Tag Archives: turkey

A Show of Disrespect from Turkish Soccer Fans during a Moment of Silence


Yesterday I listened to a discussion between an interviewer on CNN and Iranian born Muslim author Reza Aslan who is using his voice as a means of battling Islamophobia.  As a citizen of the world and a lover of the human race I made every effort to keep an open mind to what he was saying.  Then I saw the video of Turkish soccer fans booing and shouting Allahu Akbar during what was meant to be a moment of silence for the victims of last weeks terrorist attacks in Paris and I was startled back into the harsh reality. The problem is not how we perceive Islam, the problem is how Islam perceives itself.

I need to start by saying that I am inherently not a bigot.  I am the guy who doesn’t distinguish between people I interact with, work with and socialize with based on color, race, religion or sexual preference. I generally distance myself from anyone I feel does make that distinction.  That being said, the Muslim world has a major problem, and that problem is not that people fear them or identify Muslims as a dangerous threat.  The true problem facing the Muslim world is an out of control growing mentality and ideology of intolerance and hate.

I don’t know enough to sit here and put this on the entire Muslim world, and quite frankly I really don’t want to.  Very little would make me happier than for the peaceful and rational Muslim countries and elements within countries to rise up against the elements not just bringing their entire culture down, but attempting to destroy other cultures as well.  But when Turkey, a NATO country, a European country, a country touted as moderate Muslim state displays this degree of disrespect and heartlessness towards innocent victims, purely because they are not Muslim, we get a clear picture of how serious this global situation really is.

Turkey in itself is a major problem.  It’s Prime Minister shows a passionate hatred for Israel and its government, practically standing on a proverbial mountaintop and shouting to the world how evil its Jewish leadership is, but when well over 100 people get slaughtered in Paris I can’t find a comment from him anywhere. Many suspected ISIS terrorists who come from European countries and the United States are found to make passage through Turkey. To be clear, the battle against ISIS doesn’t really get serious until Turkey is held accountable for its actions and failure to take proper actions.

But here is the reason this reflects so poorly on the entire Muslim world.  Reza Aslan gets in front of the news media, battles what he calls undue bigotry against Muslims, and touts Turkey as an example of one of the decent, more tolerant countries.  Mr. Aslan, if Turkey is one of the good guys, the problem is not how we perceive Islam, the problem is what you perceive as good.  One thing I know for sure, booing during a moment of silence and shouting the same phrase used by a terrorist before he guns down scores of people or blows himself up does more to harm Islam’s image than anything Bill Maher can say. Until People like Reza Aslan understand that, we as a global society are just spinning our wheels and deteriorating into what will be a total catastrophe, not just for us but for Muslims as well.










The Promising, the Disappointing, and the Dangerous on a Day of Unity









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.






Almost Joe, Almost

if-joe-biden-were-elected-the-nations-45th-president-hed-be-74-years-old-when-he-assumed-officeEither Vice President Joe Biden isn’t running for president in 2016, or he is and just doesn’t care if he wins or loses.  When you are on the edge of showing a toughness and a clarity displayed by his initial statements last week and then you backtrack, you’ve made a critical political blunder.

Last week Biden made the following statements regarding the involvement of the United Arab Emirates and Turkey in the growth of ISIS.

“They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad. Except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra and al Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world,” 

In regard to  Turkey he said the following: “President (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan told me … ‘You were right. We let too many people (including foreign fighters) through.’ Now they are trying to seal their border.”

When UAE and Turkey got all bent out of shape, VP Biden apologized to the 2 countries for saying they are partly to blame for the growth and development of ISIS.  But was he wrong?  Have these countries really done anything other than facilitate their development?  Is Turkey not more focused on showing venomous hatred for Israel than they are on not letting ISIS recruits travel through their borders?

At a time where the populations of countries in the western world are desperately looking for strong leadership, Joe Biden stood up and said what needed to be said.  Then the 2 countries he said it to got mad and he apologized.  So close Joe.  Oh so close.   It’s a lot like a school teacher trying to break up a fight in an out of control class, reprimanding the instigators of the fight, and then apologizing to these very same instigators when they get upset at him for the reprimand.   He almost took the necessary and strong action, he just decided against it when challenged.

Unfortunately the end result makes someone who came close to displaying the strength we need in these difficult times look very weak instead.   But he almost did what he needed to do.  Almost.




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Open Letter to Viggo Mortensen

Viggo Mortensen (10)Dear Viggo,

I recently had the displeasure of reading the comments you made regarding Israel and FOX News.  I probably would have left this alone if you had done nothing other than accuse FOX News of lying, but since you followed up with distorted and dishonest comments about Israel it had an almost natural and immediate relevance.

