Tag Archives: West Bank

Open Letter to Bethany Koval, anti-Israel Jersey teen

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Dear Benny,

As a 54 year old man it is my responsibility to address you, a 16 year old girl in an appropriate, not combatant fashion.  Although I strongly disagree with your viewpoints on Israel, I start by recognizing a few very important and pertinent facts.  Firstly, to the best of my knowledge you are not a criminal. You are a young lady, apparently a Jewish-Israeli young lady, expressing your views in a democratic society that has rules in place to protect your right to do so.  Secondly, as much as I disagree with you, I do not believe that you are, in any way part of the problem.  On the contrary. Responding to you correctly can actually work towards helping the problem.  Calling you names or attacking you for speaking up is not only wrong, it digs us all into a deeper moral hole.  So with that said I would like to bring some points to your attention and hope that it opens your eyes to factors you may not have considered.

I recently saw a video on the wall separating the Palestinians in the territories from the rest of Israel.  Since it was an anti-Israel video it naturally portrayed the wall in a totally negative light. When I thought about it later I realized the tactic being used, not only in that video but in so much of the anti-Israel propaganda being put out today.  It is a tactic that almost automatically has to be one of the driving forces in you feeling as you do today.  The tactic is, portraying history as starting from a later date.

Let me explain.  If you go to Israel today and see a wall separating 2 people who technically live in the same country I can understand how it can be a difficult thing to wrap your head around.  By itself the whole concept of a wall for that purpose is not something anyone decent would want or approve of.  But that’s only if you look at it today out of the context of why it was put up in the first place.  If history starts from the construction of the wall, Israel seems wrong.  But it does not. If history starts from the current living conditions of the Palestinians, Israel seems wrong. But it does not. If history starts from the Israeli bombs dropping in Gaza, Israel seems wrong.  But it does not.  If history starts from Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Israel might be wrong.  But it does not. You see Bethany, rather than get mad at you for exercising your First Amendment right to Free Speech, it is my responsibility to explain to you that which you may be intentionally or unintentionally be ignoring when stating your opinion.

The United Nations, the very same United Nations that at every turn attacks Israel for its “occupation”, out of the ashes of the genocide of 6 million Jewish men, women and children, sanctioned and supported the creation of the Jewish State in 1948.  Almost immediately after doing so, every neighboring country in the region ganged up on Israel and attacked her.  Israel fought them off in 1948, again in 1956, in 1967, and in 1973 the Yom Kippur War in which Israel’s enemies waited till the holiest day of the Jewish year to attack.   The war in 1967, also known as the 6 day war was the war in which Israel, finally having enough of the threat it incurred from its neighbors, captured territories as a buffer from future attacks. The Sinai, Gaza, the Golan and the West Bank were all captured in this war.  The Sinai Desert, land controlled by Egypt prior to the 6 Day War, was returned to Egypt in the very successful peace accord of 1979.  The Golan still remains in Israel as there has never been a true partner in which to discuss peace over this land captured from Syria.  Syria’s leadership which murders its own people is certainly not a willing partner in peace for Israel to negotiate with.

Here is where the problem, and the true history really starts.  Starting from Yasser Arafat to Mahmoud Abbas and later the more brazen and direct Hamas and Hezbollah, Israel has been surrounded at almost every border by terrorist organizations seeking its destruction.  Israel has made attempts to negotiate peace settlements, but even when it has offered territories, the controlling forces have found a way to crush the agreements.   These same controlling forces have received countless billions to improve the living conditions of the Palestinian people, but rather than doing so they’ve either pocketed the money or used it to fund terrorist activities in Israel.  They’ve kept the population down because let’s face it, a satisfied population is not an angry one, and they need angry people to do their bidding.  They’ve blown up entire families in one moment.  They’ve murdered little children, pregnant women and elderly citizens, not because of collateral damage but with intent.  Is it a tragedy when Palestinian children get killed in Israeli attacks?  Of course it is. But the Israeli government makes it very clear that its targets are terrorist bases of operation, not innocent civilians. When innocent people die Israel shows regret.  When innocent Jewish people get killed in terrorist attacks by members of Palestinian terror groups the attackers are glorified by far too many as heroes achieving a great success and certainly with no regret.

