Tag Archives: Hamas

Open Letter To Rabbi Michael Lerner, Editor of Tikkun regarding his critique of Israel’s tactics

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Dear Rabbi Lerner,

Allow me to start by being honest with you.  I read your article    https://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/israel-has-broken-my-heart-im-a-rabbi-in-mourning-for-a-judaism-being-murdered-by-israel/  and stopped when I felt I could go on no longer.  Before I resolved to read any further I told myself I would only do so under one condition.  The inclusion of 2 words.  Never Again.  Having not found them anywhere in your piece I chose to not read it till the end.

I wish you to understand 2 very important things.  First and foremost, I am not without compassion when it comes to the death and suffering of innocent Palestinians.  Secondly, unlike many who may even appreciate my letter to you, I respect your  intentions and do not see you as a traitor to the Jewish people.  I do however find your approach apologetic and weak and subsequently potentially harmful to the very cause you claim to promote. Peace for all.

You seem to somehow be afraid to call out for Hamas for being what it truly is, an instrument of evil.   They care little if at all for their people, and wish to see, if possible oversee the destruction of our people.  Whether you wish to see it or not, the greatest perpetrators of abuse on the Palestinian people are their very leaders.  Whether it is the misappropriation of funds by the Palestinian Authority or the building of terror tunnels by Hamas, the leadership has shown anywhere from little to no concern for their citizens to a desire to use them as pawns in a self-serving conflict with Israel.  Even in your piece, you try to spin Hamas’s lack of recognition for Israel into something resembling a desire for peace.  They have shown nothing to indicate that is what they want.  On the contrary, they’ve shown nothing but contempt for the peace process and manipulation of Gaza’s population.

Before I address the most important issue regarding your stance, let me first state a very important point.  The Israeli government is by no means without fault.   There are certainly events that have taken place that very likely could have been handled differently and in a more productive and yes, maybe even more merciful manner.  That being said, as a Jew and son of Holocaust survivors, I do not question the overall approach and actions of the government for one split second.  You see Rabbi, and this is something you fail to address in your latest piece, the modern nation of Israel was founded on an often unspoken promise of the words, Never Again.   The Jewish people have throughout the ages been targeted for death and destruction merely for being Jewish.  From the ashes of the brutal murder of 6 millions Jews the State of Israel was born.  I am comfortable in saying that the majority of Jews I have known over the years have preferred peace over conflict.  That being said, sometimes you must fight fire with fire, and if that means those who protect you must choose between your safety or the safety of others, I thank God that they do what they are designated to do, see to it that the mass murder of Jews never happens again.  If anything, knowing what is at stake, I have grown to increasingly admire Israel’s restraint, and challenge you to find any nation or organization, particularly their enemies that would show anything close to that shown by Israel.

Golda Meir once said the following:

“We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.”

I urge you to not only read that quote Rabbi Lerner, but to study it, meditate on it, pray on it, and sleep on it.  If after that you don’t restructure your thought process, maybe I will conclude I was incorrect about your intentions, an outcome that will sadden me significantly, but do nothing to change how I and many other Jewish people feel.

Sincerely,

David Groen

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This is the Main Reason Trump still Leads in the Republican Polls

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Remarkably, despite his best efforts, Donald Trump still leads in the Republican polls.  Now obviously we haven’t had a chance to see what the backlash may be from his proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the country, but there seems to be no indication that this will cause many of his supporters to jump ship.  Even more bizarre is the fact that when candidates criticize him for his comments, rather than gain in the polls, their support drops, sometimes dramatically.  The question is why?

In order to figure out the reason for this political phenomenon I decided to test my own reaction to criticism of Trump.  Even though I have never been a Trump supporter and he consistently says things I can’t get on board with, I still found myself having more than one reaction to the criticism of his comments.

The first reaction revolved around the issue of sincerity.  When politicians make comments that we expect them to make, comments very much in line with popular opinion, inevitably my ears perk up and I try to determine how genuine I feel that their reaction really is.  Case in point, when Jeb Bush jumped all over Trumps most recent comments, it felt more like a candidate hoping for an an opportunity to rise in the polls than genuine outrage.  When Lindsey Graham said that we should tell Trump to go to hell, he may have been totally sincere, but can anyone help but think that he also saw it as an opportunity to make some noise and save his presidential bid?

