Israel’s Border Security

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel, Legitimate Use of Landmines for Israel-Gaza Border


Israel should consider use of landmines to secure its border from tens of thousands of Hamas terrorists that seek daily to overrun the border and murder the citizens of the sovereign State of Israel. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Bonding and Independence

separation-jpeg

It’s an interesting phenomenon between parents and children. 


Parents (with G-d as the third partner) birth and raise their beautiful children. 


It is in a way a thankless job that we all savor and do with love, joy, and even gratitude just to have the opportunity. 


From sleepless nights to dirty diapers, homework to honing on how to be a mensch, family outings to school trips, braces to bar/bat- mitzvahs, birthdays to sleepover parties, shopping trips to college choices, as parents there is nothing we won’t do for our children. 


Yet, the role of children is to learn and grow to be independent. Children must spread their wings, so they can function as their own adults and parents one day (and hopefully before they are 33 and still living in mom and dad’s house)!


Yet to a parent, a child is always their child, no matter how big, smart, or successful they are (and even when, G-d willing, they surpass their parents in height, good looks, and achievements).


My father used to say, “Blood is thicker than water,” meaning that it’s a harsh world out there and the family always needs to stick together.


As children of Holocaust survivors, I learned that we can’t stray to far (or far at all) from either our religion or family, because otherwise, “We let Hitler win.”


We grew up living next to my grandparents (1 block away) and later in life, we always lived right near my parents as well. 


I watched TV and ate salami sandwiches with my grandmother and doted over my grandfather who sat on the bimah in his big chair as the president of our then struggling synagogue in Manhattan. 


Similarly, my parents were like surrogate parents to my own children and regularly babysat, picked the kids up from school/camp, made Sabbath meals, and happily spent time with them doing whatever. 


My parents were always there to advise, guide, lend a hand and support…no matter the cost to them, as my father used to say, “I would go through fire for my family” and this–his devotion and integrity–I knew was the utter truth. 


In turn, I tried to be a good son and although I disagreed and fought with my parents (mostly my dad) on many issues (often religious and sometimes politics as remember them), I knew they loved me dearly and I them.


As my dear parents are now gone, and I have become (slightly) a helicopter parent myself with forever worries about how my kids are doing, I know that they need to be independent–and that (more than) sometimes means making mistakes or falling down, and hopefully getting right back up again on their feet.


It is hard to learn that as parents, in many cases, we are just spectators–not that we know everything, we don’t, but the maternal and paternal instinct is to safeguard our children whom we love and adore. 


Kids need three things to individuate successfully: stability, consistency, and safety. Absent those, you run the risk of unhealthy knotted bonding and stunted separation anxiety. 


Everyone needs to lead their own lives–we really only have one life to live. Yet, as family, we are very much the foundation and part of their inner strength for everything that follows from their determination, hard work, and blessings from Above. 


For parents and children, it is critical to balance the need for healthy separation and independence with love and bonding that is timeless.


We have to “let go and let G-d” and let our Children. 


The parents are the past and the children are the future, but we mean everything to each other. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Great Apartheid Ruse

Kill Jews

What a shame the hatred and anti-Semitism on college campuses and in political theater now under the guise of Israeli Apartheid Week and the Boycott, Divestiture, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.


Israel is no more apartheid that any country or society in the world that has guards and erected walls to secure their inhabitants–from armed bandits, illegal immigrants, marauding armies, and dangerous terrorists.


From the castles across the European landscape to the wall around Vatican City, the U.S. border fence, and even the Great Wall of China–every country seeks border and homeland security!


Keeping out bad people who seek to inflict harm on others is not segregation, but appropriate and common sense self-defense, especially in Israel’s case where Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other avowed terrorist organizations and their sponsors seek not peaceful coexistence, but the annihilation of the Jewish people and Israel.


From the Iranian building of nuclear ballistic missiles to Hezbollah and Hamas raining missiles on Israeli population centers, from the building of terror tunnels to abduct and attack Israelis, from homicide bombings in discotheques and on buses to shootings, knifings, and vehicular rammings, the crazed hatred and genocidal ambitions of the anti-Semites does not end.


Nothing would make every Jew in the world happier than a genuine and secure peace with their neighbors, but when every peace deal that shares between the peoples is rejected by those that seek not compromise and living side-by-side in peace, but rather to throw every last Jew into the Sea then the Free Palestine movement under all it’s guises is nothing more than a very deadly wolf in sheep’s clothing.


– Listen to their chants of “From the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea, Palestine Will be Free.


– Read their signs that say, “Our revenge will be the laughter of our children.”


– Watch their actions: teaching little children to utterly hate and arbitrarily kill Jews.