As I normally do before writing a letter, I looked up your history. You’ve spent a lot of time in Venezuela, Argentina, and most recently Turkey.  All places so well-known for their history of free government.   Since you are someone paid to act as opposed to think, let me clue you in.  That last comment about the freedom in those countries was sarcasm.  Incidentally I’ve seen some of your films, and you get paid far too much for your acting.  But in fairness, I probably have as much knowledge of what’s fair payment for an actor’s performances as you have for, let’s say, international politics.

Your pearls of wisdom (more sarcasm) came in the form of the following comments.

When asked how you feel about FOX News you replied:

They lie—that would be the word for it.

I normally don’t defend FOX News, merely because they are a news agency and to disagree or attack a news agency is something that often doesn’t do heinous damage to them.  In fact sometimes it makes people watch them more.  But let’s face it.  If you are an intelligent and compassionate thinker as opposed to an ignorant blowhard, you don’t come out with a blanket statement like “they lie”, when referring to FOX News.  It shows personal bias and a disingenuous agenda particularly when followed up with blatantly biased and untrue statements about Israel.

When questioned about Israel you said the following:

Sadly, very little has changed in terms of the free rein that the government of Israel is given by the U.S. and other influential governments in terms of their handling of the Palestinian question. Sadly, too, the violent acts from a small minority of Palestinian terrorists also continue unabated. No one in the media seems to have a problem with anyone criticizing Palestinian terrorism, but if anyone dares express any objection to the Israeli government’s acts of state terrorism against Palestinian civilians, one is rapidly vilified and censored. Truly even-handed reporting and diplomacy are the only way to peaceful coexistence, in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world. Unfortunately, we are nowhere near seeing either of these happening in the mainstream U.S. or European media as regards the state of Israel and its behavior.

Wow!  Where do I start?  I must compliment you.  You are very economical. You’ve managed to put so much nonsense in such a short statement.  Hugo Chavez, your deceased Venezuelan buddy, would most likely have been very proud.  Abraham Lincoln once said,  “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

Israel is given free rein? Seriously?  No country on the planet is more unfairly scrutinized, criticized and vilified than the State of Israel.  The United Nations might as well change its name to the United Nations against Israel. I wonder what you would want done to them to take away what you call this “free rein”.

This next comment is actually my favorite.

No one in the media seems to have a problem with anyone criticizing Palestinian terrorism…

I’m sorry, should they?  The “liars” at FOX News certainly don’t.  You go on to compare Israel’s actions to these Palestinian terrorists you so passionately defend.  You call Israel’s actions acts of state terrorism against Palestinians. Did you lose your moral compass while shooting a film in Turkey by any chance?  After all, the politicians and journalists in Turkey seem to be a lot more careful about criticizing Palestinian terrorists.  The government actually supports them.  That should be right up your ally.  After all, Israel’s the real problem, right?

And then the coup de grace: Truly even-handed reporting and diplomacy are the only way to peaceful coexistence, something you say is not happening in the U.S. or European media as regards the state of Israel and its behavior.

Oh yes, because we all know that Israel is the media’s darling.  That’s why hundreds of thousands of dead civilians in a Syrian civil war get almost no attention compared to the 2,000 dead in Gaza.  Because the media isn’t concerned about Israel’s “behavior”.

Mr. Mortensen, I understand you are from Danish descent. I want you to see a quote from the diary of the late Christian X, King of Denmark from 1912-1947.

When you look at the inhumane treatment of Jews, not only in Germany but occupied countries as well, you start worrying that such a demand might also be put on us, but we must clearly refuse such this due to their protection under the Danish constitution. I stated that I could not meet such a demand towards Danish citizens. If such a demand is made, we would best meet it by all wearing the Star of David.

Your words, words of prejudice against the Jewish people, dishonor the people you descend from.  I am sure that like so many others you will say your views are anti-Israel as opposed to anti-Semitic, but in all honesty, when downplaying the acts of terrorists as well as the consequence of their actions, you show no value for Jewish life.   Maybe you should take an example from a great Danish king who once realized the value of Jewish life was directly connected to the value of the life of his subjects.  He likely would have realized that what Hamas wants to do to the Jewish people is eerily similar to what the Nazis did to the Jews.  I’m confident King Christian X would also have had no problem criticizing Palestinian terrorism and would never have seen self-defense against it as acts of state terrorism.

I’ll be honest, since I know honesty is so important to you.  I never liked you as an actor.   Until now at least, my opinion of you as an actor really didn’t matter, kind of like your opinion about Israel.  It does however mean you are one more actor whose movies I won’t pay to see, and I suspect I won’t be alone in feeling this way.

Good riddance “Mr. Honesty”.


