The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 05-28-11

Posted on June 5th, 2011 at 10:33 am by

JWPF Members Participate in Forum

Two members of Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends attended a forum, “It’s time for Palestine. It’s time for peace” presented by the Detroit West District (DWD) Peace Center and held at the Hope United Methodist Church and Society Ministry this past week. This was one of a series of forums and workshops presented by DWD Peace, and we are grateful to this group for opening their hearts and minds to alternative opinions from mainstream orthodoxy.

Last week we reported that PM Benjamin Netanyahu handed the peace community the key to resolving the Palestine issue, i.e. attack the issue of Israel’s supposed right to exist as a Jewish state because that’s where Israel is most vulnerable.

So, donning the “No Jewish State” t-shirt, this writer tested the waters of this theory at the DWD Peace Center forum and it proved so accurate that my attempts to visit with friends were thwarted by extremely angry Jewish Zionists who demanded an audience. One Jewish woman physically grabbed my shoulder in mid-conversation and had to be restrained by her husband. She resorted almost immediately to name-calling, a sure tell that (a) The subject is indeed the key, and (b) Such supporters of Israel have no convincing arguments. And this was before the forum even began.

There were four breakout sessions and the one I attended was moderated by Deborah Jones, a very pleasant and efficient host. AIPAC member David Cutner, with Associate Director of Detroit’s Jewish Community Relations Council Allan Gale, and Harry Onickel seemed to hold Right-Zionist views, and made easily refuted statements like Israel being attacked first in the 1967 war, and Jews were forced into refugee status by neighboring Arab countries in 1948-50. A kind woman named Laura Perreaux merely asked these men to just take a few minutes to view the pictures placed along the wall, showing the plight of the 1948 Palestinians as they were forced into refugee status by Jewish gangs.

ICPJ plans to run newspaper ad, but removes signature

Back in March, members of the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice were called upon to help purchase an ad in the Ann Arbor Observer calling into question US funding of Israeli settlements. This writer sent in his contribution, but noted the ominous wording at the bottom of the invitation: “NOTE: ICPJ retains the right to decline offers of signatures for this ad.”

Sure enough, the hammer fell this week in the form of an email from ICPJ Director Chuck Warpehoski informing this writer that his signature indeed would not appear on the ad. His specious reasoning was my supposed disagreement with ICPJ’s “strategy to build common ground to end the occupation – a strategy with which you have expressed disagreement”. Please review our ongoing email exchange, provided after signature.

Quote of the Week

“We Palestinians are pesky. We have not left, deserted our culture, or abandoned our language. Most importantly, we have not forgotten.” … Amer Zahr

Submit your comments to…vigil-05-28-11/

Six Vigilers
A Two-state solution is an Apartheid solution
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends

email exchange between ICPJ Director and this writer:

On 6/4/2011 7:27 AM, Henry Herskovitz wrote:


Thank you for responding to my questions.

I cannot agree with you, however, that I don’t support either the strategy of the ad itself – questioning whether Israeli settlements violate US laws – or that I’m opposed to building common ground. And certainly I have supported Palestinian civil society’s call to end the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. This, as you know, was part of the three goals of their BDS movement.

I accept that you have not supported our tactic of holding the Jewish community accountable for their support of Israel, but have never prohibited you, nor anyone else, from joining. So it’s odd that ICPJ would prevent one of its own members from signing a petition with which he agrees.

Can you please set aside 10 minutes at the next ICPJ Board meeting (is it still the second Tuesday of the month?) where I can appeal this decision and the Board may consider changing their position? Can we not hold different views and still work together?

Thank you,

Henry Herskovitz

ps could you also forward a copy of this request to Bryan Weinert, ICPJ President? I’m not in possession of his email address. Thanks!

On 6/3/2011 1:13 PM, Chuck Warpehoski wrote:

I apologize for the delay in returning your email and call about the signature ad.

The signature ad, as you noticed, did not appear in the May observer. Our current goal is the September issue.

We have decided to decline your request to sign the letter and return your $10 contribution as this ad is part of a strategy to build common ground to end the occupation–a strategy with which you have expressed disagreement.

In peace,

One Response to “Report on Beth Israel vigil 05-28-11”

  1. The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog » Blog Archive » Report on Beth Israel vigil 06-04-11

    […] Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice. Just as this writer’s signature was removed, and reported on last week, she received a similar and similarly spurious explanation from ICPJ Director Chuck Warpehoski: […]
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