Tag Archives: Pink Floyd

How being the son of Holocaust survivors made me who I am

Yom HaShoah

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we approach Yom HaShoah and remember the 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis, I can’t help but think about how being the son of 2 survivors helped make me into the person I am today.

In comparison to so many, I am a very lucky man.  I enjoyed having both my parents around till I was 45 when my 87 year old father passed away almost 8 years ago, and still have the blessing of a wonderful relationship with my remarkable 93 year old mother. Although they experienced their own brand of hell between 1940-1945 in Holland, they were fortunate enough that it did not reach a level that prevented them from moving forward and enjoying their life after the war.  Even with that said, the experiences of my parents made them who they are, which subsequently made me who I am, both for good and for bad.  But more significantly as I write this today, a day in which we remember those who did not survive, the deep emotions transferred to me and my siblings impacted every one of us.

Even when I was more moderate than I am today, I’ve never had tolerance for anything that resembled a lack of respect for Jewish life.  Of course as a normal human being I value all life, but I am always on the alert for any indication that the Jewish people are being attacked.  I won’t listen to Pink Floyd or Bryan Adams anymore.  I don’t like Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs merely because he once did the quenelle, a modern-day reverse Nazi salute in France, in a picture with a well-known anti-Semite even though he insisted he didn’t mean it to be anti-Semitic, and I almost got into a fight with someone at work who did the Nazi salute because he thought he was being funny.  He said he didn’t realize what it meant till his girlfriend told him later in the day.  That didn’t stop me from standing in his face and saying “never do that S#%#%t in front of me again.”

Don’t get me wrong.  I make no claims to be a tough guy, but my Dad of Blessed Memory was as tough as anyone, and my mother is one of the strongest people I’ve ever known.  I was raised by strong people who brought me up to be proud to be Jewish, and most relevant in this discussion, they always honored the 6 million.  As long as I can remember and as long as I was able to have a conversation I always knew about the 6 million Jews murdered by Adolph Hitler and Nazi Germany.  And I have always tried my personal best to honor them.

Never Again, a phrase that often stems from or leads to political discussion may be 2 of the most important words in my life, as I am sure it is to many reading this as well.  However today is not about politics, it is about remembrance and honor. Something I learned from my parents, and thank them for from the bottom of my heart, for in the process they made me a better person, one that often stops and realizes the Jewish souls once sacrificed, and the importance of never forgetting them.

 

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Palestinian Flag on a New York Bridge

ustazmichael-3

A little less than a month after 2 American flags were replaced with white flags on the Brooklyn Bridge, a Palestinian flag with the words Boycott Divestment Sanctions was unfurled on the Manhattan Bridge.  For those who do not know,the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) Movement, is the movement set up by Palestinian Omar Barghouti, ironically a former student of Tel-Aviv University, to conduct economic warfare against the State of Israel.  One of the most high-profile and outspoken members of the BDS Movement is Pink Floyd front man Roger Waters.

I hope this most recent turn of events will be taken seriously by New York City Mayor Bill de Blassio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, not only because it is the same breach in security that occurred one month ago, but also because of the hostile message behind the BDS Movement towards not only Israel, but Jews worldwide.

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Matinee Idol Worship

cloonThis post is a follow-up to my open letter to George Clooney.  I’ve probably received more comments on this post than any other till now, possibly with the exception of my Lionel Messi post during the World Cup.  It is fair to say that even though the greater percentage of the comments have been positive, this post has received more negative commentary than any I have ever written.   And I find that quite fascinating.

First of all, I stand by the letter 100%.  I believe it is justified to ask his views under the circumstances and even more justified to apply pressure when Jews are being unfairly targeted.  What fascinates me is how this letter struck a nerve with so many people.  There are those who may have disapproved because they felt the letter useless or disagreed with my tactics.  I can respect that even if I don’t agree with that.  But I believe that some who disapproved did so because I crossed the line.  I attacked a movie star,  and movie stars are meant to be honored, even worshipped.  Each individual knows the truth about what makes them feel as they do, but some comments show that in attacking a matinée idol, I just went too far.

My response to that is as follows.  I’ve been a fan of certain musicians and actors my entire life, but I will never allow my appreciation for their talents cloud my judgment.  If they take stances that are bigoted, show bias against Israel and the Jewish people, or a disdain for the good people of the world, I will stop being a fan quicker than Hamas breaks a cease-fire.  Sadly I can prove it.   One of my favorite rock bands used to be Pink Floyd, and till a short while ago one of my favorite actors was Gary Oldman.  The following links show you how my feelings change when you slander my people.

