Tag Archives: Paris terror attack

Time for the UN and the rest of the world to step up and call murder by its real name

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As the world heard the news of what happened in Brussels, Belgium, people were once again overwhelmed with feelings of horror, sadness and anger.  There is no question that most people are in agreement is that the death and destruction is an increasing reality that needs to be stopped.  Where the big problem starts, or should I say continues, is in the series of solutions proposed by the experts and politicians.  It seems everyone has an answer and solution.  However, in reality no one really knows exactly what to do.  That in itself may be the crux of why we are losing this war against terror.  To sum it up in one word, the biggest obstacle to preventing a global catastrophe is something ISIS and other terror organizations are not only counting on but causing.  That word is confusion.

Liberal or Conservative, Democrat or Republican, Hawk or Dove, most if not all politicians in the civilized world want the terror to stop.  Yet the philosophies and approaches differ tremendously.  Everyone thinks their solution is the correct one. Certainly most give the impression that they do.  But does anyone really have the answer?  Do we need to consider the possibility that in some ways it is just too late to stop this tidal wave of terror engulfing the world.  Some say Europe is already lost. The events of the past few days certainly lends credence to that argument.  Some in America, traditionally those on the left, believe a softer, kinder, less involved approach is the answer.  We don’t know for sure that this approach is the incorrect one, but should it fail, and considering the enemy we are facing a very strong argument could be made that it would, are we willing to accept the bleak future that would follow and be prepared to fight for our way of life and ultimately our lives?   Do we plan a strategy that does nothing other than postpone the inevitable or do we swallow the bitterest of pills and viciously and totally wipe out the enemy without concern for collateral damage?

The multitude of questions with even more answers is the most powerful weapon in the arsenal of the growing number of terrorist organizations across the world.  Earlier this week on CNN I listened to Michael Weiss, author of ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror, as he explained how the terror organization’s specialty is not so much actual combat as it is manipulation and use of social media and its overall strategy in cleverly choosing what targets to hit and how to achieve the greatest bang for their buck.  It would be my personal assertion that other than totally destroying their command centers, nothing would damage ISIS more than a concerted and coordinated worldwide effort against them. Kind of makes you think the best leaders can’t only be the strongest, but must be the wisest as well.

In order to defeat terror, we much first recognize where it exists.  This sounds like it should be easy, but in reality it’s not only become the most difficult thing for the world to agree upon, it is turning into the foundation of the growing crisis.  With the United Nations taking sides against Israel in their fight against terrorists from all sides, American and European leaders willing to accept a deal with Iran, a nation that cultivates and exports terrorism, and a tolerance of hate worldwide, the chances of defeating this growing cancer are diminishing.   It’s not impossible, but without a unified army, be it a military or diplomatic one, we are destined to lose.  If ever the American public had the fate of the world in its hands it would be right now, for the next President of the United States may turn out to be one of, if not the most important person in solving this growing global crisis.

So assuming my assertion that everyone wants it to stop is accurate, the question remains, what do we do to actually achieve this Utopian goal.  It would be nice if for starters a zero tolerance for murder was recognized globally.  There will be instances when even the people we see as enemies may be able to claim self-defense, but why is it so difficult for people to agree that stabbings, mowing people down with cars, blowing up airplanes, setting off bombs in subways and airports are all examples of unquestionable murder.  Why did it take the world till just recently to say that ISIS was guilty of genocide when they have clearly been killing Christians indiscriminately for years.  If we are to defeat terror, it must start with a total agreement from every party involved in the fight that murder is unacceptable, period.  If Arab nations are not willing to recognize that Palestinians that stab Israelis are terrorists, than these nations will not be welcomed into the coalition.  Murder is murder.  If terrorists blow up cars in Baghdad killing dozens or blow up a Russian plane killing hundreds, or burn people alive in Nigeria, why is it more acceptable than a bomb in a European airport or subway?  I understand the poignancy and psychological impact of the Brussels and Paris attacks, but until murder is seen as murder, and the outcry and disgust is just as great when it happens in less chic places, nothing will truly be fixed.