Yes the plight of the Palestinian people is a tragedy, just not one created by Israel.  I do not sit here saying Israel does nothing wrong Benny, all I am trying to make you understand is that the history of this conflict is a lot older than the years which you as a young lady have witnessed.  They are older than the years I have witnessed.  You are clearly intelligent and caring. If you were not you would never have bothered tweeting in the first place.  As opposed as I am to your views, in some ways I am equally opposed to you being attacked for them.  In fact, many of my open letters are scathing attacks against people expressing what I see as unfair and dishonest opinions against Israel and the Jewish people.  Seeing as you are Jewish, Israeli, and 16, I believe a harsh approach to you is not only inappropriate, it’s damaging to all those who want the same thing.  Peace. I just ask one very important thing of you. Use your intelligence and compassion to research the whole history, do so with an open and honest mind and I hope and believe you will come to a significantly different conclusion than you do today.

Sincerely,

David Groen

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Maybe they should Hate us

antiseFrom the age of 15 to 18  I lived in London in the house of a Rabbi and his family.  He and his wife were wonderful and genuinely religious people who always looked for the good in people. Whenever you would declare a hatred for another person, the Rabbi’s wife would always respond by saying how one should never hate people. Setting aside her words of compassion and decency, one can make an argument that sometimes hatred is not only reasonable but justified. Ironically over the past few days I came to the conclusion that the hatred felt towards Israel and the Jewish people may not actually be reasonable or justified, but it may not be too difficult to understand.  This is not because the people who hate us are good people, or that there is anything ethical about their hatred, this is merely because with what they are looking to accomplish and the message they are trying to get out there, the Jewish people may indeed pose a problem and a threat.

So to which group of people am I referring to?  The short answer is anyone who believes their religion needs to achieve world domination at all costs.  I could mince words and be politically correct, but since I believe in writing with integrity and honesty I will just state the reality.  Most of these people are Muslims.  Sure there are people of other faiths who hate the Jewish people as well, and I recognize that not all Muslims hate Jews, but to deny that most of the hatred is coming from those of the Muslim faith would be incorrect and irresponsible.

This whole discussion creates an interesting, and to be quite frank, a rather bizarre dynamic.  There are countless Muslims who are outspoken about their hatred towards Israel and the Jewish people. There are thousands upon thousands of people who have expressed that hatred in one form or another.  Anyone who is Jewish, especially someone who is a Zionist, finds themselves in a no-win situation.  You are expected to be quiet and just accept that hatred, for if you actually identify it, you are identified as the racist.  It’s not only bizarre, it is also a sad statement on what the world has become.

Depending on who you consider a Jew, there are anywhere between 13 to 19 million Jews on the planet.  By some estimations there are 1.6 billion Muslims.  Yet somehow the Jews are the threat.  Why is this?  Personally, this question has risen to the top of the list of the most important questions in today’s world.  Since I believe unequivocally that there is a God, and I believe the pursuit of the meaning of life is actually a fun venture, no other question has become more important to me than the question, “why do they hate us?”

I’ve come up with numerous answers and would not be surprised if I come up with more as time goes on.  The number one answer I always fall back on is that despite all efforts, us Jews just won’t go away. It sounds simplistic but as I sat in synagogue this past Saturday I was struck by the deeper meaning of it all.  The portion read from the Torah this past week spoke of how Jacob, the Biblical Patriarch whose name would later be changed to Israel, had a dream of a ladder ascending to heaven from earth.  He had this dream in what would be known as Beit El.  Beit El which is in what we know as the West Bank and is right in the heart of the conflict the world hears so much about.  The Children of Israel, who we now refer to as the Jewish people, run a government that controls this land.  Still to this day, thousands of years after the story of Jacob, aka Israel, had the dream at Beit El, this same location is now a thriving town populated by Jewish people and part of the modern nation of Israel. After all the persecution, the pogroms, the gas chambers and the suicide bombers, the Jews are still living right there in this location designated by God as special to the Children of Israel.  We may be small in number, but when you consider that it all started with a relationship with God, if your life is based around the belief that only your religion is right, of course we’re a threat.