The second issue, and I believe this is a much more important one, is something we see often in many situations.  The best way to describe it is by calling it Disproportionate Outrage.  I have no problem with people calling Trump a buffoon.   Since his campaign began he has at the very least insulted women, Mexicans and pretty much every Muslim on the planet.  He’s also called for Israel to make sacrifices for peace, as though it hasn’t made every effort for decades, and threw out stereotypes about Jews that had to make even his Jewish daughter cringe.  That being said, one would hope that people with voices would not be more comfortable berating him than they would be berating our outspoken enemies and the terrorists that do their bidding.  If I look at a candidate or reporter chastising Trump, even if I may agree with their reasoning, I instinctively try to remember if I heard their voice just as loudly in defense of the safety of America, Israel, and the rest of the somewhat civilized countries around the globe.  Scream and shout at Trump all you want, I get it, but to get my vote you better have been even more angry at Hamas during the war in Gaza than you are at Trump today.

I am fairly certain that a significant percentage of Trump’s supporters would prefer a candidate that didn’t go around insulting half the world, but since they don’t necessarily feel the same outrage towards our enemies from other candidates that they feel from Trump, they are keeping their support behind him.  I am not saying others don’t feel it, but I will say that many of these people when thinking about what Trump is saying they hear the anger towards the terrorists, while thinking about what most of his rivals are saying today they sense more of an anger towards Trump.  Regardless of how justified anger towards Trump may be, that just won’t work with much of the electorate.

Naturally very few of us hear a politician speak and remember everything he or she said, but voting in America is based at least as much on feeling as it is on fact.  In today’s America people may very well consider Trump a clown, an idiot, or even a dangerous man, but when they look at a politician they won’t vote for him or her because they know how to attack Donald Trump, they will vote based on whether or not they feel they are voting for someone who makes them feel safe.  The rest is just a side show, something that plays right into Trump the entertainer’s hands.

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How Hanukkah can Inspire us just when we need it the most

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The Jewish holiday  of Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a holiday that revolves almost entirely around miracles.  The miracle most people know about is the miracle of the Menorah, and how one day’s worth of oil lasted for 8 days.  But the bigger miracle of Hanukkah, and the one that is particularly inspiring in the world we live in today, is the battle fought by the Jewish people lead by the Maccabeess over Syrian and Greek rule, and the victory won when facing the most difficult of odds.

It is the story that actually relates today to not only the biggest fear of the Jewish people but for anyone whose freedom is being threatened. The leadership the Jews were fighting wanted far more than control, they wanted to eliminate any other religion or ideology other then their own.  The similarities to today’s radical Islamic groups is eerily similar.  Even the  fact that the leadership was Syrian, as ISIS bases itself in the Syrian town of Raqqa, draws similarities.  What’s important to take from this story however is not how similar the persecution was to the goals of ISIS, Hamas and the like, but the fact that evil was ultimately defeated.

If there is one holiday to take inspiration from in a time when terror is increasing and an evil group tightens its grips over large areas of land, it is the holiday of Hanukkah. I spend a lot of time trying to make people aware of the dangerous realities of the day, but today on the first day of Hanukkah I am happy to take this opportunity to make people aware of why they should be hopeful.  This is not a hope based in falsehoods.  It is a hope based on the great strength and courage of Judah the Maccabee  and his heroic followers.  A hope based on a Jewish army that understood what was at stake, knew what needed to be done, and had the willingness and capability to do it. As a result evil the oppressors were defeated and freedom restored.

On this Hanukkah I urge all of the decent people out there, the people who want a peaceful and free world, to take the following message into their minds, hearts and souls. That message is that as bad as things sometimes look, as hopeless as the future sometimes looks, good can and will prevail, as long as we believe in what is right and are willing to do what needs to be done.  In a time when things sometimes look as bleak as we can ever remember them being, learn from the miracle of Hanukkah and remember that anything is possible when fighting for a just cause and maybe most importantly, when we as a collective group want that victory badly enough.                                                               Happy Hanukkah (Chanukah)!

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Open Letter to the Foreign Minister of Sweden

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Dear Ms. Wallstrom,

I assume that part of what made you choose to draw the connection between the conditions in which Palestinians live in Israel and the terrorist attacks in Paris was done to placate part of your base, but in doing so you did something so egregious you should resign or be removed from your position immediately.

Ironically in choosing to insinuate Israel’s share in the blame for what happened, you actually let everyone know how you yourself actually share part of the blame. Although I do not believe you have any direct connection to the terrorists that committed the atrocities in Paris, in taking such an illogical and thoughtless approach against the democratic country spending more time fighting terrorists than any other, you actually brand yourself as a philosophical accomplice.

