Tag Archives: terrorism

Yell at the enemy, not each other

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When I heard about the Manchester terror attack, one of the things that went through my mind was that it was the first time since my mother passed away on April 19th that I actually felt ironically and sadly happy she wasn’t alive to see it. It would have broken her heart.  As it did for everyone decent with a heart. There are many people with many different political ideologies and strategies on how to handle terrorism, but the one thing I can say for sure is that the majority of them were devastated by what happened and despite the likelihood that it will be repeated in some manner,  hope and pray something like this never happens again.

But apparently that is not good enough for some people. There are many who feel if your solution isn’t their solution you are now part of the problem.  As is so often the case, it is easier to go after the people who would never hurt you than it is to go after the ones that would be happy to hurt you. Calling a liberal a name for not being what you see as tough enough or calling a Conservative a fascist for what you may consider an extreme position against terrorism certainly is a lot easier than  screaming and shouting at the real bad guys.  I am an open critic of President Donald Trump, but one thing I won’t criticize him for is calling ISIS a bunch of losers.  Is the language “presidential”? Maybe not. But first of all it is true, and second of all it is a lot better than coming out and ranting and raving about how this is the fault of liberals.  So in this instance I not only support him and commend him, I urge people to follow his example.

You may think someone is misguided for their approach, but should you be yelling and screaming at the person who bemoans that they want to see peace between all people and all faiths? Should you put down the more militant type that is so mad at the brutality and evil taking place that they want blood?  The answer to both questions is no, you should not.  It is possible that one side is very right and the other very wrong or that the answer lies somewhere in the middle, but one thing is certain.  Neither of these people from either side are the real enemy and to lose sight of this does more to help the terrorists than it does to hurt them.  Debate the other from whatever side you sit on, but do not lose sight of the fact that most people, even those on an opposing side from yours want exactly the same thing.  A peaceful and secure life.

When we fight each other we give the true enemy a significant victory, something mostly everyone who will read this, be they to the far left or far right does not want to happen. Remember that and who knows?  Maybe we’ll get a lot closer to finding a real solution rather than just shout at each other trying to prove how smart we are.

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How not saying the word Terrorism has become like not saying the word Cancer

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We’ve all seen it. The older woman who turns to her friends and says, “she has (and then in a very quiet voice), cancer.”  It’s that old belief that saying it makes it more dangerous.  That the devastation it brings is so bad that to speak its name  makes it even more threatening. Sound familiar?  It should. It’s just another example of the comparisons between modern day terrorism and the dreaded disease that is cancer.

The comparisons to cancer are nothing new.  It’s a negative force growing within that if ignored will likely kill the body.  Terrorism, just like cancer starts small and grows larger and larger.  It finds other parts of the body, healthy parts, and takes over.  It can grow rapidly or slowly but it doesn’t stop growing on its own.  It causes great pain or death.  All these similarities are spoken of often.  The most recent similarity is the one that might be the most dangerous. That being the unwillingness to acknowledge its existence.

The woman who quietly whispers the word “cancer” is hoping that if she doesn’t say the word it might go away.  When asked recently why people are so reluctant to call terrorism by its name, my answer was that I believe it is based on the fear of giving it more life.  Some people believe if you don’t call it terrorism, it isn’t terrorism, or even if it is, it might go away on its own.  Well that ain’t happening my friends.

If it was an indignant confrontation of the enemy I would be supportive of the approach.  My ex wife said that one of the reasons she defeated Stage 4 ovarian cancer was that she never was willing to believe it would actually kill her.  If we wish to take that approach, not only towards cancer but towards terrorism as well, I am totally in favor of it.  There’s a difference between not giving it the power to defeat us and trying to convince ourselves it doesn’t exist. If we allow the world and our leaders to remain silent and not call it what it is, an actual assault on the free world, the cancer that is terrorism may just grow out of control and become impossible to eradicate.  If however we acknowledge its existence and call it by its name with a strong and powerful voice as opposed to a quiet whisper, our chances of defeating it become much better.

