The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 07-31-10

Posted on August 8th, 2010 at 8:47 am by

Hiatus Over

Just because you haven’t received a vigil report since June doesn’t mean Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends hasn’t been maintaining our vigilant vigils. Vigiller G has kept accurate records, and we thank all the extra participants who kept up the struggle for Palestine here in Ann Arbor:

July 3 – Seven Vigillers
July 10 – Seven
July 17 – Six
July 24 – Eight
July 31 – Six

And of course, our work continues, even out-of-town. This writer was fortunate to be the guest speaker at a salon held in Seattle, WA on July 8th, where he addressed twenty-four peace activists on the history, goals, and effectiveness of our vigils. Touching briefly on the claim that Zionism has such a strong religious component that to call it a secular movement is in error, we received an all-too-typical response from the one Jewish lady in attendance that she was feeling “uncomfortable” with the direction of the conversation. And when it was stated that JWPF operates the only synagogue vigil in the world, this 81-year old claimed that she knew of a peace group in Philadelphia, which, for eight years has been conducting vigils in front of a synagogue on Friday evenings.

A Google search, however, has not revealed any information on such a vigil. When “Synagogue Protest” is entered into this search engine, only JWPF’s name surfaces. So we ask readers to provide us a link to other synagogue protests, whether in Philadelphia or elsewhere.

And speaking of other activist groups, I was impressed with a group in Eugene, Oregon called “The Al Nakba Awareness Project”, headed by Jack D. and Mariah L, website . These guys run a tight ship, and use their experience in the civil rights struggle to draw parallels to the racism inflicted upon Palestinians by the Jewish State.


As one motorcycles across the country with his “colors” on, i.e. “Stop Israel” baseball caps, “No Jewish State” t-shirts, “Boycott Israel” bumper stickers, it’s amazing how many folk will come up and start a conversation. Equally amazing is the number of people who “get it”, who recognize Israel for the bully it is, and how the Israel lobby in this country uses its inordinate power to maintain the flow of US taxpayer dollars to the Jewish apartheid state. The “map cards” provided by Ann Arbor’s own Anne Remley are also helpful and provide well received gifts to those who strike up a conversation.

Heads Up: Speaking Engagement at St. Joseph Catholic Church

Everyone is invited to a presentation by this writer and his close friend Jon Heffelfinger, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Dexter, Michigan*, Wednesday, August 18th at 7pm. Jon will review our mission to Palestine with the Michigan Peace Team in the spring of 2005, and I will address the question of why so many tragic events occur in Palestine by examining the source and cause of conflict in the Middle East.

Short Notice: Help Support Benton Harbor this Tuesday

As Whirlpool Corporation tightens its grip over the economically-strapped community of Benton Harbor, Michigan, our friends at MECAWI have invited all to protest the opening of a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course which now sits on stolen public property. Sounding familiar to the Jewish theft of Palestinian land, the corporate bigwigs in Benton Harbor and next-door St. Joseph, Michigan, moved into Jean Klock Park – a park dedicated in perpetuity to the citizens of Benton Harbor to erect this playground for well-heeled golfers.

Benton Harbor is a majority black community, and neighboring St. Joseph is predominantly white. And years ago, when our friend Reverend Ed Pinkney completed a successful recall campaign against a corrupt city councilman, he was promptly tried by a white prosecutor in front of a white judge and an all-white jury. Found guilty (surprise!) he spent many months in prison before citizen pressure forced a tethered return to his home.

Members of JWPF will be traveling across the state on Tuesday to confront course-designer Jack Nicklaus, and to bring attention to this modern day land theft. See you there: Call David Sole from MECAWI if you need a ride 313-680-5508 and live along the I-94 corridor.

End Jewish Supremacism in Palestine
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends

* 3430 Dover St. Dexter, MI 48130

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