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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Colin vs The Donald


I've already commented on what I thought about Colin Kaepernick. Since then, he has done what I suggested (while I doubt he even read my blog on the subject), which was to do something substantial (like with money) to improve the lot of the people he was protesting for. I'd like to see more on his part, but for the time being, I'm giving Mr. Kaepernick the benefit of the doubt (that being that he really did do this to improve the lives of so many poor minority children who have the deck stacked against them and NOT because he was trying to showboat to flag up his sagging career).

We do still live in the United States, a country founded on our right to express ourselves. While I agree that by not giving the national anthem its due, one is being disrespectful to the brave people who risk their lives every day to protect us (this includes the military, police, guards, secret service, etc.), I also agree that people have the right to protest by not standing for the national anthem, by raising a fist on the metal platform at the Olympics, by changing their names to "X" so as to not use their "slave names", or any other non-violent means. Just like people have the right to protest, I have the right to comment on their protests (which I did previously in this blog).

As an Orthodox Jew, as a Jew who is hated for just being a Jew, as a Jew who watches as the world "yawns" as my people are slaughtered by homicide bombers in Israel, in France, all over Europe, all over the Middle East, as a Jew who is told time and again that we Jews can't possibly understand what African-Americans have suffered because we're not African-American (leaving aside the fact that there are many Jews of color), as a Jew who has ALWAYS supported African-American rights, who grew up in a family that wouldn't watch "Gone with the Wind" because it was racist, who went to a religious school where the principal, a Rabbi, visibly shaken, interrupted our Thursday night "Mishmar" (voluntary learning once a week) to tell us of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr (after which he called for a moment of silence), as a Jew familiar with Jewish History and African-American History and just how much those histories have in common, I agree with fighting for civil rights but I also can look at this country and see that a lot of the abridgement of civil and human rights that exists in other countries exists on a much smaller scale here in the US. I believe it is much more constructive to work for the furtherance of the leveling of rights for all here than it is to act as though this is the most horrible country on the planet. 

When people single out African-Americans and act as though ONLY African-Americans have gotten the short end of the American Dream, I feel the need to protest. I have several reasons for this. 1) There are many people in this country who are discriminated against besides African-Americans and by singling out African-Americans, we are short changing others groups who are discriminated against, 2) when we separate ourselves into distinct groups we do the work that makes the job of the haters easier, haters like the Neo-Nazi Skinhead White Supremacists. These haters hate us all and they believe in "Divide and Conquer", sit back and allow all the groups they hate, the Blacks, the Jews, the Latinos, the East Asians, the "mixed race", the Women, just about any group that isn't White, Male, Anglo-Saxon/Germanic, Protestant, and Straight to fight against each other 3) There are many people who are in more than one group: the African-American Women, the Black Latinos, the Jewish East Asians, for example. 

So I still think there is a lot of work to do, but we need to do it together. We need to find the areas where our needs and desires as a group overlap, where our interests are your interests, where fighting discrimination in housing and jobs and other such issues are germane to all groups. And we also need to work together, even when it appears we have different issues. 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Nations United Against Israel and the US or Hatred on the East River


To those who have issues with "settlements", have you ever been to Israel? I have another name for "settlements" -- cities, towns, townships. They aren't places where people are living in tents using outhouses, these are towns and cities with real houses, roads, schools, colleges, shops and stores, police departments, mail delivery, newspaper delivery, running water, electricity, cars, bicycles, etc. My sister used to live in a "settlement" and I still have friends who live in that town. I am a lifelong Liberal (though mostly I have voted for Democrats, I don't consider myself a Democrat and I certainly won't if they choose the Antisemitic Keith Ellison as their leader) and I have never felt I was wrong in voting against Obama. I did vote for Hillary (with my hope on the matter being that Hillary as President wouldn't have the same policies as Hillary as Obama's Secretary of State).

I don't like Trump, as a person, as a president or as a representative of my country (and I believe Hillary's loss is more about misogyny than politics) but from a perspective of how things will be for Israel, I'm hopeful (though way less than hopeful about things domestic, like women's rights, reproductive rights, gay rights, animal rights, global warming, social programs, etc). I hate that I have to choose between what goes on here in the US and the security of Israel and Jews around the world (I have a lot of family and friends in Israel and it's still needed for every Jew in the world so that persecuted Jews have a place to go). See my previous article about my ideals.

I think the UN vote is galvanizing pro-Israel people all over the world, including people who previously weren't as vocal about it. I think more and more people are realizing that the "Nations United against Israel and the US" (aka the UN or the "NUAIU") are making themselves more and more irrelevant in an age where genocide and murder, oppression and terrorism, hatred and moral relativism are rampant and the "NUAIU" is ignoring them all to lambaste one of the most (if not the most) moral country in the world and accuse them of the crimes of others (mostly the Palestinian Authority).And just because "the whole world" agrees that the "settlements" (read: towns, cities, municipalities) are illegal doesn't mean they are. I'm a Modern Orthodox Jewish (minority in Orthodox and Jewish, which is a tiny minority of the world population) vegan (minority in vegetarians who are a small minority of people). The last thing you can say to me to make me agree with anything is that "everyone" believes it. I try to analyze the facts, not emotional Anti-Jewish lies. Check your facts. 

We all want peace. Well, not the "Palestinians", who teach their children to hate. Interviewers asked little "Palestinian" children, 2-5 years old or so, what they want to do. They don't say play ball, or mention toys or games, or even reading or learning or going to the park. They say they want to kill Jews. How can you have peace when one side teaches their babies to hate (ask Jewish and Israeli children, they will want to play, give tzedaka, help people, etc.). It isn't Israel that keeps the "Palestinians" in squalor. It isn't Israel that keeps the "Palestinians" in fear. It isn't Israel that keeps the "Palestinians" dependant on handouts. It's their own leadership, Hamas and Fatah. 

Besides, what can you say about people who are more upset by Jews building homes than they are about Iran, a terrorist suppressive regime, building nuclear bombs.