Tag Archives: Syria

Open Letter to John Kerry regarding UN Vote on Israel

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Dear Secretary Kerry,

It took me less than 5 minutes of listening to your speech earlier today to get a very good idea of where the disconnect is between you and the administration’s approach and those of us who proudly and unapologetically support the State of Israel and its government. Since the problem is more in the method and approach than it is in the desired outcome, I am willing to assume, albeit reluctantly and mostly for the purposes of making the more important point,  that your intentions are at the very least meant to be fair to both parties.

Mr. Kerry, Israel is not your child and you are not its father.  I do not believe you have the right to sit in judgment over what she does as a sovereign state to protect her borders and the lives of her citizens.  The philosophical discussion of whether or not a two state solution is the only way to guarantee the continuing existence of the State of Israel is a discussion that can be had by any party coming to the table with legitimate and peaceful intentions.  The building of settlements, on land conquered by Israel when her very existence was threatened by hostile neighbors working towards her destruction, is an issue that can be legitimately addressed. However, like so many other things in life, things must be done at the right time, in the proper manner, and most of all prioritized correctly. The point being, until Israel’s rights are recognized and they can have an open and equitable discussion with a sincere partner in peace, discussions of Israeli policy and actions taken on any land falling under Israeli rule is not only inappropriate, it is hypocritical and immoral.

This is not a chicken and egg situation.  Before there was any violence or settlements, the very same United Nations that condemned Israel last week for the building of said settlements, approved the creation of the Jewish state that this same governing body now chastises.  The very same organization that once had Syria on its human rights commission, has done very little to protect the persecution and murder of Christians by ISIS and has repeatedly taken the side of terrorist organizations against Israel, now claims some high and mighty moral imperative.  The reality may just be that what it is actually doing is the bidding of the very wealthy Arab states that see Israel as a Jewish thorn in their proverbial sides.  This is the United Nations that you Secretary Kerry and the rest of the Obama administration have chosen to side with.

I have heard the argument that a large percentage of Israelis are against the settlements. Regardless of whether or not this is true, it is irrelevant, and frankly not the business of anyone outside of Israel.  In fact, and understand that this is coming from someone who has voted Democrat far more often than Republican, I find it particularly distasteful because of the recent evidence of Russia tampering in America’s elections.  How can we genuinely scream and shout in disgust over Putin’s actions when our leadership chooses to insert its influence over matters that speak to the very root of Israel’s existence?  The settlements may or may not be a moral or wise course of action, but they began with actions of self defense by an Israeli government, and unless an outside nation intends to put its citizens in danger, have their young men and women fight, or risk their very survival, what right do they have to dictate Israeli policy?  I do not question that the United States has done a lot to help Israel, but that means they are entitled to expect a fair and equitable friendship and alliance, not the right to control her destiny. It would be like my best friend saying that as a result of all he does for me he can determine how I furnish my home.  It’s unethical and the reality is that it just doesn’t work that way.

Mr. Secretary, I started the second paragraph by saying that Israel is not your child and you are not its father.  I use this analogy to make the following point.  There are only a few people I feel have had the right to speak out over how I live my life.  One of them was my father of blessed memory.  If anyone else felt they had the right to speak to my actions as my father did or mother does, I would have every right to react in a very harsh and critical manner.  Israel is America’s best and strongest ally, certainly in the Middle East and very possibly in the entire world.  That fact does not give you or anyone else the right to decide how they move forward in protecting their people and territory and representatives of Israel’s government are correct for their negative and critical reactions.

Finally I leave you with this thought.  When referencing all America has done for Israel, a fact I not only do not dispute but appreciate as well, understand the following important fact.  America’s friendship towards Israel has always been a way of strengthening her security and insuring her existence, not a bargaining chip to be held over her head.  Once the United States government takes the stance that because of its support they have the right to make demands, that friendship turns into something completely different.  It turns into a tool of power and control, something no Israeli leader, no matter how inclined to the left he or she may be is likely to respond to positively.  Something  I am even more thankful for. The actions of the current administration in showing support for these actions have been anything but friendly, and sadly and ironically have done more damage to the peace process than any action taken by anyone or any government in quite some time.  That Mr. Secretary will be most likely be your Middle East legacy.

Sincerely,

David Groen

 

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When Muslims save Jews

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An interesting thing happened today.  A predominantly Muslim country potentially saved the lives of many Jews.  Israelis no less.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Kosovo police thwarted an attack on Israel’s international soccer team reportedly planned by members of ISIS from Syria. This turn of events, one that causes a collective sigh of relief and for those who believe in a higher power a show of thanks to God up above, also has very relevant and majorly important significance in a country not directly involved.  That country being our very own United States of America.

