Reasons to Fight For Democracy: The Mass Graves in Ukraine and the Murder of Mahsa Amini

It’s easy to get discouraged about the state of democracy these days. But what we have to remember is that it is worth fighting for.

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has been going on since the winter. In the liberated city of Izium, mass graves were discovered. So far, the number of bodies is over 400. Many of those killed were civilians and children.

Warning: the images may be distressing.

If this discovery is not enough to the world that Putin must be stopped and forced to stand trial, I don’t know what is. Unless we make it clear that this type of action is unacceptable, it will happen again.

In Iran, Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish woman, was killed by the morality police. Her crime was supposedly an issue with her headscarf. Since 1979, it has been compulsatory. As a result, protests have broken out. Many women have cut their hair and refused to wear the hijab in response to Amini’s death.

Religion of any kind is all well and good. But when the majority forces their beliefs on the minority and believes that one gender is superior or inferior to another, that is a problem we cannot ignore. If we do, it is at our own peril.

May Mahsa Amini’s memory and the memories of those murdered by Russia since the beginning of the war be a blessing. Z”L.

Thoughts On the Friendly Fire Admittance by the IDF

Friendly fire is defined as follows:

An attack by belligerent or neutral forces on friendly troops while attempting to attack enemy/hostile targets.

It is an aspect of war that is unfortunately unavoidable.

After months of investigation, the IDF announced that it was very likely that friendly fire caused the death of journalist of Shireen Abu Akleh.

Two things are apparent to me from this announcement.

The first is that as usual, Israel is figuratively being the bigger person. Their leadership and maturity prove that they are willing to do the work to create lasting peace and coexistence. The second is that the Palestinians, on the other hand, are so committed to the lies that they are spreading, that they will use anyone and anything to support their “truth“.

As usual, the only victims are the innocent people whose lives have been turned upside down at best, or at worst are maimed and/or killed because one side refuses to work with the other.

May her memory be a blessing. Z”L.

RIP Queen Elizabeth

There is a myth about women and power. We are weak and emotional. We cannot take the heat, it’s too difficult, etc. The truth is that we only need the opportunity to prove ourselves.

Queen Elizabeth II died earlier today. She was 96 and on the throne for more than seventy years.

Who could have expected that the young woman who accepted the crown all of those years ago would have become the longest reigning monarch in British history? In an era in which many women kept to the traditional roles of wife and mother, the late Queen stepped into a role that was meant for a man. In doing so, she became an icon and proof that male genitals are not a prerequisite for authority.

She was more than her title. She was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and public servant. Her life was given to her country and her family.

I remember watching her on television decades ago. My first thought was that she looked like she could be anyone’s grandmother. There was an air about her that made her seem like she was an ordinary woman first and a Queen second.

I hope that is how she will be remembered. May her memory be a blessing. Z”L.

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The Similarities Between the Violence Against the Rohingya and the Holocaust are Too Scary to Ignore

Since the beginning of our species, humanity has evolved in ways that our ancestors could have never dreamed of. But there is one aspect that is unchanged: hate.

In Myanmar, the official policy against the Rohingya people, a Muslim minority has been discrimination and violence. On a recent episode of the WNYC show, The Takeaway, the subject was the brutal treatment of this specific group, which has escalated in the last five years.

The similarities to the Holocaust are too scary to not ignore.

  1. Spreading lies and slowly dehumanizing a specific minority.
  2. Enacting laws that strip them of their rights as citizens and human beings.
  3. Removing access to educational and professional opportunities for both children and adults.
  4. While the world looks away, those in power continue on their path, knowing that nothing and no one is standing in their way.
  5. Destroying homes and taking material possessions at will.
  6. Forcing many to become refugees and ramping up the persecution of those who stay.
  7. Outright murder.

While I was listening to this story, I could feel and hear the cries of the six million murdered. Their souls reach through time and space, asking why it is happening again. I wish I could answer them. But I cannot.

Maybe this time, the rest of the world will pick their head out of their asses and stop this madness. But knowing what has happened in the not too distant past, I highly doubt it will happen.

May the memories of everyone who has been killed by hate be a blessing. Z”L.

P.S. In the English city of Norwich, human remains were recently found in a well. Tests revealed that the victims (three of whom were young girls) were all murdered in a medieval pogrom simply because they were Jews.

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How Many More Anti-Jewish Crimes Will be Committed Before Something is Done?

Antisemitism is a very real thing. Nearly a century after the Holocaust, the same lies and hatred that killed 6 million Jews have once more found new life.

On August 20th, Eyal Haddad, a French Jew of Tunisian descent, was murdered with an axe by a Muslim neighbor. His body was burned and mutilated. Just like Sarah Halimi in 2017, the only reason why he was killed was that he was a member of the Jewish faith.

Yesterday, an Orthodox Jewish man in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn was hit over a parking spot. The young man who hit him threatened to find his victim again and repeat his actions.

