The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 12-12-15

Posted on December 14th, 2015 at 11:08 am by

In the face of Jewish Power, Lamar caves

Last month we reported on the one-sided news coverage provided by television station WXYZ about the billboard, “America First, NOT Israel” erected by Lamar Advertising Company and paid for by Deir Yassin Remembered. Readers will remember that Heidi Budaj of the Anti-Defamation League was allowed to make bogus charges of anti-semitism without fear of televised rebuttal.

Then, in our report of November 21 we saw some telltale signs of the effects of Jewish Power when Lamar nixed the idea of running the same billboard in New Jersey. Did Lamar receive “The memo”? One way to tell was to attempt a second run – another four-week rental – of the billboard back in Detroit. Here’s the response from the honchos at Lamar:

This is in response to your request to run the “America First, Not Israel” message in our Detroit office that was paid for by Dier [sic] Yassin Remembered. We are rejecting both the message and the group sponsoring the message as the copy and the sponsor do not fall within our copy acceptance policy. The copy, “America First, Not Israel” is factually inaccurate and misleading. While it is within our policy that Lamar Advertising will not accept or reject advertising copy based upon agreement or disagreement with the views presented, it was easy to conclude that after closer examination of Dier Yassin Remembered, it is a deeply Anti-Semitic group that even questions the very existence of the Jewish Holocaust during World War 2. In addition to being Anti Semitic, we believe that it is factually inaccurate and not within reasonable standards of fairness and decency to accept this message from this group or any similar group whose directors or members share this view. Lamar will reject this message and group in other Lamar offices, not just Detroit. It is always Lamar’s desire to work with all advertisers to develop acceptable or even alternative messages that represents legitimate political discourse, provided that the message and group paying for the space fall within our copy acceptance policy once it is submitted for approval. This decision involved the local General Manager, the Regional Manager and the Vice President of Governmental Relations in our corporate office and this rendered decision is final.

Who calls the shots on advertising about the Jewish state at Lamar? “We do” yells the Jewish establishment. “And don’t you forget it.”

In the face of Jewish Power, JWPF remains resolute

Compare Lamar’s capitulation to that of our group, Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends last week. Professor Victor Lieberman of the University of Michigan and Beth Israel congregant, makes a habit of verbally assaulting members of our peaceful protest and this writer attempts to video Victor’s sidewalk lectures in order to record any misdeeds he may try. As he approached our group, I walked across the street to get a little closer, camera running.

Victor threatens to call the cops, claiming I was “stalking” him, and in fact does so. The response to an upset Jew calling the AAPD was typical: send out THREE patrol cars to investigate the matter. When Officer Rebecca Singer asks what’s happening here, I play back the tape for her. She asks for a copy of the tape for her records and I provide her with a cd of it the next day. No arrests or even admonitions towards JWPF were even considered by Officer Singer. Lieberman walks to Beth Israel, and we are left to finish our protest as usual. We think the AAPD might be getting a little tired of Beth Israel congregants crying wolf as they have over the years and look forward to sharing Singer’s report with our followers. It’s also worth remembering that only Beth Israel attendees have ever actually been engaged in criminal behavior. View Lieberman video here.

Good Quote

Vigiler C gets turned down from a comment he tried to make to some on-line publication. Vigiler R responds sympathetically:

Given the relentless, long term, and highly successful propaganda mantle that shrouds reality, while introducing exclusionary self-serving semantic content to linguistic hooks such as hate-speech and anti-Semite as it unfolds, I am not surprised that you got censored.


Dec. 5: Five vigilers
Dec. 12: Nine vigilers
America First, NOT Israel
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends

Report on Beth Israel vigil 11-21-15

Posted on November 29th, 2015 at 3:18 pm by

Whither Academia?

Four members of Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends attended an academic discussion of “The Israeli Palestinian Conflict” at the Ford School for Public Policy on the University of Michigan campus. For ninety minutes Professors Shai Feldman and Khalil Shakaki lectured an audience of 50 people and answered note-card-filtered questions without once mentioning the J-word, as if Israel was not a Jewish state committing crimes against the Palestinian people with Jewish soldiers using weapons adorned with Jewish religious symbols and with worldwide support of the Jewish community.

These two professors, both affiliated with Brandeis University, create the illusion of discussion as they talked past the 800-pound gorilla sitting right in the middle of the plush Annenberg Auditorium. Listen to Shai Feldman, who claims to be a “fifth generation Israeli”, talk about the “Golden age” of Israeli-Palestinian history which ended upon the assassination of PM Rabin. Hear him talk about his claim that there is “no architect” with which to continue the “peace process”, and remember the claims fifteen years ago that Yasser Arafat provided “no partner” for peace negotiations. The more things change, the more they stay the same, eh?

