Tag Archives: United States of America

Trump puts Democracy on Notice


Whenever I make the case against Donald Trump, I am subject to a barrage of, “what about Hillary” comments. As a Jewish American and strong supporter of Israel I’ve often been asked by those who oppose Hillary Clinton how I can choose her over Donald Trump.  Even if I am to  accept that she is not a friend of Israel, something I do not necessarily accept and another discussion irrelevant to my point, my answer has always been as follows.  A weakened American democracy is something that puts the whole world in danger and is something far more perilous for Israel than a president that does not support her.

This is no longer about which candidate you prefer to win on November 8th.  This is now about the future of democracy in the United States of America.  It is dishonest and irresponsible to put Donald Trump’s answers in convenient vacuums.  When the Republican nominee for president indicated at the 3rd and final debate that he would decide after the election on November 8th whether or not he would accept the outcome, this was not an isolated answer.  This was an answer from a man who is pushing a populist movement based on discontent, scapegoating and anger.  This is an answer from a man who has mocked people from almost every ethnic group.  It’s a man who has fired up the extreme right wing of the country. In his answer about the importance of the Supreme Court he honed in on the 2nd Amendment while once “joking” about how supporters of the 2nd Amendment could take matters into their own hands in stopping Hillary Clinton. I take umbrage with the comparison of Trump to Hitler, simply because you can’t compare a man who makes volatile and irresponsible statements to a murderous dictator guilty of the murder of millions of people including the slaughter of 6 million Jewish men, women and children.  However,that being said, that doesn’t mean any of this is good for democracy. That doesn’t take away from from his glib suggestion that his supporters take out his major opposition.

Trump is a high stakes gambler.  He personally has very little to lose by his effort to be president.  The problem is he’s been playing with house money, which in this case means the future of the country.   The only way what Trump has done turns out to be good for the country is if he wins and does a phenomenal job.  Two things that are seen as highly unlikely to a large segment of the American population.  For argument sake however, let’s play this out.  Trump wins, appoints the best advisers, defeats ISIS, stabilizes the Middle East, strengthens relationships with our allies, and orchestrates an historic economic boom.  If this were to happen, not only would American democracy be strengthened, the Republican Party would survive their organizational catastrophe.  As an American, should the unexpected happen and Mr. Trump does win, I hope and pray it plays out this way. Problem is, I am quite certain it won’t.

Of course as most polls show, it is unlikely Donald Trump will win.  But even if we allow that to be considered as a possibility, the demeanor and temperament he has displayed throughout this campaign has to be concerning to anyone looking at this with a level head. I know his surrogates and ardent supporters will make excuses for everything he’s said and allegedly done, but that doesn’t change any of the facts.  Corey Lewandowski and Kayleigh Mcenany can spend all day saying “what Mr. Trump was saying is….”, but that will never actually change the candidate’s words.  And words hold power. Not everything can be blamed on political correctness and not being a typical politician.  Most significantly, telling a debate moderator that “I’ll keep you in suspense” as to whether or not he will accept the will of the people and respect the peaceful transfer of power has nothing to do with being a New Yorker or an anti-establishment candidate.  It has more to do with an inability to accept defeat as an option.  That happens to be quality I love in an athlete and to some extent see as a positive in a political figure, but that does not mean Mr. Trump’s inability to accept defeat supersedes the will of the American voter or a political system that has worked for 240 years.  And let’s be honest and say what is on everyone’s mind and is everyone’s ultimate concern.  Trump’s refusal to agree to accept the outcome until he sees what happens is just short of incitement to riot and undermines the very core of American democracy.  His supporters have already shown that he can say anything he wants and they will still listen to him.  What happens if he loses, claims the election is rigged, and tells his supporters to take to the streets in protest?  The United States of America may face a problem greater than any it has faced in its history.