CLICK HERE TO READ MY RESPONSE TO ROGER WATERS OPEN LETTER

CLICK HERE TO READ MY COMMENTS ON GARY OLDMAN

The point is simple.  Yes I am a fan of many musicians and actors, but before that I am a Jew, a Zionist, an American, and a human-being.  What I am not, is a matinee idol worshipper.

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Another Schmuck Bites the Dust

Gary_Oldman_at_the_London_premiere_of_Tinker_Tailor_Soldier_Spy_(4)I remember when I once called Pink Floyd one of my favorite rock bands. Thanks to being partially made up of hypocritical anti-Semites Roger Waters and Nick Mason I no longer have a desire to even listen to their music.  Having for many years called my two favorite actors Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman, I can now say it’s down to one.  Goodbye Gary Oldman, you moronic, anti-Semitic, homophobic, misogynist blowhard.  Turns out you’re closer to being the class of person you were in the Professional to the class of person you were in Batman.  You not only defended Mel Gibson, you actually came close to out doing him with your classless ranting.  CLICK HERE FOR TIMES OF ISRAEL ARTICLE.  And oh yeah.    Thanks for making the upcoming Dawn of the Planet of the Apes movie less enjoyable.  Even though from the previews I have the feeling it doesn’t work out well for your character.


A Genuine Man of Decency

tony-orlando

Hey Roger Waters, you no good piece of hypocritical garbage, where’s your voice of humanity now?  By showing the world that only people who aren’t Jewish matter, you reveal your true intentions.  This is what a genuine humanitarian does.  Growing up I never thought I’d like Tony Orlando and Dawn more than Pink Floyd, but that is where I am at now.  Thank you Tony Orlando for making a stand that shows those who will listen that Jewish life matters too.

http://jpupdates.com/2014/06/17/u-s-pop-star-tony-orlando-urges-americans-demonstrate-support-kidnapped-boys-video/tony-orlando/


The Color Blue & White

The other day I was having a conversation with a relative about the concept of anti-Zionism and how it relates to anti-Semitism.    I hold the position that they are one in the same, while my relative felt that although anti-Zionism often is modern-day institutionalized anti-Semitism, it is not always the case.  This whole conversation began when I mentioned how I had just heard of Pink Floyd boycotting Israel and how it had impacted my life knowing that a band I had once considered one of my favorites had no gone to the increasing pile of celebrities I had no use for based on them being anti-Semitic.  The argument was presented, by others on the table as well, that there are plenty of Israelis who are opposed to the government, and they of course are not anti-Semites.    So I spent some time thinking about this, considered their argument, and came to this conclusion.  They’re wrong.

First of all, opposition to the current government or any government in Israel is not anti-Zionism.  Although I don’t always appreciate the way people oppose a sitting President or government policies in the United States, I don’t accuse someone of being anti-American or unpatriotic when doing so.  The foundation of all modern civilized countries is freedom.  Freedom does not mean always liking what your leaders do and it does not mean you need to be quiet about how you feel.  So opposition to government policy is not anti-Zionism.  Anti-Zionism is at best a misrepresentation of Israeli policy in order to smear Israel’s image, and at worst a refusal to recognize the rights of the Jewish people to have their own state.  The latter is the key to my argument.  Israel was formed, and still is a Jewish state.  It is a state that allows other religions to live freely, despite the claims of the likes of Roger Waters and most recently Alice Walker, and it is a country that does not sponsor, support, or fund terrorist organizations.  Israel is a democracy.  Not the kind where the military will limit the results of power provided by the people in an election, and not the kind that elects fundamentally racist, bigoted and violent governments.  It is the kind of democracy where people can live freely and with basic human rights.

The Palestinians in the West Bank were not even wanted by King Hussein’s Jordan in 1967, so when Israel captured the territory where they resided after the 6 Day War, the conditions of the people living there actually improved.  Yasser Arafat plundered the funds of the Palestinians and took much of what was earmarked for their betterment and built his own little financial empire which consisted of among other things hotels in places like the Swiss Alps.  An argument can be made that he did more to harm the Palestinians than any Israeli government ever could.

So when people proudly stand up and declare themselves anti-Israel or anti-Zionist, I hear the words Final Solution all over again.  You want to criticize the government or its leadership, go ahead.  But if you are going to oppose its very core I am going to call you what you are, a hater of Jews, also known as an anti-Semite.