Whether it is because you have strong Muslim support in your country or because you are misguided in your opinions, or maybe just an ardent anti-Semite, your words are part of what empowers radicalized Muslims. What you may fail to see and certainly failed to articulate, is that the poor living conditions in which the Palestinians find themselves is primarily caused by misappropriation of funds by their leaders as well as a constant indoctrination of hatred towards the Jewish people. If you would take time to look at it more closely you would see that the government of Israel has made countless efforts to better the lives of the Palestinians. What you choose to see instead is Palestinian Authority and Hamas propaganda that blames everything on Israel.

I am sure the leadership of ISIS is very pleased to have people such as yourself deflect the blame from where it belongs and place some of it instead on the State of Israel. Just understand that in doing so you play so much into the terrorist organization’s hands that you show yourself to be like-minded in many ways.

It may seem harsh to see someone draw a connection between yourself and something as evil and vicious as the terrorist attacks in Paris, but to that I only say the following to you. Now you know how we Zionists feel when you do it to the government of Israel.  Except in your case it is actually accurate. In philosophy if not in practice.

I urge you to take a good look at what you are doing and understand the magnitude of your words and the responsibility you have as an important politician in an otherwise respected and liked European nation and hopefully realize that your words ultimately put more innocent lives in danger.

Sincerely,
David Groen

 

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Open Letter to Codepink Activists Trixie Lamonte and Ariel Gold

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Dear Trixie and Ariel,

You are actually somewhat fortunate.  An older, wiser, more experienced individual recently suggested I would do better with these letters if I was a little less vicious and a little more educational. Said individual’s logic was that if I jump all over someone I find to have expressed ignorant or distasteful viewpoints against Israel and or the Jewish people, the likelihood of the target of my attack paying any attention to my words is minimal at best.  So yes, since I received this advice from this individual who I highly respect, I will refrain from calling you the names I so wish to call you.

What I will do instead, and to be frank I will do so in only a few words, is attempt to wake you up to the misrepresentation of reality your stance as a pro BDS Jew displays.  I’ll throw you a bone and start from a place that says peace can be achieved and Israel’s occupation of the territories is the biggest obstacle, even though I know better.  The BDS movement is an organization whose ultimate purpose is to bring down the Jewish government in Israel.  It is not in place to protect Palestinians, to fight terrorism and violence, or to better the economic lives of the Palestinian people.  It exists for one purpose and one purpose only.  To destroy Israel as it exists today.

Don’t be fooled by the eloquent words of its leaders, the highest ranking of which was educated in Israel at a Jewish run University by Jewish people and Jewish professors.  Don’t be fooled by its claim to improve labor conditions of the Palestinian workforce.  Their attack on Sodastream caused the unemployment of countless Palestinians, Palestinians satisfied and comfortable working for what BDS calls “the Occupier”.

This is hypocrisy on the highest scale.  The BDS movement, supported by some misguided entertainers such as Roger Waters who lives off his millions upon millions while using the Palestinian people to either satisfy his hatred for Jews or at best make himself feel important, is a movement riddled in inconsistency.  It does nothing to better the lives of the Palestinian people.  It keeps quiet while Hamas uses the people as human shields, yet it attacks businesses that provide Palestinians with an income.

So when you make the choice to show your support for an organization whose sole purpose is to destroy Israel’s Jewish government, you are doing nothing remotely humanitarian.  Peace is a beautiful thing.  I often pray for it.  But know this.  All the BDS Movement is is an offshoot of the terrorist organizations that ultimately wish to see the death of all Jews, the two of you included. What I hope you will come to realize is that in putting your support behind BDS, and doing so in front of a holy Jewish site, all you are doing is feeding into their devious ways, and ironically making peace for everyone more of a long shot.

Sincerely,

David Groen

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Exposing the Double Standard

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a smart man.  He knows history as well as the rest of us.  Unlike many others I’ve spoken to and likely reading this article, I personally refuse to jump on the anti-Bibi bandwagon.  It is my belief that the recent comments made by Netanyahu at a World Zionist Congress conference claiming that the Palestinian Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini convinced Adolph Hitler to kill the Jews, was part of a much larger overall strategy to bring the situation to the forefront and expose the blatant worldwide hypocrisy as it relates to the value of Jewish life.

I’ve listened to a lot of people express their anger or disappointment in Netanyahu’s statement regarding the Mufti’s influence on Hitler and how damaging his Holocaust revisionism is to the overall situation.  Let’s see now.  What negative impact will it have exactly?  Will it open the door for random terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians?  Will it cause the world to turn a blind eye to the murder of Israelis?  Will it cause Israel’s allies to open the door to a nuclear agreement with a terrorist government hell-bent on Israel’s destruction? Will it cause Palestinian leadership to tell lies about Israel? Oh wait. Those things are already happening.

Being the son of Holocaust survivors and having penned a book that covers their experiences during the Nazi occupation, I understand how sacred the discussion and memory of the Holocaust is to so many.  I understand the responsibility a Jewish leader has to guarding this sanctity.  That  being said, Israel’s leaders have one overwhelming responsibility, and that responsibility is to keep Jews safe, not only in Israel but all over the world.  Did Netanyahu’s comments make Jews less safe?  Were they safe before his speech? Will the world remain silent as Jews get murdered in towns that were once peaceful homes?  Was the world showing any real anger before his speech?

We all know the answer to these questions whether we care to admit it or not. Instead of expressing outrage for the murders of innocents in Israel, the UN was preparing to discuss the merits in declaring the Western Wall, the holiest site in the world for Jews, a Muslim site.

Let’s pretend that Netanyahu knowingly revised history here. Is it worse than Hamas consistently accusing Israel of targeting civilians?  It’s certainly being approached as though it is.  Is it wrong if Netanyahu is playing their game, telling a lie for impact? That’s debatable.  I understand the concept of taking the high road, of not sinking to their level.  But truth be told, Netanyahu’s comments brought the entire situation far more to the forefront.  In fact the frequency of attacks seems to have slowed down since his comments.  Maybe the Palestinian leadership that claims to have no direct influence on its citizens’ fury are actually reeling in the violent protagonists.  And maybe, just maybe, in making this claim today, Netanyahu is attempting to alert the world to the real intent of today’s Muslim extremists.  That intent is clearly another genocide committed against the Jewish people.  Exposing them is not incendiary, it’s enforcing the concept of Never Again.

Is what Netanyahu said accurate?  All evidence I know of shows it not to be.  Is what he said commendable?  On its own merit we would have to say no.  But if we dig deeper and see its true impact we have to be careful to jump on the anti-Bibi bandwagon.  Maybe, just maybe his comments do more to protect Jewish lives than hurt them.  Either way, as the world tends to remain quiet as Jews get randomly murdered, I personally believe attacking Netanyahu, even if based in some legitimacy, does nothing more than feed into the double standard, something far more damaging.

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Open Letter to Jimmy Carter

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Dear Mr. Carter,

Since I know fully well that appealing to you from the standpoint of a Jewish man would be a waste of time, I will instead appeal to you as an American citizen.  Let me however begin by  saying that I truly believe that appealing to you from any reasonable position is a waste of time, but in the hope that I can somehow get through to you, I will at least do some due diligence. Even more important, I hope that people who do actually read this become even more aware of your devious and detrimental contribution to the security of the nation you once officially lead.

I use the word officially, because in being one of the worst presidents this great nation has ever seen you really provided very little leadership.  I have said before and will say again that in my opinion your mishandling of the Iranian situation when you were the Commander-in-Chief is a very significant reason why we not only have Iran to worry about today, but its numerous and growing satellite terrorist organizations and nations. In fact  if one were to believe you purposely mishandled Iran, your current support for Hamas would fall perfectly in line with your previous actions. Personally I do not believe you calculated this outcome, instead I believe it is rooted in two basic premises.  You have a dislike for the Jewish people that is deep-rooted and rather obvious, and you came to terms with your failings in foreign affairs by choosing to prop up organizations that would legitimize the disaster that was your presidency.  Case in point, your support for Hamas.

I started this letter by stating that I would appeal to you as an American.  Although I believe you to be too egotistical and arrogant to respond to this letter even if you do actually read it, I do believe that as a former President of the United States and someone sworn to protect us, you should let the American people know how you find any justification in publicly supporting a terrorist organization such as Hamas.  How do you feel showing such warmth and support for the terrorist leader Khaled Mashaal is beneficial to our country and what it stands for?  You then turn around and say that meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would be a waste of time. Why? Because in your mind it’s better to work with a terrorist than a Jew.  Nothing you can say or do at this point will make it appear otherwise, and for any decent clearheaded person to take you seriously at this point you would need to make a dramatic change in your words and actions.

The more you talk the more difficult it becomes for me to show you the basic respect I wish to show you for the mere fact that you once held the position of President of the United States. I will just say that in my opinion it is you who are a waste of time, and that your participation in foreign affairs does nothing other than hurt the interests of all Americans, not just the Jewish people you have very little interest in protecting.  I hope you continue to enjoy your photo ops with the murderers you so clearly respect and that the people who matter become more and more aware of your disingenuous and harmful intentions.

Sincerely,

David Groen

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