Over the years I’ve been anything but moderate in my approach towards Islamic extremism.  I have no problem recognizing the danger of the aggressive and violent approach taken by too many elements in the Muslim world.  I have zero tolerance for those who are murderers in the name of a so-called cause and I recognize the vicious hatred and venom towards Israel from much of the leadership in the Muslim world. That being said, I also not only recognize, but believe wholeheartedly that the greatest majority of Muslims, regardless of how they actually feel toward Israel and the west, do not want any part in violence towards anyone and just want to live a peaceful and productive life.  In fact, I would go as far as saying that what took place in Kosovo is evidence to that fact.

Since the election of Donald Trump as President-elect of the United States, the status of Muslims in America has been very much in the forefront.  I get it. I honestly do.  I have often said that although most Muslims are not terrorists, the majority of terrorist attacks are conducted by Muslims.  The safety of innocent people is a major responsibility of any government and actions need to be taken to see to it that all that needs to get done does get done.  However, an attack on an entire people or religion is not only immoral and reminiscent of tyranny from the past, it’s a bad strategy.  The events in Kosovo bare this out.  In the name of fairness and objectivity, when you listen carefully to Donald Trump’s words and proposals, he never goes after all Muslims.  What he does however is target the problem as being a Muslim problem, which if done correctly and with a degree of tact would possibly have tremendously positive effects, but when done with mere soundbites causes a large percentage of people to see the entire Muslim world as a threat.

I don’t make a habit of defending Muslims.  As a Jew and a Zionist I’ve had plenty of justified anger towards many Muslims over my lifetime.  However, I also don’t believe in going after one group of people merely because of what they are, and if only from a pragmatic sense, it’s stupid.  Setting aside the fact that I personally base who I like and who I call a friend on how they are personally, if the entire Muslim world gets alienated, even if it’s a result of interpretation of Trump’s words as opposed to their actual meaning, the rest of us are indeed not better off or safer as a result.  My fellow Jews who think otherwise need look no further than Kosovo, where a police force of a population mostly consistent of Muslims did the right thing and stopped a potential massacre of Israeli soccer players.

There is a middle of the road, and throughout history that middle has always achieved the best results, not an extreme ideology in any one direction.  There is indeed safety in numbers, and if there are large numbers of Muslims who want to live in peace, a fact that any reasonable individual knows to be the case, then working with them will get us a lot further than alienating them.  The argument that “Trump didn’t say that”, isn’t enough anymore. As President-Elect he has a responsibility to how his followers interpret his words, and if he does not recognize that, even if his intentions are good, the damage caused will result in him failing tragically, for everyone, including those that support him.

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The Accountability of World Leaders

Barack Obama, Francois Hollande

I have often said how important it is to identify your enemy.  I never have been one to blame Presidents Clinton or Bush for 9/11. I blamed bin-Laden.  World leaders can sometimes be tragically inept, but the blame for acts of barbarism and terror falls directly on those who commit them.  That being said, our leaders do have a responsibility to defend us and in light of the recent events in France, and even more so in light of the reaction, leaders such as American President Obama and French President Hollande owe their citizens the answer to one very important question.  Why did it take the terror attacks in France for them to get serious?  That’s assuming that now they truly are serious.

This approach of reacting without pity, intensifying the airstrikes, doubling and tripling the efforts is all well and good and naturally something I support, but questions needs to be asked and answered.  Did they not know this was coming? Has ISIS not made its intentions very clear for quite some time?  Let’s say ISIS keeps their word and attacks Washington, D.C., will the president then take the strong action needed to stop this? When France sends its air force to wipe out key ISIS locations in its self-proclaimed capital of Raqqa, again something I support, I can’t help but wonder why this was not done last week, last month, or even last year. It is easy to understand why it was done yesterday, 2 days after the terror attacks,  but knowing full well that ISIS had every intention of attacking innocent people anywhere they could get to them, and having already proven their willingness and desire to murder multitudes of people, did they really need a catastrophe to take proper action?Apparently so.

The time to be concerned about collateral damage has passed.  Now is the time to unleash the gates of hell on the very same people who want to kill every last one of us.  I am not barbaric, in fact I’m a particularly peaceful man, but if it comes down to taking out a village in Syria or Iraq that is  being used as a shield for their operations or even 1 person that I care about being hurt, I am in favor of wiping out that village.  It is likely too late to stop further acts of terror in the United States and Europe, but in wiping out their cities that are being used as bases of operations, we have a much better chance of averting a global catastrophe. Furthermore, it’s time the world recognized that the enemy Israel is fighting is of the exact same ilk, and that the Jewish state needs to be left alone to do what is necessary to bring peace to its borders.  If this is not part of the entire philosophy, then these very same leaders, not just Obama and Hollande but all the leaders of the west have learned nothing from the events of this past Friday in Paris.