I find both events to be extremely frustrating. In regards to the murder of Mr. Haddad, the authorities are already stating that he was not killed because of his faith. It does not take a brainiac to figure out why Mr. Haddad is no longer alive. When it came to the assault in Brooklyn today, no one stood up to this punk kid. They just stood around and let it happen. The person who was behind the camera I find especially culpable. They decided that it was more important to keep filming.

What I am bothered by is the double standard. When Israel (and the Jews by extension) defends herself against verbal and physical attacks from her neighbors, the accusations are fast and brutal. But when we try to call out the antisemitic lies, no one listens.

Cry Those Crocodile Tears, Bella Hadid

We are all entitled to our beliefs. But when those beliefs cross the line and encourage murder and destruction of other people because they are different, that is no longer acceptable.

For some time now, real estate developer Mohamed Hadid and his daughters, Bella and Gigi have been using social media to spread lies against Israel and inflame the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Earlier this week, Bella has been complaining that she has lost jobs and friends.

Of course, there are those who would come to her defense. But I will not give them oxygen on this blog. I will only say that their true antisemitic and anti-Israel colors are showing. If the only way to make them see the errors of their ways is to lose friends and job opportunities, so be it.

Cry those crocodile tears, Bella Hadid. They mean nothing to me.

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In International News: Palestinians Kill Their Own Children & Brittney Griner Sentenced Because she is American

Politics is a game of give and take. But there are some boundaries that if crossed, will result in conflict, in one form or another.

Over the last few days, Palestinians have been again shooting rockets into Israel, purposefully targeting civilians. Approximately 120 rockets never got to Israel proper. They fell to the ground instead of hitting their targets. Nine Palestinian people were killed, four were children. These people do not care about their own. They only care about making the Middle East (and the world by extension) Judenrein.

In Russia, WNBA star Brittney Griner was sentenced to nine years in jail for carrying less than 1 gram of cannabis in her suitcase. After six months in prison, she pleaded guilty with the following statement:

“I never meant to hurt anybody, I never meant to put in jeopardy the Russian population, I never meant to break any laws here,” Griner said. “I made an honest mistake and I hope that in your ruling that it doesn’t end my life here. I know everybody keeps talking about political pawn and politics, but I hope that, that is far from this courtroom.

“I want to say again that I had no intent on breaking any Russian laws. I had no intent. I did not conspire or plan to commit this crime,” she added.

After the sentence, Griner told a CNN producer as she left court, “I love my family.”

When breaking a law, one should be punished. But the punishment should be appropriate to what they are accused of doing. It seems to me that the Griner is being used because she is an American. Putin and his government cannot strike us directly, but they can use one of our citizens as a pawn. I do wonder that if she was paid the same as male basketball players, would she have had to play overseas and be in her current predicament?

There is talk of a prisoner swap. So far, only talks have been confirmed by either side. Time will tell when Griner comes home. But I am hoping and praying that she does so soon.

That concludes this week’s dip into international news. Thank you for reading and have a good rest of the day.

Thoughts On Pink’s New Music Video “Irrelevant”

Art and artists have a unique way of revealing truths about the world.

Earlier this week, Pink released her new video “Irrelevant“. In the video, she claps back at the haters while speaking about the crap that we are dealing with at the moment. Women’s rights, abortion, school shootings, January 6th, etc are all spoken of in the manner that only Pink can.

I could go on, but I will let the music speak for itself.

Those on the Right Would be Wise to Observe How Boris Johnson was Removed From Office

When our plans go awry, sometimes the best decision is knowing when to cut our losses.

Last week, former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned after a series of scandals became too much to bear. Mostly known outside of the country for his support for Brexit, he finally stepped down after initially ignoring the whirlwind swirling around him.

Those on the right in this country should note. When someone at the peak of political leadership misuses their power for personal gain, they and everyone who helped them should be expelled from office. Instead, in the United States, they continue to stay in their position and spread the lie that the results of a certain Presidential election were fraudulent.

It is no wonder that our reputation on the world stage has been damaged.

Should a 101-Year-Old Former Nazi Spend His Final Days in Jail?

There are always opportunities to learn from the past. But, in order to do so, we must be willing to open our eyes to the mistakes made by our forebears.

On Tuesday, a 101-year-old former Nazi in Germany was found guilty of the murders of 3,518 innocent people in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. He will spend the next five years in jail.

There are two arguments that come from this case. The first is that he is an old man who has breached the century mark. At his age, he might not last five months in prison, much less five years.

The second is that he, like his cohorts, has blood on his hands. Though he was not responsible for everyone who died at Nazi hands, this conviction is still justice served. In my mind, five years is nothing compared to the persecution, starvation, and torture that the victims experienced, it is still something.

This man (whose identity is being kept from the public) was able to live a long and full life. The people he had a hand in killing were denied that opportunity simply because of who they were and what they believed. The message from this conviction is loud and clear. Anyone who participated and is still alive will get their day in court.

Though we cannot go back in time and prevent the death of millions, we can ensure that they are never forgotten and their murderers are seen for what they are.

May their memories be a blessing. Z”L.

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