The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 10-30-10

Posted on November 6th, 2010 at 11:15 pm by

An Evening with Michigan Peace Team

Ten members of Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends combined to form a table at Friday’s fund-raiser for the Michigan Peace Team held at the Greenfield Manor in Dearborn. Approximately 500 people attended this gala affair, which featured speakers Cindy Corrie, mother of murdered activist Rachel Corrie, and Grace Said, sister of the late Professor Edward Said. JWPF members were heartened to hear a prayer issued by Grace, which started “Give us the anger with which we can address injustice …”

More Indications of JVP’s Zionist Position

Barbara Barefield of the openly Zionist Jewish Voice for Peace explained to the large Dearborn audience how their plan to divest from TIAA-CREF was going. Once again, the voice of JVP was explicit: Their concern is specifically targeted on the “occupation” of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. It is becoming increasingly clear that this group wishes to maintain Jewish supremacy on +78% of Palestine. Here are additional hints:

First, we note that the Jewish Daily Forward named Rebecca Vilkomerson, director of JVP, “one of the top 50 Jewish leaders in the United States.” This should come as no surprise, since it’s a recognition issued from one Zionist group to another. As Peacemonger says:

This reminded me of the bit from the first Blues Brothers movie when Elwood asks the proprietress of an establishment he hopes will book his band, “What kind of music do you usually have here?” The woman proudly replies: “Oh, we got both kinds. We got country and western.” [JVP and JDF are] just as diverse: They have Zionists who are critical of Israel and Zionists who are not-so-much critical of Israel. Vive la différence!

Second, we also note that when Abe Foxman’s Anti Defamation League listed Jewish Voice for Peace in “The Top Ten Anti-Israel Groups in America”, Cecilie Surasky, Deputy Director of JVP, explained to Abe and to us “Much of what they say about us is dead wrong – we seek a suspension of military aid, not an end … We are not an anti-Zionist group, nor are we anti-Israel …”

Sit back and imagine: a German peace group in 1940 claiming not to be anti-Nazi.

Wouldn’t work. Yet here we have two Zionist groups doing “battle” with each other. One wants 100% of Palestine; the other will settle for 78%. Good cop, bad cop; we’ve seen it before, it’s just tough to discern, but as we noted in last week’s report, Malcolm X was not fooled. Neither are we.

And third, we note that no one in the room came out to boycott the soldier/musicians of the Jerusalem Quartet, except those sitting at the JWPF table and a Catholic friend of ours. As a sign of solidarity, we signed JVP’s document to divest from TIAA-CREF, but when it comes time to do the grass roots quid pro quo, they are consistently missing in action.

Free Speech, Anyone?

This writer traveled to Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant to hear Shirley Phelps-Roper speak to Professor Timothy Boudreau’s journalism class. Phelps-Roper is the adult daughter of Fred Phelps, pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, KS, which protests at the funerals of slain US soldiers as part of their activities.

The logic presented by Phelps-Roper was actually straight-forward: they conclude from their interpretation of biblical verse that the US government is disobeying God’s commandments (e.g. “Thou shalt not kill”), and that 9/11 and fallen soldiers are God’s way of punishing this nation. Their presence at funerals is their chosen tactic to warn the US to repent.

The actions of WBC are in compliance with local law, at least in their case currently before the Supreme Court, argued by Shirley’s sister Margie Phelps on October 6th. Not known by many critics, the group protested 1000 feet away from the funeral of Matthew Phelps, and plaintiff/father Albert Snyder was not even aware of the group’s presence until he watched television reports later that day.

A lesson from Noam Chomsky: “If you’re in favor of freedom of speech, that means you’re in favor of freedom of speech precisely for views you despise.”

Ten Vigilers
Free Speech and JWPF… a great combination
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends

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