The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 04-29-17

Posted on May 3rd, 2017 at 9:03 am by

Witness for Peace addresses Ann Arbor City Council

On Monday, May 1, I addressed Council on the topic “Holocaust Education”. Text of speech available below signature. Halfway through my presentation the 24-year-old Jewish council member, Zachary Ackerman, fled the room and returned only after I had finished the presentation and taken my seat. This action begat the following letter to Mayor Chris Taylor:

Dear Chris,

I’m pretty sure I don’t have a legal leg to stand on in this matter, but wanted to let you know how much it irks me when a salaried civil servant leaves the room as I speak during Public Commentary time at City Council meetings.

Especially when the salary Mr. Ackerman accepts is drawn off the taxes I pay.

Perhaps Council needs to consider a minimum age/maturity requirement for running for public office.

Best wishes,
Henry Herskovitz

Reminder: Gilad Atzmon to Speak in Ann Arbor

Circle the date: Thursday, May 4, 6pm at the downtown branch of the Ann Arbor District Library (4th floor conference room “A”). Author Gilad Atzmon will promote his newest book, Being in Time.

Being in Time suggests that ‘after-politics’ is a tale of the decisive victory of one elite. Gilad Atzmon, author of The Wandering Who, has managed to dissect the ethos, strategy and culture that are driving this invincible elite.

The Ann Arbor District Library forbids sales of books at their facilities. The sponsor, Deir Yassin Remembered, is considering giving them away.

Click here for event flyer.


Henry Herskovitz
Witness for Peace
America First Not Israel
Four vigilers
Text of presentation to City Council

May 1, 2017

Good evening,

A couple of events have occurred since the last time I addressed Council that bear notice. First, in addition to the weekly vigils our group – Witness for Peace – hold every Saturday, I also serve on the board of advisors of an organization – Deir Yassin Remembered – which commemorates the massacre at that village prior to the formation of the Jewish state.

In February, I signed a three-month contract with Adams Outdoor advertising to run a billboard sponsored by Deir Yassin Remembered, and it ran for a week before the company received so many irate calls from powerful sources that the billboard was removed. The message of the billboard was a mere extension of President Trump’s familiar words: Our sign reads “America First Not Israel”.

The second event has now been documented by our friends at the Washtenaw Jewish News, WUOM, the Michigan Daily and others. Deir Yassin Remembered has been mis-identified as a “Hate” group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, under the sub-category “Holocaust Denial”. In fact, I have been castigated by former Council member Joan Lowenstein as “a full-fledged holocaust denier”. And it’s been reported that some current Council members have heard Holocaust denial in my words.

So, what does Holocaust Denial really mean? Fortunately, Dan McGowan, executor director of Deir Yassin Remembered, has penned a definition which was printed in a Geneva NY newspaper and almost cost Dan his Professor Emeritus status at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. He writes:

  1. For most Holocaust revisionists … their arguments boil down to three simple contentions:
  2. 1. Hitler’s “Final Solution” was intended to be ethnic cleansing, not extermination.
    2. There were no homicidal gas chambers used by the Third Reich.
    3. There were fewer than 6 million Jews killed of the 55 million who died in WWII.

And he adds:

If other myths, like making soap from human fat, have been dismissed as Allied war propaganda, why is it “unacceptable behavior” to ask if the gas chamber at Dachau was not reconstructed by the Americans because no other homicidal gas chamber could be found and used as evidence at the Nuremburg trials?

I would like to close with a quote from Thomas Jefferson:

“There is not a truth existing which I fear, or would wish unknown to the whole world”

Thank you

Report on Beth Israel vigil 04-22-17

Posted on April 27th, 2017 at 2:32 pm by

Caption Contest

Check out the photo below and consider the following question:

Which caption provides the viewer with the stronger emotional reaction?

Caption 1: Here is a recently released photograph of the back side of Auschwitz from the archives at Yad Vashem, 1943. The cattle cars (one is visible) containing older or infirm Jews were switched to the siding on the right where they were immediately gassed without being registered. The track straight ahead transported the healthier ones to the water tower drop-off (also visible), where they were registered, tattooed, then worked to death.

Caption 2: The photograph was taken at the site of a former refrigeration compressor facility in southeast Michigan. The siding to the right provided access to freight cars which were loaded for shipment from within the factory walls.

Fake News is fun!

Gilad Atzmon to Speak in Ann Arbor

Circle the date: Thursday, May 4, 6pm at the downtown branch of the Ann Arbor District Library (4th floor conference room “A”). Philosopher and author Gilad Atzmon will promote his newest book, Being in Time. Gilad:

In the post-political universe in which we live, much of humanity has been reduced to serve the interests of big money and oligarchy. Left and Right have become indistinguishable and meaningless. The freedom to think openly is now within the domain of nostalgia. Our Western Liberal ‘utopia’ has turned into an Orwellian catastrophe, and we the people, have been left bewildered and impoverished. Being in Time is a courageous attempt to grasp the intellectual developments that led towards the current dystopia. The book delves into the bankruptcy of the ideological grand narratives. It explores the colossal failure of the media, academia and politics in detecting and addressing the events that led us towards destitution. It identifies the ideologies that planted ID politics and the tyranny of correctness in our midst. We, the people, have been demoted into mere audience in a Greek tragedy that happens to be the story of our own destruction. Time is ripe to understand it all.