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Palestinian Pawns in a Deadly and Terrorizing Chess match

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It’s hard to come up with an original thought when it’s the same old story over and over again.  Sure the Palestinians murdering and terrorizing Jews in Israel are changing their tactics, entering places previously considered safe and using knives and cars more than guns and bombs, but their mission is the same as it’s always been.  They want to murder and terrify the Jewish population without any consideration of morality, and maybe even more disturbingly, they likely don’t even know to what end. It’s easy to say they want a free and independent Palestinian state that encompasses territory currently controlled by the Israeli government, but the truth is that those committing these atrocities aren’t doing it because of any deep-rooted idealism. They’re doing it because they’re being programmed to.

The ironic fact is that Palestinians truly are victims of this incredible mess and potential catastrophe, but despite the efforts of the public relations campaign of their leaders to convince the world otherwise. it is these very leaders holding them back from having a real life and prosperous future.  These same leaders who are getting wealthy off their people’s misery and manipulating their populace to increase their personal power are not the one’s to work with towards a solution.  What the Israeli government needs to find a way to do is to reach the people.  If they are not successful, and time may be running out, the other alternative is killing large numbers of them, something we all know is considered appalling to a very moral Israeli government and its people.

As tragic and painful as the events in Israel may be, this is not the time for emotional responses.  Yes there are consequences for all actions and anyone who has spoken with me or read my words knows that I am not against a strong use of force, but the issue I am addressing is not the means to which we stop the immediate crisis, what I am addressing is what I see as the only way to stop this downward spiral of violence and destruction.

I’m just a guy in front of a computer giving an opinion, so I really can’t speak to how it gets done, but the best way to describe what I’m espousing is ideological infiltration.  Somehow creating, and yes even protecting a new grass-roots leadership within the Palestinian community, because the current leadership cares almost as little for its own people’s well-being as it does for the well-being of Jews in Israel.  If the people in the West Bank and Gaza are not made to understand this, more and more innocent Jews will die in Israel and ultimately the fate of the Palestinians will be determined by the force used by the Israeli government, something that plays perfectly into the plans of the current Palestinian leaders.  After all, force used by Israel to defend its people is the perfect distraction from the methods being used to morally and financially bankrupt the Palestinian people by those claiming to care about them the most.  Ironically I don’t care about their fate and what I am proposing for them is a better life.  I just have no clue how it gets done.  What I do know is that there are enough brilliant minds in Israel to figure it out.  I just hope they do it soon.

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Beauty and Heart

stillsWith the world the mess that it is, it seems to be a lot easier to find a negative or sad story than it is to find a positive and uplifting one. Even if I were to focus on the positive contributions made by Israel, many people, myself included, tend to be more interested in the events of the region that focus on the fight and exposure of the enemy than the inspirational stories.  It’s not a criticism, it’s human nature.  However, I felt that this story, even though it has nothing to do with Israel, the Jewish people, or the fight against terrorism,  is such a wonderful story, that it would be uplifting and positive.  And it is a story of humanity and decency from the most unexpected of sources.  The National Football League.

It begins with the NFL’s New England Patriots making a grand display of love and kindness worthy of the greatest praise.  Last night the Patriots’ opponent was the Cincinnati Bengals.  In a display of support that showed the world an understanding of what is truly important in life, the Patriots’ Cheerleaders each wore the jersey of Bengals player Devon Still.  Still’s daughter Leah is suffering from pediatric cancer, and these cheerleaders, cheerleaders of the opposing team, wore his jersey and number to support him and his family during this incredibly difficult time.  What’s even more remarkable is that in addition to this beautiful display of class from the Patriots organization, Stills’ team the Bengals, recently added him to the practice squad in order to make it possible for him to get health insurance and take care of his little girl.

In a world desperately looking for acts of kindness and reasons to be positive, we saw just that, from none other than the National Football League.  It’s possible that the biggest cynic might chalk this up to good public relations, but these acts did so much to help this family that I hope we only see the positive.  In the world we live in today, this goodness is a healthy break from all the bad and should be seen that way.

 

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ISIS: The Iranian Frankenstein

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When anyone, especially someone high up in the United States administration says that the ISIS or ISIL is not Islamic, besides the fact that it denies its very claim and motivations, it does one other very dangerous thing.  It takes Iran off the hook.

