Atzmon Tours Toledo and Ypsilanti
We have learned a secret about jazz musician and philosopher Gilad Atzmon in the last few days: the man only has two speeds, 100 mph (that’s 161 kph for the Brits reading this) and zero. His energy wore out a crowd of 25 folks in Ypsilanti, Michigan Friday evening and about 50 listeners in Toledo, Ohio Thursday, yet at last sighting he was going strong.
Though leaving his audiences without a clear path of “what to do”, he certainly provides a lot of thought-provoking ideas for the uninitiated to chew upon. So much so, that a Jewish doctor and friend stormed out of his Friday delivery midstream, shocked, shocked at the idea that an examination of Jewish collective behavior could possibly be helpful in understanding the actions of others. Gilad waxes nostalgic over the loveable bigot Archie Bunker, whom he describes as the last free self-expressing person and urged those in his audience to give up the shackles of political correctness and speak our minds. Patriotism, he instructed, is the ability to admire our surrounding rivers, valleys, mountains while using and preserving our First Amendment rights.
He expounded on the nature of Jewish Power for us — it is the invisible hand that forbids us from speaking about Jewish Power. He claimed that AIPAC (American-Israel Public Affairs Committee) is *not* an example of Jewish Power, but the power resides in Jewish leaders of the peace movement who – like the anti-aircraft batteries protecting a military target – provide cover for targets like AIPAC. As such, Gilad identifies for us these leaders – Medea Benjamin of Code Pink and Rebecca Vilkomerson of Jewish Voice for Peace to name just two – who place Jewish tribalism and a faux focus on “anti-Semitism” at primary levels in the peace movement, while the effort to actually liberate Palestine remains secondary. This observation is now being questioned by Atzmon supporters like Paul Larudee in his recent piece, “The Palestine Liberation Movement is not about Anti-Semitism”.
Gilad at JWPF Vigil
Mr. Atzmon slowed down just long enough to join ten members of Jewish Witness for Peace and Friends at our May 25 vigil in front of the Zionist Beth Israel Congregation. Following that, after a quick breakfast with JWPF vigilers, he was hustled off to Detroit Metro airport to head east for his NYC and Washington DC appearances. Thank you, Gilad for recognizing the importance of our weekly vigils.
Cindy Sheehan Coming to Ann Arbor
Local organizer Diane Gee has requested that we place flyers around town for the June 5 Tour de Peace bicycle ride by Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan as it passes through Ann Arbor. We note that the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice has withdrawn its name from the sponsors list.
JWPF in the News
Mr. Dave Askins of the Ann Arbor Chronicle reported on our presentation
to City Council on May 6, and we also note the softening tone of his report. Although my words were: “Israeli forces violently attacked Palestinian Christians near the Church of the Holy Sepulcher on Easter”, Mr. Askins reports it as “And near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Christians had been prevented by Israeli security forces from worshiping on orthodox Easter” (full text below signature). In fact, Israeli police brutalized several people and, as the Times of Israel reports, beat an Egyptian Coptic bishop into unconsciousness. A press release from the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem described “horrific scenes of the brutal treatment of our clergy, people, and pilgrims” and declared “it is not acceptable that under pretext of security and order, our clergy and people are indiscriminately and brutally beaten, and prevented from entering their churches, monasteries and convents.” If Gilad Atzmon reads this report will he wonder if Mr. Askins’ soft-pedaling is an example of Jewish Power at work, however unconscious it may be?
May 18: 6 vigilers
May 25: 11 vigilers
Israel Attacks US Boat in International Waters – Remember the USS Liberty
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends
From the Ann Arbor Chronicle –
Henry Herskovitz described recent events in and around Israel. Israeli forces had attacked Syria and the U.S. supported the move, he said. He also cited news reports about statements made by Carla Del Ponte, a member of a United Nations independent commission of inquiry on Syria, who’d said that they’d not seen evidence of government forces using chemical weapons, but there were suspicions that rebel forces had used sarin gas. And near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Christians had been prevented by Israeli security forces from worshiping on orthodox Easter, he said.
Herskovitz told the council that on April 17, 23 people had staged an anti-Israel protest outside the Michigan Theater, on the occasion of a performance by an Israeli singer. The protest had attempted to educate local residents to the idea that atrocities couldn’t be concealed by the beauty of a performer