How is that possible you may ask?  Simply put, even in the face of the greatest threats, the most incompetent leadership, or the greatest discontent of the populous, America has always been able to rest its head on one basic fact. It has, at least functioned on the perceived principal of democracy.  It’s impossible to give full credit to a nation that once considered slavery legal, but even then it was a country that respected its system.  That respect held it together and allowed it to grow from a place where black slaves helped build the White House to a place where a black man resides in it as President of the United States.  Politics aside, I believe any reasonable and decent person has to see the beauty in a system that allows for that kind of growth.

I fear that Donald Trump’s America has a danger of damaging that freedom to grow.  I don’t know what is in the man’s heart and what his true intentions are. There are people I like and respect who think he is doing this for selfless reasons.  Others believe he is doing this to attain the greatest power, either for personal benefit or at worse, anarchy and destruction.  I don’t know the answer, but I do know that his words have put a dent in our democracy greater than any put by any of our external foes, because the more Mr. Trump falls behind the more he pivots from challenging the establishment to challenging the system.  He does this in what appears to be an effort to mold the system to his liking and his benefit, something that terrifies many for one very important reason.  Even a system with a corrupt establishment within its ranks is better than a country running on one individual’s idea of what the system should be.  A system running the way only one person wants it to run is nothing short of a dictatorship.

This election has transcended Republican against Democrat, Conservative against Liberal, or Trump against Clinton.  This election is now a referendum on the democratic system that has held this country together for almost 2 and a half centuries, and regardless of the outcome, that is something that should concern and disturb many American citizens because it should never have gotten to this point in the first place. When this election is over, if the democracy remains in tact, the challenge of leadership, media and all concerned citizens is to find out why.  Otherwise it will only get worse.









Open Letter to Dianne Feinstein


Dear Senator Feinstein,

I remember watching you on an interview after Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed Congress and even then I was struck by the arrogant attitude you displayed towards the Israeli Head of State. With that in mind your recent statements come as no shock to me despite the incredulous lack of logic in your words.

First of all, you say the Iranians are “sincere” about wanting a deal.  Well thank you Captain Obvious.  Of course they want a deal.  This is the best thing that could have happened to them.  They get everything they want. A lifting of sanctions, a place on the world stage, and a nuclear program that could very well wind up making them the most dangerous nation on earth.  It doesn’t take a brain surgeon or even a Senator from California to realize that Iran would be happy with this arrangement.  So to say that they are sincere about wanting a deal, is nothing less than a waste of breath.

You then go on to say that you disagree that “the broad outlines of the deal threaten the survival of Israel”.  If this deal increases the likelihood of Iran getting nuclear weapons that statement is just ludicrous.  Iran has repeatedly stated that it wants to wipe Israel off the planet.  Therefore basic logic would dictate that an Iran with nuclear weapons would indeed be a threat to Israel’s survival.

When discussing Netanyahu’s stance you say,

 “I wish that he would contain himself, because he has put out no real alternative, in his speech to the Congress, no real alternative, since then, no real alternative.”

Personally I am offended by anyone, particularly a Jewish leader speaking so disrespectfully about the Prime Minister of Israel, but I guess you are so partisan in your policies that you believe it is important to speak of him this way in order to support President Obama.  As far as the crux of the statement is concerned, if someone speaks out against someone’s desire to commit suicide but doesn’t give the individual an alternative way to live their life, should they therefore be in favor of suicide?  Based on your statement suicide would be the right move, not just for the individual in this hypothetical scenario, but based on this policy, for the United States as well.

It so happens that Prime Minister Netanyahu does have an alternative which is

“standing firm, ratcheting up the pressure (through continued sanctions), until you get a better deal.”

Of course you are opposed to this because you are seeing through partisan blinders and they are causing you to support the president in a deal with a distrustful government with the ambition of radicalizing the entire planet. Your own statement in response to Netanyahu’s comment only shows how illogical dealing with Iran is when you say, that the path of sanctions would drive Iran’s program underground and make it more difficult to monitor.  How do you get from that to believing this is a legitimate partner in peace?  I don’t believe that you do.  Instead I believe you are playing partisan politics at its worst, even when it is detrimental to the safety of the State of Israel, the United States of America, and ultimately the entire western world.

