The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 09-17-11

Posted on September 27th, 2011 at 9:35 am by

Stop The Presses. A Retraction!

We got slightly carried away in last week’s report when we patted ourselves on the back for eight years of peaceful, consistent protest by claiming JWPF was “the only game in town”. We stand corrected. As Protester (and sometimes vigiler) L proudly informs us:

Standing in public dissent against violent, apartheid Israel and zionism takes tremendous courage. However, I’d like to mention that another protest has been taking place at 5th and Liberty St. since 4/1/06. (back in full swing since summer…). Most who take part would consider it anti-Israel, altho our signs don’t always say so. S has been present most days this summer, and her signs are always about I/P. We often distribute an article all about I/P:

The War on Terror is a Hoax

We often display a sign: USRAEL BIGGEST ROGUE NATION

I believe I can speak for the growing numbers of “regulars” that we feel our effort merits being mentioned as one of the “games in town.”

We are likewise proud to share public streets with Protester L and followers… and we note that Protester P, friend and sometimes vigiler, holds a weekly anti-war protest on the streets of Ann Arbor, noon to 1pm every Saturday in front of the People’s Food Co-op on Fourth Avenue.

Let Peace Begin with Me? Give us a Break!

Two members of Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends attended a Moveable Peace event this past week and carried a few of our signs with us. We noticed what we surmised to be the death of the Peace Movement. From their own event description we find the following promotions:

FREE ADMISSION! FREE FOOD! FUN FOR ALL AGES! Yoga Session @ 10 AM, Face Painting Chalking (, Peace Puppets, Penny Poll, Japanese Calligraphy

Does anybody really believe that Peace Puppets, or chalking a sidewalk will bring peace? One speaker, obviously enjoying this peace mush, said “Let peace begin with me” [gag!]. We suggest she expand her wish to “Let peace begin with me developing the courage to challenge the existing power structures, including JEWISH POWER“. But there were no challenges to power last Sunday. In fact the usual “peace people” of Ann Arbor kept their distance from our “hateful” signs demanding a boycott of Apartheid Israel. Turnout for this event was minimal at best, perhaps signifying the public’s frustration with the “peace” community’s progress. So, as a public service, we repeat the 154-year-old words of slave-abolitionist Frederick Douglass, now spoken clearly to all who mistakenly feel that face painting is the path to peace:

“If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation…want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters…. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”

Next Saturday is Eat-a-Cheeseburger Day

PeaceMonger – JWPF’s most fierce supporter – blends a little psychological analysis with some interesting rabbinical admissions in a recently released blog. Click here for the full article.

Next Saturday – Oct. 8, 2011 – is the 2nd annual Bill Henry international Eat-a-Cheeseburger Day. This day honors Bill Henry (né Herskovitz) for a decision that quite possibly saved an eight-year-old boy from a life of “Jewish chauvinism and exclusivism”.

That boy grew up to be Henry Herskovitz and in 1954 young Henry was hungry from fasting on Yom Kippur. Eight-year-olds aren’t required to fast and so the fact that his father Bill bought him something to eat is not remarkable, that he bought him a cheeseburger is.

Under Judaic religious law or halacha, cheeseburgers are treif, i.e. they’re not kosher. Observant Jews aren’t supposed to eat them and some Jews can get pretty worked-up about cheeseburgers. You see, keeping kosher is about Jewish self-segregation. But you don’t have to believe me, you can believe Rabbi Yaakov Luban…

… Okay, so maybe I’ve taken a little interpretive license with this otherwise true story but, still, I like to believe that Bill Henry’s decision to buy his boy a cheeseburger on the “Sabbath of Sabbaths” wasn’t an accident but a mitzvah that helped set his son on the path of becoming a mensch, a fighter for human rights, justice, and, peace for all. So, what the heck? Next Saturday, join people across the globe in eating a cheeseburger (really, any non-kosher food or beverage will do) in honor of our shared humanity and in memory of Bill Henry, a dad who truly loved his son enough not to try to turn him into a bigot.

P.S. If you’re going to buy that cheeseburger at a fast food restaurant (yuck) then skip McDonald’s. With 153 restaurants in Israel, they’re big-time violators of the global boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. Try Burger King instead, they pulled out of Israel last year.

See also:

“Gems from ‘Jewish Medical Law’ ” in ZionistsOut
“A Light Unto the Butchers?” in ZionistsOut
“McDonald’s bans Arabic” in The Guardian (UK)
“McDonald’s changes its brand to suit kosher appetites” in The Guardian (UK)


October 8th: Yom Kippur services will draw an unusually large crowd to Beth Israel, and we ask all readers to help us convey messages of justice to the general public on Washtenaw Avenue by joining us from 9:30 – 10:45AM, 2000 Washtenaw, Ann Arbor.

October 30th : Protest the Jewish Federation Fund Raiser at Washtenaw Community College’s Morris Lawrence Building, 4800 East Huron River Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48105. Time tentatively set for 4:00 pm.

Five Vigilers
End Jewish Supremacism in Palestine
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends


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