Then of course there is the scapegoating concept.  Jews have always been a good target.  The character flaw that leads one to believe that everything wrong in the world is someone else’s fault, also exists on an organizational or national level.  Case in point, the people of Gaza live in poverty and it is all Israel’s fault.  Of course it has nothing to do with the misappropriation of funds and corruption that has a small minority living a billionaire’s life or the building of terror tunnels.  It has nothing to do with self-serving politicians rallying their people to hate Israel and the Jewish people.  It’s someone else’s fault, and the best and easiest people to blame always seem to be the Jews.

And last but definitely not least, it is plain old ignorance.  Are the Jewish people perfect?  Definitely not.  There are some high-profile Jews that have committed acts that no normal decent person would condone.  Israel as a nation makes mistakes and most likely has politicians that will manipulate the situation to benefit their personal career even if it hurts others in the process. That being said, that makes the Jews no different from any other people on the planet, and to somehow move us to the top of the list of evildoers is based on an ignorant perception caused by the choice to believe misrepresentations, or even worse being a victim of an education against the Jewish people.  The misrepresentation of facts to adults and the education of young children in many parts of the Muslim world is creating millions of people who almost have no choice other than to hate Jews. This reality is frightening, sad, and for lack of a better word disgusting.  But it certainly explains a lot.

The hatred is unreasonable, despicable, unjustified and bizarre, but if you look at what is driving those who hate us, it makes an awful lot of sense.

 

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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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Nazi-style propaganda

Iran-Missiles11For those who want to even remotely consider accepting the word of a country like Iran, the following report should tell you exactly what kind of people are in control of this fascist government. In a report reminiscent of some of the most vile lies ever told about the Jewish people, Iranian state-run PressTV has come out with a report claiming that the Islamic State is selling Iraqi and Syrian children to Israel.  Their claim is that the trafficking is being done in order to take these children and populate the settlements in the West Bank.  READ REPORT HERE

This type of propaganda is the next step up from the Holocaust denial Iran has been so famous for over the years.  What makes it even more bizarre is that even as ISIL runs rampant through their neighboring countries, Iran somehow has found a way to bring Israel into the equation.  And yet, as usual, the world remains silent.  Some may have been mislead into believing that Iran has become a more reasonable and reliable player in global politics, but this report is just another example of how this Iranian government is run by liars potentially capable of the same evil as Nazi Germany.  Are these the people you would trust with nuclear weapons?  I think not.  The world better wake up before it is too late.

 

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Open Letter to UNWRA Executive Director Abby Smardon

Palestine board 1 (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Ms. Smardon,

Thanks to information forwarded to me by a friend who recently attended a Confab at the United Nations on Global Anti-Semitism, I was able to once again see the disproportionate and biased focus the United Nations puts on the Palestinian people at the expense of the State of Israel. While attending this Confab my friend took notice of the UNWRA message boards displayed on the tour provided. These boards lead to me ask some very direct questions to the powers that be.  Let it be noted that when I use the word “you” in asking these questions I am referring to the organization of which you are Executive Director.

First question is, do you work directly for the Palestinians?

Second question, and certainly connected to the first one, is why in all your mentions of the wars Israel has had to fight do you subtly leave out the threats Israel was facing, particularly in being attacked almost immediately following the declaration of an independent state in 1948.

I ask these question as direct reaction to the information posted on these boards.  I will address them as they appeared.

In 1948, as a result of the war between Israel and neighbouring Arab states.

Let me make this clear since the United Nations/Palestinian propaganda machine refuses to do so, that entire sentence is an attempt at misdirection regarding what took place after Israel became an independent country.  “As a result of the war between Israel and neighbouring Arab states”, if written by an honest and objective party, would have read, “After Israel was attacked by neighbouring Arab states.”  This subtle way of diverting the attention from what started this war allows the UN to blame Israel for the fact that…

almost 750,000 Palestinians were uprooted, dispossessed and became refugees.