To me this is poor and irresponsible leadership that will not only hurt the country, but the political party you clearly deem more important than anything else.  Not to mention the fact that as a Jew, it is my opinion, and one shared by many others, that in supporting this deal you are supporting a policy that puts the Jewish nation and Jews everywhere in danger.  I hope you can live with that.


David Groen






Open Letter to John Kerry regarding the State Department Approach towards Israel

John_Kerry_second_Secretary_of_State_PortraitDear Secretary Kerry,

Although I am a Jew and a Zionist, as an American I am fully aware that when we vote for our leaders we are electing individuals whose job is to do what they perceive as best for the United States of America.  I am fully aware that despite the importance Israel has to me and millions of other Americans, your job is to do what you deem as strategically beneficial for America first.  I respect that, and to be frank as an American voter, even expect that.  With that in mind, despite my admitted personal bias, I still have serious issues with the actions of this administration and as I write this letter, primarily with the State Department.

I will begin to make my point by asking an important question.  What is the difference between negotiating with terrorists and legitimizing them?  I understand the Israeli/Palestinian issue is a complicated and troubling one.  I personally no longer hold a moderate view towards how it should be handled, but I know many of my fellow Jews and Americans who are more moderate and even optimistic that a two state solution is possible.  I know of many people who believe in what is best for Israel while opposing the building of settlements in the West Bank and questioning Prime Minister Netanyahu’s policies.   I tell you this to emphasize that despite the fact that I strongly disagree with these people, I know many of them love Israel as much as I do. The issue however is the importance of making a clear distinction not only between innocent Palestinian civilians and Palestinian terrorists but in properly addressing who is responsible for the problems they, the innocent people face.

I think it is fair to say that when Jen Psaki speaks in the name of the State Department, she is doing so with your approval and under your authority.  To be frank, if this is not the case that would represent an entire different set of problems.  But assuming she is indeed doing so, it seems more and more clear that there is an unfair balance as to the amount of criticism and expectation put on Israel by the Department of State.

I’ve heard the argument that Israel, as the democracy that it is needs to be held to a higher standard.  I also know that despite some of the problems currently between Israel and this administration there still exists a positive working relationship.  What I believe to be at issue here, and can not be justified by the rationale of diplomacy, is the fact that Israel gets pressured and criticized by the State Department in ways that imply it is fighting against an enemy of equal legitimacy.  If you wish to concern yourself with the well-being of the Palestinian people equally to that of the Israelis, I will quietly understand and accept that as a fair premise.  However in doing so, besides how morally incorrect it is,  you are defeating your own purpose if you manifest this into equal treatment of Israel’s government and Hamas.

I am sure the response would be that the State Department has condemned Hamas on occasion and that should be enough, but it’s not enough if you don’t properly address the fact that it is indeed Hamas and those factions within the Palestinian community that discourage peace with Israel and encourage violence and terrorism from their able-bodied men that is mostly responsible for the problems the innocent Palestinians are facing.

One more important point I wish to make, going back to my original statement, is that this approach which not only legitimizes but emboldens terrorist organizations is an approach that has the potential to cause serious harm to the United States and its allies.  If nothing else motivates you to rethink your strategy, I certainly hope that this does.

It would be wonderful to receive a sincere thought out response to this letter, one which details how the current actions are beneficial to all legitimate parties, but to be quite frank I’m not expecting one.  Please however be aware that many people feel as I do and are disillusioned and losing faith in the current administration’s ability to handle the serious events taking place around the globe.  Seeing that there seems to be more of an emphasis on satisfying the concerns of outside parties than the concerns of the American people, the State Department may want to reconsider its approach.


