Jewish Federation Bans Peace Activists
In a replay of the Maccabean civil war that gave rise to Hanukkah, David Shtulman, Executive Director of the local Jewish Federation, mustered up his inner thug to write:
It is my position that no person who harasses the Jewish community through picketing with hateful signs outside a Jewish house of worship is welcome at a Jewish Federation event. I find it reasonable to believe that anyone who is purposefully disruptive and disrespectful outside of a Jewish community event will do the same inside. Therefore, you and your fellow vigilers are not welcome at any Federation sponsored activity so long as your protests at Beth Israel Congregation continue.
Should you attempt to enter the building we will ask you to leave. I hope you will spare yourself the embarrassment.
Have a nice Chanukah holiday.
Shtulman was responding to an RSVP his organization received accepting an invitation listed on a publicly accessible web site to hear Middle East Analyst Asaf Romirowsky speak on “The Deligimization of Israel: What, Why, and How to Combat it”. He also conveniently overlooked the fact that from his own personal experience, he has never witnessed this writer disrupting a meeting. And given the topic, it would seem there would be no reason to do so.
Circling the Wagons
The Jewish community has always done their laundry in private. This writer recalls these words of Beth Israel Congregation Rabbi Allan Kensky (1971-1988) long before I ever decided to become a Palestine solidarity activist. Now it looks like they’re enforcing it, by excluding people who might not keep the lid on the Jewish community’s dirty little secrets. It’s not clear why Shtulman would think we would be embarrassed by expulsion since this writer wasn’t embarrassed the first time they pulled this stunt in September, 2009.
A Revealing Statement
Mr. Shtulman attended Romirowsky’s presentation Wednesday evening on the University of Michigan campus, and entered into a discussion with this writer about our peaceful vigils. An interested Jewish man listened in, and Shtulman explained to him that Beth Israel has contacted the local police, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security about securing our removal from public property. The man was told by this writer that our vigils were not necessarily a permanent fixture, but that the Congregation and the Federation would do themselves more of a service if they were to just sit down with the vigil group to discuss mutual options.
Employing a rapid-fire style of speaking, similar to Alan Dershowitz’s, Mr. Romirowsky traipsed out the usual misdirectives: that the problem lay at the “cleavage” between West Bank Palestinians and Gazans, Hamas and Hezbollah pinching “Israel” from the North AND South (Oy!), and the outrageous fact that Yassir Arafat’s wife drove an expensive, red BMW convertible.
But the biggest lie in his repertoire was this: That immediately after Jewish gangs ethnically cleansed 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and villages in 1948, that 350,000 were given the opportunity to return to these homes, and those unreasonable Palestinian refugees refused. When asked about supporting this claim, he referred to “recently unclassified documents” that he had access to. Anybody know what he was referring to?
Ed Pinkney Visits Detroit
Three members of Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends accompanied the Rev. Ed Pinkney from Benton Harbor, as he continues to work for justice in that town where the governing bodies have run amuck. We met with State Assistant Attorney General Richard L. Cunningham to ask his assistance in exposing the corruption of Berrien County officials, who continue to harass the predominantly black population of Benton Harbor. Mr. Cunningham listened attentively and sympathetically as a local woman described the frame-up of her son, now in jail awaiting trial in January. He promised to contact the prosecutor’s office in Berrien County to convey the messages he received. See photo below of the activists received by Mr. Cunningham:
Zionism is Racism
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friend