So as a writer, and a person who would love to make a difference, I propose this challenge to the United Nations.  If ever there was a time to step up and truly matter in the world, if ever there was an opportunity to put all the corruption and inadequacies of this failing organization in the rear mirror, the time is now.  Let us learn from history. A precursor to the beginning of World War II was the collapse of an inept League of Nations.  In an era in which a different form of fascism is once again on the rise, the United Nations has an opportunity to wipe away its years of ineptitude on the world stage by truly uniting nations against evil.  But to do this they need to do a few things first.  Keep money from terror groups, even if it means temporarily holding back funds from people who may need it, make resolutions that clearly define and condemn any murder associated with terror groups or political extremism, and stop the biased attacks against Israel.  If the United Nations does this, they might actually stay in tact, make a difference, and help the world in the way in which they were originally designed to do. If not, they will likely fall apart, dissolve, and if history is to tragically repeat itself, be the lead into a full blown World War III.

If this all seems kind of grim it’s because the realities we face are extremely harsh. There is no longer room for misplaced tolerance.  The world needs to find a way to unite against evil and do so very quickly, otherwise all we will do is continue in a downward spiral towards death and destruction.  There is no more room for the kill them with kindness approach.  We are dealing with people who will merely laugh at us before they destroy us, and that means that as citizens we need to hold our leaders accountable and do so now.

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The Climate Change we Need most has nothing to do with the weather

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I’m not cynical about climate change.  Simply put, I believe that I am in the majority when I say I just don’t know enough about science to understand how serious of a danger global warming really is.  I’m somewhat disgusted by how politicized its become, but that’s as much the fault of the citizenry as it is the fault of the politicians. One thing I do know however, based on what actual scientists are saying, is that it is likely not our most immediate danger. Not by a long shot.  That being said, the climate change we do need to address is the political, socioeconomic, and spiritual climate rapidly deteriorating around the globe.

I’m not a racist and I am not a barbarian.  I am a non-violent man raised in a Jewish home by ethical and moral parents.  I don’t like to see people being killed.  I am also the child of Holocaust survivors and somewhat of a student of that era.  That has played a major role in the formation of my views.  It makes it easier for me to recognize when one group of people is terrorizing another.  Is it possible that not all horrific acts committed by a Muslim would be classified as terrorist attacks?  Of course.  But with so many of the worlds leaders getting together to discuss a somewhat dubious threat, that being climate change, how come it is so difficult for the leaders to get together and discuss one that is clear-cut and blatant.

There is still much discussion as to exactly how dangerous and how imminent disaster caused by climate change is.  I will accept the claims by scientists who say it is a threat not to be ignored, but what I won’t accept, and neither should anyone reading this, is the refusal of of our leaders to recognize the serious threat posed by radical Islam. Last night I listened to M Zuhdi Jassar interviewed on Fox News.  This is the type of person that makes a difference.  A Muslim, not afraid to confront the evils in his own religion, Jassar seemed clearly frustrated by the direction things are going. The respect I have for him makes it easy to understand his frustration.  This is a man who is constantly preaching the right thing while getting very little support from the powerful people that matter most, let alone people within his own religion.  Scientifically speaking I have no clue what will happen to the planet if we ignore climate change.  When it comes to the world’s other climate, the climate of mind and soul, if our leaders continue to tip-toe around the problem, the world that leaders are claiming they are trying to protect at the climate change summit will hardly be worth saving.

Two people with Muslim names killed 14 people in a brutal shooting in San Bernadino, California.  This happened a few weeks after ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks in Paris. This happened soon after Muslim terrorists gunned down people in a luxury hotel in Mali. This is happening at a time when the average Israeli is more threatened by terrorist attacks by Muslim terrorists than ever before. This happened at a time when a Jewish man is punched in the face in a book store in the Upper West Side of Manhattan by a man who screams at him ” F— You Jews. I’ll Kill You; I’m a Muslim.”  I am not a guy who says all Muslims are bad.  I am not a guy who preaches discrimination of any kind.  But I am a realist.  This is a problem mostly emanating from the Muslim world. To put the tragedy in San Bernadino only on workplace violence and gun possession is irresponsible and short-sighted.  To be afraid to call it what it is, civilization under siege, is worse than irresponsible, it’s suicide.

As I see it now this ends up one of 3 ways, and only one of them is good.  1)Muslim extremists achieve their goal of world domination; 2)millions of people, many of them Muslims and most of them innocent, get killed in a devastating war; 3)the Muslim world changes from within.  Like any other decent human being I hope the 3rd option happens, but for that to happen world leaders need to get serious, take their hands out of the pockets of the rich and corrupt leaders in the Arab world, and most importantly help the good people in the Muslim world move a different direction.  How about having a summit about that?

Change the climate on the planet first, then worry about the weather.