The great thing about democracy is that when our leaders aren’t doing what needs to be done we can elect new ones. Until that time let’s hope our leaders take the actions that gives us reason to believe they understand what is truly at stake and preserve our crumbling future.  Before it’s too late.

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Open Letter to Roger Waters

Robbie Williams

Dear Roger,

I wonder if you realize how transparent you truly are. You claim to be concerned about human rights when in truth your agenda revolves more around the fact that you clearly despise the concept of a Jewish government.   It is obvious to anyone listening that the only time you use your voice is to either rake in the cash on music written 30 plus years ago or to try to destroy the State of Israel.

It’s very sad really.  You could have used your fame and fortune for so much good.  Instead you’ve chosen the path of destruction against a country with the best human rights record in the Middle East.  The facts show how disingenuous you are in your persistent attack. As much as I believe Israel does the right thing, if your voice was proportionately loud in regard to true humans rights violations I’d pay less attention to you.  How come I don’t hear you going after ISIS?  Why do you remain silent about 200,000 dead in Syria’s civil war?  We all see how you are trying to bully Robbie Williams into not playing in Israel by speaking of the 500 children who were victims of the war in Gaza.  I saw an estimate that said at least 7,000 children have been killed in Syria.  Is that not worth your time Roger?  Even if the death of those 500 children are solely the responsibility of the government of Israel, something honest people know not to be the case, I still wonder why 500 children matter so much more to you than 7,000.  Maybe because it is not really about the children.

What about the thousands of women being raped and abused by ISIS? You are so quiet about that as well.  If you are such a humanitarian wouldn’t you be spending most of your waking hours fighting for causes that involved tens, even hundreds of thousands of victims. Victims of regimes and organizations making no bones about their intent to rape and murder their victims.

I noticed you played a few concerts in Russia.  Do you have anything to say about the treatment of gays and lesbians in Putin’s Russia?  Of course you don’t, because Russia isn’t the problem in your eyes, Israel is.

People like you are partially responsible for the change in discussion from those claiming to be Liberals.  They look at someone like you, a famous musician, and feel that you have a true understanding of moral and tolerant values.  In truth what you really are is a high-profile anti-Semitic con-artist.  You clearly hate Jews and subsequently hate the idea of a Jewish government. Your continuous onslaught makes it very clear that you will be happy with nothing less than the destruction of the State of Israel, and in your perfect world based on how you have behaved over the years, I assume you are more than happy to see it come along with as many dead Jews as possible.

Be aware that the only people who accept your crap are those who want to believe anything that hurts the Jewish people.  For a man whose music was once perceived as being so thoughtful and clever, your actions and words against Israel are remarkably ignorant and very obvious.  I would say that what you are really doing is making a fool of yourself, but unfortunately there are enough Jew-hating idiots out there for you to have quite a following.

You could have represented a modern-day growth and development of culture in society, but instead your hatred for the Jewish people has driven you towards a narrow and destructive way of thinking.  I have no problem saying that I would be very happy to see you so consumed by your hate that it ultimately destroys you.  It would appear to some extent that it already has. You are just too blind to see it.

Sincerely,

David Groen

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Open Letter to Oren Ben-Dor Regarding his Part in Organizing Anti-Israel Debate at Southampton University

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Dear Professor Ben-Dor,

I am sure there are others who I could address regarding this matter, but the tragedy of your involvement is so enormous in my eyes that it must supercede the matter of all other party’s actions.   As I am sure you know, I am referring to your part in coordinating a conference at Southampton University challenging Israel’s right to exist.

It always baffles me when educated people display high levels of ignorance. Your very status is a result of Israel’s existence.  You, as a Jew, most likely thrived within Israel’s structure that consisted of freedom, opportunity, and a moral structure non-existent in most of the region.  Yet somehow you have made it important to turn your back on the country and the people who made you who you are today.

I wonder if you ever use your intellectual abilities to investigate the murderous regime in Syria.  Do you ever take time out of your busy day to research the treatment of women or homosexuals in Israel’s neighboring lands?  How about the squandering of funds in the Palestinian Authority or Gaza? Or Hamas using civilians as human shields? Spend any time worried about how ISIS rapes women, beheads people and burns people alive? You may be sick and tired of hearing the same old argument from us Zionists, but I assure you we are even sicker and more tired of hearing the manipulated garbage spewed out by you and your buddies hiding behind your self-proclaimed academic prowess.

I do not know much about your personal history, but to be quite frank with you, I have no interest in knowing more than I do.  There is a word to describe an individual that is a word I do not throw around easily, but in your case I am comfortable doing so.  The word I am referring to is traitor.  What makes you a traitor is your willingness to not only turn your back on Israel at a time when it is under a consistent barrage of unjustified attacks by its enemies, but to actually aid and abet these enemies.

