The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 01-14-17

Posted on January 16th, 2017 at 10:35 am by

Will Trump Usher in the End of Political Correctness?

Not all Donald Trump voters were those as described by JD Vance in “Hillbilly Elegy”. Some were actually people who consider themselves lefties, but sick of the never-ending demands of political correctness. Tiny example: in the PC town of Ann Arbor – where it is now illegal to smoke tobacco in open-air City parks – a stop sign was adorned with the word “WAR”, pasted underneath. “STOP WAR”: clever, cute and within the bounds of Ann Arbor political correctness. It lasted for years.

But when a local ne’er-do-well pasted US AID TO ISRAEL beneath STOP on a sign two blocks away, that message – clearly deemed unacceptable to the lefties in the Water Hill district – lasted a week and a half. One toke over the line. Offensive. Not funny. Get it outta here.

Another mini-example: We’re all familiar with the bumper sticker urging “co-existence” between Muslims, Jews and Christians, as if telling an abused spouse to “just get along” with her abuser would be greeted with the same tolerance. This bumper sticker is found on many an Ann Arbor car:

But when this writer adorned his car with the same word, these PC activists went to work scraping the sticker away:

BDS Yes, Synagogue Protest No

Witness for Peace members feel the same PC-sensitive folks are the ones comfortable with the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (as long as Jewish leadership remains strong and fighting anti-Semitism trumps Palestine Liberation), but draw the line at holding Jews accountable for their support of the crimes committed by the Jewish state.

Huh? The Jewish community remains the source of Jewish chauvinism and racism that drives the overtly racist Jewish state. Former US Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams himself declares: “Where is it possible to find a group of Jews who are committed to Israel, and whose children are likely to honor that commitment? The answer is, in a synagogue on the Sabbath.”

Witness for Peace has documented that the Rabbi at Beth Israel Congregation (a) leads his congregation in prayers for the Jewish state, (b) takes Jewish children on junkets to the Jewish state, where they pose with armed soldiers perched upon military vehicles and (c) supports the use of torture, under the rubric of necessity and invoking Jewish religious law.

What’s it Gonna Take?

If, after next week, America has an “America First” president willing to throw PC to the wind, will activists join us in the longest running street protest in Ann Arbor history? Will they recognize that the PC chains holding them back from challenging Jewish Power at its source are merely self-imposed and easily discarded? Will they watch the four-part video of Al Jazeera’s expose of Jewish Power in the United Kingdom and wonder what can be done to take action against this corrosive misuse of power?

The answer is clear: join us.


Henry Herskovitz
Witness for Peace
America First Not Israel
Dec. 31: six vigilers
Jan. 7, 2017: four vigilers
Jan. 14: five vigilers

Report on Beth Israel vigil 12-24-16

Posted on December 29th, 2016 at 8:12 pm by

Can’t Get No Respect

The Amcha Initiative is an on-line complaint desk for incidents of alleged anti-Semitism on America’s campuses. You can visit their website and search by state and college for these nefarious incidents. Curiously, Witness for Peace’s 13-year-old “harassment” of a Jewish house of warship hasn’t made the list. True, we operate slightly off the University of Michigan’s campus, but as the letter below indicates, we’re only a traffic light away.

Amcha Initiative is currently in the possession of this reported concern from a local citizen, so we know they know about us:

My home of Ann Arbor, Michigan has been subjected to a 13-year-old protest in front of Beth Israel Congregation every Shabbat. This location is merely a traffic light away from the University of Michigan campus’ famed “Rock”, where students frequently paint slogans or images, such as the recent, proudly painted Israeli flag. Students traveling along the busy Washtenaw Avenue are subject to what a friend has labeled “objectively anti-Semitic”.

Amcha Initiative now joins the Anti-Defamation League in NOT reporting our anti-Israel vigils. Readers may remember our report of January 10, 2015 where we requested to be placed on Abe Foxman’s “Top Ten Anti-Israel Groups” and were similarly denied.

Why the Chill? Let’s Conjure up some Reasons

Perhaps the main reason for being non-reported is our size: yes, we’re tiny, but are there other reasons that mainstream Zionist organizations ignore our presence? Are the issues we raise: (1) Israel’s legitimacy, (2) corrosive effects of Jewish Power* on US interests, (3) endless wars on behalf of the Jewish state, etc. too sensitive for our opponents to take head-on?

