The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 05-17-14

Posted on May 25th, 2014 at 10:44 am by

Annoyances like these come with the job

About once a month Marc Sussman, a resident of Huntington Woods, Michigan and not known to this writer, sends me a card with cynical encouragement to keep up our weekly vigils at Beth Israel Congregation. Copied below, the text states: “A generous offer was made to American Friends of Magen David Adom by Marc Sussman in honor of Henry Herskovitz.” Marc adds a personal note: “I continue to be impressed by your little group, continuing to raise needed funds for your fellow Jews in the State of Israel – Keep up the good work! The more you picket, the more money goes to Israel – It is good that you are accomplishing something with your efforts”

sussman doc.jpg

I have emailed the “Ohio/Kentucky/Michigan/Western PA” branch of American Friends of Magen David Adom, asking for “the total amount of contributions Mr. Sussman has made in my name over the years…” and we await their response.

“These are not Nice People”

Friday night dancing can sometimes be a challenging experience for those working for an end to Jewish supremacism in Palestine (or, as vigiler M puts it, an end to Jewish supremacism, period). Wearing my “End ‘Israel'” hat, my partner and I were treated to name calling and taunts as we sat during the band’s break by a young couple. Returning to the dance floor after the music restarted, the man continued his verbal harassment and moved unnecessarily close to me. When my partner decided he and I were too close, she started dancing in the space between him and me. He grabbed her, some pushing ensued, and he and I were led out of the establishment.

This tiny episode reminded me of the political trials of Ernst Zundel in Toronto (1985 and 1988) where he and his supporters had to don hard hats to prevent physical harm, as Jewish protesters physically attacked them on the walk from their vehicles to the courthouse. These attacks are documented in an Ingrid Rimland film, “Off Your Knees, Germany” available from the Zundelsite. The film also shows some of the planning sessions with Ernst’s lawyers and supporters, at which Ernst tells his friends “These are not nice people”.

How true.


Nine vigilers
Hoping push doesn’t come to shove
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends

Report on Beth Israel vigil 05-10-14

Posted on May 15th, 2014 at 11:30 am by

The “Parushim”, Jewish Goodfellas

OK, raise your hands if you knew this one: Most people know that Louis Brandeis was a famous, Jewish Supreme Court Justice. But few know of his fervent support of Zionism and that he was a leader in a clandestine organization called the Parushim (Hebrew for “Pharisees” and “separate”). According to Alison Weir, author of Against Our Better Judgment; the secret history of how the U.S. was used to create Israel, the Parushim was “a secret society that covertly pushed Zionism both in the U.S. and internationally.”

After Brandeis was named to the Supreme Court by his friend President Woodrow Wilson, he formally resigned from his private clubs and affiliations, but he worked “behind the scenes” and through his protégé Felix Frankfurter, to serve as a conduit between British Zionists and the president. Brandeis was one of the leaders of the Parushim, which, according to former New York Times Editor Peter Grose (Israel in the Mind of America) had as part of its initiation ceremony the following demands of its new members:

“You are about to take a step which will bind you to a single cause for all your life. You will for one year be subject to an absolute duty whose call you will be impelled to heed at any time, in any place, and at any cost. And ever after, until our purpose shall be accomplished, you will be fellow of a brotherhood whose bond you will regard as greater than any other in your life–dearer than that of family, of school, of nation.”

Close your eyes and remember Christopher Moltisanti taking the pledge when he joined TV gangster Tony Soprano’s crew. Now try to separate fiction from reality. It is really mind boggling, the information Alison has culled out with this amazing work of investigative reporting. About 80% of my neighbors disapprove of my anti-Israel flag which still flies in front of my house, but I have a feeling that if they all read this timely book, they might all be flying such flags.

Who wants to be a Peace Activist?

According to this article in the Washtenaw Jewish News, local Jews are scheduling an entire month’s worth of activities celebrating “Israel”. The highlight of this month’s scheduling will be a $10 picnic at the Jewish Community Center on Sunday, May 18th at noon. As JWPF has other items on the schedule, we will be unavailable to remind revelers that their celebration is a wake-up call to Palestinians that the theft of their homeland is just about complete.

