The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 02-13-10

Posted on February 22nd, 2010 at 8:20 am by

New Document Supporting JWPF Online

A much belated response to the infamous clergy letter of 2004, in which some benighted Ann Arbor religious leaders denounced our nonviolent vigils, went online this past Monday. We’re pleased to report that this independent effort is off to an auspicious start with the Rev. Dr. Stephen Sizer having graciously and courageously agreed to provide the first signature on “Religious Leaders Support Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends” (text at bottom of this report). The Rev. Dr. Sizer is the vicar of Christ Church in Virginia Water in Surrey, England but moreover he is a respected scholar who literally wrote the book on Christian Zionism. In fact, he wrote two of them: Christian Zionism: Road Map to Armageddon and Zion’s Christian Soldiers. We thank the Rev. Dr. Sizer for his adding his good name to this effort and look forward to seeing the signatures of other religious leaders soon. To learn more or to view or sign the document please go to: To download a printable version of the document in PDF format go to

A Meeting with James Petras

Two members of Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends traveled to Binghamton, New York, and were greeted at the home of scholar and author James Petras. Drawn by his book The Power of Israel in the United States, and his recent article “Bended Knees: Zionist Power in American Politics”, we thought we’d have a supportive colleague in Prof. Petras, and went away from our 3-hour meeting not a bit disappointed. Never before interested in self-identifying as an American, and not supporting nationalism in general, James has come to the conclusion that his country has been hijacked by people loyal to a foreign country.Some citizens of that country – like Rahm Emanual – hold powerful positions in American government, and control virtually all decisions as they relate to US Middle East policy.

He agreed with the notion that Zionist Jews in the peace movement, acting as fifth columnists, are rightly classified as part of the “Zionist Power Configuration”, a term coined by Petras. He repeated the observation in his article that the ethnic (Jewish) label is attached to “positive” writings and intellectual activity by Jews, but that label is downplayed when the activity involves Jews as financial swindlers and espionage agents. We invited Jim to visit the memorial of the 1948 massacre of the villiage of Deir Yassin in Geneva, NY; he hope to make the short trip this summer. See our picture below and here if the photo doesn’t load.

Little Handala Loses Another Round

The vigilance of Zionist power cannot not be overstated: JWPF placed an order from a different postage stamp provider to purchase stamps with Handala’s image. Really, how can the image of a ten-year-old be that threatening to the Zionist Power Configuration? What message does this little fellow convey to the world that they fear so much? The ZPC works tirelessly to remove his image from the public’s mind for the crime he commits: He symbolizes the Palestinian Right of Return and is a reminder of Al-Nakba. And we can’t have that, can we?

Three years ago, after printing and delivering an initial run of several hundred stamps, banned Handala from its stamps. This past week another US Postal Service-approved vendor declined to print our Handala stamps. Their response: “We are unable to process your order because it did not meet our content guidelines”

Nine Vigillers
Peace or a Jewish State?: Everyone’s choice
Henry Herskovitz
with editing assistance by Vigiller M
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends

Religious Leaders Support Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends

February 15, 2010

… the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? –- The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” 1963.

Since September 2003, a small group of determined people of conscience and faith have held weekly nonviolent vigils outside Beth Israel Congregation in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, on the Jewish sabbath. Members of Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends stand vigil to protest and draw attention to the synagogue’s open and unabashed support for apartheid Israel. As Rabbi Robert Dobrusin said in the Ann Arbor News on January 21, 2007: “Beth Israel Congregation affirms without any
hesitation or equivocation the legitimacy of the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish state …” As with any other supremacist state, a “Jewish state” can never fully include, nor respect the rights of, non-Jews living under its rule, let alone the millions of Palestinian refugees whom Israel prevents from returning home.

We, the undersigned religious leaders, affirm the tactic of protesting outside a place of worship as appropriate and consistent with our prophetic and religious traditions. In the Christian tradition, Jesus chased moneychangers from the Temple. The prophet Jeremiah stood “in the gate of the LORD’S house” and rebuked Israel. The prophet Amos told Beth Israel (literally, “the House of Israel”) in the Lord’s name: “I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies”; he commanded them to “Take away from me the noise of your songs.” Why? Because Israelites had turned “justice to wormwood” and brought “righteousness to the ground.” And because they hated those who rightly criticized them, abhorring “the one who speaks the truth.” As the late Rabbi Abraham Heschel wrote, the prophets knew that “Worship preceded or followed by evil acts becomes an absurdity. The holy place is doomed when people indulge in unholy deeds.”

Religious people cannot legitimately use their religiosity as a cloak to support evil or to shield themselves from deserved criticism. Publicly holding religious people and their leaders accountable to the high standards that faith and conscience demand is a praiseworthy undertaking. We pray for an end to the idolatry of political power and military might. We uphold Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends as an example for people in other communities. We pray and work for the peace and safety of Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends, the people of the Middle East, and all humanity — God’s children everywhere. Finally, we join in the call of the prophet Amos: “Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”

One Response to “Report on Beth Israel vigil 02-13-10”

  1. A Proud Zionist

    You say Israel as a Jewish state “can never fully include, nor respect the rights of, non-Jews living under its rule,” then please explain why the Arabs of Israel enjoy more freedoms including electing their own members of paliament than any other state in the Middle East bar none, have a better standard of living and a higher life expectancy. Please also explain if Israel is so evil as you suggest that other than for just one other Arab state in the Middle East, Gazan Arabs have a higher life expectancy than any other Arab Country in the Middle East and enjoy a population increase of 5% year on year. If Israel is so evil why do West Bank Arabs have a better standard of lving than do their counterparts in Egypt and Jordan under “Israeli Occupation”? If you  pray and work for the peace and safety of Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends, the people of the Middle East, and all humanity — God’s children everywhere why does this exclude the Jews of Israel? If you are so concerned about the right of return of Arab refugees why are you not supporting the claims of the more than 800000 Jewish refugees and their decendants who were expelled from Arab countries?
Powered by WordPress. Theme developed with WordPress Theme Generator.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
%d bloggers like this: