The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 12-25-10

Posted on December 31st, 2010 at 8:37 am by

AAPER Rhymes with Vapor

Vigil Supporter R writes that he planned to assist the American Association for Palestinian Equal Rights (AAPER) in setting up a chapter in his home state. This announcement set our WOLZA (Watch Out! Liberal Zionist Ahead) antennae a-quivering, and we sent R some literature from AAPER’s own website: specifically, that we could not find any reference to Palestinians’ right to return to the homes they were violently displaced from since Plan Dalet was initiated in December, 1947.

Any group that focuses on equal rights – as AAPER claims – would be expected to firmly embrace this bedrock principle, found in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But in our attempt to embrace what we expected, our arms will filled only with the vapor of the promise of equal rights.

So R contacted some AAPER folk in Washington, DC, and Virginia* replied almost immediately to assure R that AAPER was the real deal: “Right of Return – we definitely support it, specifically, as a basic right of the Palestinians. Simple.”

Well, yes, it’s simple. And would have been simple to include it as one of AAPER’s mission points. The problem is, it’s not. The vapor of ROR is there, but no substance. So taking Virginia up on her offer that she’d be “happy to answer additional questions you have as well”, we asked her if Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish state and if so, by what right?

This simple yes-or-no-question caused (a) a week’s delay in response time, (b) some gentle reminders from R to please address the question, and (c) the personal insult card played by Virginia – she felt “essentially threatened”. And lest readers think we pick on well-meaning spokespersons, we only describe the insult card as an learning opportunity: knowing ahead of time of such tactics can prepare the peace activist for the tools needed to forge ahead. To her credit, Virginia did her best to put a good face on AAPER, but was unable to convince.

AAPER does not support Right of Return, does not boycott businesses which support Israel, does not challenge Israel’s claimed right to exist as a Jewish state, but does support international law insofar as it sanctions a Jewish state on 78% of Palestine. AAPER should rail against such an attack on human rights, not be proud to support it. Like any peace group truly committed to solidarity with Palestinians, and dedicated to “equal rights” for all, AAPER needs to be working towards dismantling a Jewish state, not supporting one. Such an honest position would make Virginia’s life a whole lot easier.

But it’s not, and Virginia is left scrambling for damage control, when she should be proud to be part of an organization that leads the way for true justice for Palestine. We expressed hope that AAPER would change, and offered to temper future criticisms accordingly.

Guest Celebrity Vigiler on Christmas

Now, who would be more a perfect celebrity than Santa Claus himself to make an appearance at our Saturday vigil on Christmas morning? Yes, Saint Nicholas flew by in his red (and gray) sleigh and stopped by to stand tall for Jesus, one of the original Palestinians. Here he is, pictured with one of Santa’s little helpers. And you know, if Santa is on your side, standing up to Zionism just must be a good thing:

Seattle Bus Ad Campaign

Last week we spotlighted the power of the Seattle (WA) Jewish community when they “came together” to intimidate governmental agencies to censor free speech. This week we provide support for those claims by linking you to one of the best researched- and written articles about the subject. Check out this former Ann Arbor-ite’s skills here.

Six Vigilers
No Right of Return – No Peace
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friend
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* name change, to protect future allies

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