I have no doubt you will either make a claim that the attacks are justified, or you will try to see the attacks as a way of supporting your case.   So-called intellectuals such as yourself who put so much of their energy into hating Israel may claim they are doing so based on factual knowledge, but the truth is that this pursuit is driven by emotions, not facts.  Even in the worst assessments of Israel’s actions, if only facts  were being used as a motivating force, no objective party would utilize their position for the purposes of challenging its right to exist.  Instead, the motivations are mostly hate or fear.  In your case I am betting on fear.

Naturally this is a claim you will deny, but with England’s growing Muslim population gaining influence, and not only Israelis but Jews everywhere being threatened to a degree not seen since the rise of Nazi Germany, I am guessing you are looking to gain favor in the eyes of those that would wage attacks on our people.  Just remember the lessons we learned from those traitors who supported Adolph Hitler.  When their purpose was served, they were murdered as well.

If you bother to answer me, something I would not expect from a coward and a traitor, I am sure you will try to make some intellectual case supporting your argument.  I am also sure you will do your best to prove how much smarter you are than I am.  The funny thing is, even if you are technically a brilliant man, your approach towards Israel is so devastatingly stupid, I wouldn’t trade with you in a heartbeat.  I just hope you stop for a moment to recognize how your actions are so immoral that if they don’t haunt you in this life, I have little doubt as to whether or not you will ultimately suffer the consequences of your actions.  Regardless of whether you are successful or not.

If you can live with that, so be it.  I would just hope you no longer identify yourself as an Israeli or a Jew, because I am sure I speak for many when I say, feeling as you do, we prefer to not be associated with you in any way.

Sincerely,

David Groen

 

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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 Rosie O’Donnell

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Dear Rosie,

As someone who has to at least some extent defended and supported you in the past, I can’t begin to tell you how disappointed I am with what you have done.  I haven’t listened to everything you’ve always said, but as someone who is comfortable with your personal choices and as someone who enjoys hearing someone give an exuberant opinion, I have at the very least been a borderline fan. However, this time you crossed over from exuberance to idiocy, and as a result you are now hearing from me.

Here’s the thing Rosie.  As someone who opines on a regular basis I understand that in doing so I open myself up for criticism if and when I do or say something wrong.  Subsequently it takes a degree of confidence in one’s ethical approach to choose to be a voice.  Over the years you have been one VERY loud voice.  In doing so however, you’ve also reached a point where you are required to be responsible.  Many people have paid attention to at least some of what you have said, and many continue to listen to you.  To be very blunt, I hope they stop doing so.  Any credibility you may have had in my eyes, is now gone.  And here is why.

This is wrong on so many levels that I  am almost embarrassed to say I once liked you.  Your Limited Edition Acrylic Artwork designed and drawn by Rosie is one, everything people legitimately criticize about Americans. Two, so incredibly irresponsible in its inaccuracy.  And three, so focused on putting down Israel it is downright gross, not to mention offensive.  I will break it down for you.

You have a picture of a man holding a wounded baby and you write, “Israel beings bombing Gaza-This man carries a baby about the same age as the one I sit next to, watching Frozen”.  CLICK HERE TO SEE.

Rosie, I love America. Even when I disagree with the government or see stupidity that can be interpreted as indigenous to our society, I am proud to be an American.  Those who criticize Americans will say that we commercialize everything and often do so in shallow and ignorant fashion.  I suspect that many will use your “art” as a prime example of this shallow ignorance. Then again, if they are haters of Israel and the Jews they will gravitate to it, because shallow stupidity is forgivable when done to put down Israel and the Jewish people.

That’s not even the biggest problem with all of this Rosie.  That picture wasn’t taken in Gaza and this man is not holding a baby wounded in an Israeli attack.  This is the aftermath of a Syrian government attack on its own people.  An attack that is just one of many in a civil war that has killed almost 200,000 people.  Once again you show it is easier, and in some people’s minds hipper to attack Israel than to go after the real evil.

On a side, but rather mind-boggling note, maybe you can answer this question for me.  Why on earth would someone who has fought hard for the rights of the LGBT community go after the one government in the entire Middle East where gays and lesbians are allowed to live freely and without persecution?  Not to mention the fact that you did so in such blatantly inaccurate fashion.

I want an apology Rosie.  I want one for the entire Jewish community and I want one for the State of Israel.  If we do not get one from you, your integrity is gone for good.  You’ve always been a loud voice and one who has always claimed to be a straight shooter. Well in this case you are shooting wildly, inaccurately, and with a mean and subtle venom.  I want an apology and a retraction. Anything short of this will show you to be part of the very hypocrisy you’ve always claimed to fight against.

Do the right thing or stop talking, because if you don’t, you’re just another dumb voice without any substance.

Sincerely,

David Groen

 

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