Tag Archives: Paris

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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Open Letter to Greta Berlin in response to her claim of Mossad responsibility for The Paris Massacre

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Dear Ms. Berlin,

Normally I wouldn’t give someone like you the time of day, but since your insane blubbering has gotten quite a lot of play I find it imperative that I address you.

I’ll get back to the fact that you are delusional later in the letter. First let me paraphrase a great statement I heard someone make this morning on one of the news channels.  “Attacking a group of people you know won’t do you physical harm is false courage.”  The guest commentator was using this as a way of magnifying the courage it took the people at Charlie Hebdo to make satirical comics about Islam.  He used the example of going after Buddha in the United States, stating that if he did so he might make some angry and face criticism, but he would not be putting his life in danger. That doesn’t imply that one is automatically a coward for criticizing a non-violent group, but let’s be real here.  It takes a lot more guts to blame Muslims than it does to blame Jews.

Your fabrications are not ideological, they are not based in any reality, and they are from far brave.  I am proud to write this letter to you and not threaten you.  That is not how us Jews work.  Despite your delusional insane rantings, the Jewish people and the government of Israel are not designers of elaborate schemes to change the world order.  We do not threaten those who disagree with us, ridicule us, or mock us.  But we do speak up with reason and intellect and more often than not we do so with a basis in fact and reality.

There is always some crackpot that uses the suffering of others to propel themselves to the forefront.  You decided to do that yesterday.  You somehow felt that you would take the murder of innocent people and turn it into a tool to spew your nonsense. Congratulations Ms. Berlin.  You are now not only not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.  You are the equivalent to a modern-day Nazi sympathizer and quite frankly an embarrassment to your country and ironically very little help to the people you claim to want to help.  You would help everyone a lot more if you would just be quiet and go away.

Of course unlike those you defend with so much exuberance would do if the situation was reversed, I wish you no physical harm.  I am sure if those you attack felt otherwise, your voice would not be nearly as loud.  All you are doing with your comments is helping those that wish to murder innocent people. Although that is a fact you will just have to live with, I have a feeling you are able to do so with very little problem.

Sincerely,

David Groen

 

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The Increasingly Rapid Destruction of Freedom

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Anyone with any degree of normalcy and decency is of course horrified for the victims and families of the victims of today’s terrorist attack in Paris.   That being said, if people continue to deny the realities of the situation, what happened today will become increasingly more commonplace.

What we are witnessing is an attack on global freedom.  Working in a satirical magazine’s office should not be a dangerous job. However, forces within the Muslim world are choosing to make it one, and to deny that fact is tantamount to folding up the tent and running away.  As a Jew, and specifically as an American Jew, whether I speak up or remain silent I am ultimately in some danger anyway.  But for a citizen of France or any other western country who is not Jewish, their life is now clearly threatened by what they say or do in the name of freedom. Most importantly, this may have happened in Paris, but it was an attack on anyone on the planet who dares to make statements offensive to Muslims.

Earlier today I heard someone on CNN make the comment, and I paraphrase, “Muslims find killing innocent people abhorrent”.  I found it to be an interesting statement and predictably unchallenged on CNN.  Let’s assume his comment to be true. The problem with the statement is, what do radical Muslims consider innocent?  Is someone who commits blasphemy against Islam innocent in their eyes? If not, this commentators comments indirectly and possibly unintentionally justify today’s attack.  The other problem with this statement is very simply put, it is too little too late.

The comparisons between Nazi Germany and radical Muslim are becoming more and more prevalent.  For the most part this is due to the behaviors of those most vicious.  Sadly there needs to be one more comparison made.  Until Germany was not only defeated, but crushed, we did not have the luxury of distinguishing between good Germans and bad ones.  The only distinction was between those Germans fighting against the Nazis and those either staying neutral or participating in their activities.  If Muslims want to avoid Islamophobia and ultimately global catastrophe, they need to stand up against the evil within their midst.  It is no longer enough to assume that we know you don’t support murder.  You need to fight it with the rest of us.  If you do not, there will come a time when you will be victims of the same evil, albeit from the source or from those reacting to the source.

This is of course a much more complicated battle to fight than the battle against Nazi Germany.  After all, that evil was centralized in one country, while this evil has tentacles reaching all over the world.  But it must be fought, because ultimately it looks to encompass all those who cherish freedom and tolerance and subsequently may be the greatest global danger we’ve ever seen. I am certain it has already made many fearful of expressing their views, something that can only be seen as a victory for the enemy.