So to other local peace groups – especially those who feel JWPF’s tactics too incendiary – you can step up to the plate and address the Jewish community utilizing your own methods. If you need any help gathering information, or would like to borrow some of our signs, please just let us know.


Nine vigilers
Reunite Ernst and Ingrid
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends

Report on Beth Israel vigil 05-03-14

Posted on May 6th, 2014 at 11:33 am by

Talk Show Says No Go

Local radio personality Lucy Ann Lance conducts a daily talk show on AM-WLBY 1290. First starting as a weekly show in 2009, she says “We’ve developed a platform that will focus on our community, its people and the local business economy.” Recent shows have highlighted the upcoming mayoral race, running events such as last fall’s Turkey Trot, and local entrepreneurs. She also says “We intend to offer a local media outlet that keeps the emphasis on the Ann Arbor area and gives everyone who cares about this area a chance to speak out and debate the issues. Our community deserves that.”

Well, one issue that was offered to Lucy and Producer Alice Shea, was to discuss a local, 10-year-old peaceful vigil at Beth Israel Congregation. This offer went unanswered for over three weeks before Ms. Shea contacted this writer to see if Lucy had replied. When told no, she apparently then approached Lucy and wrote back within the hour,


Lucy Ann would like me to let you know that at this time we are going to decline. However, we will keep in touch should anything newsworthy come up regarding your efforts.

We really appreciate you keeping us in mind!

Alice (Uh-lee-see) Shea
Producer, The Lucy Ann Lance Show

Well, that should keep our pesky vigils off the airwaves for a while, but her demurral calls her own mission into question. Former Vigiler A used to tell us that the only media we control is that on the streets, with our signs. How true!

Few Comments on our Holocaust protest

Last week we reported that JWPF staged a protest at the Holocaust Memorial Center in nearby Farmington Hills. We received a few compliments and more than one caution to leave this topic alone. “Focus on Palestine” we were told. Also, “Personally I wouldn’t drag revisionism into an action against Zionism. It just gives them a club to use against us.”

As much as we appreciate unsolicited free advice (UFA), we fail to understand the resistance to exposing the connection between Jewish Power, the Holocaust, Israel, and how it protects the state (and Jews) from criticism. Readers are referred to Paul Eisen’s Holocaust Wars for a much-needed understanding of why this issue remains pertinent and open. And we are once again reminded of the words of former Israeli MP Shulamit Aloni, when questioned about how critics of Israel are often labeled anti-Semites:

“Well, it’s a trick, we always use it. When from Europe somebody is criticizing Israel, then we bring up the Holocaust. When in this country people are criticizing Israel, then they are anti-Semitic…And the organization is strong and has a lot of money and the ties between Israel and the American Jewish establishment are very strong and they are strong in this country…It is very easy to blame people who criticize certain acts of the Israeli government as anti-Semitic and to bring up the Holocaust and the suffering of the Jewish people and that ‘justifies’ everything we do to the Palestinians….”

JWPF is not falling for Jewish tricks anymore …


Seven vigilers, waiting for winter to end …
End Jewish supremacism
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends

Report on Beth Israel vigil 04-26-14

Posted on April 30th, 2014 at 8:06 am by

How can that NOT be a Hate Crime?

Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends staged a protest at the Holocaust Memorial Center on their commemoration of “Yom HaShoah Holocaust Day of Remembrance”, Sunday April 27th.

The reason for this protest was to challenge the power these museums have for manipulating peoples’ emotions to ensure that criticism of Israel relegates those who do to hateful status. We purchased six new signs for this event with the following slogans:

Free Ernst Zundel
Support Historical Revisionism
Museum or Manipulation?
Tell us the Truth
End the Palestinian holocaust
Support Open Debate (CODOH)

Eight members of JWPF stood outside this museum in protest, while three members and supporters went inside for a glimpse of what was going on. Some of the protesters felt a tad uncomfortable holding the new signs, and chose to display some of our regular, anti-Israel signs. The only altercation occurred when two very large men in a pickup got out of their truck and physically intimidated Laila, a small protester. Ironically, the sign Laila was holding did not challenge the Jewish Holocaust narrative at all; it read “Israel: No Right to Exist.”