In reality, had the neighbouring Arab states allowed Israel to begin building its country in peace, this “question” as the United Nations likes to call it, would never have been asked.

The plight of Palestine refugees remains unresolved to the present day.

Another clever UN/Palestinian media subtlety, maybe lost on some but not on me.  There was no such thing as “Palestine” in 1948 or before 1948, so the term Palestine refugees is in itself a falsehood.  You even, most likely unwillingly, show that in the next statement.

An Arab State-Palestine-did not come into being.

The boards go on to mention the 6 Day War, and subsequently what took place by indicating how when the war was over, Israel occupied the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Sinai and the Golan.  As a result of this “occupation”, the boards read as follows:

At least 500,000 Palestinians were displaced from their homes; about half of them for a second time since 1948.

Misleading, since most of them left on their own and were invited back in by the Israeli government about a month after the war.  And as long as language such as  “half of them for a second time since 1948″ is being used, an unbiased and balanced introduction to that statement would have been,  “After Israel was drawn into conflict for the second time  since establishing its independence”.  That’s assuming we don’t address the events surrounding the 1956 conflict and time leading up to it.  But that would not go along with the pro-Palestinian theme your organization consistently perpetuates.

And then the boards say:

Since 1967, successive Israeli governments have established settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

I believe the capital O is also no coincidence, rather another clever method of branding.  It represents the official name your organization has chosen to give the West Bank and Gaza despite Israel not occupying Gaza and successive Israeli governments showing a willingness towards a 2 State Solution consistently sabotaged by Palestinian leadership.

The posters go on to state:

An estimated 1.26 million Palestinians, about 30% of the population in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, are food-insecure

I think it is more likely that comes from the monies provided being misappropriated than mistreatment by the “occupying force.”

Now that I know that the UNWRA was established to provide emergency relief to Palestinians, I can’t help but wonder if that means allowing missile launchers to be stashed away in schools in Gaza.  You might want to look into that, if of course it’s considered important enough. I am confident if Israel was accused of doing that an investigation would be swiftly forthcoming.

I also highly suggest you retrain your tour guides, as the one present on the day of my friend’s visit made a point, after he mentioned what a wonderful organization UNWRA is and how much it does for Palestinians, of muttering under his breath something along the lines of, unfortunately they are under attack now.  He might as well have said, those damn Jews and Zionists. They’re just never happy are they?

We Jews will no longer be silenced when we witness such blatant prejudice against our people and the State of Israel.  I am sure that some reading this will accuse me of calling everything anti-Semitic, or even worse, saying my criticism of the boards indicates lack of compassion for the innocent people who are suffering.  However, I am fully aware that those arguments are just 2 more forms of intimidation being used against Jews and Zionists to allow organizations such as yours to take liberties and openly display bias against Israel.  It is so openly cynical that it makes me wonder if it is not about improper monitoring of funds but corruption on a most grand and cynical scale.  It’s very disturbing and most ironically does more to harm the Palestinians than to help them, since its focus is more on vilifying Israel than on impacting positively to the needs of the Palestinian people.

It’s not that a few message boards and an unprofessional and biased tour guide are the worst things in this world, but in this particular case they represent something that is quite heinous and damaging to truth, justice and the betterment of all mankind.

I do not expect a response since the United Nations does not generally show that kind of respect to Jews and Zionists, but that doesn’t mean there is not a growing number of people disgusted by this continuing pattern.  Maybe for once some modicum of respect will be displayed to us and your organization will respond.  Then again, I suspect the response would be far from satisfactory even if we did get one.