I know this attack was reportedly committed by only 3 men, but make no mistake, culpability falls on a large percentage of the Muslim world, for it is now no longer enough to meekly say you don’t like it once it has already happened.  The burden now falls on those claiming to cherish peace, to demand and fight for peace. Otherwise those words are hollow shells that do nothing to improve the situation.  Otherwise how do we even know you truly want a peaceful and tolerant world?

Peace, freedom and tolerance have no religion or passport. Those who truly want it, want it for everyone and will stand up to their own in order to make it happen.  We no longer have the luxury of assuming those who claim to want this freedom actually do if they do nothing to help make it happen.  Just as we couldn’t hope the quiet Germans didn’t support Adolph Hitler.  Had we assumed otherwise, freedom would have been destroyed many years ago.  Let’s not allow it to be destroyed today.

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I only Hate Muslims when they Hate me

Pro Palestinian protester burns an Israeli flag during banned demonstration in support of Gaza in central ParisWhy is it not being called what it is?  Why the pretense that this is something far less specific than it is?  Why are people not identifying those responsible?  Over the past few months we’ve been hearing a lot about the increase of anti-Semitism in Europe and the United States. Although it’s been far worse recently, the rise in anti-Jewish sentiment is hardly a new development, particularly in some notable parts of Europe.  Cities like Paris, Antwerp, and Malmo, Sweden have been notorious for increasing incidents of vandalism and violence against Jews for quite some time now.  If you hear the reports, it clearly sounds like the Jewish people are becoming increasingly unwelcome in the European community.  There’s a catch though.  It’s not the overall European community primarily guilty of this expression of hatred. From all accounts most of the hatred is coming from within the Muslim community.

A few weeks ago I wrote an article in which I renounced my status as a Liberal.(CLICK TO READ) This issue is one of the reasons I’ve done so.  I have friends and acquaintances that still do call themselves liberal who are not squeamish when it comes to identifying the root source of the danger to the Jewish people, but there are many within the liberal community who would turn around and call this article the epitome of Islamophobia.  Those are the ones  I know longer align myself with.  Call it what you like, but it’s no phobia.  A phobia is something irrational.  I don’t hate a person because they’re Muslim.  But I do hate a person who hates me, those like me, and anyone else who doesn’t think like them.    That’s not irrational, that’s logical.  Interactions I’ve had in the past with Muslims who wanted an equal relationship have proven that I indeed do not have some automatic dislike because of what religion they were born into. That goes against everything I believe in.  But that also doesn’t prevent me from identifying the sad truth, and that is that an overwhelming percentage of anti-Jewish sentiment in the world today comes from within the Muslim population.

Although the BDS  Movement has non-Muslim followers and participants due to its excellent and cynical marketing, it’s a group formed by a Palestinian. Anti-Jewish demonstrations and violence against Jews in Paris consist primarily of Algerian Muslims.  Anti-Jewish behavior in Holland comes primarily from Moroccan Muslims.  One third of the population of Malmo is Muslim.  Is it a coincidence this small and once cute city in Sweden that I visited with my parents and sister in 1976 is a powder keg of anti-Semitism?

Although there is an element within the so-called liberal elite behind some of the anti-Israel activities on college campuses in the U.S., I have no doubt you would find that at the very least a significant number of those active against Israel in these institutes of higher learning are Muslim.

Here’s the point people conveniently miss.  No one is happy about this.  We want to hear the Muslims within these cities and institutions take a stand against hatred. But where are they?  Where is their voice?  These people would be my friends. They would be my partners in moving towards a better world, and in return it would be easy and enjoyable for me to respect and support them in whatever life they might choose to live, be it Muslim or something else.  But that element within the Muslim community is silent, most likely out of fear, and therefore missing the opportunity to alter the perception that all Muslims feel that way.  You see, if I was guilty of Islamophobia, I might say all Muslims feel this way.  But I don’t.  At the same time I am not willing to deny the basic truth, and that is that if you took the Muslims out of the equation, we most likely wouldn’t even be talking about anti-Semitism today.

It’s time we accepted the truth.  It will catch up with us whether we do or not. The funny thing about reality is that it doesn’t go away just because you ignore it.  If anything, when the reality is that one large group of people is out to get you, if you ignore it, it only gets worse.

 

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