It was reported today that Ayatollah Rouhani of Iran said that “ISIS wants to kill humanity.”  I don’t dispute that claim for a second.  However, what I do take issue with is Iran making it seem as though they are not at all to blame for this mess.  The Sunni and Shia differences aside, it’s the Iranian revolution and its export of Islamic radicalization and terrorism that laid much of the groundwork for the threats now facing millions of people worldwide, including Iran.

Someone in Iran saying “ISIS wants to kill humanity” is like Dr. Frankenstein saying a crazy monster is on the loose.  No kidding.  You created it.  So forgive me Dr. Frankenstein, but why should we trust you now.  The fact that it evolved into something that now threatens you does not diminish your responsibility.

This is another instance where ignoring reality makes the hole we’re getting into even deeper, for by not recognizing Iran’s culpability we allow it to align itself more with the world community, giving it more time and less pressure to develop its nuclear program.  When that happens the world will have another, possibly worse crisis on its hands.  One we could actually stop now in its tracks.   But for that to happen we might have to call it Islamic.

 

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Open Letter to Bill Gates

bill-gatesDear Mr. Gates,

There is an excellent chance that you will never read this. It is my hope however, that at the very least, someone makes you aware of this letter, for in it I am showing appreciation for your actions and overall approach towards the world’s problems.  What makes this so important and frankly somewhat personal, is that it is a lot more common for the famous of the world to gravitate towards the “popular” issues and nowadays that often means attacking Israel, something you clearly do not do.  On the contrary, while others look for and often fabricate reasons to hate Israel, in this clip (CLICK HERE) you speak highly of Israel’s achievements in technology.

While so many are weighing in on Gaza, Israel, and the rise of ISIS, on your Twitter page you see more about Ethiopia, Rwanda, Ebola, and education.  To be quite honest, I am just as guilty of this as anyone.  Most of my letters and articles discuss Israel, Gaza, and the rise of terrorism.  Like so many others out there, I am far too ignorant to what is happening in other parts of the world or the challenges facing us in the United States.  That is why I am so grateful to you at this time.  I have constantly sat here questioning where everyone is when there are true human rights violations and people who are suffering in tragically large numbers.  I am not alone in feeling this way.  As a Jew and a Zionist, I sit here wondering why people remain silent to the suffering of millions of people but open their mouths all of a sudden when Israel bombs Gaza in defense of their homeland.  So today when I looked at your Twitter page and saw what you wrote about your trip to Ethiopia, your concern for the well-being of those in Rwanda, and the attention you gave to the rising danger of the Ebola virus, I couldn’t help but think, this man truly gets it.  This really is a good man.  (CLICK HERE FOR BILL GATES BLOG, GATENOTES)

You do not stop there.  You are clearly focusing tremendously on education, something so critical to the future of America.

It must not be ignored that your “involvement” in issues also means that you provide tremendous amounts of resources providing substantial funds to help these causes.  My point being, you are the furthest thing from all talk. You are doing many special things and providing so much  for many of the most needy people of the world.

Mr. Gates, I am no one particularly important in the world’s big picture.  I have somewhat of an audience, but it pales in comparison to many others and I am certainly a small fish in a very large ocean.  As I said to start this letter, I don’t imagine you will ever see this, but to be honest, seeing all the good you are actually doing, I truly believe you have more important things to do with your time.  I just wanted to say that this small fish appreciates your genuine efforts to make the world a better place and hopes that others who prefer to spend their time obsessed with what Israel does will spend more time worrying about the millions of people out there neglected even if it’s not as big or popular of a news story.

Wishing you continued strength and success in your efforts.

Sincerely,

David Groen

 

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It’s all Fun and Games until someone loses a Head

isis-videoLet me start by making something very clear.  I am by no means making light of the horrific and graphic murder of journalist James Foley.  I am however asking two very important questions.  My first question is why did it take till now for everyone to take the threat of ISIS as seriously it should have?  And my second question is, as the United States debates bombing a second country after the beheading of one journalist, why has it been so hard for the world to accept Israel’s reaction to the murder of three teenage boys?