We know the local Jewish Power wielders close their ears to the sound of supporters’ car horns driving past Beth Israel Congregation every Saturday. In spite of their efforts to reduce our visibility by cowing local publications to refuse our paid advertisements, our messages still reach 1000 vehicles during each vigil, and of those who respond to us, over 75% are positive. Do regional and national Jewish Power leaders also close their ears? Is Witness for Peace too hot to handle?


*- Jewish Power: The power to silence criticism of Jewish Power. Click here for details.

Henry Herskovitz
Witness for Peace
7 vigilers
America First Not Israel

Report on Beth Israel vigil 12-17-16

Posted on December 18th, 2016 at 3:12 pm by

Jewish Power From the Outside

About a year ago, we reported how Lamar Outdoor Advertising refused (after first running) our billboard, which calls for a proper orientation of national priorities to reflect American interests above Israel’s. In that report we identified the Detroit, Michigan branch of the Anti-Defamation League and the Detroit Jewish News as being players in squelching our side of the story. Questions of open and fair news reporting were raised, and although we have no smoking gun, Witness for Peace and Deir Yassin Remembered feel strongly that the organized Jewish community of Detroit bears responsibility for Lamar’s cave-in. Read on …

Driving along America’s highways, we often encounter empty billboards calling for business by listing available space along with a phone number. A trend has been established:

1. A call is placed contacting the company from Deir Yassin Remembered
2. The call is routed to a sales agent
3. The sales agent is affable and somewhat excited about a new business opportunity
4. The sales agent looks forward to receiving the desired image
5. After consulting with his superiors, the sales agent informs us that they will be unable to run our billboard “at this time”. No explanation given.

The short list of advertisers who have denied our request is:

Lamar Advertising
Reach Outdoor Advertising
L & W Advertising
International Outdoor Advertising

DYR and WfP do not consider these refusals a failure on our part; rather, we encourage readers to consider the scope of Jewish Power, especially how it erases even the most mundane political statement from public view. What, exactly is politically incorrect in encouraging our government to put our interests ahead of another state which openly practices Apartheid?

Jewish Power From the Inside

Just as their (Right) Zionist cousins work to deny alternative points of view via billboard advertising, the Left Zionists, now represented by the Jewish leadership of Code Pink, have denied our friend Alison Weir her ability to disseminate crucial information. Richard Edmondson strikes the nail on the head when he pens “Running from the Truth: Code Pink Excludes Alison Weir from Event” Another trend is observed:

1. Jewish Voice for Peace bans Alison Weir
2. Jewish-led US Campaign for Palestinian Rights bans Alison
3. Jewish-led Code Pink doesn’t quite ban Alison but reneges on their invitation to have her join their Tribunal December 1-2. In her words, this decision “… in no way gives these facts the dissemination they would have received if they had not been sidelined from the main two-day event”, although she is “…pleased they’ve posted my testimony on the Code Pink website.”

Echoing the conclusions of Mr. Edmondson, we ask why Jewish leaders are “…ducking and running” from hard truths? Going a step further, we ask why these Jews are not confronting their own local Jewish communities, exposing the racism and supremacism existing there? Jews who do not engage in challenging these obvious forms of Jewish power are fulfilling Gilad Atzmon’s definition of Zionism: A Jewish tribal preservation project.

Want to Earn $100?

Be the first reader to discover a billboard company willing to use our “skin” (the vinyl covering containing our message – 14ft by 48 ft). Once you identify a willing host, merely contact this writer with that information. When the board goes up, Deir Yassin Remembered will have your check in the mail.


Dec. 3: Five vigilers
Dec, 10: Six vigilers
Dec. 17: Five vigilers

Henry Herskovitz
Witness for Peace

Report on Beth Israel vigil 11-19-16

Posted on November 21st, 2016 at 11:47 am by

Our Vigils Raise Ire of Jewish Community

Careful readers of these reports will remember Barry Gross, the Beth Israel congregant who had his hands on the levers of Jewish Power when he penned the threatening letter to then Mayor Hieftje and City Council members, demanding some action against our vigils in 2004. The Mayor and Council responded by issuing a resolution “condemning” our vigils.

