Tag Archives: State of Israel

Palestinian Flag on a New York Bridge

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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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Remembering the Rally cry of my youth: Torah v’Avodah

Bnei_akiva_logoTo all those out there who have either been members of, or been exposed to the Jewish youth group B’nei Akiva, the title of this post will immediately strike you with what will most likely be a fond and warm recognition. Although the practice of my faith has a lot to be desired, the rallying cry of Torah v’Avodah seems more important to me today than maybe any other time in my life.

Some of you reading this will have shared some fun times with me when I was part of the organization as a teenager in Philadelphia and London and belonged to what was called, Shevet Amichai, literally the “Tribe of Amichai” based on the names given to each age group.  I have no trouble admitting my reasons for being a member were social more than anything else.  There were the few, such as the late great Ari Horowitz, or my dear friend Danny,  that seemed to be motivated by some idealism at that age, but for me it was simple.   It was about the girls and the fun gatherings of friends.

It’s been a long time since I’ve had anything to do with B’nei Akiva.  My last memory was one I should be somewhat ashamed of, but seeing as it was over 30 years ago and no one got hurt, I look back at it with more amusement than shame.  Me and 3 other friends, 2 from Dublin Ireland and one from Liverpool went to the small town of Petach Tikvah, right outside of Tel-Aviv, went to a B’nei Akiva gathering and falsely portrayed ourselves as the heads of branches.  Two in Dublin, one in Liverpool, and myself in London, where I was a member of the organization from 1976-1980.  It worked like a charm.  We achieved a degree of celebrity status for the day and each of us had dates with some of the cutest girls in the group for one very enjoyable summer Saturday night.  It was all in good fun, not all that serious, and went no further than that.

Today I think of B’nei Akiva, and being significantly more mature than I was 30 plus years ago, the 2 words that represent the group have a far greater importance than ever before.  Jewish unity is critical.  Everyone needs to do something during this very difficult time in our history.  It is my feeling that what makes the term Torah v’Avodah so poignant today is that no Jew who genuinely cares about the Jewish people and the State of Israel has an excuse not to at least choose one or the other.  If you are a dedicated and practicing Jew who follows the laws and listens to and studies Jewish teachings(TORAH), then you are strengthening the Jewish people.  If you question religious dogma or philosophically struggle with Jewish practice, that should not stop you from making some efforts or working (AVODAH) towards helping Israel and the Jewish people.  And which ever one you choose, unless it is both, I implore you to show respect towards those who choose the other.  For without unity we are lost.

And then there is that one lesson I learned from being part of B’nei Akiva even when I was just there for the girls.  That the future of the Jewish people is tied to the State of Israel.  Something all Jews need to realize today more than any other time in my lifetime.

Shabbat Shalom.


The Model of Evolving Totalitarianism

triumph_of_the_will_stadium_shotIt’s a stroke of genius. Identify what hits a chord with the population, and whether your words and images are factual or not, pound them into the psyche of the masses.  It’s a model used throughout the ages with more devastating consequences in the 20th century than any other. Most notably Hitler’s Nazi party which preyed on the economic misfortunes of the populace to assign blame to anyone they felt would stand in the way of their agenda, or even worse, use a scapegoat to rally strong support.  By the time throngs of people were shouting Heil Hitler, most of them were just spewing out structured opinions and no longer thinking for themselves.  Which is in many ways what it is all about.

Many people, whether they wish to admit it or not, feel comfort and security in allowing leaders to choose their path.  It’s the draw of religion.  A friend of mine once told me, people buy with emotion and then justify it with logic. Tyrants and dictators are selling a product, and when people are downtrodden and desperate they’re buying that product.  People who like their life may protest, and may even have opinions laced with hate, but they hardly ever commit acts of violence in the name of civil disobedience.  What Hamas is doing is following a model, and doing so with precision tactics.

Their biggest advantage is also their biggest deception.  They are not in it alone.  Backed by Iran, a nation that was taken over in 1979 by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a man who used the same model to rally enough of a nation behind him to take over a government and start a global revolution, Hamas is a microcosm of a much bigger threat.  That bigger threat is one the world needs to be aware of, but won’t be as long as those most threatened appear to be mostly from one group. That one group is the same group initially targeted by Hitler.  The Jewish people.   Yes there were others the Nazis hated and persecuted almost immediately.  Homosexuals, gypsies, Poles, were all hated by Hitler, but from the start the Jews were the cause of everything bad in Germany.  They were called subhuman, a word that popped into my head earlier when seeing how the United Nations Human Rights Council showed its usual disregard  for the human rights of the inhabitants of the Jewish State of Israel.  But maybe they see Jews as subhuman too.  It just doesn’t support their current agenda to admit it.

The lesson of previous models, specifically of World War II should be obvious.  To some it is and yet they choose to disregard it.  To others, those caught up in the fervor of Hamas propaganda, they have bought into the mass hysteria often created by evil dictators, and in doing so they are doing what was done before, go after the scapegoat, which once again is the Jewish people.  Although it seems to be easy to let others think for you, they are making the same tragic mistake.  They do not see that which has always been the case when following this model, that the goal is world dominance.  Ultimately that means there is no room for any major group of people with different ways of thinking, as already evident by the way Christians have been brutally murdered in places like Iraq and Nigeria .

If the right people with the right amount of power wake up to the true dangers facing civilization, a full-scale World War III may be averted.  If they don’t, and continue to get caught up in the hysteria of lies and deception, civilization as we know it is in danger.  It’s that horrifying, that deep, that simple, and yes, just a matter of time.  Let’s hope people study the model and learn from history.


Howard the Magnificent:**BAD LANGUAGE WARNING**

 

 

This may be the best assessment of what the State of Israel and the Jewish people have endured and continue to endure today.  Thank you Howard Stern!!  Warning to those who don’t want to hear expletives, bad language is used, but the words spoken are wonderful.

 

 

 

 


If a Plane Went down, Would they blame Israel?

russianmissileIn light of the events of earlier today in which the FAA shut down flights from the United States to and from Israel, I ask the following question.  If, God forbid,  a plane travelling into Tel-Aviv were to be shot down, who would be held accountable for yet another unspeakable tragedy in the skies?  Last week when Malaysian flight 17 was shot down killing all 298 passengers, Russian supported rebels were identified as responsible for firing the surface to air missile that brought down the plane.  The world has understandably been in an uproar over this horrific act.  Governments, including the United States government have been demanding action from Vladimir Putin, as the leader of Russia, the nation most people are blaming for this tragedy.  So if such an awful event would take place near Tel-Aviv, naturally any logical thinking and fair-minded individual would blame Hamas who is firing the missiles, or even take it one step further, Iran, the nation that sponsors the terrorist organization ruling Gaza. Naturally, but unlikely.

As much as that should make sense to anyone reading this, we all know Israel would be blamed and pressured into stopping the operation whose sole purpose is to stop these attacks.  There would be no headline reading, ‘Plane shot down by Iranian missile”.  I pray to God this theory isn’t tested, but I know that any such test would prove my theory accurate.  There is, more often than not an unfair standard when it comes to world opinion and the State of Israel.  I am quite confident this would be no different.

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Hollow demands

UN-Secretary-General-Ban-Ki-moonIn comparison to previous crises involving Israel, the United Nations has behaved in a somewhat less one-sided way over the past few weeks.  The same can be said for the American President Barack Obama.  The support of the administration has been there as has the support of Congress and the American people.  However, at the end of the day the government of the State of Israel is committed to a specific result.  That result is the establishment of a peaceful life for all residents of Israel free of Hamas missiles and terror attacks.  Heroic soldiers of the Israeli Defense Forces have made the ultimate sacrifice in the early stages of Operation Protective Edge and I am certain that the leaders of Israel’s government have no intention of allowing their lives to be lost for nothing.  In making demands that the fighting stops, the United Nations and President Obama are making demands that have no substance.  If we were to assume that the motivation was purely to put a stop to the deaths of innocent people, the demands contradict the motive.  The only way innocent people in Gaza and Israel will live in peace is by destroying, or at the very least incapacitating Hamas.

Furthermore, by what authority does anyone makes demands from Israel when it comes to protecting their people?  If your best friend demanded you not protect your family so as to not harm others, would you listen?  No.  You would protect your family.  You would also realize that  any true friend, or at least a friend with good judgment would never ask that of you in the first place.  The reaction you must have in such an instance is a simple one.  You continue to do what is best for your family.

This for all intents and purposes is what I suspect will be Israel’s response to what I see as nothing more than hollow demands.


These things happened….

