The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 02-26-11

Posted on March 5th, 2011 at 6:47 pm by

Uncomfortable Bedfellows

Last fall we reported on a visit to Central Michigan University campus to hear Shirley Phelps-Roper speak about Westboro Baptist Church, and their reliance on the Constitution’s First Amendment to have their views heard. And though their issues and those of Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends are different, there is a commonality between the two groups in our reliance on our rights to free speech, recently upheld in the Phelps’ case by the Supreme Court.

The Supremes voted 8-1 in favor of the Phelpses this week, and JWPF’s legal department flashed us a knowing nod, cognizant of the deleterious effects that an adverse opinion might have had on our weekly, non-violent vigils at Beth Israel. Reading from the Court’s opinion, we find affirmation: “Accordingly, “speech on public issues occupies the highest rung of the hierarchy of First Amendment values, and is entitled to special protection.” Additionally, “[W]e have repeatedly referred to public streets as the archetype of a traditional public forum,” noting that “‘[t]ime out of mind’ public streets and sidewalks have been used for public assembly and debate.”

The public issue that JWPF has raised on Wasthenaw Avenue for over seven years has been the criminal, violent effects of Jewish Zionism on the Palestinian people, and the corrosive effects from same on Americans, as we are seen as aiders and abettors to Israel’s continued ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Thanks to the Supreme Court, our cries, and the cries of peace activists everywhere will still continue to be heard: “Stop US Aid to Israel”, “Israel Commits Atrocities”, “End Jewish Supremacism in Palestine”, etc.

Flyer Available for our Upcoming Forum

Our Forum, “Seven Years of Synagogue Vigils: Why We Still Do It”, is planned to address any concerns that interested passersby, friends and colleagues might have in reference towards our vigils. Consequently, we ask that readers make the attempt to not only attend, but they bring a friend who might not know enough about us … or Palestine … or of their country’s involvement in supporting the Jewish state. Please feel free to download our flyer and distribute it as you see fit:

Click to access 2011Forum%20Flyer.pdf

Date: Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Time: 7:00 – 8:30PM
Place: Mallets Creek Branch, Ann Arbor District Library
3090 E. Eisenhower Parkway
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Seven Vigilers
Toast the Supreme Court’s decision on Snyder v. Phelps
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends
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