The questions seem very different but the answer may be the same.  Regarding the subject of terrorism, Muslim extremism and the threat it poses to the entire civilized world, the Israeli government and its supporters, in Israel and throughout the world, are ahead of the curve.  As much as I dislike them on a personal level, the celebrities who proudly display their anti-Semitic sentiments through opposition of Israel’s actions don’t understand how much they are hurting themselves in the process.  I dare say that to some this is a new Muslim Chic.  Captivated by the culture, the music, the hum of the call to prayer, the smooth talking Palestinian leaders have them taken in by what they see as the Palestinian’s plight.  I am not going to berate Liam Neeson for expressing his attraction to Islam because he did so in a positive context, but I may also want to say to him, come take a look at Judaism.  We don’t have large factions within our ranks looking to take over the planet through brutal violence.

Criticizing the realities that exist within Islam is not racist, its realistic and practical.  Celebrities and politicians who have bent over backward to ignore those realities until now are partially to blame for James Foley’s death and for those who will be murdered by these factions in the future.  When the two young stars, Rihanna and Selena Gomez tweeted messages along the lines of “Free Gaza” or “Free Palestine”, did they ever stop to consider how young women like them are treated by the Hamas government and the society they are defending?  In contrast are they aware of the equality and opportunities provided to young women in Israel, even going as far as being important contributors in the military?  I am sure they didn’t.  They posted it on Twitter because it seemed like a fun, neo-humanitarian thing to do at the time.  Not so much fun anymore when there’s a video of an American journalist being beheaded on YouTube is it?

If the rest of the western world had put the same value on the lives of  Naftali Frenkel,   Eyal Yifrach, and Gilad Shaar as Israel did, and supported the operation in Gaza as it should have and understood its importance, it would have sent a message to groups like ISIS and Hamas, and even the oft ignored ringleader Iran, that it understood what is at stake.  But not only did they not do it then, some continue to not do it today.  But to those who needed to see it in front of them to make it real, the beheading of James Foley was a wake up call.  Not so Chic anymore is it?

 

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What Offends You?

MummyBomberL_468x468In light of all the comments I’ve received recently, some attacking my comments, many supporting them, I’ve decided to make a post reviewing my observations of what I perceive as some of those things offensive to those not sharing my sensitivities and drawing a comparison or similarity to mine when applicable.  At least inasmuch as I am not offended by the same things that they are, even if they are offended by the same things that offend me. Confused? So am I.  If the “you” I refer to is not you, don’t worry.  I clearly don’t mean you.  This piece is for those occasionally or commonly directing their passions in different directions than I do.

WHAT OFFENDS YOU

Israel’s actions in Gaza

Benjamin Netanyahu

When you perceive someone as insulting towards George Clooney

Someone drawing a connection between a high-profile woman and her high-profile future husband in regard to her anti-Israel statements

Someone using Russell Brand’s addiction problems as a means to ridicule him

Blanket anti-Muslim sentiment

Someone insulting the famous people you worship

A one-sided approach to the Israeli-Palestinian problem

Jews invoking the memory of the Holocaust to use it as justification for actions and attitudes today

Pictures representing Palestinian children as terrorists

 

WHAT OFFENDS ME

Hamas training Palestinian children to be terrorists

Using injured or dead children as a media ploy against Israel

Jewish people defending George Clooney with more vigor than they defend Benjamin Netanyahu

Terrorism

Jewish families being blown up in Pizza places

The United Nations

Russell Brand’s remake of Arthur

People blatantly ignoring the truth to suit their argument against Israel

Jewish people who distance themselves from Israel

Anti-Semitism

 

This post is a very general post.  It does not target specific people.  Some of you fall partially into a category, some completely, some not at all.  This is how I feel.  I have approved every comment made in my blog in an effort to not stifle opinions, regardless of how offensive they may be to me and others. However, in turn, I have no intention of remaining silent about those issues that I find offensive and feel are damaging to our future and in many cases I know that what offends me, offends you as well.  In the meantime I hope you continue to enjoy the read.

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Why Now?

obamaUnfortunately the current situation in Nigeria and the public outcry regarding the kidnapped school girls brings to the forefront the misplaced priorities running rampant in today’s world.   Make no mistake, the kidnappings are horrific.   However, it sadly is another example of people finding a cause without knowing what has really been going on for quite some time.

Boko Haram is one of the most vicious, heartless groups of evil murderers roaming the planet.  For years they have been killing people in Nigeria in the most callous and terrifying ways imaginable.  Primarily targeting Christians and law enforcement officials, these terrorists have crucified people and burnt them alive.  Their behavior is reminiscent of the Nazis in the way they show absolutely no remorse or mercy in how they kill.   As awful as the kidnappings are, this action of terrorism is by no means their first act of terror and begs the following question.  Where has everyone been till now?

I won’t criticize Michelle Obama or anyone else for tweeting to release the prisoners nor will I criticize anyone for being an activist in the release of these poor girls, because regardless of the motivation the behavior is good behavior and not where the problem lies.  Even though I agree with George Will when he makes the statement that the exercise is one in futility and an exercise in self esteem, I also believe in the concept of a good action for the wrong reasons still being a good action.   And to be quite frank, that’s not the part that disturbs me.  What disturbs me is that we live in a world when no one cares enough when people get murdered and burned alive to take action.  Our leadership and the leadership of other nations around the world keep silent until it becomes a popular cause.  And the so-called activists who call Israel an apartheid state will never, and I say that confidently, NEVER find any Israeli behaving in the vicious and callous way that the member of Boko Haram have behaved.   Yet they have all remained silent.  Why?  Simply put it is because there is no financial gain or benefit towards their popularity.  That and the fact that some people hate Jews more than they value human life.

I hope and pray these girls get returned safely, but I hope and pray even more that somehow the world starts turning into a place where innocent human life is valued.  Sadly I am not confident at this time that it will happen any time soon, but in the meantime I’ll keep hoping and praying.

 

 

 


Syria: A lose lose situation

bigstock-syria-3770337As a supporter for Israel I have no difficulty in saying that I despise the current Syrian regime.  Starting with the current Assad’s father, this dictatorial fascist government has been a catalyst in attacks on Israel and a financier of worldwide terrorism specifically against Israel and world Jewry for decades.  With that said one would think I would be in favor of a U.S. lead attack on Syria in response to the evidence of chemical weapons being used by the government against the rebels in the ongoing civil war.  This is not the case at all.  Not only am I not in favor of United States involvement in Syria, I’m more opposed to it than I have been to any military action in a very long time.  The reason being is that it is clear to me that nothing good will result from any type of US lead attack.

The first question that comes to my mind, one that I asked a week ago, is why now?  Why is it so much worse that people get slaughtered with chemical weapons than it is that they get blown apart by a bomb?  My mother, who is 91 and a survivor of the Holocaust, gave me what I consider to be the best answer to that question.  Her response was, and I am paraphrasing; ‘others get involved when it scares them and they are in danger.  If Syria has chemical weapons they can use it elsewhere.  They don’t care about the other people.  They only care about themselves.’

If we think the people we are pretending to care about don’t see this as well then we have become blinded by our very arrogance.

I don’t have a problem with our government or any other government looking out for the safety of its citizens, but I do have issue with it being done behind the smokescreen of concern.  It eliminates the full and honest disclosure necessary to deal with a crisis of this magnitude. And make no mistake.  This is a major crisis.  The Syrian government is backed by Russia, a powerful and important player in world politics and one we are already at odds with.  The collapse of governmental structure in Syria could lead to chaos that could indeed start a major conflict involving multiple nations aligning on different sides.  The Syrian crisis has immediate impact on Israel, Turkey, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq and Jordan.  This would follow with a multitude of other countries likely getting involved.  Although Russia has not taken a hard stance against US involvement, the relationship it has with Syria is a wild card that makes this an even more dangerous venture.

I am generally in favor of anything that protects the State of Israel.  This would not protect Israel nor would it bring any additional stability to the crumbling region.  Syria is already an enemy of Israel and the Jewish people and has and will continue to harbor and support terrorists committed to its destruction.  The Israeli government is fully aware of this and has and always will take the appropriate action to ensure the safety of its people and neutralize the enemy.  A US attack on Syria does neither.

I am not a bleeding heart who is opposed to any type of war.  However, of all the reasons to go to war, going to war to send a message is one of the most barbaric and unproductive.  If someone can show me how bombing Syria accomplishes anything more than that I am willing to listen.  I just don’t see it that way.