Gross now pens an “Update on picketing outside Beth Israel Congregation”, published in this month’s Washtenaw Jewish News. We (Witness for Peace) responded via the following letter to the editor of that publication:

November 20, 2016s. Susan Kravitz Ayer
Editor and Publisher
Washtenaw Jewish News
Re: Update on picketing outside Beth Israel Congregation, WJN Nov. 2016

Dear Ms. Ayer,

Barry Gross describes Beth Israel Congregation as “a hopelessly inappropriate and ineffective location for this protest.” In our opinion, he is wrong on both counts. The source of what former US President Jimmy Carter has labeled “Apartheid” is the Jewish supremacist racism that drives the Jewish state. This racism is nurtured, perhaps originates, inside the walls of Beth Israel. In addition to leading the congregation in reciting the “Prayer for the State of Israel” and flying a foreign flag on the pulpit, Rabbi Dobrusin indoctrinates young Jewish children on pilgrimages to the Jewish state and poses them with Israeli soldiers on military vehicles.

Additionally, if our vigils were ineffective, Dr. Gross would not waste his time writing articles, nor would Professor Victor Lieberman spend his prayer time harassing us peaceful protesters. Nor would we be receiving countless horn honks of supports as motorists express their appreciation of our message: America First Not Israel. Indeed, Gross appears to be whistling past the graveyard in an attempt to convince WJN readers that our messages are not effective.

Gross might also be misinterpreting the US Constitution First Amendment which “Prohibits Congress from making any law respecting an establishment of religion”, when he writes, “The picketing remains an offensive intrusion into the congregants’ right to freedom of religious expression”. The Constitution refers to the Government’s relationship with the people, not the individual people themselves.

In agreement with Dr. Gross, Witness for Peace is happy that our vigils contribute to peaceful enterprises within the Apartheid State. Vigiler C expresses this succinctly for the group:

“AFNSWAS (which means Oasis of Peace) is the only community in Israel where Jews and Palestinians choose to live, work and raise their children in equality and mutual respect.”

So, our vigils are helping the “only community in Israel” that is behaving humanely, as it should. That sits fine with me.

Thank you,

Henry Herskovitz
Witness for Peace

Question for Jewish Voice for Peace

Witness for Peace has sent an email to Rebecca Vilkomerson, Executive Director of Jewish Voice for Peace and we are waiting a response. We wrote:

Dear Rebecca,

The Anti-Defamation league lists Jewish Voice for Peace as an anti-Israel organization.

Is JVP anti-Israel?


Henry Herskovitz
Witness for Peace
Ann Arbor, MI

Witness for Peace calls on all activists to propose this question to all members of Jewish Voice for Peace. The activist community needs to know where this eminent organization stands on this crucial question.


Nov. 5: Four Vigilers
Nov. 12: Six Vigilers
Nov. 19: Four Vigilers
Henry Herskovitz
Witness for Peace

Report on Beth Israel vigil 10-29-16

Posted on November 1st, 2016 at 4:38 pm by


Protesting “Denial” in Ann Arbor

Three activists, working under the auspices of Deir Yassin Remembered, staged a peaceful protest in front of the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor prior to the screening of the Hollywood movie “Denial”. We engaged passersby with informative chatter and 13 copies of “What Does Holocaust Denial Really Mean” by DYR Executive Director Daniel McGowan. Patrons of the theater did not, in the main, enter these discussions, but merely called us names; one woman claimed that David Irving – the subject of the film – falsified documents, but when asked, failed to identify any such document.


An Interesting Consideration

In our vigil report of August 27 we explained how Jewish Power cowed Patricia Garcia, publisher of the Ann Arbor Observer, into denying a paid advertisement announcing our weekly vigils at Beth Israel Congregation. Readers will remember the slanderous letter by Victor Lieberman that most likely steered Patricia’s hand in making this decision to limit our ability to reach other audiences.

Most people will side with the Observer on this one. Even Germar Rudolf, in Fail: Denying the Holocaust* agrees with this seemingly bedrock American principle when he admits, “Private enterprises … have the right to reject advertisements…” (p. 135).  He recognizes the difference between governmental right of free speech and that of privately owned newspapers. But he asks an important question:

What good is the right to freedom of speech, if we don’t have the right to be heard?

Let’s take a look at the case of Lester Maddox. His private enterprise was the Pickrick Cafeteria in Atlanta, Georgia and was open only to white customers. It was Maddox’s wish that blacks and those who were considered integrationists were refused service at the Pickrick. Just like Ms. Garcia of the Observer, Maddox thought this bedrock American principle – doing what you want with your own company – would allow him to fulfil his wish.

But enter the US government, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Willis v. Pickrick Restaurant, and Maddox was forced to desegregate the Pickrick. Perhaps the federal government was concerned that the public interest – perhaps a greater good –  was served by forcing Maddox against his personal wishes.

