Tag Archives: Israeli Prime Minister

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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Bibi Bashing. It’s all the Rage

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I don’t claim to have the entire corner on reality.  Although I am by no means deluded, I am a flawed individual and therefore never claim to be that much smarter than anyone else.  I do know however, that if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s not a dog.  No matter how many people say otherwise.

Let me first get something out of the way.  My personal feelings aside, I realize Benjamin Netanyahu is not liked by many people.  He is a strong-minded and ambitious politician who comes off to many as smug and arrogant.  Despite the fact that I do not share their sentiments, I realize there are even people who I have great respect for that feel that way.  That being said, the facts don’t completely change just because of a dislike for a leader’s personality or even his policy.

Popularity or lack thereof often seems to come in the form of a fad. I am by no means saying that there are not many people who have carefully thought out their reasons for bashing Benjamin Netanyahu every opportunity they get, but there are numerous people  out there who have remained silent and are only now speaking loudly about their dislike for the Israeli Prime Minister.  It’s a very polarizing issue.  Families and close friends will disagree vehemently over their feelings for him.  Non-Jews with marginal knowledge of foreign affairs now know who he is, with many having formed an opinion.  As is the case so often, people follow the hoards.

I am baffled by how so much of liberal politics has taken the form of sympathy for the Palestinians against the evil Israeli oppressors. But much of that is also caused by people being followers.  The proof of that lies in the existence of liberals who do indeed support Israel and recognize the fact that Israel lacks a true partner in the peace process.

A friend of mine once said that people buy with emotion and try to back it up with logic.  As the world is being sold a bill of goods regarding the situation in the Middle East, the salespeople are constantly scrambling to back up their anti-Israel rhetoric.  For the sake of making my argument I will pretend I not only dislike Benjamin Netanyahu, but I will go one step further and pretend I don’t agree with his policies.

So I begin by pretending that I agree with the notion that Netanyahu is an arrogant, racist, self-serving politician who has done more to hurt Israel and its relationship with the rest of the world than he has to help it.  I will pretend that I agree with the notion that he has shown American President Barack Obama no respect and is working against him in a way that is diametrically opposed to the great relationship between the United States and Israel.  I am pretending all this is true.  Now that I am doing this I have a few questions.

Has Iran threatened to annihilate Israel?

Has Israel ever suffered attacks from terrorist organizations?  Let be more specific with my question. Has Israel been attacked consistently by terrorists from Lebanon in the North, Gaza in the South, and the Palestinian Authority in the east?

Were there terrorists attacks before Benjamin Netanyahu was Prime Minister?

Did anti-Semitism exist before Benjamin Netanyahu was Prime Minister?

Have offers for peace agreements that could have possibly led to a two state solution been made by Netanyahu governments?

Has the Palestinian Authority repeatedly turned away offers made by Israel?

Was Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas formerly a member of the terrorist organization Fatah?

Did Abbas help fund the massacre at the Munich Olympics?

Have close to 200,000 people been killed in Syria’s civil war?

Did Hamas use its people as human shields?

The answer to all these questions is YES.

 

Now I have 2 more questions.

Do most of the people who bash Bibi know the name of the head of ISIS? (without googling)  It’s Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi by the way.

Would Israel suddenly have willing peace partners in the region if Bibi was not Prime Minister?

The answer to both those questions is NO.

 

My point is not that Netanyahu is perfect.  I recently had a discussion with someone very close to me who does not share my affection for him at all.  Despite his feelings this person does not bash Bibi for sport.  In fact he clearly gets no pleasure at all in criticizing him.  He has his views, he speaks his views, but then supports Israel and its government with a passion and commitment greater than most of us, myself included.  There’s a difference between being someone with a free voice who utilizes it to criticize their leaders than those who bash a high-profile public figure just because it’s become popular and everyone else is doing it.