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The Impact of ISIS on American Politics

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Like it or not, ISIS is influencing the American electorate. It would appear that the horrific terrorists attacks in Paris had an effect on much of the country not felt after any of the many and equally horrific terrorist attacks in Israel. Suddenly the dialogue changed from attacks on “those people over there” to an “attack on us and our way of life”.

Don’t get me wrong.  I believe Americans to be good people.  I am proud to be one. When they do hear about terrorist attacks in Israel, a large percentage are for the most part supportive and compassionate.  But there in lies the first problem.  When an Israeli citizen gets gunned down or stabbed it’s not given the same significant coverage by many of the news outlets. Last week when 18 year old Ezra Schwartz, an American, was killed in a terrorist attack in Israel, CNN still headlining with the search for one of the Paris attackers, listed the other top stories on the bottom left of its website.  The terrorist attack in Israel and Ezra’s death was one story down from Carly Simon’s revelation that Warren Beatty was the subject of her 70’s hit “You’re so Vain”.   Hard to blame the average citizen if as a result many do not even know who Ezra Schwartz is.

Ironically the murder of Ezra, an American citizen would by itself not have done much to influence the average person nor most of the presidential candidates, but since the attacks in Paris national security and the war on terror have now become that issue the candidates clearly deem as the one they are choosing to exploit to get elected.

Forgive me if I seem cynical, but prior to the attacks in Paris the only Republican candidate I heard make mention of Israel in the previous debate was Ted Cruz.  Granted I didn’t watch the entire debate, and I am not saying there aren’t others who clearly support Israel; Mike Huckabee, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump and Jeb Bush clearly have shown a tendency towards friendship towards the Jewish state;  but in this particular debate it was only Ted Cruz who appeared to make a point of the importance of the relationship between the 2 countries. All candidates expressed the importance of stopping ISIS, but since no one in either the Republican or Democratic field is a supporter of terrorism, I would expect nothing less.  What did strike me is that until Paris, no one seemed to be making it clear how important of a fight the fight against ISIS really is. Now all of that has changed.

With the threat of ISIS finally being taken as seriously as it should have been at least a year ago, presidential hopefuls are doing their best to impress the American electorate with their tough words and strategies.  The impact it seems to be having on the American people is when presented with a choice between a more mild-mannered intellectual approach or a loud bombastic aggressive approach, the polls suggest the people prefer the latter.  Henceforth the increasing popularity of Donald Trump.

I actually think the reaction of the people is just another example of what makes the United States of America such a great country.  In previous times when a global power was faced with bad economic times and the threat of an aggressor looking to destroy its country and kill its people, the backlash lead to vicious dictatorships and the murder of countless numbers of innocent people.  In America our backlash is Donald Trump. Might not be my first choice, but in today’s political climate worse things could happen.

The big question is, do any of the candidates on both sides of the political aisle have what it takes to defeat this global threat?  Loud words and exuberant proclamations may get someone elected, but when push comes to shove the actions taken and decisions made by the next president may very well determine the future of the entire civilized world.  With the increased attacks and ongoing threat from ISIS, it would appear that the Islamic State has, willingly or unwillingly, impacted how we choose to shape that future.  Hopefully the choice we make will be in our favor not theirs.

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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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Why I Do Post the French Flag

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A few days after the terrible events in Paris, it becomes more and more apparent 
to me that the difficulties we face are far more complicated and muddled than I 
originally thought.  I was hoping that the bright side of an otherwise tragic and 
overwhelmingly sad day would be an unparalleled unity. While there does seem
to be a tremendous support for the French people throughout the western world, 
I have unfortunately seen somewhat of a schism forming from within my very
own Jewish people.

Not only do I not feel that anyone needs to change their profile picture on 
Facebook to show the silhouette of the French flag, I'm not so arrogant that I feel 
someone who chooses not to do so cares any less than someone who does.  I 
certainly do not think I am a better person that anyone else for doing so.  What 
concerns me is the inability some are having in distinguishing between supporting 
a civilized nation in shock and mourning and supporting Israel and its perpetual 
battle against similar murderous terrorists. 

My website Holland's Heroes began as an online forum in support of my book 
detailing the experiences of my parents during the most devastating time in Jewish
history.  My activism took a greater role in my life after the murder of 3 innocent 
boys in Israel.  I know for a fact that not everyone agrees with me, but my passion 
and love for the Jewish people should not be in question, even if my Facebook 
profile does silhouette with the French flag.

