Part of the Problem
Referring to the Sixties saying, “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem”, we fast forward to the Twenty-Teens and a presentation made by Rollie S (not his real name), an 83-year-old Jewish peace activist from the Detroit area. Rollie is incredibly sharp and gave a masterful presentation to about 100 people at the Unity of Livonia Church on April 10. The topic was “How do Iranians, Israelis and Americans feel about the prospect of war with Iran?” He had traveled to Iran and Israel, interviewing folks there. He described how Iranians respect Americans, but don’t trust our government; they were also suspicious of their own leadership. His message, however, was mixed, and laden with Jewish “tells”, e.g. sharp, unsupported criticism of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, no criticism of the legitimacy of the Jewish state, and a half dozen references to the Holocaust.
His delivery prompted the boiler-plate question: “Does Israel have a right to exist as a Jewish state, and if so, by what right”. Rollie’s answer: I don’t agree with the right of any state to exist as a theocracy. “He’s dodging the question!” screamed the little angel on my right shoulder and right the angel was. His answer could be applied to states such as Iran, but ignores the fact that Muslims did not invade a foreign land from their European homes and expel the Jews and Christians living there to violently create a Muslim state. Why couldn’t Rollie simply say no, Jews had no right to invade, occupy and displace Muslims and Christians living in Palestine in the twentieth century?
Was Rollie one of Gilad Atzmon’s “third-category Jews”, one who places his Jewishness above all his other traits? We think so, and asked Rollie for a one-on-one session to which he graciously agreed. That meeting was held on April 19 in Rollie’s office, where he once again claimed that Ahmedinejad had limited knowledge of the Holocaust, and therefore was not qualified to host the “International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust” in Tehran in 2006. Had Rollie read any revisionist literature on the subject? Answer: Yes, but he did not list a source and had not read Arthur Butz, Robert Faurisson, David Irving nor any other revisionist historian. And he had too much on his reading plate to accept my copy of Debating the Holocaust by Thomas Dalton.
Rollie also discredited the findings of Shlomo Sand and denied that Ashkenazi Jews had no roots in Palestine. He also claimed that his use of the word “Holocaust” in his presentation was an accurate portrayal of the Israeli’s use of the word in his interviews with them, so he shouldn’t be held responsible for its use in his presentation, prompting a sharp outcry from the Shoulder Angel. To his credit he admitted that Israel should not exist as a Jewish state, but thought that Jews should be able to live there. He also said that no one should be imprisoned for their political views. Good for him.
In the end, however, Rollie did not publicly call for an end to the Jewish state, and immediate Right of Return for the millions of Palestinian refugees, nor did he express any desire to hold his own Jewish community accountable for their participation in the ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people. In the view of this author, Rollie will remain part of the problem until he exposes Jewish supremacism.
Phelps’ Presentation Disappointing
This author again traveled to Mount Pleasant, MI to hear Fred Phelps, Jr. and his sister Shirley Phelps-Roper get into childish verbal spats with young students at Central Michigan University this week. One student actually scored a point with this family of the Westboro Baptist Church. After Shirley claimed that no interpretation is needed to understand “Thou Shalt Not Kill” this young man asked whether that meant killing animals? “It means whatever you want it to mean” said Shirley, prompting the student to suggest that her response only proved that biblical verses are indeed open to interpretation.
Dearborn, Michigan is host to the largest Arab population in the world outside the Middle East, but sadly that community did not rise to the occasion to maintain the billboard existing in the greater Detroit area. It would have taken 400 families (2% of Dearborn’s population of 85,000) contributing only $10 a month to continue the billboard’s existence, but such was not the case, and our contract with the billboard company expires on April 29. It was a good run, however, and we are grateful to IfAmericansKnew, Deir Yassin Remembered, and our friends in Dearborn for the work and help they provided. Sometime soon, inshallah, the billboard will rise again.
Protesting “Celebrate Israel” Day
We are three weeks away from our schedule protest of the Jewish Federation of Greater Ann Arbor’s “celebration” of the continuing ethnic cleansing of Palestine, and the usurpation of the majority of Americans tax dollars being spent against their will to prop up the longest, violent colonial expansion project of modern times. We will be at the Jewish Community Center from noon to 5 pm on Sunday, May 20, 2012 to remind this Jewish community that they cannot carry on in such a racist fashion without a response from the peace community.
Where: Jewish Community Center, 2935 Birch Hollow Drive Ann Arbor, MI 48108
When: Sunday May 20, 2012 noon-5pm
This reports dedicated to the memory of Louie Leedle
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends