The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 03-13-10

Posted on March 21st, 2010 at 9:51 am by

Democracy Redefined

On Sunday members of the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice will have an opportunity to elect four vacancies on their Board by a full member vote. Sounds pretty democratic until one realizes that there are exactly four candidates running for the four slots and that these candidates were pre-screened and pre-selected by a Board-controlled “nominating committee”. Not very grass-roots, but then again, it is an efficient way to run an organization, especially to insure that problematic issues like Boycotts, Divestment or Sanctions against their favorite fascist state in the Middle East won’t crop up.

Speaking of problematic issues, on the other side of town rests the People’s Food Co-op, another ostensibly democratically run organization. Readers may recall that this writer cast an unsuccessful bid for director on that agency’s board last year, running on the issue of removing from their shelves products imported from Israel and ensuring that future goods from that apartheid state be banned. Keep in mind that one of the two successful candidates who defeated me in the election was Rebecca Kanner, a long time official supporter and central player at ICPJ (and even a longer Zionist). And now the plot thickens.

This year voters in the election for board members will also have the opportunity to vote on a proposed bylaws change. No longer will just any co-op member be permitted to toss his/her hat in the ring if this bylaw change passes. Oh, no, now candidates will either be nominated by “a committee, or committees, appointed by the Board of Directors”, or will be required to present to the Board 100 signatures (or 1 percent of all members, whichever number is larger). Why the change? In the co-op’s own words “… we hope this can discourage single issue candidates…”, leaving us to wonder what on earth that “single issue” could be.

This proposed change is curious to say the least, as the co-op has extended its board candidate filing deadline twice in the last two years purportedly because of a shortage of candidates. We hope that Ms. Kanner isn’t behind this proposed bylaw because if she is well that just smells of rank Zionist hypocrisy. You see, in 2006, Ms. Kanner all but threatened to quit ICPJ over a single issue. On a survey of ICPJ members she wrote:

“… I believe more strongly than ever (and I had believed pretty strongly before!) that ICPJ needs to make a break with the current group of people who constitute the METF in exile. Now. Not later, not another chance for mediation to drain even more time and energy from the board members and others. … I may be especially sensitive as a member of Beth Israel, but … If the organization can’t make a parting with the METFers, than [sic] I will have to re-evaluate my relationship with ICPJ. …”

Ms. Kanner got her way even though 65% of ICPJ members who responded to the ICPJ-initiated survey supported mediation with the Middle East Task Force (METF). But most ICPJ members never learned this because the embarrassing results were soon buried.

Michigan Radio Refuses to Talk with Alison Weir

Alison Weir, founder of will be coming to the Ann Arbor area for three presentations next week. Her problems with Michigan Radio stem from their refusal to run paid ads by IfAmericansKnew and are detailed in this flyer. The explanations by Director of Broadcasting Steve Schram, conflicted with those presented by Director of Development Larry Jonas, and now – in the middle of WUOM’s Spring Fund Raiser – her calls to the station remain unanswered and IfAmericansKnew still is denied sponsorship. Readers are encouraged to call, write or email Michigan Radio: 734-764-9210, 535 W. William St., Ann Arbor, MI 48103, to demand that her 501c3 educational organization be given the same opportunities as others, e.g. Jewish Federation of Detroit.

JWPF in the News

This writer spoke at Ann Arbor City Council this week, which was dutifully covered by Dave Askins of the on-line Ann Arbor Chronicle. Read his summary below signature. And Palestine Think Tank published part of our vigil report of February 20 called “Will IJAN Challenge Jewish Power?”. See

Eight Vigillers
Henry Herskovitz, edited by Vigillers M and S
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends
No Right of Return, No Peace

From the Ann Arbor Chronicle …

Henry Herskovitz began his remarks by saying that he felt most people knew who he was and what he did: exercise his First Amendment rights by holding signs on public sidewalks. He told the council that he actually did not enjoy doing that. On the contrary, he rather disliked it. He did not like being out in the open exposed, even to the point that he did not like waiting for buses. The bus drivers can see him, but he cannot see them. He said that he had previously sworn that he would never do what he’d seen other peace activists do.

But that had changed 10 years ago when he had accompanied a friend on a trip to Iraq to help deliver medical textbooks. In the course of that trip he visited a hospital in Basra in southern Iraq. The hospitals, he reported, were in terrible condition – due to sanctions imposed at the time by the United States.

In the hospital, Herskovitz said, there was a “terrorist” – and he knew that the man was a “terrorist” because he matched the various portrayals that he had seen in mainstream media. Herskovitz said that he started to take pictures of the boy in a hospital bed next to the “terrorist” and that the “terrorist” was crying. Herskovitz said he realized then that the man was the dying boy’s father and that he was crying over the fact his dying son was being used as a photo opportunity. Herskovitz said he came back to Ann Arbor 10 years ago and picked up a sign.

One Response to “Report on Beth Israel vigil 03-13-10”

  1. The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog » Blog Archive » Report on Beth Israel vigil 03-20-10

    […] to the coffers of [WUOM has denied sponsorship to her organization – see last week’s report for details] It was suggested that – as an information delivery tactic – JWPF produce and carry […]
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: