The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 05-15-10

Posted on May 28th, 2010 at 8:32 am by

Introducing Alan Hart … Twice

Good to their word, the kind folks at Interdenominational Advocates for Peace (IDAP) carried through on their promise to introduce this writer as a member of Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends and identify him as the one who would present Alan Hart. Alan was well received by Jewish and Christian members of the local audience, but my Arab friends came away with a different point of view; a Syrian friend was frustrated to tears. Her concerns will be transmitted to Alan over beverages in the next two weeks. True gentleman that he is, he appears eager to witness others’ opinions.

The evening before this meeting in the Wesley Foundation Lounge of the First United Methodist Church, this writer also presented Ann Arbor City Council with an invitation to hear Alan speak. This brief talk centered on Alan’s critique of Israel’s claimed “Right” to exist as a Jewish state, and is contained in full below signature.

Alan was also featured Saturday at the Hyatt Regency in Dearborn as keynote speaker for a fundraiser for the Palestine Cultural Office of Dearborn. This organization was formerly called the Palestine Office, and it’s regrettable to some members of JWPF that they would not only abdicate their responsibility to work towards Palestinian Right of Return, but in addition seemed to have turned over the political wing of the Office to Jewish Voice for Peace, a clear Zionist group. Talk about allowing the fox to guard the henhouse! JVP has removed “Boycott” from BDS, and will, according to speaker Barabara Harvey, proceed with divestment from selected large corporations. These members of the oppressor class will dictate the terms to Palestinians concerning the correct tactics of how their “liberation” should be waged. Is anybody paying attention?

Annual Challenge to Beth Israel from ICPJ

Chuck Warpehoski of the local Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice reminds us that June is once again Torture Awareness Month. He writes: “This is a time for people of all faiths and backgrounds to come together to shine a spotlight on the issues of torture and to work together to end torture practices around the globe.” (emphasis added)

We at JWPF will dutifully dust off our “Torture is Wrong” banner and carry it on Washtenaw Avenue to show that we are committed, as Chuck encourages us, to end torture. The pregnant question is whether Rabbi Rob Dobrusin and his Congregation at Beth Israel will also commit to ending torture, or will they still maintain that torture, or “rough interrogation techniques” can be “a justified act of self defense”. We again invite readers to review PeaceMonger’s deconstruction of Rabbi Dobrusin’s June 7, 2008 sermon on the topic.

Received Compliment

This writer was fortunate to meet a Gazan in Dearborn who said, upon hearing my critique of Ms. Harvey’s talk: “You sound just like my friends back home”. Sometimes paydays don’t get any better than that.


This report is dedicated to the memory of Jim Tate, who passed away this week. Jim was founder of the Jim Tate Band, and provided his loyal group of followers with a style of rockabilly music second to none. In the opinion of this writer Jim possessed the best male voice in the state of Michigan, and will sorely be missed.

Eight Vigilers
Palestinian children are used as shields because Jews want the land
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends

Address to City Council:

May 17, 2010

Good Evening,

Tonight I’d like to address the topic of the legitimacy of the state of Israel. This is a topic that the Jewish community does not want to discuss. In his High Holiday address of 2003 Rabbi Rob Dobrusin of Beth Israel Congregation said ” We are absolutely right in rejecting those who deny Israel’s legitimacy”

And in an op-ed to the Ann Arbor News in 2007 he wrote: ” We have had many discussions on these issues at Beth Israel … However, our discussion is always predicated on the legitimacy of the State of Israel”.

We have placed phone calls to the Rabbi and he has reiterated that Israel’s legitimacy is off limits in any dialogue.

Why is this? Why does this representative of the local Jewish community want to avoid discussion of Israel’s legitimacy?

The answer should be obvious: he cannot defend Israel’s legitimacy, so he takes the entire topic off the table.

Well, I have some good news for those here who wish it placed back on the table. A distinguished former BBC correspondent, Alan Hart, will be in town Tuesday evening, and he may well speak to the claim of Israel’s legitimacy.

Mr. Hart will be speaking at the First United Methodist Church at 7pm tomorrow. The church is at the corner of Huron and State Streets, just three blocks from here. And everyone is invited. You may also be able to purchase his new book: Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews.

Alan has taken on this question of legitimacy, and has turned support for such “propaganda nonsense” – as he terms it – on its head. He claims that the United Nations had no legitimacy partitioning Palestine in 1947. He writes that Israel, ” …which came into being mainly as a consequence of pre-planned ethnic cleansing, had no right to exist and, more to the point, could have no right to exist UNLESS … Unless it was recognised and legitimized by those who were dispossessed of their land and their rights during the creation of the Zionist state. In international law only the Palestinians could give Israel the legitimacy it craved.

And that legitimacy was the only thing the Zionists could not and cannot take from the Palestinians by force. ” [emphasis in original]

Please come to hear Alan Hart tomorrow at First United Methodist.

Thank you

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