Also pay attention the quisling role played by Dr. Shakaki, whose presence gives a false credence to this dialogue. Both professors “team teach” the “conflict”, and neither call the issue by its right name: the Jewish ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Thank you, Dr. Shakaki, for playing your role to perfection, for bringing up non-issues like the “mind-set” of Mahmoud Abbas, and the “status quo” being shaken by the current stabbings in Palestine.

Feldman claimed that since Jerusalem was “a Jewish city”, only the local Jewish police – and not IDF troops – patrolled the town. Shakaki remained silent, while the four JWPF members cast quizzical gazes at each other. Had we missed the UN memo declaring Jerusalem all-Jewish? Both professors patted themselves on the back when Feldman claimed the two were “entrepreneurs for peace”. Really.

How far has academia fallen? Have suits and neckties substituted for critical analysis? Are students to be led by the Snake and the Sycophant, aka Feldman and Shakaki, away from understanding a simple situation and toward a false construct? JWPF members expect better from our intellectuals. So should you.

America First? Not in New Jersey!

Deir Yassin Remembered is an organization with a board of advisors comprising seventeen individuals from Ramallah to Melbourne. Our New Jersey rep contacted the local Lamar Advertising Company and requested the billboard used in Detroit be installed on a billboard near his hometown of Teaneck. DYR Executive Director Dan McGowan summarizes the result of this attempt in an article published on =Dissident Voice=.

Deir Yassin Remembered, a not-for-profit organization of Jews and non-Jews working for the human rights of Palestinians, rented a billboard in Detroit. The message was simple: “America first, not Israel.”

DYR's new billboard in metro Detroit.

DYR’s new billboard in metro Detroit.

The mega billboard company, Lamar, designed the message and produced the 14’ x 48’ vinyl for $700. It charged an additional $3,000 to display it for four weeks and agreed to ship the vinyl to the next location at the end of the rental period.

But when Deir Yassin Remembered tried to rent a billboard in Bergen County (NJ), Lamar refused saying “due to its sensitive nature, we do not want to post in here in New York or New Jersey.”

In a country whose Congress gives 28 standing ovations to the Prime Minister of Israel, an apartheid state to whom we give the lion’s share of our foreign aid, free speech is often not allowed, even when you are willing to pay for it.


Nov. 14: Seven vigilers
Nov. 21: Five vigilers
America First, NOT Israel
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends

Report on Beth Israel vigil 11-07-15

Posted on November 8th, 2015 at 6:50 pm by

Local TV station initiates coverage of DYR billboard, then clams up

Billboard Oct 2015 1 of 2-sm

A story within a story … reporter Camille Amiri of local television station WXYZ-TV “breaks” the news of our billboard in the Detroit area and interviews only ADL (Anti-Defamation League) Detroit Regional Director Heidi Budaj, and claims that she tried to “reach out to the organization who had this billboard put up”. Neither this writer, nor Dan McGowan, Executive Director of Deir Yassin Remembered, was ever personally contacted, nor contact made via the DYR website. Amiri also assures her readers “Of course we will let you know when and if they (DYR) do call me back and get a more definitive answer on what exactly this billboard means.”

This writer phoned the TV station within one hour of Amiri’s broadcast on Thursday, October 22, and repeatedly tried via email to contact her over the next few days to provide the answers to her question, but to no avail. She responded only once and that was to say she had forwarded my contact information to the news room.

Why the Wieselian silence? Why the false statements? And why the immediate dropping of the story? For help on this let’s allow the Detroit Jewish News and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency to provide insight. The female reporter from the DJN called this writer but was apparently shocked into printable silence by my claim that America and Israel were ideologically opposites: (1) America represents separation of state and religion, whereas Israel is wedded to the Jewish faith; (2) America does not discriminate based on ethnic origin or religious affiliation in granting the right to vote, while Israel denies millions of Palestinians that same right; and (3) Americans enjoy freedom of political expression, where Israel does not.

She questioned the third claim, but again had no response to the fact that it is illegal in Israel to question the standard narrative of the “Holocaust”.

Julie Weiner of the JTA did not even bother going through any potentially damaging phone call interviews, and merely ascertained from Mr. McGowan that more billboards are planned, pending funding. In spite of receiving my contact information, Weiner elected not to proceed.

We are left to speculate re: the silence from the Jewish community on this topic. We feel it’s clear that they would like this embarrassing billboard removed from the sight of the viewing public, and possibly informed WXYZ to drop it. Perhaps Tony Soprano carried the message personally to Camille Amiri. We really just don’t know.