Sincerely,

David Groen

Global Coalition for Israel

 

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For the Ignorant and Complicit history only Started on July 8, 2014

Operation-Protective-Edge-square-564x400July 8, 2014 was the day Israel began Operation Protective Edge.  After countless missile attacks with no end in sight and the kidnapping and murder of 3 Yeshiva students by Hamas, Israel finally had enough.  It began with airstrikes and turned into a ground operation.  Once Israel discovered the terror tunnels, they were committed to staying in Gaza till each and every one was destroyed.  Over 2,000 people died during the operation, a large percentage of which were Palestinian civilians.  Awful.  Just awful.  Especially if the first day of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was July 8, 2014.

However, despite what Palestinian leadership, the Turkish President, Russell Brand, Bryan Adams and millions of Muslims everywhere want you to believe, this conflict did not begin this past July 8th.  If you are  to look at the events that took place from July 8, 2014 without going back further, you may see Israel as being a lopsided aggressor.  Even then you need to choose to ignore how Hamas uses its people as human shields.  If however you look at the months, years and decades leading up to this operation you see a completely different story.  The true story.

I could go back to 1929 and speak of the Hebron massacre when Jews were slaughtered by Muslims prior to any establishment of a Jewish state.  We could talk about how after the United Nations in 1948 partitioned land for the new Jewish State of Israel, of which the West Bank and Gaza was not included, and how all the surrounding Arab nations attacked it in am attempt to wipe out the Jews and finish Hitler’s work.  We could talk about how the West Bank belonged to Jordan but Jordan didn’t want it back because they didn’t want to deal with the residents.  We could also talk about how Egypt controlled Gaza and never wanted it back for the same reason or how Israel withdrew from Gaza and gave it every opportunity to develop into something special, but instead allowed Hamas to take over and drive it into the ground.

We could  talk about the civilians Israel killed while aiming at missile launchers or we could talk about the thousands of Israelis killed in terrorist attacks.  We could talk about a blockade or bombing of a hospital shielding Hamas missiles, or we could talk about how entire families were blown up in Pizza places and malls by people who were proud to kill as many Jews as possible.  I could go back to Yasser Arafat, the Godfather of terrorism and hijacked planes, murdered passengers and the murder of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics.  I could go back to 3 murdered Yeshiva boys.

But none of the matters if you want Israel to look like the aggressor, because when you do you only go back as far as July 8, 2014.  If you go back any further you might have to admit that Israel has every right to defend itself. Something it has always been forced to do and has become so good at doing it now gets criticized for it.  It’s the greatest lie of omission you will ever see.  It pretends nothing ever happened before July 8, 2014.  And too many people are believing it.

 

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Welcome to a World where Terrorists Charge War Crimes

Pflpmayday2005When I read that Palestinian Foreign Affairs Minister Riyad al-Maliki arrived in the Hague with the intent to make a case charging Israel with war crimes, I decided to read up more about the man appearing to the world as a defender of humanity. After all, the Palestinian Authority produces nothing but the highest quality individuals.  Sarcasm aside, here are the facts about the latest “humanitarian” to be produced in defense of the people in Gaza.

Riyad al-Maliki was a leading member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine(PFLP).  The picture inserted in this post is its 2005 May Day poster.  Tells you a lot already.  The PFLP, al-Maliki’s faction,  supports a one-state solution,  which basically means it favors the destruction of the State of Israel. The PFLP has conducted terrorist attacks worldwide since 1968, but I’ll just show a few that took place since the year 2,000.

A suicide bomb in a pizzeria in the West Bank in February of 2002 killing 3 teenagers…CIVILIANS

A suicide bomb in a market in Netanya in May of the same year killing 3 Israelis….CIVILIANS

A suicide bomb in a bus station in Petach Tikvah on December 25, 2003 killing 4…CIVILIANS

A suicide bomb in a market in Tel-Aviv in November 2004 killing 3..CIVILIANS

There are plenty more to show but you get the point.    The world we live in today is so backwards when it comes to morality and decency, one might think if the Warsaw Ghetto uprising would have happened today the Jews would have been condemned for it.

Riyad al-Maliki, the latest Palestinian terrorist to put on a suit, is the man presenting the case against Israel.  To the world’s shame it is listening.  One day some of these people will look back and lament how they took the side of terrorists over a free and democratic country.  By then it may be too late.

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