Tag Archives: Prime Minister

Never Defend the Indefensible

World Leaders Gather In New York For Annual United Nations General Assembly

I have spent the past year, over the course of the US Presidential election cycle speaking out against the concept of what many might call the concept of defending the indefensible.  I take pride in being anything but a hypocrite.  So much so that I sometimes have views that are not in line with where I appear to stand politically. Therefore I can no longer keep silent regarding the current administration’s recent stance regarding Israel and the United Nations condemnation of the only true democracy in the Middle East.

This piece is not about Donald Trump, so I will only refer to him this one time, merely to make a point.  Those who have read my work over the past year or so are fully aware that I did not support him.  I found it bizarre and a bit scary when his supporters defended words and behavior many of us saw as indefensible. I can not be sure of what kind of person he actually is, but as president, to be blunt, I just don’t like him.  That being said, when I speak of dislike, my feeling towards the United Nations is on a different level.  So as I sit here and realize that my president, a man I voted for, has chosen as one of his last acts as leader of the free world to align himself with this bastion of corruption, I find myself in the position where I can not and will not defend the indefensible on a level far greater than any over the past year.

Ironically the issue, at least in my opinion, is not so much in the details.  There are many people in Israel who are opposed to the settlements.  There are also many people who believe the only real solution to the conflict is a two state solution.  But that’s not the issue. What is more significant here is the condemnation by the United Nations and the lack of loyalty and support the United States has shown to Israel in not only not obstructing this condemnation, but very possibly being a driving force behind it.  The United Nations has made a very lucrative business out of criticizing and condemning the Jewish State.  While nations have murdered and tortured their citizens, while terrorist groups have begun to form in various parts of the Middle East, and nations like Iran have called for the death and destruction of Israel and the United States, the United Nations has encouraged and arguably promoted the idea that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians.  For any United States government to do anything other than oppose this, truly falls in the category of indefensible.

Just as a lie of omission is  still a lie, an abstention by the United States at a United Nations vote of this significance is the same as a show of support for the vote.  I truly believe Israel will get through this, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that it is a clear act of disloyalty towards an important friend, and if it is personal and based on the relationship between President Obama  and Prime Minister Netanyahu, it is far worse than that. It interferes in Israeli politics in a manner not too dissimilar from a foreign government hacking America’s political parties and possibly influencing the election.  It tells the Israeli people, I don’t like the person you elected through your democratic process and subsequently as a result I am turning my back on you as I walk out the door.

This is not about being a Liberal or Conservative.  Alan Dershowitz, a man as liberal as anyone in the public forum has spoken out against this without any filter, and clearly feels the same sense of betrayal so many of us do at this time.  This is about how to treat a friend and knowing and acknowledging the difference between right and wrong.  Israel is a nation of equality.  A nation where people of all religions, races, nationalities and orientations have the opportunity to live in peace.  If an outgoing president and an international body decide to end the year attacking Israel instead of going after the real manifestations of evil in the world, this becomes nothing other than a vendetta, be it political, racial, or as many believe in this case, personal.  Regardless of the motivation it is an act that is truly indefensible.







Open Letter of Appreciation to Benjamin Netanyahu

gif-leaders-netanyahuDear Mr. Netanyahu,

I am certain as I write this letter there will be at least one moment when tears will come to my eyes.  The things I want to say to you are so heartfelt and I believe shared by so many other Jewish people like myself, that I have no doubt I will have moments of intense emotion while saying them.

I wish to start with two very simple words.  Thank you.  I am the son of Holocaust survivors from Holland and my entire life I have understood the importance of the State of Israel, not only in Biblical terms, but in its role as a national guardian and protector of the Jewish people. Everything you do, each word you so carefully speak, and every life you so clearly cherish does honor to the memory of the 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis.  As I sit here in New York, I feel safer as a Jew knowing you are working as hard as one can work, and with as much competence as one individual can have, towards keeping Jews all over the word safe from today’s version of the Nazis.

I do not have the honor of knowing you personally, but as a Jew listening to you speak of your desire to bring peace and quiet to the people of Israel, and the importance you have always shown for Jewish life, you almost feel like family to me.  It is natural and often justified for us to question the sincerity of politicians, but when you show anger or concern over harm done or threats made to the Jewish people, I never have the slightest doubt it is sincere.

I know you have critics.  You are the Prime Minister of a country where people are allowed to disagree with you.  I have no issue with those people because it is part of what makes Israel a great country.  However, what it does do is give me an even better understanding of how difficult your job is.  That coupled with pressure from the U.S. government and a world often working against you, the challenges you face on a regular basis are not to be envied.  Yet through all of these issues you conduct yourself with a graceful and strong leadership we so desperately need to have not only in Israel but throughout the world today.

Mr. Netanyahu, you are a true leader of the Jewish people.  You make so many of us feel safer during what is emerging as another dark time in our history. My mother who is 92 and lived in Holland during the Nazi occupation has told me this reminds her of 1938.  I challenge her on that statement saying that today is different because we have the State of Israel.  I would add that today is also different because of one other reason.  We have Benjamin Netanyahu.

In case you’re wondering, my first tears started way back in the beginning when I said Thank You the first time, something none of us can do often enough.

