Tag Archives: Spanish

If anti-Semitism in Europe is the appetizer, wait till you see the main course.

249Anyone who knows even a little history knows that this is not Europe’s first go at anti-Jewish sentiment and actions.  However, this time around there are some significant differences, differences that could lead to the end of Europe as we now know it.

Traditionally anti-Semitism in Europe was government sanctioned.  The Spanish inquisition, Russian pogroms, Nazi Germany, Stalin’s U.S.S.R., all consisted of horrors and destruction for the Jews that were carried out by the ruling parties of each of these regimes.  In each one of these examples Jews were being eliminated because they were fraudulently declared a threat to the environment being created and were therefore, for all intents and purposes, illegal and harmful residents.  Today however, regardless of whether you call any particular nation in Europe a friend of the Jews or not, the anti-Semitism being generated comes more from mobs than governments.  At least for now.

These mobs are primarily organized and dominated by the Muslim communities of various countries.  Nothing represents the advancement of the Muslim cause in Europe more than France, where the mobs have turned so hateful and violent, Jews are starting to pick up and leave.  The behavior of these mobs is the precursor to what will ultimately be a much bigger issue in Europe, a radical new demographic.  That’s a technical way of saying an Islamic takeover.

I do not make this statement to be racist.  I would love to see a world where we all can live together in peace.  I know there are good and bad people in all races and religions, and yes, I have met many good Muslims.  But I also know, that only one group has leaders in their midst declaring a desire for world domination, a term not connected to such a significant threat since the days of Adolph Hitler.  Ironic that the Jews are being called Nazis, isn’t it?  I understand the Muslim fanatics drawing the comparison because it gets the people going and helps their cause.  Although they should know, that even though Hitler may have killed the Jews first, in a Europe such as the one we see today, if a Hitler-type rises to power, the Muslims would at worst be second.

The stupidity in all of this however is with the non-Muslims in Europe who are taking the side against Israel and the Jews.  I am not referring to decent people who are saddened by the events taking place in Gaza.  I am referring to those who are falling for the propaganda machine being used against Israel and the Jews, a machine getting a trial run before it takes on its much bigger target, anyone not Muslim.  Those who feel these mobs will stop at the Jews is not only not paying attention to what is happening, they are not being honest about its source.  If these mobs care so much about dead children, where have they been till now?  Ask them how many children have been murdered in Syria? Or better yet, tell them.  Over 9,000.  Let me repeat that.  Over 9,000 children have been killed in Syria. Where are the mobs protesting that?  Where are the signs equating the Syrian flag with the Swastika?  Then there is Mosul, a city of 1.8 million.  Interesting number.  Why?  Because Gaza has 1.8 million residents. But here is the difference.  150,000 Christians were recently attempting to flee because if they did not they would be slaughtered or forced to convert like those Christians that did not leave.  I am sure there are thousands of children in that number as well, but unlike Gaza, where the Israeli government actually wants people to see the truth, Mosul is unreachable by the press.  This allows ISIS to run rampant murdering and destroying anyone and anything they feel doesn’t help towards their goal of an Islamic Caliphate.  Where are the mobs protesting this?  Where are the signs comparing ISIS to Nazis?  Nowhere.

My point is that for these mobs it is not about the concern for the well-being of children, it is either about pushing their agenda or voicing their hatred for Jews.  When the time comes that governments need to fight against evil entities such as ISIS in Iraq or Boko Haram in Nigeria, or a nuclear Iran, just to keep Europe and the rest of the civilized world safe, the mobs will form all over again, and just like they are doing now, will pretend it is about dead babies.

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Open Letter in response to Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz

262333343 (1)Dear Mr. Bardem and Ms. Cruz,

I will write this on the assumption that your letter was constructed from a genuine disdain for the murder of innocents.  We have that in common.  I too hate to see innocent people killed.  It is the worst thing to happen in this world on a daily basis and if it were to stop the world would indeed be a better place. The issue that can not be ignored however is who is responsible for the murder of innocents and what is its root cause.

The term Genocide is being thrown around a lot these days.  I too see Genocides happening.  The ones I see happening are in Iraq and Nigeria. The definition of genocide is the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation.  ISIS in Iraq and Boko Haram in Nigeria have made it very clear that  they are targeting Christians who have 2, sometimes 3 choices.  Convert or be killed are always on the table, while leave and go somewhere else are only occasionally on the table.  Even if one would accuse Israel of conducting this war incorrectly, a point I will address later in this letter, they would have a very difficult time proving that an actual genocide is being committed.  Unless of course one chooses to listen to the Hamas version of the story only, in which case Israel is doing everything wrong and Hamas is doing everything right.

