least, my opinion of you as an actor really didn’t matter, kind of like your opinion about Israel.  It does however mean you are one more actor whose movies I won’t pay to see, and I suspect I won’t be alone in feeling this way.

Good riddance “Mr. Honesty”.

Sincerely,

David Groen

 

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I only Hate Muslims when they Hate me

Pro Palestinian protester burns an Israeli flag during banned demonstration in support of Gaza in central ParisWhy is it not being called what it is?  Why the pretense that this is something far less specific than it is?  Why are people not identifying those responsible?  Over the past few months we’ve been hearing a lot about the increase of anti-Semitism in Europe and the United States. Although it’s been far worse recently, the rise in anti-Jewish sentiment is hardly a new development, particularly in some notable parts of Europe.  Cities like Paris, Antwerp, and Malmo, Sweden have been notorious for increasing incidents of vandalism and violence against Jews for quite some time now.  If you hear the reports, it clearly sounds like the Jewish people are becoming increasingly unwelcome in the European community.  There’s a catch though.  It’s not the overall European community primarily guilty of this expression of hatred. From all accounts most of the hatred is coming from within the Muslim community.

A few weeks ago I wrote an article in which I renounced my status as a Liberal.(CLICK TO READ) This issue is one of the reasons I’ve done so.  I have friends and acquaintances that still do call themselves liberal who are not squeamish when it comes to identifying the root source of the danger to the Jewish people, but there are many within the liberal community who would turn around and call this article the epitome of Islamophobia.  Those are the ones  I know longer align myself with.  Call it what you like, but it’s no phobia.  A phobia is something irrational.  I don’t hate a person because they’re Muslim.  But I do hate a person who hates me, those like me, and anyone else who doesn’t think like them.    That’s not irrational, that’s logical.  Interactions I’ve had in the past with Muslims who wanted an equal relationship have proven that I indeed do not have some automatic dislike because of what religion they were born into. That goes against everything I believe in.  But that also doesn’t prevent me from identifying the sad truth, and that is that an overwhelming percentage of anti-Jewish sentiment in the world today comes from within the Muslim population.

Although the BDS  Movement has non-Muslim followers and participants due to its excellent and cynical marketing, it’s a group formed by a Palestinian. Anti-Jewish demonstrations and violence against Jews in Paris consist primarily of Algerian Muslims.  Anti-Jewish behavior in Holland comes primarily from Moroccan Muslims.  One third of the population of Malmo is Muslim.  Is it a coincidence this small and once cute city in Sweden that I visited with my parents and sister in 1976 is a powder keg of anti-Semitism?

Although there is an element within the so-called liberal elite behind some of the anti-Israel activities on college campuses in the U.S., I have no doubt you would find that at the very least a significant number of those active against Israel in these institutes of higher learning are Muslim.

Here’s the point people conveniently miss.  No one is happy about this.  We want to hear the Muslims within these cities and institutions take a stand against hatred. But where are they?  Where is their voice?  These people would be my friends. They would be my partners in moving towards a better world, and in return it would be easy and enjoyable for me to respect and support them in whatever life they might choose to live, be it Muslim or something else.  But that element within the Muslim community is silent, most likely out of fear, and therefore missing the opportunity to alter the perception that all Muslims feel that way.  You see, if I was guilty of Islamophobia, I might say all Muslims feel this way.  But I don’t.  At the same time I am not willing to deny the basic truth, and that is that if you took the Muslims out of the equation, we most likely wouldn’t even be talking about anti-Semitism today.

It’s time we accepted the truth.  It will catch up with us whether we do or not. The funny thing about reality is that it doesn’t go away just because you ignore it.  If anything, when the reality is that one large group of people is out to get you, if you ignore it, it only gets worse.

 

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Time to Wake Up

JamesFoleyThere was once an unwritten rule in war-torn regions of the world that journalists were left alone due to their understood neutrality.  Those days are over as evident in this horrific story of the beheading of America journalist James Foley.  First and foremost it is an awful story and our hearts go out to his family.

