Tag Archives: U.S.

A Shaken World needs to Wake up Fast

ap_canada_shooting_1_kb_141021_4x3_992As someone who has recently experienced his first case of writer’s block in almost 4 months, it would stand to reason that today’s tragic events would have gotten my creative juices flowing. However, maybe it is because a terrorist attack in Jerusalem killing a 3 month old baby and a shooting spree by gunmen in Ottawa is so overwhelming that I found myself unsure where I should even begin.  After all, you start to ask yourself if the people who can make a difference are even listening. Or even worse, they’re listening but don’t care.

We know that Israel and the rest of the Western World wants to stop terrorism.  There is little doubt about that.  But while the world crumbles around it, the United Nations makes settlements in the West Bank its priority.  While bombs explode in Iraq, women get raped and murdered in ISIS controlled territory, babies get run over by terrorists in Israel, and the Canadian parliament gets attacked, people make excuses for all of this bad behavior.  Secretary of State John Kerry implies that Israel’s behavior somehow fuels Islamic extremism and when a woman gets beheaded in Oklahoma by a radicalized Muslim, U.S. government officials prefer to call it workplace violence.

We are either headed towards or already in the midst of a global catastrophe. It all depends on your perspective.  But one things is certain, we are headed in the wrong direction fast.  I hesitated to write something that could be construed as negative and pessimistic, but I believe I would be doing a far bigger injustice if I ignored the reality.  That reality is that the world is in big trouble, and as long as those in power refuse to openly face the facts that Islamic extremism is destroying the planet, it will only get worse.

It’s time the world woke up before it is too late.  Keep in mind that the fact that I am willing to consider the possibility that it might not be too late already is the only optimism I am willing to provide on what has been another very tragic day in a very dangerous world.





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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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No More ISIS Horror Images:My personal stand

dhBritish aid worker David Haines is the latest westerner to be executed by ISIS. Earlier today images were released hauntingly similar to those taken of murdered journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. After hearing the arguments made against even showing the pictures taken just before the executions of the 2 journalists, I’ve decided that starting today I am taking my own personal stand.  I will do my small part to no longer give these murderers the soapbox they so sickeningly crave.  I will not feed into their hate, I will not contribute to the fear they are trying to generate, and I will encourage everyone to follow suit. I will not show them even the slightest amount of respect and I will only give honor to the men and women they murder without conscience.

My friends, these are evil and scary people, but rest assured their days are numbered.  In their efforts to destroy civilization as we know it I believe they will galvanize the good of the world to exhibit force not seen since 1945, and maybe even surpassing that element of force.  The time will come when they push the wrong button on the wrong leaders nerve and then they will be hit with force they never even imagined.  It might be Israel who does it, it might be the U.S., it might even be Britain, Russia or China.  But it will happen. It’s always darkest before the dawn.  It is yet to get darker, but there is a dawn on the horizon.  Of this I am sure.

David Haines left behind a wife and 2 children.  He was 44.  May he rest in peace.




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Trolling for Lies:”ISIS ISIS Baby”

ISISISI’ve recently been, for lack of a better term, creeping or trolling on pro-Palestinian anti-Israel websites to get a sense of the latest lies being told and what the latest propaganda is coming out what I like to call, the Hamas information center.

A perfect example of this is the story they tell behind Israel’s financial reasons for “ethnic cleansing” in Gaza, particularly in light of a current arrangement Israel made with Jordan.  Israel will be supplying Jordan, a nation primarily consisting of Palestinians, with Natural Gas.  The story being told on some of the websites is that Gaza is sitting on an enormous amount of natural gas and that the real reason for the operation was to rid the area of Palestinians so that Israel could harvest the natural gas unimpeded.  Of course it has nothing to do with a constant barrage of missiles, kidnappings, murders and years of other terrorist activity.  It has nothing to do with  a charter of Hamas that calls for the death of all Jews.  Not to mention how ridiculous it is to claim Israel is killing off Palestinians in Gaza to facilitate providing Palestinians in Jordan with a more efficient and affordable source of energy.  But again, it doesn’t have to make sense when it’s an indictment on Israel.

Then there are these claims, the first of which may enrage many as it did me, claiming the 3 Yeshiva boys actually died in a car accident and Israel used it as an excuse to attack Gaza.  One person even goes as far as claiming the Israeli government killed the boys for this purpose.