Fortunately, we had contacted the Farmington Hills Police Department prior to our showing up, and when an officer spotted this large man moving towards Laila, he drove across Orchard Lake Road with lights flashing and siren whooping. He addressed the two men, one of whom said “I’m Jewish. How can that sign not be a hate crime?” See photo below. The officer gave a textbook performance on how to deescalate a tense situation, assuring the irritated man that if he wanted to hold a sign in support of Israel, the FHPD was there to protect his rights as well.

cops at hcaust museum

Holocaust Denial

On the way to the protest, some JWPF members read Dan McGowan’s 2009 Op-ed titled “What Does Holocaust Denial Really Mean” (reprinted after signature) in which he states one of the reasons there exist 44 Jewish Holocaust museums in the United States:

“… the Holocaust itself has been used as the sword and shield in the quest to build a Jewish state between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, where even today over half the population is not Jewish”

So in the opinion of this writer and many members of JWPF, we feel that Jewish Holocaust museums are fair game for venues of protest. JWPF has been challenging Jewish Power since 2003, and our protest Sunday was consistent with this goal. By imprisoning non-violent people – like Ernst Zundel and Germar Rudolf – for their historical research, Jewish intellectuals expose themselves as wanting more to silence their critics rather than defeat them in open debate. What are they afraid of?

hh at hcaust museum


There was no Vigil Report for 04-12-14 and 04-19-14
April 12: seven vigilers
April 19: seven vigilers
April 26: ten vigilers
Exercising Free Speech Rights for ten years
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends

What Does Holocaust Denial Really Mean?
by Daniel McGowan / February 17th, 2009

In April 2007 the European Union agreed to set jail sentences up to three years for those who deny or trivialize the Holocaust.1 More recently, in response to the remarks of Bishop Richard Williamson, the Pope has proclaimed that Holocaust denial is “intolerable and altogether unacceptable.”

But what does Holocaust denial really mean? Begin with the word Holocaust. The Holocaust2 (spelled with a capital H) refers to the killing of six million Jews by the Nazis during World War II. It is supposed to be the German’s “Final Solution” to the Jewish problem. Much of the systematic extermination was to have taken place in concentration camps by shooting, gassing, and burning alive innocent Jewish victims of the Third Reich.

People like Germar Rudolf, Ernst Zundel, and Bishop Williamson who do not believe this account and who dare to say so in public are reviled as bigots, anti-Semites, racists, and worse. Their alternate historical scenarios are not termed simply revisionist, but are demeaned as Holocaust denial. Rudolf and Zundel were shipped to Germany where they were tried, convicted, and sentenced to three and five years, respectively. Williamson may not be far behind.

Politicians deride Holocaust revisionist papers and conferences as “beyond the pale of international discourse and acceptable behavior.”3 Non-Zionist Jews who participate in such revisionism, like Rabbi Dovid Weiss of the Neturei Karta, are denounced as “self-haters” and are shunned and spat upon. Even Professor Norman Finkelstein, whose parents were both Holocaust survivors and who wrote the book, The Holocaust Industry, has been branded a Holocaust denier.

But putting aside the virile hate directed against those who question the veracity of the typical Holocaust narrative, what is it that these people believe and say at the risk of imprisonment and bodily harm? For most Holocaust revisionists or deniers if you prefer, their arguments boil down to three simple contentions:

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.

Are these revisionist contentions so odious as to cause those who believe them to be reviled, beaten, and imprisoned? More importantly, is it possible that revisionist contentions are true, or even partially true, and that they are despised because they contradict the story of the Holocaust, a story which has been elevated to the level of a religion in hundreds of films, memorials, museums, and docu-dramas?

Is it sacrilegious to ask, “If Hitler was intent on extermination, how did Elie Wiesel, his father, and two of his sisters survive the worst period of incarceration at Auschwitz?” Wiesel claims that people were thrown alive into burning pits, yet even the Israeli-trained guides at Auschwitz refute this claim.

Is it really “beyond international discourse” to question the efficacy and the forensic evidence of homicidal gas chambers? 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?

For more than fifty years Jewish scholars have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to document each Jewish victim of the Nazi Holocaust. The Nazis were German, obsessed with paperwork and recordkeeping. Yet only 3 million names have been collected and many of them died of natural causes. So why is it heresy to doubt that fewer than 6 million Jews were murdered in the Second World War?

