Tag Archives: FOX

When Veterans Kill Good Guys.

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I’ve often said that my one major regret in life is that I did not do any type of military service.  To be more specific, when I was 19 and living in Israel I was once at a crossroads to which one direction would have led me to Israel’s Armed Forces.  I chose the other direction. I regret that.  That being said, I’ve always had tremendous respect for the soldier of any free nation, specifically Israel and the United States.  Here in America, whenever I meet a veteran I thank him or her for their service, full aware of the fact that my good fortune to live in freedom is given to me by their service and sacrifice.  So what has struck me the most, and what appears to be the 300lb. elephant in the room is the fact that the last 2 attacks on police officers, attacks that have left 8 of them gunned down in cold blood, were perpetrated by veterans.  The question we must ask is why?

The first part of the question is why is no one talking about that?  FOX Opinion Channel-they primarily share Opinions nowadays, not News-a channel that blames the administration for everything wrong in the world, does not seem to address this with any significant emphasis.  I’ve heard nothing from CNN either regarding this, leading me to believe that both stations have chosen to focus on the issues that are most politically expedient, rather than such an important factor in what’s happening to our society. Whether you support the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq or not, as an American or a citizen of any free country in the world for that matter, you must support the troops.  We may all say that we do, but at the end of the day I can’t help but wonder what kind of support they are getting from our government and society as a whole upon their return stateside.  I dare say that if proper structures were in place, structures addressing the practical and emotional needs of our soldiers, it’s entirely possible that both Micah Johnson and Gavin Long would not have committed these horrible actions against law enforcement.  Instead, Johnson killed 5 officers in Dallas and Long killed 3 in Baton Rouge.

Is it possible that neither side wants to address this because it does not meet their political agenda, or is not being looked at as an important issue.  Either way that’s a major problem.  It’s one thing when inner-city children become criminals, growing up with no fathers, no guidance, no concept of right and wrong, but a soldier?  Isn’t part of military service designed to teach and mold an individual to do the honorable and correct thing? Sure there will always be those that can’t be helped and turn dark, but when the last 2 major attacks on law enforcement in the United States were committed by veterans, shouldn’t we ask ourselves why?  Shouldn’t we as citizens be increasingly concerned knowing that people who were trained to kill bad guys are coming home and being so neglected that they turn on the good guys as well?

I am sure there is enough blame to go around for everyone on both sides of the political aisle, a fact that is most likely the reason neither sides makes it an emphasis in the discussion.  However, as an American who hopes this country will maintain its status as the greatest and freest country in the world, I believe it’s incumbent on us to focus on how we treat are veterans, otherwise there is a good chance more of them will go down this very dark path, a path that threatens us all.

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Why it’s Too Late to Stop Terror

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It’s somewhat encouraging to see the victories taking place against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.  Taking out their second in command and capturing the town of Palmyra are both significant accomplishments in the war on the territorial front. That part of the war can be won in somewhat conventional fashion.  The only question is what the best course of action is to win it.  Even the lesser military minds can see an end game.  The main questions are what strategy to use and how long it will take?  With the ongoing terrorist attacks in the west, operations have increased and have so far proven to be relatively successful.  The second war, the terror war being brought to Europe and as of yet on a lesser scale to North America is not a war that can be won any time soon, if at all.  The sad news is, it’s just too late.

It’s a harsh reality, one that may or may not ever impact people directly, but it’s a reality nonetheless.   Even if somehow ISIS would be wiped out in its various bases of operations, the exported terrorists, sitting and waiting for the best opportunities to strike are so spread out and in such large number, even if we were to just wait it out, be vigilant, and stop numerous attacks, there will are still likely to be numerous attacks that will be successful and wreak maximum havoc and suffering.  Just look at Israel, a nation dealing with terror for decades and arguably the most prepared and most adept at dealing with terrorism.  Yet despite the expertise there are still numerous terrorist attacks resulting in the deaths of innocent men, women and children.