That NOT an anti-apartheid movement and a desire for peaceful coexistence, but rather maniacal ambitions to maim, murder, and take everything bar none.


Those who march, chant, and support Free Palestine, Israel Apartheid Week and the BDS Movement have shown themselves the true haters and supporters of terrorism, and usurping a mantel of legitimacy from those who have really struggled for freedom and peace is the lie and ruse of the century, but very reminiscent of murderous Jew-haters from Amalek, Haman, and Adolf Hitler from the days of old to our times. 😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Care2)

China’s Dangerous Socioeconomic Malaise

China's Dangerous Socioeconomic Malaise

Fascinating article in the Wall Street Journal today on China’s “Left Behind Kids.”

While we hear about China as the rising Asian economic powerhouse, we do not often contemplate the socioeconomic impact of what is occurring there on Chinese families.

As China rises to economic superpower status, more than 250 million migrant workers pour from the poor rural parts of China to the cities to supply the relatively cheap labor to keep manufacturing humming and the economy brimming with growth.

Those left behind are 61 million Chinese children, who are growing up without one or both parents.

One in five Chinese children haven’t seen their parent(s) for at least 3 months.

But laws in China prevent children from coming to the cities with their parents in order to stem the flow of migration from rural areas.

Chinese parents are saying, “We’ll go wherever we can get the highest pay,”

Children are saying, “What’s the big deal of having no mother anyway? I can grow up without a mom.”

So while smog and pollution is spoiling beautiful China cities and harming people’s physical health, the greater concern is that children are missing out on the loving, bonding, caring, and guidance that comes with a regular parental presence and good sound parenting from them.

Understanding that strong parent-child relationships are critical to the formation of mental, emotional, and spiritual health of the children, the numbers and severity of Chinese children that are missing out on this is of great concern.

While some children may be okay under the care of able grandparents along with regular visits or calls by parents, many others children, who don’t have this, could end up having serious mental and emotional problems.

Already “more than 70% of children in rural China show signs of mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.”

And as is often the case, anxiety and depression turn into resentment and anger.

With tens of millions of left behind children being forced to fend for themselves and hundreds of millions of migrant parents living in “dormitories, tents, or bomb shelters” away from their families and homes, what we have here is a bonafide socioeconomic ticking time bomb.

Political pundits often point to the concern of China’s power elite that the people will rise up against them and the Communist Party,
but I think the far bigger concern is to those outside of the system altogether.

In my mind, the destruction of the core family will ultimately result in a tsunami of frustration, anger, and a weakening of social values.

Moreover, this could very well spillover and lead to a dangerous rise of militancy, where people do not want to lash out against their political system or leadership, but rather against everyone else who took the goods that left them economically richer, but poorer in just about every other way. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Life, Cartoonish And Not

Life, Cartoonish And Not

Strange day, starting with these cartoon characters standing on the street waving to everyone.

And they say texting while driving is distracting — what’s this?

Some other weird things:

– At a food store, saw an argument between an Asian customer and a Spanish-speaking cashier–they were arguing over something as silly as an orange juice, but what made this especially comical was because of the language barrier, each was getting more and more frustrated, until they both sort of gave up, and the customer storming out saying he was never going there again.

– At the rehabilitation facility, spoke to a couple where the husband–age 88–was there “unexpectedly” for the last two months after a relatively minor surgery. The wife–age 79 (married 60 years)–was visiting him every day. She said that they had never been really sick before, and that when he got out, they were going to visit their other condo in Florida and resume their regular, favorite hobby of ballroom dancing.

– A nurse assistant, from Sierra Leone, told me how he had escaped the bloody civil war there that left 50,000 people dead. He described how the rebels would overrun the villages killing everyone as he pointed his finger saying “boom, boom” and making slashing movements as if holding a knife or machete–and that many from his family were murdered. He described how he had escaped to neighboring Guinea and from there called his uncle in America who helped get him here, but the price was that he had to leave his family–a wife and two children behind. He said in the last 11 years, he was able to visit them only once in 2008 for a couple of weeks, and at the end of this month, he was finally able to go back to bring them to America.

I wondered how very different our lives are–and how some people suffer with war, poverty, illness, and loss, while others are vacationing and dancing into their 90’s. I’m not judging or implying anyone as good or bad–especially since all these people seemed very nice–but these events reminded me of a Jewish saying about the conundrum of the seeming righteous people that suffer and the wicked that prosper–and that only G-d is The Judge, who knows who is really righteous and wicked, what they really deserve, and that some people get rewarded in this world, while others in the world to come.

Either way, I hope G-d has mercy on us, so we don’t suffer, and have much more happy dancing times and less to none illness, poverty, and fighting.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)