Tag Archives: Golan

Open Letter to Bethany Koval, anti-Israel Jersey teen

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Dear Benny,

As a 54 year old man it is my responsibility to address you, a 16 year old girl in an appropriate, not combatant fashion.  Although I strongly disagree with your viewpoints on Israel, I start by recognizing a few very important and pertinent facts.  Firstly, to the best of my knowledge you are not a criminal. You are a young lady, apparently a Jewish-Israeli young lady, expressing your views in a democratic society that has rules in place to protect your right to do so.  Secondly, as much as I disagree with you, I do not believe that you are, in any way part of the problem.  On the contrary. Responding to you correctly can actually work towards helping the problem.  Calling you names or attacking you for speaking up is not only wrong, it digs us all into a deeper moral hole.  So with that said I would like to bring some points to your attention and hope that it opens your eyes to factors you may not have considered.

I recently saw a video on the wall separating the Palestinians in the territories from the rest of Israel.  Since it was an anti-Israel video it naturally portrayed the wall in a totally negative light. When I thought about it later I realized the tactic being used, not only in that video but in so much of the anti-Israel propaganda being put out today.  It is a tactic that almost automatically has to be one of the driving forces in you feeling as you do today.  The tactic is, portraying history as starting from a later date.

Let me explain.  If you go to Israel today and see a wall separating 2 people who technically live in the same country I can understand how it can be a difficult thing to wrap your head around.  By itself the whole concept of a wall for that purpose is not something anyone decent would want or approve of.  But that’s only if you look at it today out of the context of why it was put up in the first place.  If history starts from the construction of the wall, Israel seems wrong.  But it does not. If history starts from the current living conditions of the Palestinians, Israel seems wrong. But it does not. If history starts from the Israeli bombs dropping in Gaza, Israel seems wrong.  But it does not.  If history starts from Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Israel might be wrong.  But it does not. You see Bethany, rather than get mad at you for exercising your First Amendment right to Free Speech, it is my responsibility to explain to you that which you may be intentionally or unintentionally be ignoring when stating your opinion.

The United Nations, the very same United Nations that at every turn attacks Israel for its “occupation”, out of the ashes of the genocide of 6 million Jewish men, women and children, sanctioned and supported the creation of the Jewish State in 1948.  Almost immediately after doing so, every neighboring country in the region ganged up on Israel and attacked her.  Israel fought them off in 1948, again in 1956, in 1967, and in 1973 the Yom Kippur War in which Israel’s enemies waited till the holiest day of the Jewish year to attack.   The war in 1967, also known as the 6 day war was the war in which Israel, finally having enough of the threat it incurred from its neighbors, captured territories as a buffer from future attacks. The Sinai, Gaza, the Golan and the West Bank were all captured in this war.  The Sinai Desert, land controlled by Egypt prior to the 6 Day War, was returned to Egypt in the very successful peace accord of 1979.  The Golan still remains in Israel as there has never been a true partner in which to discuss peace over this land captured from Syria.  Syria’s leadership which murders its own people is certainly not a willing partner in peace for Israel to negotiate with.

Here is where the problem, and the true history really starts.  Starting from Yasser Arafat to Mahmoud Abbas and later the more brazen and direct Hamas and Hezbollah, Israel has been surrounded at almost every border by terrorist organizations seeking its destruction.  Israel has made attempts to negotiate peace settlements, but even when it has offered territories, the controlling forces have found a way to crush the agreements.   These same controlling forces have received countless billions to improve the living conditions of the Palestinian people, but rather than doing so they’ve either pocketed the money or used it to fund terrorist activities in Israel.  They’ve kept the population down because let’s face it, a satisfied population is not an angry one, and they need angry people to do their bidding.  They’ve blown up entire families in one moment.  They’ve murdered little children, pregnant women and elderly citizens, not because of collateral damage but with intent.  Is it a tragedy when Palestinian children get killed in Israeli attacks?  Of course it is. But the Israeli government makes it very clear that its targets are terrorist bases of operation, not innocent civilians. When innocent people die Israel shows regret.  When innocent Jewish people get killed in terrorist attacks by members of Palestinian terror groups the attackers are glorified by far too many as heroes achieving a great success and certainly with no regret.

Yes the plight of the Palestinian people is a tragedy, just not one created by Israel.  I do not sit here saying Israel does nothing wrong Benny, all I am trying to make you understand is that the history of this conflict is a lot older than the years which you as a young lady have witnessed.  They are older than the years I have witnessed.  You are clearly intelligent and caring. If you were not you would never have bothered tweeting in the first place.  As opposed as I am to your views, in some ways I am equally opposed to you being attacked for them.  In fact, many of my open letters are scathing attacks against people expressing what I see as unfair and dishonest opinions against Israel and the Jewish people.  Seeing as you are Jewish, Israeli, and 16, I believe a harsh approach to you is not only inappropriate, it’s damaging to all those who want the same thing.  Peace. I just ask one very important thing of you. Use your intelligence and compassion to research the whole history, do so with an open and honest mind and I hope and believe you will come to a significantly different conclusion than you do today.

