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Report on Beth Israel vigil 06-14-14

Posted on June 16th, 2014 at 1:07 pm by

Flag Day and an Acknowledgement

 

In our vigil report of 05-17-14 we repeated Marc Sussman’s words of encouragement towards Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends:

“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”

Mr. Sussman sends similar words of encouragement to this writer on a monthly basis, and we thought it high time to acknowledge his support, and what better time to start our weekly thanks than Flag Day. Here is the sign we displayed during our entire vigil last Saturday, with appropriate flag:

06-14-14http://www-personal.umich.edu/~hersko/Photos/DSCF0733.JPG

Assuming that Mr. Sussman does not read our vigil reports (I do not have his email address), we will enclose the following team photo taken immediately after Saturday’s vigil, and include a snail-mail thank-you note. We hope he appreciates our goodwill gesture, as we do his.

06-14-14ahttp://www-personal.umich.edu/~hersko/Photos/DSCF0730.JPG

Thank you, Mr. Sussman, and thanks to Vigil Supporter J for his timely and compassionate suggestion .

Comments?

Six vigilers
Reformer or Abolitionist – Which are you?
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends
#

Report on Beth Israel vigil 06-07-14

Posted on June 9th, 2014 at 11:57 am by

How Media Distorts our News

Since this week is the anniversary of the attack on the USS Liberty (June 8, 1967), I thought it propitious to inform members of Ann Arbor City Council what happened on that date. See text of speech (delivered June 2) below signature.

In general, the on-line newspaper AnnArborChronicle.com provides a pretty good job of reporting what’s spoken at City Council meetings. We have reproduced copies of these reports whenever a member of JWPF addresses Council. However, this week they departed from past practice and altered the entire tone of my remarks by electing to insert the word “mistakenly” in his summary of my talk. Note the effect of this additional word:

7:46 p.m. Henry Herskovitz begins by asking: What if you heard through the news media that fighter jets from South Korea were used to attack a U.S. ship? Our answer would be clear – that the U.S. would not tolerate an attack by an ally. South Korea has not done that, but that’s what happened in 1967 with the USS Liberty when Israel [mistakenly] attacked the ship. U.S. citizens should take it seriously when a foreign government can influence U.S. foreign policy, he says.

I asked the reporter via email:

“Why did you insert “[mistakenly]” in your report? I did not use it.”

Reporter:

Square brackets indicate that this is not your word choice. Granted, inserting a single bracketed word here asks a lot of that single word to convey the complexities of that incident. Without it, however, I think a reader with zero background gets the impression that Israel and the U.S. were at war with each other in 1967.

Wow. So he feels it necessary to soften (read: distort, falsify) my speech, for what? For whom? Why does he feel compelled to protect “Israel’s” image? It’s distressing to see even our local media fall in line with the pro-Israel crowd. And it becomes easier for us to witness the continuity of distortion that begins with local media and ends with ABC, NBC, the New York Times, etc. Click here for Alison Weir’s analysis of our major media’s distortion of the news.

Trying to salvage something out of this situation I sent the reporter the following. Still waiting for a response.

[name withheld],

Your bracketed claim that the attack was a mistake is refuted by quite a few sources. I’m quoting here from a recently published report by investigative reporter Alison Weir: http://ifamericansknew.org/us_ints/legion.html

High Officials Say Attack Was Intentional

There is detailed evidence from Liberty crewmen and other military and intelligence personnel that the Israeli attack was intentional. Numerous extremely high US military, intelligence, and diplomatic officials have espoused this view. Among them are:

Dean Rusk, Secretary of State under LBJ;

Richard Helms, Director of the CIA

Rufus Taylor, Deputy Director of the CIA

Clark Clifford, special assistant to the President

Louis W. Tordella, National Security Agency (NSA) Deputy Director

General Marshall Carter, former director, NSA

Lucius Battle, former presidential advisor

Major General John Morrison, US Air Force, Deputy Chief NSA Operations

Oliver Kirby, former deputy director for operations/production, NSA

Lieutenant General William E. Odom, former director, NSA

Admiral Bobby Ray Inman, USN, Director NSA 1977-1981

Paul C. Warnke, Undersecretary of the Navy and later general legal counsel to the Department of Defense

Rear Admiral Merlin Staring, Staff Legal Office for Commander in Chief US Naval Forces Europe and later Chief Judge Advocate General of the Navy