What this incident does is bring up an important and meaningful question. Paraphrasing the term used when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, I ask this question.  At what point will the sleeping giant wake up?  In this case the sleeping giant consists of a lot more than just the United States of America.  All of these European countries attempting to appease their radical Muslim elements,  entertainers from all over the globe making excuses for the bad behavior, frightened politicians, and most significantly now the media, need to wake up before it is too late.  How much more do they need to see they’ve taken the wrong side?  The time will come when the damage these people do will not be localized and will not be limited to small numbers.  When that time comes their force will be too powerful to stop.

Maybe these types of actions will be what it takes to wake people up.  Or maybe people will just continue to hide under the covers pretending to sleep, hoping the murderer invading their home will leave them alone.  It doesn’t work that way.  He came to kill.  Our one best hope is that the brazen evil will make enough people mad giving them the resolve to take the actions necessary to stop it.  It may be a bitter pill to swallow, but it far outweighs the other option.

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And the DOPA goes to….

n-ITALY-largeIt is my great honor to give the Dove of Peace award to Italy’s Interior Minister Angelino Alfano.   I couldn’t wait with this one. When I read that a European nation took such real and decisive action against anti-Semitism I knew this was something special.  I commend the Italian government as a whole since it may have been one Minister enforcing policy, but he’s the man who took the action so he’s the one I’m giving the credit.  The expulsion was as a result of the following comment by Raoudi Aldelbar in reference to the Jewish people: “Oh Allah, count them one by one and kill them all.”

Minister Alfano said the following:

“Uttering anti-Semitic sermons that explicitly incite violence and sectarian hatred is unacceptable. May my decision in this case be a warning to all those who think you can preach hatred in Italy.”

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FOR BEING A POLITICIAN THAT BACKED UP HIS GOOD WORDS WITH ACTIONS, SOMETHING WE DON’T OFTEN SEE, MINISTER ALFANO GETS A HOLLANDS HEROES THANK YOU AND A DOPA!

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

 

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My letter to United Nations Secretary General

un_logoDear Mr. Secretary General,

Despite my understanding that it is not only a one in a million shot that you will ever read this, but equally unlikely that you will care what I have to say, as a Jewish man, an American citizen, and as a supporter of true human rights all over the planet, I feel compelled to write to you.

I am increasingly perplexed by the approach taken by the organization you lead.  It may be that since the organization is called the United Nations, and not the ‘United Nations of Morality and Fairness’, that all that truly matters is that there is an understanding and agreement among the representatives.  Therefore it would not matter if the statements and inquiries made would be fair and equitable, merely that they would be convenient to those encouraging or enforcing them.  My point being that fair treatment of Jews all over the world is not something many of your member nations concern themselves with as evident in continuing UN policies.

I try to be objective and see it differently but then I hear about another brutal attack in France and the world is silent.  I hear about a Swedish man become the latest  supporter of Israel to be attacked in Malmo, Sweden, merely for putting out an Israeli flag and once again the world remains silent.  You are unquestionably intellectually superior to me, so I am sure you know this, but the number of Jews in Malmo is less than 1,000, probably closer to 500, while the number of Muslims in Malmo is about one-third of its population which would put it in the 100,000 range.  And yet I never hear a statement of how there is a disproportionate act of aggression being committed against the Jewish people in European cities like Malmo and Paris.

What I do hear from you is a comparison of the kidnapping of 3 Jewish teenage students, far away from any frontline, kidnappings we later learned were almost immediate murders, to targeted attacks by Israel on Hamas locations in the Gaza Strip.  With all your intellect and understanding Mr. Secretary General, how do you justify comparing the attack on terrorists to the kidnapping and murder of 3 innocent children?  As I indicated in the beginning of this letter, I realize the unlikelihood of you even seeing this question, let alone caring, but despite that I feel it to be an important question and one that really does need to be asked.

I also need to address the bizarre inconsistency in an organization such as yours, taking votes, many that result in condemnation of Israel, a democratic country, by representatives of countries that are actually non-democratic, totalitarian dictatorships.  It is the most cynical twist on the democratic process I’ve ever encountered, yet somehow it seems to work if it means the demonization of Israel.

In conclusion I would like to say that I am an open-minded man who understands that the government of Israel does not do everything correctly when it comes to the Palestinian issue.  However, on what basis does the United Nations demand fairness from Israel when they insist on not giving Israel any unbiased fairness in return?  Or is it just that the member nations are indeed “United”, united against Israel.

Sincerely,

David Groen