No one would ever admit to this, but I’ve watched over the years as opinions get formed, they gain traction, and then all of a sudden countless numbers share these opinions without ever having any facts to back them up.   If you want to disagree with Benjamin Netanyahu and produce facts that back up your argument, than I’ll listen.  If however you want to come at me with a statement like Israel is an apartheid state under Netanyahu, I may just ignore you. If all you can talk about is how evil Bibi is but you say nothing about Syria, ISIS, Boko Haram and many others, I will realize your agenda has nothing to do with bettering the human race.  And I will expect that in many cases, as soon as you find the next fad you’ll probably move on anyway.

 

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How Bibi represents Millions of Jews with a New Mentality

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I am not a hero.  Nor am I a military man.  I am however the son of Holocaust survivors.  I am not merely comfortable, I am compelled to stand up in front of people and say that the Jewish people will no longer be pushed around and expected to capitulate to the demands of those with no regard for our safety and well-being.  I know that many Jews of today feel as I do.  We may or may not be great fighters, but in a larger number than maybe any time in our history we are, as a group, prepared to stand up and declare that the days of Jews being victims are over.  As we do so today we do so with a leader who represents that attitude, not just for the people of Israel, but for Jews worldwide.  That leader is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

I am very aware of the fact that not everyone feels that “Bibi”, the nickname Netanyahu is often referred to, represents them, but to millions of Jews worldwide he represents us in a way I have not seen in my lifetime.  Jews tend to be divided.  It must be in our DNA. However, for as long as I can remember the division has been based more on religious observance than on political viewpoints.  What Bibi does is transcend that divide by often making it about neither one of those factors.

In being what is clearly a proud Jew, evident by being someone who goes to the Western Wall to pray after an election victory, Bibi makes us feel that who he is and where he comes from is as important to him as it is to so many of us.  When speaking about the security and safety of the Jewish people he does so in a way we know that the majority of Israelis would agree with.  Politically many might not agree with his methods, and many don’t even like him personally, but I have no doubt that most if not all want Israel to be safe and secure.

What Bibi does when he speaks is give the Jewish people a sense of unity and I dare say even nationalism.  I know some of the strongest haters of the Jewish people and Israel see our nationalism as the problem and even racist in nature, but they conveniently forget that it works in conjunction with an Israeli government with many Arab citizens being represented politically in a free and democratic society.  Are there any Arab nations that can say the same?  Today, with Benjamin Netanyahu’s leadership, more and more people are willing to stand up and say, Israel is our country, but even more significantly stand up and say, we as Jews will no longer be doormats.

I know there are many of us who might not put up a significant fight on a personal level, but with the power of the numbers behind us we have the courage to stand up as one.  The importance of leadership in making people feel this way is more that significant, it’s critical.  I know I am not alone when I say Bibi empowers me to feel that way as a Jew.

I go back again to the conversation I once had with my mother who is 93 and a Holocaust survivor from Holland who once told me that today reminds her of 1938.  I challenged her on that statement saying that today is different because we have the State of Israel.  I would add that today is also different because of one other reason. We have Benjamin Netanyahu.

I commend the people of Israel for making the right choice, and hope to see Bibi lead all the people of Israel to a safer and more secure future.

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Thank God!

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I’ve never been shy when it comes to showing my support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyhau.  I’m also not considered to be someone who is ever at a loss for words.  That being said, after Netanyahu’s victory in today’s election, with all that was at stake for Israel, the Jewish people, the region and the entire world, the only thing that needs to said is this.  Thank God!  Let’s pray that Prime Minister Netanyahu continues to be blessed with the wisdom and strength to do what needs to be done.

 

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Open Letter to Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

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Dear Congresswoman Pelosi,

For much of the day I debated whether or not to write this letter, but since I had difficulty purging my mind of your earlier histrionics I felt I had no other choice.  The histrionics I am referring to were the disrespectful and unprofessional reactions you displayed during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech.  You went on to insult the Prime Minister further by making a point to leave the chamber before he did and then issued a statement that included the following comments.