George Ball, under secretary of state

Dwight Porter, US Ambassador to Lebanon

Lloyd M. “Pete” Bucher, US Navy, Commanding Officer USS Pueblo

Captain Ward Boston, senior legal counsel for the Naval Court of Inquiry

Rear Admiral Clarence “Mark” Hill, co-founder of the Naval Aviation Foundation

Admiral David McDonald, Chief of Naval Operations[45]

Vice Admiral Jerome King, Jr., Deputy Chief of Naval Operations[46]

In 2003 the Moorer Commission, an independent commission headed by Admiral Moorer, reported on Capitol Hill: “There is compelling evidence that Israel’s attack was a deliberate attempt to destroy an American ship and kill her entire crew.”

The Moorer report went on to state, “In attacking the USS Liberty, Israel committed acts of murder against U.S. servicemen and an act of war against the United States.”[47]

In addition, James M. Ennes, Jr. retired from theNavy in 1978 as a lieutenant commander after 27 years of enlisted and commissioned service. He was a lieutenant on the bridge of the USS Liberty on the day of the attack. He wrote a book “Assault on the Liberty“, and refutes mistaken identity as a reason for the attack.

The US and Israel SHOULD have been at war with each other, because this unprovoked attack was clearly an act of war. That was the entire point of my rhetorical question: that pro-Israel forces in the US prevented a call to war that in other cases – South Korea was my example – would have been a slam-dunk.

I don’t think the Chronicle’s readership is well served by bracketing a misleading and incorrect word. Why not substitute “[deliberate]”, which, according to the individuals listed above, it certainly was.

Comments?

May 24: Eight vigilers
May 31: Five vigilers
June 7 : Seven vigilers
Remember the USS Liberty
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends
#

June 2, 2014 [ 397 words]
Topic: Remembering Israel’s attack on the USS Liberty

Good Evening,

I would like begin my comments tonight by asking Council a rhetorical question. If you heard through our news media that fighter jets and torpedo boats from South Korea attacked a United States intelligence ship in international waters, what do you think the response of the US military would be?

What if these attack jets and torpedo boats were used to kill 34 US sailors and wound 171 others on board our ship in an attack lasting longer than the attack on Pearl Harbor? What if our men fleeing in lifeboats were targeted as well? What if chemical weapons like napalm and jellied gasoline were used in this attack?

I think our answer would be clear: the United States would not tolerate an attack by a so-called ally, and would respond with tremendous force, perhaps even shock and awe. The counter-attack would be immediate, and one can only imagine the magnitude of our retaliation.

Well, South Korea hasn’t done any of this, so let’s cut out the make believe, but let’s do recall that these same events actually occurred against the USS Liberty by a so-called ally of ours: the state of Israel. Next Sunday, June 8th, marks the 47th anniversary of this attack, and as taxpayers funneling 8 million dollars a day to this foreign government, we have a right to demand an investigation and hold the perpetrators accountable.

The USS Liberty was not a warship, and when the ship’s Commanding Officer requested that a destroyer be called in to protect this ship, he was assured that protection wasn’t necessary. This ship then became easy prey for Israeli rockets, guns and torpedoes. During the attack, the carrier USS Saratoga launched twelve Phantom jets to defend the Liberty. But Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara told them to stand down, saying “Tell the Sixth Fleet to get those aircraft back immediately”. In addition, the crew of the USS Liberty was threatened with “court martial, prison or worse” if they talked about the Israeli attack.

US citizens – you and me – should take it quite seriously when a foreign government can manipulate our foreign policy, and can with impunity attack and kill American sailors. Let’s remember the deceased sailors from the USS Liberty on June 8th and join the survivors in their demand for a full investigation by the Department of the Navy.

It’s time we knew the truth.

Thank you

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.

Comments?

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.

Comments?

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,

Henry,

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 …

Comments?

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 museumhttp://www-personal.umich.edu/~hersko/Photos/Holocaust%20Museum%20Protest%202014/DSCF0710.JPG

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 museumhttp://www-personal.umich.edu/~hersko/Photos/Holocaust%20Museum%20Protest%202014/DSCF0705.JPG

Comments?

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. Dictionary.com. 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 mcgowandaniel@yahoo.com and not his college email at mcgowan@hws.edu 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.

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