Tag Archives: Mark Zuckerberg

Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg regarding Facebook’s banning of the Holocaust movie, “Beautiful Blue Eyes”

Dear Mr. Zuckerberg,

Although I have not directly heard your feelings on the subject that I am about to address, seeing as you hold the ultimate responsibility for what takes place on Facebook, it is of critical importance that I reach out to you.  I am referring to the sitewide banning of the movie “Beautiful Blue Eyes” from every aspect of Facebook. https://www.rollingstone.com/tv-movies/tv-movie-news/facebook-holocaust-film-race-policy-1234592908/

I could start by saying that I have no personal stake in the success of this movie, but that would not be entirely true. You see Mr. Zuckerberg, not only do I have a stake in it, you do as well.  I do not know you, so I do not claim to know how you feel about your connection to the past, but I do know you are a Jewish man who has never hidden from that fact.  It must be understood that the survival of the Jewish people will always be connected to acknowledging and remembering our persecution. So I ask you, does the future of the Jewish people mean anything to you? Or are the policies of Facebook so out of touch with reality and are you so detached from the operations of this giant you created that we are subjected to this ignorant and highly detrimental stance?

My personal issues towards this matter can be best explained by telling you a little bit about my background.  I am the son of Holocaust survivors, and the importance of this and how it relates to me personally is not by any means exaggerated.  When I see Facebook banishing a movie with the title “Beautiful Blue Eyes” because as the ruling states, it violates the policy against content that “includes direct or indirect assertions or implications about a person’s race,” knowing a little what the movie is about, I am in utter shock and disbelief.  The title of the story is based on someone who is part of the story, someone with blue eyes, who was murdered by the Nazis.  As someone whose father had eyes the color of a blue ocean, knowing that both his parents and younger sister were also murdered by the Nazis, it’s hard to imagine one of the 3, if not all of them, not having blue eyes. And had my father not been blessed to survive, his blue eyes would not have stopped the Nazis from murdering him as well. 

But the stronger message here may come from relating to the story of my mother and her side of the family.  Whether Facebook chooses to acknowledge this or not, the Nazis often identified their victims, particularly their Jewish victims, from their physical appearance.  This was as evident in the Netherlands as anywhere else. My mother, born in Amsterdam and of Sephardic Jewish descent, looked different than most Dutch people at that time.  My father, who had red hair and blue eyes, could, for all intents and purposes, hide in plain sight.  My mother, with dark hair, brown eyes, and a darker complexion, immediately was recognized as being Jewish.  It was only through the help of my father who worked with the resistance, and the hand of God, that my mother survived.  But sadly, her father and brother, with similar physical attributes were taken to Auschwitz and murdered. The importance of my mother’s appearance was so significant and so important in understanding what took place that I even named the book in which I chronicle their 5 years in Holland during the Nazi Occupation, as “Jew Face”. https://hollandsheroes.com/general-book-information/ And just like “Beautiful Blue Eyes”, the title was based partly on a character in the book, my mother, and partly on an incident that took place.

As someone who is proud to be Jewish and forever cognizant of the past, present, and likely future threats we will always face, my reasoning for calling the book “Jew Face” was clearly not a racist or bigoted attack on, of all people, my fellow Jews.  Maybe the point can best be made clear to you and anyone who may choose to bury their head in the sands of Woke Beach, by sharing the following anecdote.

After the publishing of my book, close to 5 years after my father’s passing, my mother would occasionally speak to various institutions about her experiences during those horrific times.  She would often use the book as a guide in telling the story, and when on one occasion she informed the audience of its title, “Jew Face”, a woman commented to her that, “this is an ugly title for a book”.  My mother’s immediate and instinctive response was, “it was an ugly time”.  Maybe this is what you and the people who work for you are not comprehending.  Sometimes to make a point, a point that can ultimately promote love and understanding and even save lives, you need to say and do harsh things.  To avoid this in the name of equality or standards is at best shortsighted and divisive, at worst it is out and out dangerous.  In fact, this application that states it violates the policy against content that “includes direct or indirect assertions or implications about a person’s race,” is so out of touch with the reality, it is closer to Holocaust denial than it is to enforcement of a ruling in the name of the common good.

I urge you to look at this situation with a broader and more educated perspective and realize that decisions such as these are counterproductive to what you claim to be important.

Sincerely,

David Groen

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Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg

Mark-Zuckerberg.Dear Mr. Zuckerberg,

This is not the most difficult letter for me to write but it may be the most complicated.  I have written Open Letters to a number of different celebrities over the past 2 months, some of which praised these celebrities while many were critical of their position on Israel and the Jewish people. Although I’ve been persuaded by a number of people to write this letter to you, I hope I they won’t be disappointed, since in this letter I won’t be criticizing you nor will I be making any demands.

The argument can be made that in attacking you in a letter I’d be biting the hand that feeds me.  Not that I make any money through Facebook, but I do use it as a forum for which to express my opinions, make friends, but maybe most importantly support Israel.  Be that as it may, if I felt your actions were against what I believe in, it wouldn’t stop me.  The reason I am taking this uncertain approach towards you is simple.  I don’t really know how you feel or what you actually do.

I hope I’m not going to be punished on my page for saying this, but I  never saw the movie “The Social Network.”  So I don’t know for sure when I say this, but I am guessing your main reasons for starting Facebook was because it was fun and lucrative. Well I don’t know if you’ve been having fun, but you’ve certainly made money.  You’ve achieved enormous fame and fortune, most likely beyond your wildest dreams.  What I don’t think you could have expected is the immense power your creation has given you.  And this is not the type of power usually provided to people who make a lot of money.  You have access to global information and personal information unparalleled in human history.  This may in some ways make you the most powerful man in the world.

I hope you’ll forgive the Spiderman reference, but as I am sure you know, with great power comes great responsibility.  People asked me to write this letter to protest pages and expressions of hate against Israel and the Jewish people.  Although I don’t like the pages I’ve seen in this category, I don’t actually believe that the best thing you can do is eliminate them.  This is where I get to the message I want to convey in this letter.  We all know the saying, keep your friends close and your enemies closer.  It is my hope that somewhere somehow you are using information provided, information revealing threats or possibly exposing criminals and terrorists to help authorities keep people and free societies safe.  If you are indeed doing this and if you’ve provided access that has helped uncover terrorist plots or other heinous actions, you are using your immense power for a remarkable good.  For all any of us know you may have already saved the lives of thousands of people.  The problem is, by the nature of the service I hope you are providing, there is no way we would or to be honest, should know that you are. That is what made this letter so complicated.

There are those who may think I am being naive, but let me make something clear.  It’s not that I necessary believe you are doing this, it’s that I hope that you are.  And since this is the type of theory that is almost unverifiable by definition, I just don’t know what you think or what you are doing.  Knowing this takes away any passion I might have to attack you verbally, for if you are doing this, you are not only doing the right thing, you’re using your power for the ultimate good.  If that’s the case, not only do you not deserve criticism, you’re actually a great man.

It’s also possible that you’re just another very rich guy only concerned about yourself, enjoying your money, and choosing not to get involved.  If that’s the case, with all due respect, please get off your ass and do the right thing.

While I have your attention, thanks for Facebook. I really like it.  Usually.

Sincerely,

David Groen

 

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