I recently was concerned that the problem we have in dealing with this situation is that we are trying to use reason with the unreasonable.  I read your letter and it certainly comes across as having been written by a reasonable person, but then I see a very narrow argument being given and I naturally question the motives and logic behind your arguments.  Imagine Spain was being threatened by a strip of land attached to it, that strip of land was being supported by an enemy nation sworn to Spain’s destruction, and that same strip was being governed by a group of people who in its charter declared it wanted all the Spanish out of Spain.  What would you do?  If the territory bordered water, and that waterway had access to the hostile nation, would you not stop shipments to that territory?  If missiles were being fired at Spain from that strip of land would you not fight back, no matter how much stronger you may be?  And if you were to fight back, would you, as the humanitarians that you are,  feel responsible for the deaths of innocents placed in the location of the missile launchers?

It is a tragic situation.  We agree on that?  But the bigger tragedy may be how the people causing this tragedy are duping reasonable people, such as yourselves into believing their lies.  Israel has accepted almost every cease-fire offer made.  Hamas has mainly refused all but one.  If you are to make the argument that Israel is wrong for the deaths of the innocents despite the fact that Hamas puts the innocents in the line of fire, how can you justify not criticizing Hamas for rejecting the cease-fire?  You want to see the death stop.  So do we.  Ask yourself a question.  Look into your heart and be honest.  Do you truly believe that Hamas wants the death to stop?  If you truly are reasonable and honest you will come up with the correct answer.  If not, your opinion may be tainted by something you are not revealing in your letter, in which case there is no point in debating this with you.  If however you are sincere, I believe you will see the truth.

Sincerely,

David Groen

 

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Europe 1940 to Euro 2012

Whenever possible, Holland’s Heroes attempts to take current events and link it to the story in Jew Face.  Sometimes it is an obvious connection, sometimes it is a stretch requiring imagination, and occasionally it is a connection that in its insignificance is mildly entertaining and sometimes even funny or ironic.  This particular post falls into that last category.

Over the next 5 days the champion for Euro 2012 International Football(soccer) tournament will be crowned.  The semifinal matches are as follows.  Today, Spain against Portugal.  Tomorrow, Germany against Italy.

The book Jew Face is the story of my parents Nardus and Sipora Groen, primarily surrounding the events taking place between 1940-1945.  My mother’s maiden name was Rodrigues-Lopes.  A Dutch Jew from Spanish-Portuguese descent, my mother spent 5 years either hiding or running from the Nazi killing machine with the help of my father Nardus Groen.  This book chronicles the events that took place as they lived through the time when Germany occupied Holland.  One of Germany’s allies during World War II; Italy.

I think the irony is obvious.  The not so obvious question, seeing as these countries are very different countries today is, who would I like to see win this thing.  I will keep that answer to myself.  At least for today.


Definitions of anti-Semitism

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even though Semites were originally more than just Jews, the term anti-Semite is now one reserved just for the hatred of the Jewish people.  With this in mind I decided to take a look at different definitions of the term in order to see how it is perceived  and to help people honestly identify it when exposed to it.  The definition in the Urban Dictionary, in my opinion at least, covers the most ground, including the connection to the anti-Israel sentiment.

 

Wikipedia

Antisemitism (also spelled anti-semitism or anti-Semitism) is suspicion of, hatred toward, or discrimination against Jews for reasons connected to their Jewish heritage. In a 2005 U.S. governmental report, antisemitism is defined as “hatred toward Jews—individually and as a group—that can be attributed to the Jewish religion and/or ethnicity.”[1] A person who holds such views is called an “antisemite”. Antisemitism may be manifested in many ways, ranging from expressions of hatred of or discrimination against individual Jews to organized violent attacks by mobs, state police, or even military attacks on entire Jewish communities. Extreme instances of persecution include the pogroms which preceded the First Crusade in 1096, the expulsion from England in 1290, the massacres of Spanish Jews in 1391, the persecutions of the Spanish Inquisition, theexpulsion from Spain in 1492, the expulsion from Portugal in 1497, various Russianpogroms, the Dreyfus Affair, and the Final Solution by Hitler’s Germany and official Sovietanti-Jewish policies.

While the term’s etymology might suggest that antisemitism is directed against all Semitic peoples, the term was coined in the late 19th century in Germany as a more scientific-sounding term for Judenhass (“Jew-hatred”),[2] and that has been its normal use since then.

 

Merriam-Webster

Definition of ANTI-SEMITISM

Dictionary.com

an·ti-Sem·i·tism   [an-tee-sem-i-tiz-uhm, an-tahy-] Show IPA       noun

Urban Dictionary
1. Anti-Semite 428 up, 143 down
 
2. Anti-Semite 425 up, 148 down
 
3. Anti-Semite 350 up, 121 down
 
• An Anti- Semite may make mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective – such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions. 
• An Anti-Semite may accuse Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non­Jews. 
• An Anti-Semite may deny the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust). 
•An Anti-Semite may accuse the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust. 
•An Anti-Semite may accuse Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations. 
•An Anti-Semite may use the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis. 
•An Anti-Semite may hold Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.

Jew Face: An excerpt connecting then and now

What has always been the most remarkable thing about the book Jew Face, in my opinion at least, has nothing to do with how the book was written.  The most remarkable thing has always been that the story is true.   As a writer, I could ask for no greater gift than to have at my disposal a story that is so rich with almost every human emotion imaginable, and of a subject matter not only important in history, but in this particular instance,  inspiring and hopeful.  Whenever possible in this blog I will try to draw the story to a real connection, be it through the date or through people involved in the book and the people close to them.  The following excerpt involves the story of Sam Abram and his sister Nettie.  Sam was a very close friend of my father, and his daughter Chelly recently had her birthday and on Monday will commemorate, according to the Jewish calendar, the anniversary of her father’s passing 14 years ago.   With her permission I am making this mention and posting this excerpt from the book Jew Face.

Saving Nettie

 As the Germans were to come in on various occasions and raid neighborhoods, the Jewish community in Amsterdam became smaller and more dispersed. Those either not willing to accept the evidence or whose innate courage prevented them from leaving their home would ultimately find themselves shipped off to what we now know would ultimately be their cruel treatment in concentration camps, and in most cases, death.

 Throughout 1941, Seys-Innquart, Aus der Funten, and his other henchmen were in the process of determining a location to use as a deportation center for the Jews of Holland. The two most logical places were the Esnoga, the Great Spanish-Portuguese Synagogue, and the Hollandse Schouwburg, the great concert hall of Amsterdam. After reviewing it carefully, the Nazis felt that the Schouwburg was the more logical choice. Because of the large amount of Jewish patronage over the years, the proximity to the Jewish ghetto, and the purpose in which it was now going to be used, the Nazis changed its name to the Joodse Schouwburg and prepared it for use as a deportation center.

 The plan had in many ways already been put into action. The concentration camps of Westerbork and Vugt were set up in the north and south, respectively, and beginning in January of 1942, after mass roundups, Jews were no longer allowed to live anywhere in the Netherlands but Amsterdam or the two camps. When arriving in Amsterdam, these people would either live in the homes of others or would reside in public institutions such as schools or hospitals.

 The Schouwburg had been set up and was used for Straf Gevaals (“S Cases”) and for whatever group of random Jews the Nazis chose to keep there until deportation.

 Meanwhile, the death camps of Auschwitz and Sobibor were close to operating at full capacity. The Germans were taking the process of eliminating the Jewish population of Europe to a new level. Once they reached that stage, in July of 1942, the system in which they handled the Jews of Holland was cut and dry. Homes and institutions were raided, and if not emptied out in full, they were left devastated and in shambles. Most of the people picked up in these raids were brought to Westerbork, where they would stay for a short while, days at most, before being transported to the death camps. Those not sent to Westerbork went through Vugt. The majority of the remaining was first processed in the Schouwburg and then went through the same pattern of Auschwitz or Sobibor via Westerbork.

 Even before the mass deportations of July of 1942, the Grune Polizei (“Green Police”), the Nazi police force patrolling Amsterdam, would make regular raids and roundups in Jewish neighborhoods. Many of the Jews who had an understanding of what was taking place went into hiding before they were forced to leave their homes. For many, this was the reason they survived, although, as was the case with everyone who hid, some were more fortunate than others.

 The situation in Amsterdam was worsening from week to week. Thousands of people had already been taken from their homes, and it was becoming more and more clear that this was going to get a lot worse before it got better.

 Most of the people being seized from their homes at this point were individuals. Families and couples appeared to be spared for a large part, but it was a tenuous situation at best, and the future had a very ominous feel to it.

 One day early in 1942, Nardus was approached by one of his good friends, Sam Abram. Sam lived close to Nardus, and they had attended Yeshiva together, frequented the same gatherings, and knew and liked each other very much. Sam had a younger sister, Nettie, and he was concerned that this young, attractive, single woman would be in danger of being sent to one of the camps. And his fears were justified. Many of the women in the neighborhood had disappeared, and with the incidents of brutality leaking out, no one wanted to spend too much time imagining what this meant. They just knew that is wasn’t good. So Sam asked Nardus if he had a way to help Nettie stay out of the camps and remain in Amsterdam.

 There was really only one way Nardus could help her: He had toMore