Sincerely,

David Groen

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Open Letter to UNWRA Executive Director Abby Smardon

Palestine board 1 (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Ms. Smardon,

Thanks to information forwarded to me by a friend who recently attended a Confab at the United Nations on Global Anti-Semitism, I was able to once again see the disproportionate and biased focus the United Nations puts on the Palestinian people at the expense of the State of Israel. While attending this Confab my friend took notice of the UNWRA message boards displayed on the tour provided. These boards lead to me ask some very direct questions to the powers that be.  Let it be noted that when I use the word “you” in asking these questions I am referring to the organization of which you are Executive Director.

First question is, do you work directly for the Palestinians?

Second question, and certainly connected to the first one, is why in all your mentions of the wars Israel has had to fight do you subtly leave out the threats Israel was facing, particularly in being attacked almost immediately following the declaration of an independent state in 1948.

I ask these question as direct reaction to the information posted on these boards.  I will address them as they appeared.

In 1948, as a result of the war between Israel and neighbouring Arab states.

Let me make this clear since the United Nations/Palestinian propaganda machine refuses to do so, that entire sentence is an attempt at misdirection regarding what took place after Israel became an independent country.  “As a result of the war between Israel and neighbouring Arab states”, if written by an honest and objective party, would have read, “After Israel was attacked by neighbouring Arab states.”  This subtle way of diverting the attention from what started this war allows the UN to blame Israel for the fact that…

almost 750,000 Palestinians were uprooted, dispossessed and became refugees.

In reality, had the neighbouring Arab states allowed Israel to begin building its country in peace, this “question” as the United Nations likes to call it, would never have been asked.

The plight of Palestine refugees remains unresolved to the present day.

Another clever UN/Palestinian media subtlety, maybe lost on some but not on me.  There was no such thing as “Palestine” in 1948 or before 1948, so the term Palestine refugees is in itself a falsehood.  You even, most likely unwillingly, show that in the next statement.

An Arab State-Palestine-did not come into being.

The boards go on to mention the 6 Day War, and subsequently what took place by indicating how when the war was over, Israel occupied the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Sinai and the Golan.  As a result of this “occupation”, the boards read as follows:

At least 500,000 Palestinians were displaced from their homes; about half of them for a second time since 1948.

Misleading, since most of them left on their own and were invited back in by the Israeli government about a month after the war.  And as long as language such as  “half of them for a second time since 1948″ is being used, an unbiased and balanced introduction to that statement would have been,  “After Israel was drawn into conflict for the second time  since establishing its independence”.  That’s assuming we don’t address the events surrounding the 1956 conflict and time leading up to it.  But that would not go along with the pro-Palestinian theme your organization consistently perpetuates.

And then the boards say:

Since 1967, successive Israeli governments have established settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

I believe the capital O is also no coincidence, rather another clever method of branding.  It represents the official name your organization has chosen to give the West Bank and Gaza despite Israel not occupying Gaza and successive Israeli governments showing a willingness towards a 2 State Solution consistently sabotaged by Palestinian leadership.

The posters go on to state:

An estimated 1.26 million Palestinians, about 30% of the population in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, are food-insecure

I think it is more likely that comes from the monies provided being misappropriated than mistreatment by the “occupying force.”

Now that I know that the UNWRA was established to provide emergency relief to Palestinians, I can’t help but wonder if that means allowing missile launchers to be stashed away in schools in Gaza.  You might want to look into that, if of course it’s considered important enough. I am confident if Israel was accused of doing that an investigation would be swiftly forthcoming.

I also highly suggest you retrain your tour guides, as the one present on the day of my friend’s visit made a point, after he mentioned what a wonderful organization UNWRA is and how much it does for Palestinians, of muttering under his breath something along the lines of, unfortunately they are under attack now.  He might as well have said, those damn Jews and Zionists. They’re just never happy are they?

We Jews will no longer be silenced when we witness such blatant prejudice against our people and the State of Israel.  I am sure that some reading this will accuse me of calling everything anti-Semitic, or even worse, saying my criticism of the boards indicates lack of compassion for the innocent people who are suffering.  However, I am fully aware that those arguments are just 2 more forms of intimidation being used against Jews and Zionists to allow organizations such as yours to take liberties and openly display bias against Israel.  It is so openly cynical that it makes me wonder if it is not about improper monitoring of funds but corruption on a most grand and cynical scale.  It’s very disturbing and most ironically does more to harm the Palestinians than to help them, since its focus is more on vilifying Israel than on impacting positively to the needs of the Palestinian people.

It’s not that a few message boards and an unprofessional and biased tour guide are the worst things in this world, but in this particular case they represent something that is quite heinous and damaging to truth, justice and the betterment of all mankind.

I do not expect a response since the United Nations does not generally show that kind of respect to Jews and Zionists, but that doesn’t mean there is not a growing number of people disgusted by this continuing pattern.  Maybe for once some modicum of respect will be displayed to us and your organization will respond.  Then again, I suspect the response would be far from satisfactory even if we did get one.

Sincerely,

David Groen

Global Coalition for Israel

 

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