Tag Archives: Mahmoud Abbas

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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Bibi Bashing. It’s all the Rage

Europe Gaza Protests

 

 

 

 

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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The Promising, the Disappointing, and the Dangerous on a Day of Unity

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I admit I am somewhat encouraged.  It’s not often that Jewish life is given the global importance it’s been given since the murder of  hostages in a Paris supermarket.  I watched CNN and saw a focus on the French Jewish community I find moving and important.  It may be significant and it may be very helpful to the big picture, but it doesn’t change  one important fact.  The enemy is still coming for us.

Despite what some might think from reading some of my articles, I am actually an optimist.  I believe good can triumph over evil.  Call me naive, but it has happened many times before.  I sit here writing today because in 1945 good triumphed over evil.  So I know it has happened and can happen again.  I just would prefer it doesn’t happen with the high price we have paid in the past.  I am also aware of those politicians who are devious and looking to achieve personal gain.

Should we be impressed with a Turkish delegation at the march just 10 days after the female suspect in the attacks happened to travel through Turkey back to Syria.  Should we be impressed with seeing Mahmoud Abbas walking as close as he can to French President Francois Hollande during the rally? Should we be impressed with Hamas condemning the attack on Charlie Hebdo?  I think not. But here are the things we should be impressed with.  A young Muslim man saving Jewish lives in the Kosher supermarket in Paris, a Muslim woman holding up a sign that says “Je suis Juif”, “I am Jewish” during the rally, and coverage from a Paris synagogue that acknowledged the value of Jewish life.  There is some reason to be hopeful when millions of people speak up for good.  Problem is, some of this is mere political positioning and much of it is not enough.

We must be mindful of an attempt by those who are anti-Israel to separate the terror attack from the assault on the Jewish state.  In rallying against this attack and speaking out against terror everywhere, there are those who will attempt to lump Israel into that status of aggressor.  I love the idea of opposition to terror becoming a popular fad, but let’s make sure the dialogue remains accurate and that those trying to destroy Israel don’t try to change the reality in their favor.

I won’t mince words when discussing the one major disappointment of the day.  Shame on this current administration for being so conspicuously absent from the rally.  It magnifies for the entire world the major failings of this presidency.  There truly is no legitimate excuse for not having some sort of American representation at an event of this importance.

On the surface, since the attacks took place we have seen more good behavior than bad, but as Jews and supporters of Israel we do no have the luxury of trusting everyone’s intentions.   We need to watch carefully and expose those who would exploit this tragic week to forward their agenda and to remember that the fight is far from over.

 

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How Netanyahu’s Brilliant Leadership is Changing the Landscape

BiBi-2Anyone who has read anything I have written, particularly in the past 2 weeks will know that I am  not naive or blind when it comes to the force of evil against Israel and world opinion, often one in the same.  However, I have also watched in admiration as Israel has taken a tragic situation and not only taken constructive action but has simultaneously done a masterful job at Public Relations.  Does it matter? Honestly it is too soon to tell, but it is a promising sign when you see a Reuters Headline that reads, “Thousands of Gazans flee after Israeli warning.”

http://news.yahoo.com/israeli-commandos-clash-hamas-gunmen-gaza-raid-030945712.html

With Israeli Prime Minister communicating with world leaders and outlining the Hamas strategy of “using their civilians to protect their missiles”, he has made it very difficult for those who claim to be neutral to oppose Israel’s operation into Gaza.  The world is also hearing how Israel is allowing emergency supplies, including blood for injured civilians into Gaza from its border.  Doesn’t do much to back the claim of Abbas that this is the same as Hitler’s genocide of the Jewish people during Nazi rule.

As I said earlier, I am not naive, but during a time where we’ve had mostly bad news, this may be a promising sign of better times ahead.

 


With Abbas it’s about Expediency, not Right and Wrong

abbass1Relatively quiet during this most recent crisis in Israel is the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.  Abbas once again has been presented with an unprecedented opportunity, and rather than make the most of it, he did what he usually does, willingly and cynically disregard it. The opportunity of which I speak was for him to make believers of even the most extreme skeptic as to whether or not he truly is a worthy peace partner.  Instead, as always,  Abbas chose to take the easy and corrupt way out.