Billboard story gets play internationally

Flip to the good side: many news organizations picked up on our billboard, including the American Free Press, the Arab American News, the Jerusalem Post and Russia Today. Dave Gahary of the AFP spent over an hour on the phone with this writer, and we anticipate a story coming out soon.

The billboard strikes a nerve – just as our weekly vigils do – in the heart of the Jewish community. They know that the claim of dual loyalty is a valid one, despite the kneejerk reaction from Heidi Budaj. Michael Hager wants to know the number of congressmen and senators currently holding dual citizenship with Israel, and so do we. To which country are these political leaders pledging allegiance? Why is it that Benjamin Netanyahu receives more standing ovations addressing OUR congress than any US president in recent memory? Why does Barack Obama say there is “no daylight” between the U.S. and Israel despite the three major differences listed above?

Isn’t it clear that our leaders in Congress and the White House are hand-picked or coerced to pay homage to the “special relationship” by the enormous financial and political pressure exerted by the Jewish Lobby? Deir Yassin Remembered and Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends see the daylight, and we’re not the only ones. That’s why the billboard has enjoyed so much success. The next one is coming. Stay tuned.


Oct. 24 Nine vigilers
Oct. 31 Seven vigilers
Nov. 7 Four vigilers
Israeli Citizens in OUR Congress?
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends

Billboard Contact and Donation Information

Posted on October 26th, 2015 at 4:56 pm by

Please direct all media inquiries about DYR’s new billboard in metro Detroit (pictured below) to Dan McGowan at 315-781-3418 or Henry Herskovitz at 734-663-3649.

Billboard donations to offset its cost or to keep it in place longer are welcome. If you opt to use JustGive for your donation please select “Billboard” under Program.

DYR's new billboard in metro Detroit.

Report on Beth Israel vigil 10-17-15

Posted on October 21st, 2015 at 7:17 pm by

Detroit Billboard by Deir Yassin Remembered

We are happy to announce a new billboard in Detroit sponsored by our friends at Deir Yassin Remembered to remind American motorists that our legislative leaders need to put American interests ahead of the interests of the Jewish Lobby in determining U.S. foreign policy. The strategy behind this billboard’s statement, “America First, Not Israel”, is to drive a wedge between those who feel American interests are not served by fighting wars for Israel, and the Israel-firsters in this country who manipulate our leaders into the false premise that Israel is the ally of the United States. As Alison Weir documents in her book, Against Our Better Judgment, nothing could be further from the truth.

This billboard is located on Eight Mile Road, just a half mile west of the Southfield Expressway. It is visible to the four lanes of traffic flowing east on the south side of the road.

Billboard Oct 2015 1 of 2-sm

higher res photo here

Pro-Palestine Protest in Dearborn

Five members of Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends attended a rally for Palestine on Sunday, October 18 in front of the Henry Ford Library in Dearborn, Michigan. This was part of a series of rallies held throughout the United States and Europe, designed to support Palestine in its Third Intifada. The Dearborn rally, about 125 people by our read, was covered by an article in the Arab American News, which can be read here.

Merriam Webster: No “Holocaust” for 36 years after WWII

When did the term “Holocaust” become defined as a reference to the egregious treatment of Jews at the hands of the Nazi government of Germany? Not until 1983, according to JWPF’s research department, which paid a visit to the Reference Room at the University of Michigan Graduate Library. Check it out:

In the 1981 Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, the word “holocaust” is defined as:

1.  a sacrifice consumed by fire
2.  a thorough destruction, esp. by fire

Two years later, in the 1983 Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, we find the definition of “holocaust” as:

1.  a sacrifice consumed by fire
2.  a thorough destruction, esp. by fire
3.  often cap : the genocidal slaughter of European Jews by the Nazis during World War II – usu. used with the


Oct. 10 Seven vigilers
Oct. 17 Nine vigilers
Alison Weir returning to SE Michigan; stay tuned!
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends

Report on Beth Israel vigil 10-03-15

Posted on October 4th, 2015 at 9:08 pm by

Mondoweiss Strikes Out

For the third time in about six years we once again reached out for on-line news coverage by Phil Weiss’ Mondoweiss. This time, our friend Dan McGowan, Executive Director of Deir Yassin Remembered, asked Phil to report on our 12 years holding the Ann Arbor Jewish community accountable for their support of Israel as a Jewish state. Dan wrote to Phil:

Would you be willing to run a piece on Warren Routledge’s excellent new book, Holocaust High Priest?

Would you be willing to run a piece on our board member, Henry Herskovitz, who still leads the longest running vigil every week in Ann Arbor?