“Holocaust Denial” might be no more eccentric or no more criminal than claiming the earth is flat, except that the Holocaust itself has been used as the sword and shield in the quest to build a Jewish state between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, where even today over half the population is not Jewish.

The Holocaust narrative allows Yad Vashem, the finest Holocaust museum in the world, to repeat the mantra of “Never Forget” while it sits on Arab lands stolen from Ein Karem and overlooking the unmarked graves of Palestinians massacred by Jewish terrorists at Deir Yassin. It allows Elie Wiesel to boast of having worked for these same terrorists (as a journalist, not a fighter) while refusing to acknowledge, let alone apologize for, the war crimes his employer committed. It makes Jews the ultimate victim no matter how they dispossess or dehumanize or ethnically cleanse indigenous Palestinian people.

The Holocaust story eliminates any comparison of Ketziot or Gaza to the concentration camps they indeed are. It memorializes the resistance of Jews in the ghettos of Europe while steadfastly denying any comparison with the resistance of Palestinians in Hebron and throughout the West Bank. It allows claims that this year’s Hanukah Massacre in Gaza, with a kill ratio of 100 to one, was a “proportionate response” to Palestinian resistance to unending occupation.

The Holocaust is used to silence critics of Israel in what the Jewish scholar, Marc Ellis, has called the ecumenical deal: you Christians look the other way while we bludgeon the Palestinians and build our Jewish state and we won’t remind you that Hitler was a good Catholic, a confirmed “soldier of Christ,” long before he was a bad Nazi.

The Holocaust narrative of systematic, industrialized extermination was an important neo-conservative tool to drive the United States into Iraq. The same neo-con ideologues, like Norman Podoretz, routinely compare Ahmadinejad to Hitler and Nazism with Islamofascism with the intent of driving us into Iran. The title of the recent Israeli conference at Yad Vashem made this crystal clear: “Holocaust Denial: Paving the Way to Genocide.”

“Remember the Holocaust” will be the battle cry of the next great clash of good (Judeo/Christian values) and evil (radical Islamic aggression) and those who question it must be demonized if not burned at the stake.

1. Associated Press, “EU approves criminal measures against Holocaust denial,” Haaretz, 19 April 2007. [↩]
2. Holocaust. The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005. [↩]
3. Statements of Senator Hillary Clinton. [↩]
Daniel McGowan is a Professor Emeritus at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Because of admonishment by the administration, it is hereby stated that the above remarks are solely those of the author. Hobart and William Smith Colleges neither condone nor condemn these opinions. Furthermore, the author has been instructed to use his personal email address of and not his college email at for those wishing to contact him with comments or criticisms. Read other articles by Daniel.
This article was posted on Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 at 9:00am and is filed under Freedom of Speech, History, Propaganda.

April 15, 2014


Contact:  Daniel McGowan
Telephone: 315-789-3524

Most people recognize that the apartheid wall Israel has been building for the past twelve years will one day be removed. But few have given serious consideration to how best to recycle hundreds of miles of this “separation barrier.”

The idea of offering an annual prize for the best proposal of how to recycle Israel’s apartheid wall was conceived at the One Democratic State Conference in Munich in 2012.

Sponsors of the contest include:

If Americans Knew
Americans for Just Peace in the Middle East
Deir Yassin Remembered
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends

Proposals were evaluated by board members of Deir Yassin Remembered, a “balanced” group of human rights advocates, Palestinians, Jews, and others.

Deir Yassin Remembered is proud to announce that this year’s winner is Michelle Kinnucan of Seattle, Washington. The prize is $1,000.

The RAW Prize is unique within Palestinian/Israeli activism. It changes the narrative from separation to reunification, from racism to universal human rights, from two states to one with equal civil rights for all.

The RAW Prize focuses attention on the enormity and the cost of this instrument of separating the “chosen” from the “children of a lesser God.”

The RAW Prize is forward-looking, not static. It neither condemns nor justifies the wall, but simply looks at what will be come of it in the future. It is also “green;” it is not about destruction, but about recycling – recycling for the benefits of humanity. Could houses be made from the huge T-shaped blocks of reinforced concrete? Could breakwaters and coastal erosion projects use such easily dismantled objects?