And of course this weeks Number 1 on the Hit list, “ISIS, ISIS Baby.” In this case the lie is being promoted by none other than Fidel Castro (I swear I thought he was dead and sorry, I kind of wish he was) who backs up the claim that Israel created ISIS to create division within the Arab world and did so with the likes of the U.S. and U.K.  The following is displayed on top of a picture of ISIS leader al-Bagdadi, implying he said these exacts words, “We kill every man, woman, child Shia, Sunni…Zoroastrian, Kurd or Christian.  But we don’t touch Israel”.   Yeah, that makes sense.  Israel helps establish a Jihadist organization brutally killing Christians in its own backyard and helps mold them into a group that hates Jews even more than Christians.  It’s so ridiculous that if you were watching it in the movie theater you would likely walk out because it was too unrealistic.  But when it comes to Israel the first rule of storytelling isn’t that it makes sense.  The first rule is that it makes Israel look bad to as many people as possible.  Even when logic totally destroys the premise and contradicts the lie, these people still choose to believe it if it makes Israel guilty of something.

There were 2 comments in one group that were particularly enjoyable to read merely because it showed there are actual voices of reason.  Either that or there are people who take it a little further than I do, make up names and attempt to wreak some havoc.  Here are my 2 favorite comments.

The first comment I loved was:

“I wonder from where Hamas’ propaganda machine will get more photos of dead children now that the fighting is over. Oh well, guess there are plenty of dead children in Syria and Iraq that you don’t care about…”

And my personal favorite:

“Thank you Hamas for enslaving us and protecting us! I love how you never let me out of my house and killed my entire family. Thank you!”

Of course it doesn’t matter, because for those who believe the lies, those comments are the  words of the brainwashed or misguided. They must be if they don’t think Israel does everything wrong, no matter how little sense it might make.

I’ll understand if you say, “I don’t care what idiots say”, but the problem is, there are a lot of idiots.  And occasionally they do more than just talk or type. In the meantime I admit that when I see these things I go back and forth between amused and disturbed.  Amused by how bizarre some of these claims are, and disturbed by the overwhelming amount of people who believe the lies no matter how crazy they may sound.  But what do I know about the truth?  I’m a Zionist.



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Open Letter of Appreciation to Benjamin Netanyahu

gif-leaders-netanyahuDear Mr. Netanyahu,

I am certain as I write this letter there will be at least one moment when tears will come to my eyes.  The things I want to say to you are so heartfelt and I believe shared by so many other Jewish people like myself, that I have no doubt I will have moments of intense emotion while saying them.

I wish to start with two very simple words.  Thank you.  I am the son of Holocaust survivors from Holland and my entire life I have understood the importance of the State of Israel, not only in Biblical terms, but in its role as a national guardian and protector of the Jewish people. Everything you do, each word you so carefully speak, and every life you so clearly cherish does honor to the memory of the 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis.  As I sit here in New York, I feel safer as a Jew knowing you are working as hard as one can work, and with as much competence as one individual can have, towards keeping Jews all over the word safe from today’s version of the Nazis.

I do not have the honor of knowing you personally, but as a Jew listening to you speak of your desire to bring peace and quiet to the people of Israel, and the importance you have always shown for Jewish life, you almost feel like family to me.  It is natural and often justified for us to question the sincerity of politicians, but when you show anger or concern over harm done or threats made to the Jewish people, I never have the slightest doubt it is sincere.

I know you have critics.  You are the Prime Minister of a country where people are allowed to disagree with you.  I have no issue with those people because it is part of what makes Israel a great country.  However, what it does do is give me an even better understanding of how difficult your job is.  That coupled with pressure from the U.S. government and a world often working against you, the challenges you face on a regular basis are not to be envied.  Yet through all of these issues you conduct yourself with a graceful and strong leadership we so desperately need to have not only in Israel but throughout the world today.

Mr. Netanyahu, you are a true leader of the Jewish people.  You make so many of us feel safer during what is emerging as another dark time in our history. My mother who is 92 and lived in Holland during the Nazi occupation has told me this reminds her of 1938.  I challenge her on that statement saying that today is different because we have the State of Israel.  I would add that today is also different because of one other reason.  We have Benjamin Netanyahu.

In case you’re wondering, my first tears started way back in the beginning when I said Thank You the first time, something none of us can do often enough.

May God continue to provide you with the strength, wisdom and courage you need to see our people through these troubled times.

With fondest regards,

David Groen




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Israel’s Way or the Hard Way

Israeli-FlagOne must ask themselves this question.  Should Israel continue to fight fairly? Ever since the U.S. started fighting in Iraq we’ve heard a lot of talk about fighting a clean war, a moral war.  War by definition is not moral.  It is killing and destruction and no one decent is ever happy when it takes place.  To quote my mother, “When there is a war, no one wins”.  My mother Sipora Groen, is a 92-year-old Holocaust survivor from Holland, very pro-Israel, and very aware of the need to destroy the enemy.  Her statement is based on the understanding that even the victorious suffer pain and loss no one should ever have to endure.  Even with self-defense and survival forcing good people into war, war never becomes a good thing.  With that being said, she understands, as so many do, that Israel is exercising its right to self-defense, which makes its mission a vital and moral one.  What has made Israel’s behavior during this war so remarkable is that it has not sunk to the depths of the enemy, an enemy with no moral restrictions.  This has ironically given the enemy some advantages on the battlefield and on the world stage.  Seeing that the defeat of the enemy is crucial, should Israel sink to the level of Hamas?

Simple answer is, only if it is the difference between victory and defeat.  The levels in which this war is being waged most unethically are primarily twofold. First and foremost is of course the manipulation and use of the civilians of Gaza, either through exploiting their injuries in the press or even worse, causing the casualties through the use of human shields.  The second is through lying, either through transparent omission or blatant distortion of the facts.  The fact that those unwilling to support Israel will not do so regardless of what the truth is, is clearly stated  by the same facts they use to attack Israel in the media.  Israel has allowed full disclosure to the press, has clearly stated its objectives, and has provided open information on all incidents that have taken place since the start of the operation.  Other than providing blueprints for its attack strategy, Israel could not do any more than it has.  Hamas on the other hand hides from the press, intimidates the press, and consistently makes statements contradictory to its actions.  A very logical assumption would be, if what you are doing is right, you want the whole world to know about it.  So from the media standpoint the answer is simple.  If Israel is going to be attacked by those that hate it, there is no benefit in sinking to that level of lying the enemy has been using from the very beginning.

However, militarily speaking, if Hamas continues to attempt to draw Israel into a war of attrition, Israel may have no other choice but to change tactics. It comes down to one very simple point, one I have no doubt is in the heads of everyone in Israel’s cabinet.  If protecting Palestinian civilians puts Israeli civilians in more serious and prolonged danger, Palestinian civilians will no longer be considered in the strategic assessment.  As long as Israel can maintain its high moral ground it will, but ultimately unless something happens to stop Hamas, Israel will be left with no other choice but to inflict damage in Gaza that will make Hamas and the residents look back at the situation on the ground today as a relative picnic.  It is a choice Hamas and the Palestinians need to make, and in my estimation one they need to make soon or suffer dire consequences.


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The Good the Bad and the Ugh

isisiBefore I address some serious concerns I want to recognize a few positives coming out of the events of the past 12 hours.  First and foremost it is good to see our administration finally taking action on the foreign stage.  The threat from ISIS, ISIL, or IS, whatever they call themselves today is so real and has been met with so little resistance that it was very important for the U.S. to take this action of what they are calling targeted airstrikes.   The second positive is that despite the pressure the administration has put on Israel during the most recent Gaza campaign, this action sends a message of the clear distinction in the administration’s philosophy towards Israel’s military action and the actions taking place by ISIS in Iraq.

That’s the good news.  Now the concerns. The second point I made about how this makes a clear distinction, immediately makes me think of a saying in Dutch.  The saying is, “U wordt bedankt”, literally means, “you get thanks” and is akin to saying “thanks a lot” sarcastically.  The fact that I even thought that it indicated a distinction shows that the administration has clearly not been as openly pro-Israel as it should be.  To many that is a serious problem that needs to be fixed and may only be fixed when a new American administration takes over.

The second concern is more complex and potentially far more serious.  Will these airstrikes really make a difference?  Yes they look good and yes they may save many lives now, but unless ISIS, ISIL, IS, whatever they are called is stopped, I believe they won’t stop till they call themselves IS-Rael or IS-US.  A malignant tumor can get shrunk by targeted radiation, but can only be cured by chemotherapy, surgery, or both.  Targeted airstrikes are akin to radiation and may slow down the disease temporarily, but they do not eliminate it. Nothing about this administration’s actions till now indicates it has the stomach or desire to see a tough battle to its conclusion, and to damage these people without crippling them may do nothing more than help them grow and give them extra motivation to strike on U.S. soil sooner than they probably had planned.

There is no question that a good action is better than no action, but at the end of the day it is important that the good action doesn’t have the same impact as no action, which will be the case if it is not followed up properly.  Let’s hope and pray that it is.


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