David Groen





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Blood on his hands

“Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy, read history.  They elected Hitler”-Rudy Giuliani responding to the statement that the people of Gaza elected Hamas.

ap_jimmy_carter_110425_wg-e1335377335955You can be a humanitarian or a bigot if you so choose, but you can’t be both.  When you’ve fooled people into believing you are a humanitarian you better understand that is a term that applies to all human beings, not just the ones you like.  If you’re an ex-President of the United States of America you better understand that your words hold some weight and therefore can impact future events.

We may be able to argue that Jimmy Carter is and always was inept, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that he is also dangerous.  It is people like him, anti-Semites who enable terrorists, that have till now and still do, lay the groundwork for the deaths of countless innocent civilians.  I have heard Democrats blame George W. Bush for the 9/11 attacks and Republicans blame Bill Clinton, but I always maintained the only one to blame is Osama bin-Laden. However, if you really want to give some of the fault to an American president you can blame Jimmy Carter.  It goes much deeper than the debacle of leadership he showed during the Iranian revolution.  Jimmy Carter’s support and friendship with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat was the most high-profile acceptance of a terrorist by any American president in the nation’s history.  In doing this Jimmy Carter strengthened the PLO, legitimized terrorism, and set the groundwork for the growth of future terrorist organizations.

So Mr. Carter, you are not a humanitarian at all.  What you are is a hypocrite. You have used the guise of humanitarianism to push your agenda, an agenda that has always been anti-Israel and anti-Semitic.  Your relationship with Hamas is an easy one to understand.  They hide behind children to attack Israel, you hide behind humanitarianism.  You speak words that fraudulently portray you as a decent man, when in reality there is a lot of blood on your hands.  In opening your mouth again you clearly are hoping for more, and I have no doubt the blood you prefer is Jewish blood.



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And the DOPA goes to…

dove of peaceStarting today Holland’s Heroes is rolling out a new feature.  It is called the Dove of Peace Award (DOPA).  The DOPA will be presented to friends of Israel and the Jewish people who display exceptionally strong and vocal support when it is needed most.  The people I speak of are people who have a clear understanding of  the damage and carnage being caused by, and as a result of the actions of Hamas and terrorists organizations like it, as well as a clarity about Israel’s true motivation, PEACE.  Normally there will be one at a time with an unspecified degree of frequency, but since there were 4 people I wanted to start with today, I am starting with a countdown of my assessment of the 4 most deserving of this weeks DOPA’s.



Bob Schieffer 715In an atypical fashion for a journalist of his tenure, Bob Schieffer gave his very strong opinion of the situation in Israel and Gaza, and in doing so quoted the late great Prime Minister of Israel Golda Meir.  Schieffer said the following:

In the Middle East, the Palestinian people find themselves in the grip of a terrorist group that has embarked on a strategy to get its own children killed in order to build sympathy for its cause, a strategy that might actually be working, at least in some quarters. Last week, I found a quote of many years ago by Golda Meir, one of Israel’s early leaders, which might have been said yesterday. “We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children, she said, “but we can never forgive them for forcing us to kill their children.”




ted-cruz-has-just-wrapped-up-his-epic-21-hour-defund-obamacare-talk-a-thonLet me start with an overdue apology.  I once called Senator Cruz a sideshow act. Now I call him Senator Cruz and do so respectfully.  He has shown himself to be a consistently staunch supporter of Israel, has given one of the most impassioned speeches on the Senate floor  supporting Israel in the past few weeks, and has shown his sincerity even further by going across party lines and working with Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of NY in pushing for a resolution condemning Hamas.  Senator Cruz said the following:

“Hamas is undoubtedly guilty of violating international humanitarian law through its deliberate, repeated, and consistent use of civilians as human shields. “The United States of America, along with the entire international community must expose and denounce Hamas’ barbaric tactics and unequivocally support Israel’s right to self-defense.”





866px-Howard_SternWhen I heard Howard Stern’s recent assessment of the situation in Israel and Gaza, I almost stopped writing in Holland’s Heroes.  There was nothing to add. He nailed it.  It is one of the best 5 minutes you will ever spend. CLICK HERE TO HEAR HIS SPEECH. Howard leaves no doubt as to what he thinks in this humorous, intelligent, and candid accounting of what is really happening in the Middle East.  Just be careful.  If you don’t like bad language you better find the edited version.  But let’s face it, some people deserve a Go F&*(& Yourself.

He said the following:

“Israel’s at no fault,” he said. “Jews get enough s**t all over the world … Jews are the indigenous people of that area. The Arabs don’t even want those Palestinians .. nobody wants them.  If you’re anti-Israel you’re anti-America. [It’s] the only democracy over there, the only friend we have .. who’s willing to fight and stand up for what’s right.”




Jon-Voight1I have to admit, I loved Howard Stern’s 5 minute speech so much, I could listen to it 10 times a day.  So then why does Jon Voight get number 1? Because in his support and defense of Israel one forgets Jon Voight isn’t Jewish.  When he gets going he sounds as passionate as someone who was born and raised Jewish and conscience of Israel and the Jewish world.  And he not only shows his support, he makes it an obvious priority in a way that shows it is not only important, it is personal.  His passion is so strong he even goes after the administration.

Jon Voight said the following:

Instead of telling Hamas to stop sending rockets into Israel aimed at its civilian population, [Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry] say Israel has to stop killing civilians. What a travesty of justice! Every patriotic America- Jew and non-Jew alike- must show their outrage and that we will not tolerate propaganda and lies about Israel being the aggressors and suppressors of the Palestinians.”



dove of peaceIf you have anyone you want to nominate for future DOPAs please feel free to leave a comment on this page.



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American Pressure on Israel: Fundraising, dislike, or fear?

Barack ObamaIn the name of integrity I must start by confessing that I voted for this administration twice. So when I criticize its actions I also on some levels criticize my choice. Be that as it may, there are many issues to consider when analyzing an American administration’s attitude towards Israel. In fairness it needs to be said that the United States of America has always been a friend of Israel’s, and the funding of Iron Dome under the Obama presidency clearly needs to be appreciated. With that said, why is Israel’s most important friend trying to push it towards unacceptable agreements with a terrorist organization? There are 3 possible reasons and none of them make the U.S. look good nor are they helpful to the overall situation.

The first possibility, and clearly the most cynical one, is that a President who is a master fundraiser is in some ways fundraising by showing poor support for Israel. When we hear that Qatar, a wealthy nation with money to burn, is supporting Hamas, it has to be considered that they are using their financial clout to influence the president and this government. With a U.S. economy floundering and an Arab nation with the potential ability to hold financial leverage over many people, companies and even nations, the power of money can’t be ignored. I stop short of making accusations of personal financial corruption because such claims being made without evidence is irresponsible, but to say that Qatar can use its money for influence is not only accurate, but realistic.

The second possibility, which is one that many Jews and supporters of Israel gravitate towards is a dislike for Israel, particularly towards Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. I won’t analyze this because the actions are very clear and out in the open, and since some are supportive of Israel and some are not, without a clear declaration of intent we just don’t know how Obama and his cabinet feels. I can only hold out hope that there is enough competence in this administration to at least make decisions based on assessment on what is the best move and not on personal likes or dislikes. We just can’t be sure.

The third choice, and the one I will go on record as thinking is the most likely one, is fear. Fear on many levels. Fear of escalation, fear of confrontation, fear of terrorist reprisals on U.S. soil, but most of all basic fear of the enemy. I know there are those who will read this that feel President Barack Obama is complicit with Islamic fundamentalists, but for the sake of sanity I will work from the assumption that this president does not intend to destroy the United States and western civilization. I do however feel that he is scared of the consequences connected with opposing Muslim fundamentalists. It shows with his inaction in Iraq, where the rise of ISIS may be the single most dangerous thing happening on the planet today, it shows with his approach towards Iran and North Korea, and it shows with his lack of conviction against Hamas, a terrorist organization very capable of organizing attacks on the United States in the future.