Both Jews and non-Jews recognize that the wall will go. Now both can work to recycle it. Proposals like Michelle’s promote activism now, even by those who are not into boycotts and vigils and writing blogs.

Download Michelle’s winning entry or read it below. Read more »

Report on Beth Israel vigil 04-05-14

Posted on April 13th, 2014 at 3:29 pm by

Divisive? Hell, Yes!

A brave professor of philosophy from the University of Michigan Dearborn Campus suggested the formation of a committee to determine if corporations in which the UMD invests were supporting Israeli Apartheid. David Skrbina addressed his fellow lecturers, professors, and staff at UMD’s Faculty Congress meeting of April 7. Two members of JWPF attended.

The usual comments from Jewish faculty were predictable, most notably that raising the issue is “divisive.” David sensed this charge was likely to be made, and told the audience beforehand that the issue was already divisive. That, however, didn’t stop the curator of UM-Dearborn’s Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive, Jamie Wraight, from telling the audience that the issue was indeed divisive and that we should “leave it alone”.

[Nice to know our tax dollars continue to support and elevate Jewish suffering above all others]

A few other pro-Israel (Jewish?) voices claimed “hostility felt by Jewish students” should squelch real debate on this issue; “academic freedoms [would be] impinged” if such a committee were to be established. “Appalling” chimed in another voice.

Secret Ballot

An Arab professor suggested a secret ballot be held, and his suggestion was upheld by a hand vote. Two issues were to be voted on, based on Skrbina’s request: (1) Divestment and (2) Academic Boycott. The results might not have pleased the Jewish constituents at UM-Dearborn, because even though they “won”, they may realize they’re just whistling past the graveyard, and praying the future doesn’t come. The vote went as follows:

Divestment: 17 Yes, 23 No, 2 Abstain
Boycott 7 Yes, 32 No, 1 Abstain

Jews Prepared

Each member attending the Faculty Congress found a blue folder placed at his/her seat containing articles from the Anti-Defamation League claiming Divestment was “anti-Israel”, one from Breitbart crowing how the TIAA-CREF Board once again refused to place divestment on the ballot, another from the Chronicle of Higher Education telling readers “Land-Grant Universities’ Group Opposes Israel Boycott”. They have nothing in their quiver (neither facts nor moral standing), but Jews nonetheless come prepared to these meetings. Their opponents didn’t have bupkis, and once again get their hat handed to them.

A green folder containing some information about the massacre at Deir Yassin, the attack on the USS Liberty, and the deliberate murder of Rachel Corrie might have been timely and effective. It might also have been helpful to mention some institutions that have divested, in part at least, from Israel, such as government funds in Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and banks such as Deutsche Bank and Danske Bank and religious organizations such as American Friends Service Committee, Friends Fiduciary Corp, Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Church of Christ, and the World Council of Churches.

Which Side Are You On?

Why do activists allow pro-Israel zealots to determine the game? OF COURSE the issue is divisive, and rightly so. Do you support the violent existence of a Jewish supremacist state on Palestinian land – as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demands of us – or will you join JWPF in saying “Hell, No, Your Eminence”. Front and center, every debate needs to address this core issue. Israel supporters recognize this is the crux; why can’t the peace community recognize it as well?

Gilad Atzmon provides a clue from his blog:

“For many years, it was largely Jews and people of the Left who dominated the Anti Zionist discourse. The outcome is very clear. The criticism of Zionism and Israel was partial and Judeo-centric by nature. It evaded broad scrutiny of Jewish power and the tribal operation involved. The majority of anti Zionist texts were designed to vindicate the Jews of crimes committed by the Jewish State and Zionism. Consequently, the anti Zionist discourse achieved very little as far as Palestinians are concerned.”


Ten vigilers
“Tell them to get the Hell out of Palestine” RIP, Helen Thomas
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends

When You Remember Deir Yassin

Posted on April 8th, 2014 at 7:42 pm by

wyrdeiryassinWhen You Remember Deir Yassin (Fomite Press) is a forthcoming volume of poems “on the subject of the occupation and destruction of Palestine” by R. L. Green. Green is a poet, musician, music producer, painter, and a former member of the Deir Yassin Remembered Board of Advisers. For a sample of Mr. Green’s poetry please see “When You Remember“.
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