OK, we’re all down with the Civil Rights Act, aren’t we? It just makes sense that – in this case – more goodwill will come out of overriding an owner’s wishes than by allowing him/her to do as they please. But we ask: would a future “Free Speech Act of 2017” force the hand of the Observer, just as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forced Lester Maddox’s?


*_G. Rudolf critique of D. Lipstadt’s Denying the Holocaust

Oct. 22: FiveVigilers

Oct. 29: Four Vigilers

Deplorable Lives Matter

Henry Herskovitz

Witness for Peace

Report on Beth Israel vigil 10-15-16

Posted on October 17th, 2016 at 9:21 pm by

Israel and the Holocaust at City Council

The power wielded by the Ann Arbor Jewish Community was evidenced Monday, October 3 this year. City Council meetings are scheduled for the first and third Mondays of each month, except for the few times an election preempts the day. “What about our New Year holiday? “ cry the Jews of this town. And before you can say “Remember Deir Yassin”, the Oct. 3 meeting was rescheduled to Thursday, Oct. 6. This writer addressed Council that evening on the topic: Israel and the Holocaust. Text of speech follows signature.

Witness for Peace

Careful readers of these reports have detected a change in the name of our vigil group. Formerly known as “Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends” we have renamed ourselves as “Witness for Peace”.

No more “Jewish”. No more identifying with the false narratives of Jewish exceptionalism, Jewish values (as if they somehow rank higher than other ethno-religious values), Jewish suffering, or anything contributing to the media-induced power that the word “Jewish” conveys. If Jews are represented by the constant haranguing we peaceful protester receive at the hands of BIC congregants (watch a short clip here), then we want nothing to do with anything “Jewish”. For over 70 years, Jews have been pummeling hapless Palestinians while gaining more and more control over a multitude of US foreign and domestic policies, without a peep of protest from the mainstream Jewish community.

Who wants it? For readers wondering about Jewish groups like Jewish Voice for Peace or the US Campaign to End Israeli Occupation and claiming that they ARE making sounds towards peace, we ask: Really, are you working for an end to Jewish supremacism in Palestine (or in the US)? Are you defending or ignoring Israel’s claimed right to exist as a Jewish state? Are you holding your own, Jewish, community accountable for the racism born and nurtured within?

Who wants it? Will we be successful at extricating ourselves from the Jewish problem? Or will we remain trapped, like Shlomo Sand and Avigail Abarbanel, into their tribal refuge? Gilad Atzmon, in this week’s essay “Can Jews ever leave their Cult?” explains this phenomenon clearly as he writes:

Abarbanel [also Sand … ed.] is obsessed with the holocaust and this is hardly surprising. The Holocaust is currently the most popular Jewish religion. The Israeli prominent philosopher Yeshayahu Leibowitz observed in the 1970s that Jews believe in many different things but all Jews believe in the Holocaust.

As Vigil Supporter M notes: The word “Witness” can be used both as a noun and a verb. Witness for peace.


Oct. 8: Two Vigilers
Oct. 15: Three Vigilers
Henry Herskovitz
Witness for Peace
Ann Arbor City Council
October 6, 2016

Good evening,

Two items of interest to the historical event called the Holocaust have arisen recently. First is the new law passed by the Michigan Legislature and signed by Governor Snyder on June 13 mandating the teaching of the Holocaust in Michigan public schools, and the soon-to-be released movie “Denial” which depicts Historian David Irving’s struggles against libelous claims from Emory College Professor Deborah Lipstadt.

Some may think that I’m insensitive for broaching this topic, but there are important reasons for doing so. Why, for instance, have Americans not stood up against Israel’s acts of aggression against the Palestinian people, and Israel’s dominance in the US Congress and White House? I would like to share with you the four reasons most people give for Israel’s claimed right to exist as a Jewish State.

1. God gave the Jews the Land
2. The Balfour Declaration
3. The UN Partition Plan
4. The Holocaust

Most American Jews are secular and don’t really believe that God intended Palestinians to be so mistreated. The Balfour Declaration, we now find, was a quid pro quo for getting the US into World War ONE on Britain’s side. And the UN Partition Plan was a forced vote with only those countries who would not be affected casting their votes in favor.

And that leaves the Holocaust as the single underpinning for emotional support for the state of Israel. Let’s listen to a few comments; one by Gideon Levy, Israeli journalist in March of this year: “… Israel would have never been established without the Holocaust”. And consider the words of Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir to Knesset Member Shulamit Aloni: “After the Holocaust, Jews are allowed to do anything.”