Phil Weiss replied:

sorry Daniel, can’t touch it w a ten-foot pole

We note that Phil could have differentiated between Dan’s two requests and used his unwillingness to question the holocaust, to accept the task of reviewing our vigils, yet he chose – once again – not to accept that challenge. Perhaps Gilad Atzmon is right when he quotes Phil as being more concerned with “Jewish self-interest” than “a theory of political life based on altruism or concern for victims.” As Gilad writes in “Jews & Their Self Interest – An Interview with Philip Weiss“:

It seems to me that once again, I have failed to converse with a ‘progressive Jew.’ I guess that in spite of the openness Weiss showed initially, he, like many others, cannot resolve the tension beyond the universal and the tribal.

And by now, I am increasingly certain that this gap cannot be bridged easily, if at all, for the tribal and universal are like water and oil.

I guess that the difficulties involved in resolving the tension between the universal and the tribal explains why so many progressive Jews prefer to operate in intellectual, ideological and political exclusive ‘Jews only’ cells where these questions are never raised, never asked, and never answered.

In any case, we won’t bother Phil with any more requests. After all, outside of our initial requests to present our witness of Palestine to three area synagogues in 2003, JWPF is not in the business of asking for favors from others. We act, and others react.

How did you celebrate Eat-a-Cheeseburger Day?

Hats off to our friend and supporter Michael Rabb, who celebrated this annual event with a protest at TWO synagogues in Boulder, Colorado (Bonai Shalom and Har Hashem) PLUS downing a cheeseburger and a beverage at a local brew pub. He reports:

Hey !

we did it again !

My friend Jim and I stood in front of Congregation Bonai Shalom on Yom Kippur and asked Jews to confess and atone for the genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

Not much was happening at Bonai Shalom (we were out numbered by the police!) so we moved on to the next synagogue, Congregation Har Hashem on Baseline Rd in Boulder. Congregants at Har Hashem seemed puzzled : what does Palestine have to do with Jews?

MR at protest 2015-09-23-sm

Considering Congregation Har HaShem’s open commitment to Zionism the reported puzzlement is curious, to say the least.

Local Report: Eat-a-Cheeseburger Day

Falling well short of our Colorado friends in the protest business, 16 JWPF members and supporters celebrated this holiday only with a cheeseburger cookout including lively discussion and poetry reading.

EACD 2015-09-23-sm


Seven vigilers
Henry Herskovitz
Bernie is a Jewish Zionist
Zionism is Racism
What does that make Bernie?
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends

Report on Beth Israel vigil 09-19-15

Posted on September 21st, 2015 at 10:30 am by

Ann Arbor Quakers Put it to Josh Ruebner

Floating across our desk this week appears a letter to several top dogs in the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and Jewish Voice for Peace from the local Quaker peace group, Palestine Israel Action Group (PIAG). Obviously concerned about USCEIO and JVP’s recent ouster of Alison Weir, this letter asks for assurance that “USC and JVP’s investigations of coalition members will end.”

PIAG reports to their constituents: “PIAG is sad to report that US Campaign is unable to give the assurance they requested in the final line above. Policy Director Josh Ruebner stated in a conference call with PIAG that if any further group were to request the ousting of another member, US Campaign’s standard procedures would mandate that such a request be duly considered.”

Perhaps PIAG members in attendance last April when Josh spoke at the Quaker’s Meeting observed his dodge of a vital question from the audience: Does Israel have a “right” to exist as a Jewish state, and if so, on what grounds? Then PIAG members witnessed the removal of If Americans Knew from the coalition which makes up Josh’s group and are now, hopefully, catching on to the nature of Jewish Power within the Palestine solidarity movement.


Questioning the US Campaign

The letter from PIAG highlights US Campaign’s Common Principles, which stand “opposed to Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, all forms of racism…” yet the authors fail to ask an obvious question: Why, if the USC stands against all forms of racism, don’t they stand firmly against Zionism and demand the peaceful dismantlement of the Jewish-privileged state? After all, even the United Nations “Determine[d] that zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination” in 1975, and, in spite of being strong-armed by Jewish Power to revoke the resolution in 1991, the UN never “determined” that Zionism was not a form of racism. A slight, but salient detail we think…

Last Reminder: Eat-a-Cheeseburger Day Wednesday

Readers are reminded that this writer will host a gathering Wednesday September 23 at 4:00pm for a celebration of the 6th Annual Bill Henry International Eat-a-Cheeseburger Day. Please call ahead or email your plans to attend so the correct amount of cheeseburgers may be grilled. And wherever Wednesday finds you, hoist a burger for Bill.


In last week’s report we mistakenly identified Alan Haber as one of the architects of the purge of the Middle East Task Force. He was not. We apologize for this error and hope that our rash conclusion did not do any harm.


Seven vigilers
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends
Challenging Jewish Power since 2003
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