I've often said that the first step in defeating the enemy is identifying the enemy.  
This is where I usually encounter my most significant disagreements.  While some 
put  strong emphasis on what I see as the misguided and frightened, I see the  enemy
we need to focus on as the one that wants to wipe us off the planet or destroy 
our way of life.  The word traitor is thrown about with regularity.  There may be, 
or may not be an entire segment of Jewish society making the wrong choices, 
but unless they are doing so with the intent of hurting Israel and or the Jewish 
people, they are not traitors.  Even if their viewpoints and even actions are 
damaging, something too many people feel they can determine in advance, 
they are not the enemy.

German Jews who believed it could never happen in their country were 
tragically mistaken, but did that make them bad?  Did it cause the Nazi party to 
rise? It did not. Would it have been better had they accepted the awful reality? 
Maybe, maybe not.  We will never know.  What we do know is that the majority 
paid a terrible price.

I often say the phrase Never Again and know how important it is to be aware of 
one's enemy.  This is indeed why I personally chose to change my profile.  
Just as in the days of Hitler, the world faces an enemy with global ambitions.  
Our survival rests far more on battling that enemy than it does on separating 
ourselves from those facing the same enemy, even if those very same people 
have not always been on our side.  The French people and government may 
not be the best friend of Israel and the Jewish people, but it is a civilized 
western society that doesn't want to see us killed.  And I think it's safe to say 
that the majority of the people killed and murdered in these terror attacks 
were people not that much different than we are.  

I go back and forth between a feeling of anger and sadness every time a Jew 
gets murdered by a terrorist.  Sadly for us Jews it's old hat.  That doesn't mean 
there's no room in my heart to feel the same today for people who suffered the 
same fate and just like our fellow Jews, didn't deserve that fate. 

As Jews and as human beings it is my belief that we show a  special side of 
our character if we focus on compassion over criticism and in the process we 
help preserve our collective souls.

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The Root Cause of today’s Terrorism. Thoughts of a friend-A Must Read

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With her permission I am posting this tremendous article written by my friend Alison Fisch Katz.  It assesses the root causes of modern-day terror as well as her thoughts on what needs to be done.  This is truly a MUST READ.

Yesterday’s attack on Paris did not emerge from a groundswell of socio-economic unease by local Muslims. To the contrary, people who migrate in order to better their situation are interested in survival and invest in their contribution to their adopted country. In fact they are usually beacons of the pluralistic ideal. Without losing their ethnic identity, they manage to take on local mores, excel in the education system, and often reach the highest political and cultural echelons of society. This is certainly true of Jewish & Indian Britons, Algerian French, & African Americans. Economic or social unease doesn’t usually lead to terrorism. Terrorism such as that witnessed by Parisians yesterday was indeed orchestrated by 8 members of ISIS who managed to cross the border via Germany together with the swathes of Syrian refugees currently swamping European borders. The war that the continent is now facing must be recognised as ideological in nature, based in a religion that is incompatible with western ideas of individual & democratic freedoms. The radical Islam that ISIS and similar groups espouse seeks to vanquish “infidel” communities from the world. They even say so. You just have to pay attention to their own published charters. Israel has long contended that the EU should not ostracize but rather embrace our efforts in the middle east because we know that the war we battle every day is not in fact territorial but religious. If the Israel/Palestinian conflict were about territory it would have been solved decades ago. Jerusalem itself has been on the negotiation table no less than 3 times, and each time was rejected outright by the Arab side. In kind, had the EU recognised the long term unstabling effects of the tribal war in Syria between the Allawis, Sunnis and Shiites (ISIS are Sunnis) and taken steps to curb it, it is possible that the great migration of this century could have been prevented and they would be far better equipped to deal with the wave of terror that radical Islam has unleashed. But it’s not only nations ISIS wishes to take over. It is also – in fact primarily – western ideas that they seek to uproot. Those ideas are embedded in the great symbols of European history: the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Place de la Republique to name just a few that immediately come to mind. France & Europe needs to either take fierce and unpopular steps to protect its heritage, or gird up the Arc de Triomphe and bury Leonardo’s Mona Lisa in a bunker somewhere until this dark age passes.

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A Night of Catastrophe unfolding in Paris

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As of now it is reported that there are at least 35 dead in 4 different terror attacks around Paris. The attacks have reportedly taken place in a bar, restaurant, concert hall and soccer stadium. There are at least 100 hostages in the concert hall.  Details are still coming in as the situation is still unfolding, but it is already a devastating series of coordinated terror attacks.

Behold a glimpse of what the western world has to look forward to?

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