Being in Time suggests that ‘after-politics’ is a tale of the decisive victory of one elite. Gilad Atzmon, author of The Wandering Who, has managed to dissect the ethos, strategy and culture that are driving this invincible elite.

Click here for event flyer.


Henry Herskovitz
Witness for Peace
America First Not Israel
Apr. 18: Four vigilers
Apr. 25: Three vigilers

Report on Beth Israel vigil 04-01-17

Posted on April 6th, 2017 at 11:01 pm by

Jewish News: Prudence or Cowardice?

Witness for Peace has sent the following letter to the Washtenaw Jewish News and we’re currently awaiting response:

March 22, 2017

Ms. Susan Kravitz Ayer
Editor and Publisher
Washtenaw Jewish News
Re: An open letter to an Ann Arbor hate group, WJN September 2015

Dear Ms. Ayer,

A close friend to Witness for Peace has stepped up to the challenges presented by Victor Lieberman in his article, “An open letter to an Ann Arbor hate group”, which appeared in the September, 2015 issue of the Washtenaw Jewish News.

Mr. Lieberman writes, “Picketers [sic] have told me on numerous occasions that there was no such thing as the Holocaust … And, of course, they explain, Jews organized and directed the attacks of 9/11…”. He concludes, “I’d be happy to document any and all of these claims and to meet to discuss these issues.

Mr. Larry Brayboy of Ann Arbor has suggested an open debate with Mr. Lieberman on the topics listed above, specifically, the Holocaust and the attacks of 9/11. I personally suggest a public forum for this debate; however, Witness for Peace is open to hearing all available venues and times.

Thank you,

Henry Herskovitz
Witness for Peace
cc: Victor Lieberman

Keeping Our Sense of Humor

Vigil Supporter M takes this holiday’s spirit to heart as she creates a sign specifically for this date:


This report dedicated to the memories of
John Alward and Bill Wilkerson

Two vigilers

Henry Herskovitz
Witness for Peace
America First Not Israel

Report on Beth Israel vigil 03-25-17

Posted on March 29th, 2017 at 4:47 pm by

Witness for Peace addresses Ann Arbor District Library

What good is BDS if not implemented? Quoting from the original Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS, “We, representatives of Palestinian civil society, call upon international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era.”

Now, we feel that “broad boycotts” means exposing and challenging any and all attempts to normalize, or legitimize a state that practices Apartheid. At the local level a major contributor to this normalizing process is the Washtenaw Jewish News, which openly promotes communications, business dealings and travel to the Jewish Apartheid State (aka “Israel”).

When we found that our own publicly funded Ann Arbor District Library (AADL) was among the advertisers in this openly pro-Israel publication, we addressed the board of directors at their monthly meeting March 20. Here’s what we said:

Good Evening,

I’m here tonight to address an issue I find disturbing

The AADL has used its resources – including my tax dollars – to place an ad in a magazine that supports an Apartheid foreign government.

I’m referring to page 15 of this month’s issue of the Washtenaw Jewish News. There are two points I’d like to make.

First, that this newspaper, in addition to printing articles about the local Jewish community, also contains articles supportive of the state of Israel.

In this issue, there are articles discussing the Michigan-Israel Business Bridge, prominent men and women who study in Israel, and articles that encourage – and pay for – Jewish teens to travel to Israel.

Indeed, this ad, from a year ago, acknowledges the ties between Israel and Ann Arbor Jews. This lady is telling us that Israel exists in the marrow of Jews in this community.

Secondly, to support our claim that Israel is an Apartheid state I’ve printed for each of you the Executive Summary of a paper – authored by Richard Falk and Virginia Tilley – from the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia. I’d like to read its opening paragraph:

This report concludes that Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole. Aware of the seriousness of this allegation, the authors of the report conclude that available evidence establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that Israel is guilty of policies and practices that constitute the crime of apartheid as legally defined in instruments of international law.

So, as a member of the AADL, and a taxpaying supporter of the Library, I ask that WE cease purchasing ads in a paper that openly supports Apartheid.

Thank you

Here is a list of some the advertisers found in the March issue of the Washtenaw Jewish News. For the complete list, click here.

Afternoon Delight
Ann Arbor City Club
Ann Arbor District Library
Ann Arbor Film Festival
Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra
Chelsea Flower Shop
Michigan Theater
Mighty Good Coffee
People’s Food Coop
Purple Rose Theater


Henry Herskovitz
Witness for Peace
America First Not Israel
Mar. 18: Three vigilers
Mar. 25: Four vigilers

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
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