I was near tears throughout the Prime Minister’s speech – saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States as part of the P5 +1 nations, and saddened by the condescension toward our knowledge of the threat posed by Iran and our broader commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation.

Ms Pelosi, I ask of you the following.  Just imagine if the leader of a powerful nation had sat and negotiated with Adolph Hitler.  And then imagine if that same leader had determined that negotiations were not only the right approach, but that they were working as well.  Now imagine that this misguided approach empowered and gave extra time to an evil regime to establish itself and start a juggernaut of evil that would result in 60 million people dying as well as a genocide that would result in the murder of 6 millions Jews, and millions more people including Serbs, gypsies and homosexuals.

I won’t insult your intelligence, because I now see how sensitive you are to that, by presuming you do not already know my point and to when and whom I am referring.  One can have a long debate as to whether or not President Obama compares to Neville Chamberlain, but there certainly is no debating the fact that Iran’s intentions for the 6 million or so Jews living in Israel are basically identical to the intentions Hitler had, and sadly was successful in carrying out against the Jewish population of Europe.

I present to you this question.  With what is at stake for not only the State of Israel but the entire world, so what if Prime Minister Netanyahu did insult the intelligence of the United States?  Why exactly does this bother you so much?  And to be quite blunt, with so many members of Congress giving him a standing ovation and so many people respecting and appreciating what the Prime Minister said, do you truly believe you can speak for this country when making this claim?  I know of numerous people, very intelligent people who greatly appreciated this speech.  I am sure Congress consists of numerous people of above average intelligence and most of the one’s I saw watching his speech seemed anything but insulted.

I offer this statement as an answer to most of these queries.  In taking this stance against America’s most important and most loyal ally, elements within the Democratic Party did exactly what they claimed they objected to the most. They politicized the speech.  And what made it even worse, and may very well be some of the source of your consternation, is that it did not make those who opposed the speech with vigor look very good.  Seeing as you were one of those people, I can see how you would be upset.

I want you to know that this letter comes from a man who has voted Democrat far more often than he has voted Republican and from someone who voted for Barack Obama.  This is not a letter from a right-wing Conservative.  This is a letter from a Jewish American man who loves the State of Israel, loves the United States of America, and loves peace and freedom.  And this is a letter from a man who can not for the life of him understand why anyone who loves any of those three would be insulted by Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech.

Sincerely,

David Groen

 

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A Jewish Leader Tells the Whole World…NEVER AGAIN

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I started this piece numerous times and when all was said and done I decided to just sit back and write it entirely from the heart.  After just listening to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress I am so overcome by emotion that I want to hold on to this moment, even if only for myself.

Part of what makes us who we are is our history.  Having just finished listening to the speech I can’t help but think of my family’s history.  It was 60 years ago when the reign of Hitler’s Nazi party ended.  60 million people died in WWII and 6 million Jewish souls were lost.  Among those murdered by the Nazis was an estimated 104,000 Dutch Jews, 75% of Holland’s Jewish population in 1940. Included in that number were 3 of my 4 grandparents, an aunt and uncle, and numerous other relatives I would never know.  My parents went through life with pain I can’t even imagine having lived through one of the darkest times in the world’s history.

As far back as I can remember I have heard the words “Never Again”.  Today I watched Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel who suffered in the concentration camps of Auschwitz and Buchenwald, receive a standing ovation in the United States Congress.  Today the leader of the Jewish state of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, stood up in front of the nation and the entire world and basically said NEVER AGAIN with the words “The days in which the Jewish people stay passive in the face of genocidal enemies; those days are over”.

This is only about politics to those making it about politics.  What this is ultimately about is the survival of not only the Jewish people but the survival of our modern-day civilization.  Today a Jewish leader stood up in front of the world and told the world that the Jewish people will never again be led to slaughter.  For that reason, as the son of Holocaust survivors, as a Jew, and as an American, I found myself moved to tears and say thank you to the State of Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

 

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