May God continue to provide you with the strength, wisdom and courage you need to see our people through these troubled times.

With fondest regards,

David Groen




Follow Holland’s Heroes on Twitter @hollandsheroes

From Netanyahu to Netanyahu, there is none like Netanyahu

gif-leaders-netanyahuWhen speaking of the greatness of Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, otherwise known as Maimonides, it is often said, “from Moses to Moses, there was none like Moses.”  This of course speaks to the importance and greatness of Moses in the Bible, the prophet that lead the Children of Israel out of slavery in Egypt, and generations later the great impact Maimonides had in his and future generations as a Rabbi, philosopher and physician.

In June of 1976 the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine hijacked an Air France plane en route to Paris from Tel-Aviv and forced it to land in Entebbe, Uganda.  With the support of the Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, the hijackers took hostages, separating the Jewish passengers from the non-Jewish passengers and held the Jewish passengers hostage at Entebbe Airport. A group of 100 commandos, lead by Yonatan Netanyahu freed every single hostage on July 4, 1976, going down in history as one of the most amazing rescue missions of all time.  Sadly, Netanyahu, was killed during the mission.  He will always be remembered fondly as a great hero.

38 years later, Yonatan Netanyahu’s brother Benjamin is Prime Minister of the State of Israel during one of its most challenging times.  As is the case with any high-profile leader, Benjamin Netanyahu has his critics on both sides of the spectrum.  There are those who feel he is too compromising, accusing him of not having the willingness or stomach to do what needs to be done to eliminate Israel’s threats regardless of collateral damage or civilian casualties. The other critics go as far as saying he is a war criminal, guilty of leading a genocide against the Palestinian people.

I personally think he is a great man, one whose performance in the wake of tremendous pressure both internally and externally has been nothing short of exemplary.  His priority has been the safety and future security of the citizens of Israel.  He has shown respect for world opinion by publicly clarifying and explaining Israel’s actions, something expected from no other country, possibly with the exception of the United States.  He has displayed a calm leadership during chaotic times.  He has shown strength, reason, intelligence, and the quality he is given the least credit for, compassion.  I believe we are very lucky to have him.

From Netanyahu to Netanyahu, there is none like Netanyahu.


Follow Holland’s Heroes on Twitter @hollandsheroes

The Egypt Factor

ancient-egypt-pyramids-wallpaperA few weeks back I started writing a piece titled: ” Does civilization’s future rest in its cradle?”  This title was based on the theory that the best hope at stopping the growth of Islamic fanaticism would possibly be Egypt’s ability to reassert itself in the region and use power and influence to mobilize forces against Islamic extremism.  I never finished that article and changed the title because there are a lot more factors to consider.

Egypt’s involvement in cease-fire talks between Israel and Hamas is certainly a good thing.  It represents a legitimate desire for peace and stability in the region, something Egypt has learned the benefit of over the years.  Also, as opposed to when the Muslim Brotherhood was sitting in power in Cairo, this is a government not aligned with Hamas and one that is just as opposed to lifting the critical Naval blockade of Gaza as Israel is, at least as long as Hamas is in power.  Egypt’s current government, which seems to represent a large portion of its population, is very strongly opposed to the Islamic extremism sweeping across parts of the region.  Together with Israel, the nation most threatened by the extremists, Egypt is determined to see a more moderate Middle East.

The concern here is the potential power this gives Egypt, specifically over Israel.  The Israeli government finds itself in a situation in which it must be aware of Egypt’s standing in the region and on the global stage.  Prime Minister Netanyahu will of course continue to make decisions that first and foremost address Israel’s best interests and security, but he is also aware that a strong and credible Egypt not only helps Israel, but contributes to the stability of the entire region. If presented with a questionable proposal, but one that allows Egypt to broker a peace deal, Israel may find itself between a rock and a hard place.  On one side any deal that represents compromise may hurt Israel, but on the other hand undermining Egypt’s attempt to assert itself will hurt Israel, not only in the short-term but in the long-term as well.  It’s a very delicate diplomatic situation and one to be watched closely.


Follow Holland’s Heroes on Twitter @hollandsheroes


UrgentNaturally I like when my posts gets shared.  Some of it is ego but a lot of it is that I believe in what I am doing.  Be that as it may I almost never ask people to share my posts.  This is different.  I am not only asking, I am encouraging, practically pleading for ALL of you to share this post.  I believe it is that important.  To those in Hollywood who have been quiet, I choose not to berate you, but to all those with the means to do so I implore you to do the following.  Charter as many jets as necessary to get the Israelis stuck in Turkey out of that country.  There are at least 4,000, maybe as many as 10,000.  The Turkish government led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made its disdain for Israel so clear and been so vocal that these people are in what is at best an uncomfortable situation, at worst a very dangerous one.  Turkey extended the flight ban for EL AL flights to Israel till July 31.  To those of you with the means like Steven Spielberg, Rob Reiner, Billy Crystal, etc., I implore you, beg you, charter jets and fly them out of here.  I am not asking for your vocal support, I am asking for serious and real action.  Fly these Jews home.   Everyone share this.  Make this so big that they do see this. Let’s use our social media platform to really help!