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These things happened,

The publishing of Ulysses by James Joyce;  The first swimmer crossed the English Channel; Calvin Coolidge became president; the first Winter Olympics took place; Charles Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic Ocean; Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse; Herbert Hoover became president; the Stock Market crashed;Penicillin was discovered; the planet Pluto was discovered; Empire State Building was completed; Amelia Earhart crossed the Atlantic; Adolph Hitler’s Nazi Party became ruling party in Germany; Social security was established; Golden Gate Bridge was opened; Japan invaded China; Germany annexed Austria; World War II;  Japan attacked Pearl Harbor; Atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki; 60 million people killed in World War II;  6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust; Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier; the State of Israel was founded; United Nations was formed;  NATO was formed; Korean War; Elvis Presley; Polio vaccine created;  Disneyland Opened; JFK became President; I was born; Cuban Missile Crisis; JFK assassinated; The Beatles; Vietnam War; Star Trek series; first Super Bowl; Apollo 11 landed on the moon; Terrorists Killed Israeli Athletes at Munich Olympics; Watergate scandal forced President Richard Nixon’s resignation; the movie Star Wars; John Paul II became Pope; Iranian Muslim revolution; CNN was formed; AIDS discovered; Personal Computers were invented; Soviet Union collapsed; Apartheid ended; Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa; 2 different Bush’s became Presidents; Bill Clinton became president; the Euro currency was formed; 3,000 killed in 9/11 attack in New York; Iraq War; the Internet was created; Holland lost 3 World cup finals; Justin and Kim got married.

These things happened, in the 92 years between the birth of these 2 people, my mother Sipora Groen and my youngest family member and great-niece Jara.

If this doesn’t give you hope nothing does.


Cliches and the Damage they do to Israel

NewAntisemitismBlogHeaderWelcome to the world of the cliché.  For starters, let me admit that I am on occasion as guilty as anyone else of using clichés, but when serious events take place such as has been the case recently in Israel, social media goes crazy recycling the same sentiments over and over again. To be fair, some of these sentiments are obvious ones that any normal human being would have.  Case in point, the devastation everyone felt over the murder of  Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaar, and  Eyal Yifrach, and the subsequent comments that followed based in sadness and mourning.  Those commonly felt sentiments are not the ones I speak of.  The ones I am addressing are the different statements regarding the world’s reaction and what is oft referred to as “the way Jews act”.

I am in no position to criticize anyone, especially those who care enough to give their opinion in this difficult time.  I realize that whether you make the statement that you do not care about the murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir or you are as outraged by it as you are about the murder of the 3 Israeli teens, your heart is still probably in the right place.  Your against murder, which makes you at least in basic terms, a good person.  Here’s where I personally run into a problem.  In attacking a Jew who is rightfully fed up with the treatment of our people for thousands of years, you may become part of the problem.  Yes, you are entitled to an opinion, but those who have come to their own unbiased and logical conclusion, are pretty much clear on the double standard that exists when judging Jewish behavior and reaction.

“Jews don’t do that”.  Don’t do what?  Get angry, fight for survival, strike back?  I sit here writing this today because before the Nazis ever entered Holland, my father Rabbi Nardus Groen of Blessed Memory did something Jews “didn’t do” in 1930’s Holland.  He joined what was then the equivalent of the National Guard and learned how to use a gun.  I go back to the phrase “Never Again” often because it is not so much a cliché as it is an approach the Jewish people need to have if they are to survive.  Do we feel that mass murder of Jews can never happen again?  I would like nothing more than to say there are no indications of that, but sadly we live in a world where genocidal maniacs still live and even gain popularity, putting not only Jews but other people in similar danger.

I agree that murder for the sake of murder is not the Jewish way, but I also feel passionately that is not what has taken place in Israel. Assuming the culprits of Khdeir’s murder were Jews, they are a group of people who were brought down to a tragic and horrible level by the enemies who have done everything in their power till now to get them there.  Do those of you speaking of how Jews act really think that any clearheaded citizen of Israel or any Jew in the world for that matter wants to spend their time hunting down and murdering Palestinians?  They do not.  Unlike the enemy, we are not taught that murder is an act of holiness and honor.  But these same Jewish people we speak of do have feelings and fears.  Jews don’t do what? Act human?  Seek justice, even if through the wrong avenues? Working on the assumption of their guilt, the behavior of some, albeit wrong and even deplorable, and of course requiring punishment, is still based in an understandably sad but human reaction.  This is not an attempt to justify it, merely to address the most popular cliché of the day, “Jews don’t do that.”

The other issue has to do with how the world feels and how the world reacts.  Let’s drop all the clichés and just tell it like it is.  As a unit, the world does not stand behind Israel and the Jewish people.  Please harbor no illusions.  Yes there are many good and some great people who put themselves out there and defend us, but they are individuals who ultimately may be at risk just as we are.   And when looking at how the world body really see the situation let’s just take a look at the United Nations reaction over the past few weeks.  When 3 Jewish boys get kidnapped and murdered the United Nations makes a statement declaring there is no evidence it was done by Hamas.  When 1 Palestinian boy gets murdered, allegedly by Jewish settlers, there is talk of a special investigation of the behavior of the settlers.  And we are back to where we started.  How Jews act.  The world has never shown signs of favoring the Jewish position so I can’t say  I am surprised by the overall reaction.  But if you are Jewish, and one who supports the State of Israel and its inhabitants, I urge you to try a different cliché, like “Never Again”.  It might just end of saving your life one day.

The reality is that Israel needs to do what is right for Israel and the Jewish people without concerning itself with what the world thinks.  It’s hardly ever good anyway.

 

 


There’s a voice….by Hesh Meister

spacerspacer candlesApparently, according to some friends of mine, my voice is needed now.

What else can I add that has not already been expressed thousands of times?

Grief is beyond words. I cannot imagine the pain and loss that the families are going through. Or, perhaps I can imagine, having lost my brother at age 21 (albeit to Israel’s “other national curse”), and also because I am a father to two daughters and I worry about their health and safety constantly. But take that imagining and multiply it by millions. Those numbers boggle the mind.

Rage is abundant. I want the IDF and/or other security apparati to find the murderers, shoot them on sight without arrest or trial, and cremate the bodies. Neither they nor their families deserve the dignity. They deserve the Eichmann treatment. Or at the very least, the Bin Laden burial. I want to see the terrorist infrastructure – which at this point means any putatively “governing” Palestinian body – dismantled, destroyed, disintegrated, and deported. I want to see all the enablers of terror deported to Syria or Iraq – and those in the West to be struck down by all sorts of debilitating illnesses to ensure they will never open their mouths again. I want Israeli sovereignty to be proclaimed throughout all of Judea and Samaria and all residents who don’t declare and demonstrate unwavering allegiance to the State of Israel deported. I want to see Gaza retaken and Gush Katif reestablished. I want to see an Israel that does not bend over to Western overlords or cower at the sound of specious “world opinion.” Let Israel dictate the opinion the way it should have done and almost did in 1967 – not vice versa. Because then – AND ONLY THEN – will there be peace.

Frustration is intense. I want to see all these things happen and wish for them fervently – but feel powerless to do anything about it beyond posting here – which, in the scheme of things, does not mean a whole lot. I am no longer an IDF soldier and have no voice in Israeli politics. I am just a Jew and a human being currently in New York, trying to make a living and maybe pursue a few artistic endeavors. And even if I were in Israel, what else could I do but feel exactly the same?

http://www.reverbnation.com/theheshinc/song/99805-theres-a-voice

 

Holland’s Heroes would like to thank Hesh Meister for joining as a contributor. He will provide his own fresh and clear perspective within the mission of the site, which is to combat attacks against the Jewish people and Israel and to discredit those who try to claim the Holocaust never happened.


Balanced Intolerance

1713I write this as a follow-up to the post I wrote about how being a Liberal doesn’t mean tolerating anti-Semitism.  In this post, CLICK HERE TO READ, I make the statement that anti-Israel sentiment nowadays is, for the most part, rooted in anti-Semitism.   As I expected would happen, the following question was put to me by a fellow Jew and old friend.

“What about Jews who are not Zionists?”

Here is the answer I gave him:

I anticipated this question might be asked when I wrote the article. If one is opposed to the policies of the Israeli government and as a Jew is genuine, unless they are self hating Jews they are not the problem. As a Jew, should one ever tolerate the murder of another Jew? If their view is that Israeli policy is the murder of Palestinians, my question to them is the one I stated in the article. Is the intolerance balanced? And even if there is evidence and statistics to back up their stance, do they look at the whole picture? Do they recognize the threats Jews have always faced? Do they recognize the fact that Israel had war waged against it just for existing? Did they get at least as angry at this? http://mfa.gov.il/…/Suicide%20bombing%20at%20the…And do they recognize that someone such as Roger Waters making it his life’s mission to go after Israel and ignore countries guilty of much greater human right’s violations is motivated by a hatred of Jews not the love of people?

 

Where I personally hit a disconnect with like-minded people is that I often feel there is more going on than meets the eye.  It sometimes becomes fashionable to call someone anti-Semitic when their overall actions  don’t necessarily confirm the assertion.  I rather go after those who leave no doubt, such as Roger Waters and Alice Walker.  There are many Jews who are not Zionists.  Most of them are ultra-Orthodox.  By no means does that mean that all ultra-Orthodox are anti-Zionist, instead it means that the majority of the time a Jew opposes the State of Israel it is rooted in religious belief rather than political belief.  Either way, they are not the people looking to see the end of the Jewish people, and in my opinion, they are not the enemy.  I wish they were, for that would mean there would be no one out there openly trying to bring about our death and destruction, and our biggest foe would be fellow Jews with an anti-Israeli government approach. It would be a problem, but one we’d all rather be fighting.