The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 02-25-17

Posted on February 27th, 2017 at 10:44 pm by

Jewish Power Never Sleeps

Like Michigan rust on vehicles, Jewish Power remains relentless at getting its way. Just when Witness for Peace was to announce the installation of a local billboard – sponsored by sister organization Deir Yassin Remembered and carrying our message “America First, Not Israel” – we get “the call”. The billboard pictured below was taken down by Adams Outdoor Advertising one week after installation, effectively terminating a three-month contract.

That’s how long it took for Jewish Power to pressure Adams’ executives into seeing things their way. The call came from General Manager Mike Cannon, who admitted to receiving phone calls asking that the billboard be taken down. Mike claimed he was not the one who made the decision, and provided the phone number of Vice President of Human Resources Brian Grant to field my questions.

Brian developed a mantra for the conversation we shared: “the decision to remove the billboard was a collective decision and was made because the message did not meet Adams’ company standards. We removed the billboard and refunded your money. And that’s all I can say.” Brian fell back on this mantra at least a half dozen times during our 20-minute discussion. And reminded me that, since a clause in the contract allowed Adams to terminate at any time, there was no “breach of contract”.

Q: What were the company standards?
A: [Brian was not going to go into that.]
Q: How do you square the fact that the message was initially approved by Adams?
A: It should not have been approved; due diligence was not applied.
Q: Who were the people complaining about the billboard?
A: [Would not answer that.]
Q: What were the organizations calling for the billboard to be taken down?
A: [See above.]
Q: Would the decision to pull the billboard have been the same had the message been simply America First?
A: Well, you’re asking a hypothetical.
Q: You mean Adams would NOT run a billboard saying America First?
A: [No answer.]

And so it goes. By deception shall you make war. DYR and WfP lose the round; Jewish Power wins. We move on.

Ann Arbor placed on SPLC “Hate” Map

The Southern Poverty Law Center exercises its own brand of Jewish Power by placing Deir Yassin Remembered (and its satellite office in Ann Arbor) on its “hate” map. This information came to us, not by direct communication from the SPLC, but through an article appearing in the Rochester, NY Democrat and Chronicle, entitled: “Rochester area makes SPLC Hate Map

Witness for Peace members are familiar with this tactic: Develop a “reputable” source, have that source label people a “hate group”, and allow others to “authoritatively” reference their false claims as a “source”. Case in point: Beth Israel’s own Victor Lieberman writes “Open Letter to an Ann Arbor hate group” published by the “reputable” Washtenaw Jewish News (whose editor Susan Ayers refuses to print our side), and presto! Witness for Peace is now a “hate” group. Whatever’s keeping the SPLC from jumping on this sliming bandwagon remains a mystery.

Defining “hate” proves difficult. A friend asks if forming a group which hates “hate” groups is in itself a “hate” group? Hmmm. The only clear example of hate speech that has come across this writer’s desk belongs to Holocaust icon Elie Wiesel:

“Every Jew, somewhere in his being, should set apart a zone of hate — healthy, virile hate — for what the German personifies and for what persists in the German.”


Henry Herskovitz
Witness for Peace
America First Not Israel

Feb 4: Four vigilers
Feb 11: Five vigilers
Feb. 18: Four vigilers
Feb. 25: Four vigilers

Report on Beth Israel vigil 01-21-17

Posted on January 24th, 2017 at 6:09 pm by

Jackie Robinson and Jewish Power

Emotions naturally flare at watching the PBS special shown on MLK day of the career of baseball icon Jackie Robinson. Who could not grow emotional when reminded that Jackie and wife Rachel were bumped twice from the planes carrying them to a spring training camp in Florida? What outrage is felt by viewers recognizing that this discrimination they experienced came merely because of the color of their skin and nothing else!

Yes, we get it. And we feel for the Robinsons; their plight was genuine. Racial discrimination still exists in America.

But what about Muhammed Ali, my friend and sandwich shop operator in the Balata refugee camp near Nablus, Palestine? Muhammed grew up in Haifa, graduated high school there and earned a technical degree before being bumped, not just from an airplane, but from his home town. Yes, he cannot return to Haifa and swim in the Mediterranean the way his family did before him. He cannot even travel to the Haram esh-Sharif/Noble Sanctuary to practice his religion. Like Jackie Robinson, Muhammed is the wrong “color”: neither ethnic Jew, secular Jew, nor religious Jew.

Isn’t there a story here as well, PBS? Perhaps even more compelling than Robinson’s, because Muhammed has yet to break his “color” barrier. Hello, Hollywood, isn’t his story worthy – at least – of a two-hour documentary?

And what about the perfect made-for-Hollywood, emotional story of Ernst Zundel? Talk about compelling: here is a lifelong pacifist who leaves his Germany because he wishes not to serve its military and chooses Canada as his home. There he practices his skills as artist and publisher, while growing aware that his German people are being discriminated against, due to what Ernst believes is a falsification of history. He is forced to defend himself against charges of “spreading false news”, but reversed the tables and eventually caused Canada’s Supreme Court to strike down the same law under which he was prosecuted. *

His story doesn’t end there, however. He marries (naturalized US citizen) Ingrid Rimland, and seeks US citizenship at their new home in Pigeon Forge, TN. But instead of the US government granting this well-deserved citizenship, Ernst is effectively kidnapped from his mountain home by agents of this same government and whisked back to Canada where he is to spend two years in solitary confinement. From there Canada renders him back to Germany to a sham of a trial and five-year incarceration – not because of his skin color – but because of his political beliefs. The outrage that we felt for Jackie Robinson matches the outrage that a man is jailed not for who he is, but for what he believes and says.

Made for Hollywood. A perfect, emotional story, much like Muhammed’s. But because “Jews totally run Hollywood” (Joel Stein, LA Times) we are unlikely to hear these stories. Likewise, it appears PBS selects the stories we are to watch, and those they decide the public will not see.

Jewish Power in action. It’s there for the witnessing.

*- The Great Holocaust Trial by Michael Hoffman, p. 120


Three vigilers
Henry Herskovitz
Witness for Peace
America First Not Israel

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
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