There might have been an opportunity a few years back to stop the growth of ISIS, but the sad fact is that until terror hits home, or close to home, western nations are far more accomplished in rationalization than in positive results.  Terrorist activities against Israeli citizens have been rationalized as a fight for liberation.  Attacks against Israelis, Iraqis, Libyans, Pakistanis, just to name a few, are not viewed by the west with the same anger and horror as attacks against the French, Belgian or American. Even today, after 63 people, most of them women and children were killed in a terrorist attack in Lahore, Pakistan, CNN and FOX are providing minimal coverage and discussion.  In fact, a half day later, the terror attack isn’t even the top story.  That’s been changed to a story of how Donald Trump claims to be better for women than anyone and is accompanied by a picture of him kissing his wife Melania. Incidentally, the victims in Pakistan were Christians attacked by a splinter group of the Taliban and purposely done on Easter Sunday.  Iran, a nation with far greater experience and success in the development and exportation of terrorists is allowed to make a deal for nuclear energy and is somehow rewarded with the release of billions of dollars.  Even if somehow we do outlast what we say are hundreds but are more likely thousands of ISIS operatives ready to strike, if the entire approach towards terror doesn’t change, if we do defeat ISIS, we are likely to be left with another group, or even worse, country to fight.  For people who take the view that they can’t be worried about what happens to the “people over there”, they need to understand that it is the sons and brothers of those people the terrorists are radicalizing and mobilizing  against the west.

As is the case with many of my fellow Jews and many pro-Israel citizens in the west, I have argued for years that there is not enough value put on Jewish life.  I still maintain that, but the difference now is that I believe there is not enough value put on any life lost east of Germany.  I am not making a bleeding heart plea for sympathy, rather a legitimate call to arms against global terrorism, not just the flavor of the moment.  ISIS is by far the most active and dangerous organization in the world, but it is joined by so many other groups ready to take over prominence if they get defeated that without a long term global strategy against terror, we are doomed to live with it for the rest of our lives and very likely see it continue for further generations.

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Super Tuesday notes: Including why the KKK thing does matter

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So let me get this out of the way first.  Who else out there thought Chris Christie standing behind Donald Trump during the press conference looked like someone stuck in traffic on the George Washington Bridge?  Either that or he was thinking, “Donald told me I have to stand here for a little while and then we’ll go for Ice Cream”.   As far as the overall results on Super Tuesday, I agree it established a clear path for Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side, but as far as the Republicans are concerned, am I missing something?  Was this not supposed to be a trouncing by Trump?  It looks like Sara Palin is so relevant she couldn’t even help him win Alaska. Are his 4 losses and other close races not a reflection of a tightening race?   Apparently not according to the pundits. Or is there something more devious behind all of this?

Although I am sure the more conservative of you will disagree on this, I believe with a few exceptions CNN is usually the most balanced of the major cable news networks. FOX leans to the right and MSNBC is too one-sided to the left to even be seen as a viable news source.  CNN does the best job at covering of at least feigning neutrality. However, it would appear that there may be something slightly more devious coming from within the CNN ranks.

Take today’s headlines on the websites of CNN and FOX for example.

CNN: Establishment reluctantly realizes a Trump nomination is near

FOX: BIG WINS, BIG QUESTIONS

So the case can be made that CNN leans to the left, and that promoting Trump’s victory with extra vigor helps Hillary Clinton’s chances.  After all, if you look at the polls, the only Republican candidate that loses to her head to head is Donald Trump.  Then again, in the name of equitable cynicism, maybe for FOX it is all about selling a debate that takes place tomorrow.  After all, a fait accompli would not be particularly good for ratings.

One thing is certain.  Super Tuesday was not nearly as super for Donald Trump as originally expected.  He lost 4 states  when previously he was touted as having a chance to win them all, and it was very close in states like Vermont, Arkansas, and maybe most notably Virginia, where Marco Rubio might have won if the primary had taken place a few days later.  Clearly the attacks on Trump have taken their toll.  The question is whether or not they came in time to stop him winning the nomination.  It’s too soon to tell, but the one issue that needs to be taken seriously is Trump’s handling of the interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper over the David Duke endorsement.  Donald Trump has been around a long time.  He’s been called a big mouth, a showman, an opportunist, and someone who only cares about himself. One thing he has not been called with any frequency is a racist.  I believe that is for one very obvious and simple reason.  He isn’t one.  However, in his straight-talking, populous, brash, appeal to the masses way, he generates enthusiasm from the angry, the scared, and yes, the bigots. Why?  Bigots are always looking for someone else to blame for their miserable lot in life.  Trump may not be one of those people, but the words he says and how he says them excites and entices the angriest and most hateful.  I believe the reason Trump was so hesitant in the interview was because the only word his “faulty earpiece” allowed him to hear, was the word endorsement.  I’m not saying an endorsement from David Duke is more important to him than right and wrong, merely that for Trump, the desire to win is so great he finds it hard to turn away anyone who likes him.Even if we are to give him his due and say it’s not his fault that these people support and like him, the fact that they do like him makes him dangerous.  Not because he will do anything to placate them, but anything that gives them enthusiasm and excitement is a dangerous thing. 

So what’s the bottom line on Hangover Wednesday?  Yesterday’s big winner was Hillary Clinton.  Not just because of what happened on the Democratic side but because of what happened on the Republican side.  For the Undecideds who may or may not like or trust her, when all is said and done her advantage may come down to the age old saying, better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know. And those Undecideds may just make the difference.

I can’t wait till March 15th.

 

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My Summer of Gaza

img65649The summer of 2014 was set to be a great one.  I had slimmed down from the year before, had recently moved into a better home closer to the beach, the World Cup had started and I was all set to enjoy the next few months. Although life always presents its challenges, nothing had come up that was so important that it would change my priorities significantly.  Then something happened that changed everything.  3 Yeshiva boys were kidnapped.

I still remember that ray of hope we had that Naftali, Gilad, and Eyal would somehow make it back safely.  The motto “Bring Back our Boys” was everywhere as we all prayed that somehow God would see them back to their homes unharmed.  I have seen many bad actions taken against Jews and decent people everywhere, but somehow I found myself more involved now than I had been for at least 13 years since 9/11.  I related to these boys.  I remember being a Yeshiva student myself in my late teens, in Israel, and knew that even if I wasn’t like these boys, I knew guys who were.  So it hit home and I found myself caring more than usual.  It wasn’t till they were found dead, murdered brutally at what we all knew immediately was the hands of Hamas terrorists, that something truly snapped in me.  That was when I, David, had finally had enough.

When tragedy strikes one never knows exactly how they will react.  Although I related so significantly to these three boys, I did not know them personally. Had I known them personally, maybe I would have been so distraught that I would have had trouble functioning.  So when I say I had finally had enough and I snapped, I felt an anger I had rarely felt in my life and I turned to my weapon of choice, the written word.  And my position as a moderate was now a thing of the past as well, as I realized that moderation is something that needs to be saved for the reasonable and fair, not the racially bigoted and brutally violent.

When the Israeli cabinet met on how to react to the boys’ deaths, I knew one thing.  As a Jew and a Zionist living in New York, unless they did nothing, I would support the Israeli government.  I committed myself to not only stating my feelings, but in rallying as many people as possible to the cause.  Not my cause, not merely the Jewish people’s cause, but in truth what should be seen as the entire world’s cause.   Before this would happen I would call someone a piece of garbage for being anti-Semitic, and occasionally even write something about it, but now it felt more personal than before.  It became so clear to me as it is to almost anyone with an unbiased desire for a peaceful world.  So now I decided to go further than I had ever gone before.  As I state on my Twitter profile, “no longer am I happy not being part of the problem. Now I want to be part of the solution.”

When Israel first went after Hamas with airstrikes in Gaza, no one really knew how serious the situation would turn out to be.  The terror tunnels they discovered were designed to carry out mass murders of Jews, and the intelligence they gathered indicated that it was going to be as soon as this Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year which falls towards the end of September. Israel’s incursion by ground troops into Gaza was used to uncover and destroy these tunnels.  However, while this was happening the situation took an ominous term.

I almost typed unexpected as well, but as a Jew paying attention, anti-Semitism is never completely unexpected.  I’ve been accused of being slightly over-sensitive to comments, but no one has ever accused me of having a persecution complex.  At least not to my face.  So when I say I was not totally shocked by the global spike in anti-Jewish words and behavior, this is not coming from someone who makes declarations that “everyone hates the Jews”.  I know better.  What we’ve seen this summer however has been epic.  Even by the usual standards of hatred.  Gone is the requirement of logic and fact.  Merely wanting to hate the Jews became enough.  Telling half of the story so that the part that exonerated Israel was conveniently missing became the strategy of the vocal and clever anti-Zionist/anti-Semite.  And gone forever is the notion that anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are not two in the same.  When  you have two signs at a protest that say “Free Gaza” and ” Hitler was right”, you have lost the argument that they are different.  When pogrom style attacks took place on French synagogues by people claiming to do things in support of Palestinians it was made abundantly clear that this was about hating the Jew at least as much as it was about opposing Israel.

