The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 04-16-11

Posted on April 24th, 2011 at 10:23 pm by


Jewish Federation: Vigils Still Relevant

In his Sabbath address to the Jewish community in Ann Arbor, Jewish Federation President David Shtulman writes “If Terry Jones Protested at a Synagogue“. Once again a local Jewish leader (it was Rabbi Dobrusin the last time, see: Rabbi Dorbrusin Hijacks Religious Freedom Day Panel) feigns sympathy with their “brothers” in the Muslim community only long enough to assert their own, unique Jewish suffering. Very reminiscent of a deceased Aunt, who cried “What about the Jews?” when informed that her nephew was about to give a public talk on the devastating effects of US sanctions on the children of Iraq (May, 2000).

The heart of Shtulman’s lament is that the Dearborn, Michigan community mobilized to protest Terry Jones’ visit, and he wishes that the Ann Arbor community would do likewise to our vigils. He writes “There is nothing illegal about the weekly pickets outside of Beth Israel Congregation. If there was, the pickets would not be continuing after seven years. But the actions against Terry Jones show that there are still things a caring community can do.”

Perhaps Shtulman wishes the Ann Arbor community would trample the First Amendment the way Wayne County and Dearborn city officials did by briefly jailing Terry Jones and denying him his ability to hold a rally. Shtulman writes that symbolic gestures from City government and an interfaith coalition would make a statement that would “destroy any illusions the [vigilers] may hold about having the support of the ‘silent majority.'”

David should pause and evaluate his own words here, because he must realize that after seven years of holding peaceful protests at Beth Israel Congregation, the wider Ann Arbor community has yet to mount any campaign against our exercise of First Amendment rights similar to what occurred in Dearborn. Maybe he should have attended our Forum last month to question his assumption that the we don’t enjoy a high level of support from the general public. Maybe he should admit that efforts to create any pressure from city government or the interfaith community have been mainly orchestrated by Beth Israel and the Federation itself.

David and Beth Israel Congregation might also do well to heed the words of Osama Siblani, editor of the Arab American News and quoted in the Detroit Free Press: “’We come here today not as Christians, not as Muslims, not as Jews, but as Americans,’ said Osama Sablani, publisher of the Dearborn-based Arab American News and coordinator of the event. ‘We have only one flag and it is the American flag.’” Ouch! Doesn’t Mr. Siblani know that, unlike the mosques in Dearborn and Ann Arbor, Beth Israel flies two flags, and shows a preference to the one with a Jewish star in the middle?

Once again we extend our hand to David, and the rest of the Jewish community, to observe our vigils first hand, to join us and to halt support for a Zionist project that will never bring peace to either Jews or to Palestine.

Al-Awda Convention Next Week

Two members of Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends plan to attend the Ninth Al-Awda (Right of Return) convention which will be held in Anaheim, California. These are very exciting times, and this writer notes especially the refusals of Palestinians like speaker Ali Abunimah to buckle under to a Zionist-led, UN-approved “creation” of a fantasy Palestinian state.

And a quiz for our readers. Identify the nugget of importance in the speaker list for the Al-Awda convention, and win a valuable prize:

Dr. Salman Abu Sitta
Hugh Lanning
Ahmed Shawki
Ali Abunimah
Laila Al-Arian
Dr. Jamal Nassar
Rim Banna
Najat El-Khairy
Remi Kenazi
Hala Gabriel
Dr. Paul Larudee
Dr. Sunaina Maira
Michael Shehadeh
Ziad Abbas


Nine Vigilers on April 9th
Seven Vigilers on April 16th
(No report issued for 04-09-11)
We Remember Deir Yassin
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends

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