Here’s the concerning catch to all of this. Despite the fact that blaming it on fear is less cynical and callous than the other choices, it may be the most dangerous. An American government working from fear gives strength to the forces of evil that previously were held in check by this great country. If America as a nation shows fear, it emboldens the enemy, and once they get too strong there may be no turning back.


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A Citizen’s Plea

Abraham_Lincoln_head_on_shoulders_photo_portraitAlthough I write this post as a proud American, it is my belief that the strength and position of the United States of America is of great importance to the entire civilized world.  Debate is a good thing and it is a cornerstone of American society.  Part of the greatness of the country is the freedom of all its citizens to express themselves no matter how diametrically opposed one citizen or group may be from the other.  However, the freedoms given by the founding fathers, as important as they are, do very little good if they are used a destructive force against a united society.

Let me make it clear to anyone reading this that I am not being so presumptuous to think that anyone can put a limit on the freedom of speech.  Any limitations put on it destroy the very premise it was built on.  So in essence, all I am doing in this post is exercising my freedom of expression with a personal plea.  Let’s get it together people.

It is time to come together as a nation and stop the bitter attacks against one another.  Abraham Lincoln once said, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”  We are destroying ourselves.  Not with differences of opinion or ideology, not with conservative or liberal stances, and not with a loyalty to the Republican or Democratic Party.   We are destroying ourselves with conspiracy theories, personal attacks and vendettas, and hatred towards those who think differently than we do.  Intelligent debate has been replaced by name calling and accusation.  Idealism has been replaced with a corruption that has ambitious people taking advantage of weaknesses created by a modern society blinded by the desire to always find the easy way out.

I am a Social Liberal, but it is very important that I make something very clear.  This is a totally non-partisan post.  Those who are guilty are on all ends of the political spectrum and to say otherwise would just compound the problem and destroy any credibility this post might have.  Even if one side is harsher than the other, something both sides take turns being, we are still at a stage of verbal conflict where it behooves either side, even the attacked side to take a softer stance if it creates a more unified nation.  We need that right now.  For despite the importance of the debates taking place in the country today, the true enemies are not domestic.  There are forces such as Islamic regimes and a North Korean crazy who want to see us wiped off the map.  I may be Pro Choice, but I’ll support my Pro Life fellow American against those whose intention is to murder us.  And if someone opposes gay marriage, although I disagree with their viewpoint, I don’t see them as evil for standing by what they believe in.  And I may have an anti-gun philosophy for the average American, but I also know that an extremely high percentage of those who are passionate about keeping their guns do not want them for the purpose of killing their fellow Americans.

My point is that even the most Conservative of civilized Americans are not my enemy, just as I am not theirs.  But if we go after each other with venom and hatred we risk doing the very thing the great Abraham Lincoln warned us about, and that is destroying ourselves.  As an American this is my personal plea to all those reading.  Let’s not go down that road.  Let’s debate the issues but never stop working together for the best possible solutions to our shared problems.

For all those who need hope…

To all those in Israel, Holland, England, Australia, Germany, France, India, Pakistan, Singapore,  Sweden, Philipines,  Spain, Poland, and of course the United States of America who are viewing my blog, THANK YOU!

Now tell all your friends and tell them to tell all of theirs.  Let them know about the book Jew Face.  I look around and see many people today who have lost hope because of everyday difficulties and struggles and hope that knowing this story will help in some way.  Everyone needs inspiration and those who have read the book so far have at the very least seen how people can come from the worst situation, the brink of personal devastation, and built a life of joy, fulfillment, and love.

So tell your friends.  Let them have the opportunity to decide if they want to reap the benefits of this story.