There are two types of dangerous politicians.  The evil ones whose intentions are to cause division or suffering, and the weak ones who make all their decisions based on their own personal standing and position.  Abbas, now a politician with a terrorist resume, has traded in his militant status to become one of the most transparent politicians in the region, if not in the world.  His every move is a calculated way of dancing between appearing willing to make a lasting peace with Israel and conning the world, while appeasing the hardliners not only within his ranks but with Hamas in Gaza as well.  His comments generally are indicative of the poor character of the man, as he does what so many of those who are truly his partners, the ones who do not want peace do, fabricate statements because of their expedience.   Case in point, his comparing Israel’s current military action to the Nazi death camps that killed 6 million Jews.  The ridiculous dishonesty of the statement surely can not be based in ignorance.  Does he not know that the Nazis openly stated their desire to wipe Jews off the planet?  Does he not know the Germany’s campaigns and raids targeting Jews were not attempts to provide a safer non-violent Germany, but solely to kill them?  Does he not know that the death toll of Palestinians is significantly lower than it could be because the Israeli Defense Forces make every attempt NOT to kill civilians, in sharp contrast to Hitler’s Germany that hunted down Jews and murdered them?  Of course Abbas knows.  But what good would it do politically for him to acknowledge that?  Where does he gain by doing what is right?  His place as head of the PA is dependent on motivating the angry mob and placating the ambitious terrorists in his midst.  What better way to do this than to demonize Israel once again at what he sees as another opportune time.  While Israeli politicians will speak out against and act against bad behavior of their constituency, Abbas makes excuses or distorts the facts for his.  It may not be right, it may not be moral, but for a politician with a poor character such as Abbas, it certainly is expedient.

And here in lies one of the biggest problems facing Israel.  Should by some miracle the terrorist organizations get eliminated from the equation they still have a major problem.  They are left with a so-called peace partner who is nothing more than a terrorist turned self-serving politician.  To put this in the harshest and scariest of perspectives, consider this point.  He’s seen as the good one.


Are These the Actions of an Evil Regime?

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Israel, the Apartheid State.  The government that is persecuting Palestinians.  The regime committing genocide against the people of Palestine.   Really?  Does this sound like a country that would be taking care of the wife of the leader of the Palestinian authority?  Well that is exactly what happened this past weekend as the wife of Mahmoud Abbas had leg surgery in a hospital near Tel-Aviv.  But did the fair-minded speak out about this?  Did they ever stop to consider what would have happened if three Palestinian students had been kidnapped and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife would need surgery in most Arab nations?  Or even closer to home in the West Bank or Gaza?  As three Yeshiva students remain missing, likely kidnapped by Hamas or another similar terrorist organization, the Israeli government welcomed in and allowed the wife of Abbas to be cared for.  Does this strike you as the behavior of a state motivated to wipe the Palestinians off the planet.  Does it look like a government lacking in ethical human rights behavior?

We all know the answer.  Roger Waters knows the answer.  Emma Thompson knows the answer.  Alice Walker knows the answer.  But these phonies, Anti-Semites masquerading as humanitarians would never utter the words of truth that are so evident from the events taking place.   The worldwide movements to discredit Zionists, a smokescreen for decreasingly less subtle attacks on Jews, would never declare the truth about Israel, that it is a true democracy with true freedom and the highest level of human rights.  To do that would result in elevating the status of Jews worldwide, which in reality is why it is not done.  If you doubt this to be true just look at what it is happening in France on a regular basis to people because they are Jews, not because they are Zionists. And look at the recent murders in Brussels and wake up to the truth.  And that truth is that there are people who want to wipe the Jewish people from the planet, regardless of where they live.

We all say Never Again to something that on some very frightening levels has begun to happen again.  Did we ever know what we would do to stop it if it did?  Maybe not.  But it starts by seeing the reality of the situation and not closing our eyes, pretending it is not there and hoping it will go away.  That never worked and never will.