The more Jews were attacked, whether in Israel or outside of Israel, the more committed I became, expressing my commitment through articles and letters to those expressing damaging sentiments towards the Jewish people, while also writing articles acknowledging our supporters.  Every time I heard “Free Gaza” I felt more and more compelled to shout to the world that the people of Gaza needed to be freed from Hamas not from Israel.  Every time the United Nations revealed its bizarrely obvious bias against Israel I wanted to write something to expose it.  Why?  Partially because it was cathartic, but even more because I wanted to make sure everyone I could reach would know the truth, and once I began to do that, there was no turning back.  With every missile fired at Israel, with every fatality including the 64 members of the IDF fighting to preserve Israel’s survivor, my commitment grew stronger.

Recognizing the need for unity with more than just the Jewish community, I created the Global Coalition for Israel on Facebook as a means of showing a cohesive support for the State of Israel. One month later the group is at 1300 and growing daily.  When the summer began I was worried about when I was going to get to the beach, lay in the sun and get to barbecues.  I’m not saying that I didn’t do those things to some extent during the summer of 2014, but they all took a back seat to something more important.  My new activism.  Watching CNN and FOX on a daily basis to get the news coming from the region, researching websites and news sources online, and meeting people with stories to tell from Israel and Europe, the summer of 2014 became something I never expected it would become, it became my Summer of Gaza.

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Taking the Fizz out of Hypocrisy

M7u7PRhAs someone who is always keeping his eyes open for anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiment, something that most honest people know to be one of the same, I tried to find evidence that the banning of the SodaStream ad from the Super Bowl by FOX was one more example of hatred of the Jewish people.  Despite any solid evidence to back this up, the ripple effects of this story have been enormous in a variety of ways.

Although diminished over the years, I have a personal connection to SodaStream.  This personal connection has caused me to pay a little extra attention to the company and the success it has generated.  When I heard that Scarlett Johansson had agreed to be a spokesperson and would be in a commercial airing during the Super Bowl, as was the case with many other Jews and Zionists, I felt a tremendous degree of excitement and pride.  Not only was this a blow to the BDS  (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) Movement  inasmuch as it had a major Israeli company on the public stage, it also represented a high profile, popular and beautiful actress showing the character and strength to support an Israeli company with no apparent concern for the backlash she might receive from others within her industry and from other industries.

But it gets better.  As many already know, SodaStream is an example of everything that is right in modern Israeli capitalism.   Here is a company, providing a good product, environmentally sound and beneficial to its users, seemingly providing great success to its owners and management team while providing fair and equitable employment to residents of the areas of Israel where the product is manufactured.  Let me repeat that for Roger Waters and other proud supporter of the BDS Movement.  Providing fair and equitable employment to residents of the areas of Israel where the product is manufactured.  That encompasses what they like to refer to as the “occupied territories”. 

The best news of all however, is that not only despite the fact that SodaStream’s ad was pulled from the Super Bowl but maybe even because it was, the company has become more well known in the past few days than it may ever have dreamed of becoming.  In some ways I’ll go as far as saying that a situation that was supposed to be nothing more than a business venture has turned into a political gain for the State of Israel.  The United States of America, a country I am proud to call my home, is now the setting for one of the most blatant examples of corporate censorship you will ever encounter.   The control that Coca-Cola and Pepsi have over the Super Bowl is so tremendous they have basically forced the network covering the event to not allow an advertisement that attacks their product.   The fact that the company that manufactures this product, SodaStream, is being unjustly attacked for making a product at the expense of the human rights of others, will totally expose those whose activism against Israel is based on anti-Semitism rather than a genuine, albeit misguided pursuit of justice.   The irony practically makes me giddy and although I myself am not a soda drinker, the impact this has had will cause me to purchase SodaStream as a gift for someone at my first opportunity.   

Of course the one sobering fact is that logic and truth have never stood in the path of those who have wished to cause pain to and destruction of the Jewish people.  With that said the fight needs to continue on many fronts, and today as a Jew and Zionist I thank Scarlett Johansson and SodaStream for what in the minds of many is a victory in one of the many battles we will unfortunately continue to have to fight.  Then again the personal connection I mentioned earlier makes it very easy to believe that SodaStream would be in the middle of something so significantly helpful to Israel’s image at a time it needed it the most.