Are they? Are Jews really allowed to bludgeon Palestinians, dominate the US, brandish its hegemony over the Middle East, and use this historical event to silence criticism? Or will Americans educate ourselves about the facts and have the strength to separate historical event from religious dogma? At least to ask questions like: If Elie Wiesel was correct in his description of Nazis as being evil, why did he and his father elect to evacuate Buchenwald with them, rather than wait to be liberated by the advancing Soviets?

Israel and the Holocaust: I hope I’ve made some connections.

Thank you

Report on Beth Israel vigil 10-01-16

Posted on October 3rd, 2016 at 10:19 pm by

Who’s Doing the Denial?

Dr. Deborah Lipstadt wrote a book titled Denying the Holocaust, The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, first published in 1993, according to a search on Amazon. (Anecdotally and ironically, it was Deborah Lipstadt who turned this writer into a Holocaust revisionist, i.e. an advocate of Holocaust revisionism). Included in the results of this search is another book, by another author titled: Fail: “Denying the Holocaust”, How Deborah Lipstadt Botched Her Attempt to Demonstrate the Growing Assault on Truth and Memory.

The author of this critique is friend and chemist Germar Rudolf, who appears to be taking a leadership role in the Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust (CODOH), after the passing of Bradley Smith. In his book, Rudolf – in step by step fashion – takes each claim by Lipstadt, and explains to the reader exactly where factual claims end and her ad hominem remarks begin. She accuses Holocaust revisionists of using “pseudo-science”, but after reviewing Germar’s rigorous application of historical methods, “pseudo-science” seems more applicable to traditional holocaust historians than revisionists.

Why is Exposing Books like Lipstadt’s Important to Liberating Palestine?

Rudolf understands the connection between historical manipulation and the state of Israel. He writes (p. 52): “The politics of Deborah Lipstadt are pervaded by a hypocritical double standard. She actively worked to create a racially integrated, multicultural society in the United States … Yet she most passionately identifies with Israel – an ethnically segregated society whose government actively works to ensure Jewish supremacy and to destroy any chance of an egalitarian, multiracial society from developing between Jews and Arabs.”

This statement helps us understand a few things: Why Jewish Voice for Peace is now excommunicating Miko Peled the way they did Alison Weir of If Americans Knew, for instance. The same pattern for Zionists like Lipstadt and Jewish anti-Zionists, like Joel Beinin, emerges, and underscores Gilad Atzmon’s definition of Zionism as “A Jewish Tribal Preservation Project.” And heading this project is Holocaustianity: the religion for the secular Jew and for the West in general. If you don’t adhere to the Lipstadt-rendered Holocaust narrative, you are simply labeled an “anti-Semite”. Well, if Vigiler G has her way, soon our cars will be adorned with bumper stickers with the exhortation: “Anti-Semitism – Get Used to It”

We also focus readers’ attention to our Vigil Report of April 23, which explains the four pillars of support which the Jewish state enjoys. And how each of them – save the standard Holocaust narrative – wilts under closer examination. It’s time we focus the same attention to this last remaining pillar; it’s essential to the liberation of Palestine that we get all the right cards on the table: what happened and what didn’t happen.

Multi-Media Attack on the Standard Holocaust Narrative

Hollywood’s Weinstein Brothers are about to release yet another emotion-manipulating movie on the history of the Holocaust. “Denial” follows the libel trial against Lipstadt by noted historian David Irving. In an attempt to counter some of the false portions of the narrative, Eric Hunt, also an emerging leader in CODOH, produces a few trailers of his own. Most effective is his short presentation “Denial – The Deborah Lipstadt Movie – Part II”. Click here to view; it contains factual information on the Majdanek concentration camp, countering the Hollywood claims we have become used to.

What’s To be Done?

Witness for Peace (JWPF’s new name) has decided to focus our street protests outside Beth Israel Congregation on the harm Israel does to the Palestinians and the United States. We specifically omit focus on the Holocaust for these protests. In order to organize future actions based on challenging the standard Holocaust narrative, we turn to our sister organization Deir Yassin Remembered (DYR) to encourage Holocaust-based discussions and actions. One such action will be to await the release of “Denial” to Southeast Michigan, and plan peaceful demonstrations at those theaters who will screen this film. Please join DYR at these protests; stay tuned for time and location.


Five Vigilers

Henry Herskovitz
Witness for Peace
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