David Groen





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Another Open Letter to Russell Brand

rus2Dear Russell,

Frankly I am not sure what upsets me more, the fact that you are still talking or the fact that last week the Huffington Post chose to provide you with a forum to regurgitate more of your self-serving ramblings(CLICK HERE TO READ THE OP-ED).   I am glad you think you’re not an anti-Semite because indeed that may be a step in the right direction, but unless you wrote that piece after once again dropping acid, something that in the past gave you your “pro-Jewish” epiphany, you are missing some very important points in your argument.

First of all, there is no fair way to discuss Israel’s military action in Gaza without mentioning the terrorist activities of Hamas.  Not only do you not do that, you never once even mention Hamas.  I maintain, as I did in my last letter to you(CLICK HERE TO READ), that you, like so many others don’t go after terrorist groups as hard as you go after Israel because you know the Israeli government won’t hunt you down and kill you in the street.  Hamas just might.  So conveniently leaving Hamas out of the discussion, and with all the dribble you wrote I am sure it was not a mere oversight, you are once again showing your cowardice.

Here is why mentioning Hamas is so key to the discussion.  You claim the actions by Israel are based in the economic gains of a right-wing government aligned with right-wing institutions in other parts of the world.  You do not back it up with facts, facts I would love to see because it would be enlightening to see how the Gaza campaign did anything to better anyone economically.  In truth the Gaza campaign was necessary, and sadly more campaigns will be in the future, because the ruling party of Gaza is sworn to the destruction of Israel and to the death of all Jews.  You somehow missed that in your long Op Ed professing your love for the Jewish people.

Allow me to teach you something you are required to learn if you do not want to be deemed an anti-Semite or someone who promotes anti-Semitism.  What you need to understand is more than just what you choose to see about an Israeli government.  What you need to grasp better is the concept of the modern State of Israel.

The State of Israel declared independence in 1948, 3 years removed from the murder of 6 millions Jews.  Or as your buddy Khaleed Meshaal says, a genocide only half as bad as what Israel committed in Gaza.  Israel was not set up as a way for Jews to colonize the entire Middle East or commit atrocities.  It was set up as a safe-haven, a guardian nation so to speak, for a race of people, my people incidentally, that was devastated in an unspeakable fashion.  The State of Israel was in somewhat set up as a nation designed to guarantee that what happened to the Jewish people under Hitler would indeed never happen again. So when you promote political and philosophical viewpoints that put the State of Israel in danger for its life, you don’t merely attack Benjamin Netanyahu and Likud, you attack Jews worldwide.  You may claim that you are not an anti-Semite, but your statements increase the likelihood of many dead Jews. Regardless of what you claim to be your intentions, it doesn’t get much more anti-Semitic than that.

I loved this line of yours in your Op Ed: “It is the exclusion of the sane majority that allows extremists to prosper. The insanity across the Middle East is so deeply terrifying and giddyingly futile that most people, despondent and bilious want to look away.”  And yet, no mention of Hamas.  No mention of terrorism.  No mention of how similar Hamas is to ISIS or how Israel gives more civil rights to their Muslim citizens than almost every Arab country. It seems like you almost get it sometimes, but then your personal bias or delusion takes over and you revert back to the Neo anti-Semite you so don’t want to be.  Cough cough.

Although most people seemed to like my first letter to you, there were some disturbed my personal attacks on you. I almost felt bad about it till I read how in referring to Bill O’Reilly you said he was “A hollering parasite of his own punctured anus,” and Sean Hannity you called a  “Fox News’ shop-dummy-polemicist.”  I feel much better about calling you an idiot and a coward now.  Something I still believe to be true.

Since you claim to believe in positive action, here’s a suggestion for some very positive action. Shut up.  You are actually doing more harm than good.  I know you think you are this generations Jesus, but in truth you are merely a court jester giving more Brits the ultimate justification to jump on a plane to Syria, (via Turkey) to sign up for ISIS and battle the west you clearly seem to hate so much.  Funny enough, it’s the same west that made you rich.  I think you need to realize there is something far worse than being so despondent and bilious that you want to look away.  It’s looking right at it and ignoring the truth.  Something anti-Semites are very good at.


David Groen



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Free the State Department!

john-kerry-has-been-pushing-for-air-strikes-in-syriaTo quote a statement from Times of Israel,  “Washington is fuming over the negative Israeli response to the ceasefire proposal drafted with Qatar and Turkey.”  But after the report came out that the cease-fire offer was basically an offer for Hamas to stop fighting if Israel gives in to all their demands, Secretary of State John Kerry claims he never formally offered this particular cease-fire to Israel.  Kerry claiming he never officially proposed this cease-fire, one that might as well have been drafted by Hamas, is no different from celebrities like Rihanna or Dwight Howard Tweeting “Free Palestine” only to delete the tweet later.  Once you put it out there guys, we all know how you feel.


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