The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 10-01-11

Posted on October 11th, 2011 at 8:56 am by

JWPF at City Council

This writer’s three-minute address presented to the Ann Arbor City Council this week on the topic of “Israel’s Legitimacy Questioned”, was covered by Dave Askins of the Ann Arbor Chronicle. Video of talk here [20:02 minutes]. Askins writes:

Comm/Comm: Palestine

Henry Herskovitz told the council he wanted to address an issue of fairness. He drew an analogy from the local city code to international politics. He noted that Ann Arbor requires a [central]-unit air conditioner to be in the rear [of the house]. If he wanted to install it on the side, he had to get support from his neighbors, he said. His neighbors’ opinions matter more, when it comes to his air conditioner, and that makes sense, he said. The opinion of someone who lives miles away, he said, should matter less.

Herskovitz continued by noting that in this summer’s edition of the Washtenaw Jewish News, Victor Lieberman appeals to the United Nations vote of 1947 to argue for the legitimacy of the state of Israel. The outcome of that vote, Herskovitz said, was 33-13, with 10 abstaining. Applying Ann Arbor’s doctrine of fairness, the votes from those countries that would be most impacted by creating a new state in that area should count for more. The group that was most impacted by the decision – Palestinians – had no vote whatsoever. He showed the council a map of the world.

Countries that voted no in 1947 included Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran and Yemen. Those are neighbors to Palestine, he said, and their votes should have counted more than the votes of those far away. Countries that voted yes in 1947 included the United States, Canada, Brazil, Bolivia, Norway, Australia and New Zealand. The 1947 vote didn’t represent the interests of those people who were most impacted by the decision. The unfairness of that decision, Herskovitz concluded, undermines the claim, based on the 1947 vote, to the legitimacy of the state of Israel.

Deja vu All Over Again? Occupy This!

Are the crimes of the Jewish state being denied visibility at the “Occupy Wall Street” rallies currently being staged across the country? Did our minimal survey of New York City videos indicate the trend that we’ve seen before? Have the ABP folk (Anything But Palestine) infiltrated and minimized opposition to the longest-running genocide in modern history?

Two members of JWPF attended an “Occupy Ann Arbor” rally this week, and had it not been for our signs and t-shirts, the crimes being committed by Israel with US tax dollars would have gone completely unnoticed. And even though our presence generated positive conversations and a photograph by an photographer, that photo never saw the light of day.

One of the speakers representing the “99%” actually warned the crowd against those with “personal agendas” from “taking over” their space, causing this writer to reflect on those dark days on the steering committee of Michigan Peaceworks, when just such specious allegations were flying about. “We don’t want to play the blame game” was the cry then from Jewish leaders of that moribund organization, and they quickly eliminated their own membership after a vote revealed that 78% of members supported a document critical of Israel’s crimes.

So is it merely our personal agenda, or does the creation and maintenance of a Jewish-supremacist state planted squarely in Palestine serve as the lynch-pin connecting many of the issues being raised at theses “Occupy X” rallies? Do three trillion dollars (1956-2002) thrown at that shitty little country mean a hill of beans? How about the three wars now being waged on behalf of the Jewish state? How about the domination of our Congress, White House and Supreme Court? Dare we point out the close connection of Wall Street to over-represented Jewish wealth and influence in the banking community?

JWPF feels that the Israeli genocide of the Palestinian people is absolutely central to many of the problems plaguing our inner cities and economy. It appears that the “Occupy X” crowd – left to its current leadership – will not take on this central issue, unless we push Israeli crimes and Jewish community complicity at every opportunity.

ICPJ* Unbalance

What do you get when you pit two Jewish professors and an overloaded Palestinian on a panel to discuss Mahmoud Abbas’ request to join the United Nations? Certainly not the “provocative discussion” we were promised. And certainly no calls for Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions were heard, despite the promise to “explore ways to work for peace in this region …”. No, this typical dog-and-pony show merely examined the bark of the tree, without stepping back to see the whole forest (i.e. What are European Jews doing in the Middle East?). Professor Steven Rattner detailed the minutiae of requirements to enter the UN, Aaron Ahuvia predictably whined about how he cared for Palestinians while openly shredding their Right of Return, and all Hani Bawardi could do was poke a hole here and there in this flood of misinformation and misdirection. Four members and associates of JWPF attended this October 6 meeting on the University of Michigan campus.

Reminder: 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.

Nine Vigilers
Go Tigers!
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends
* – Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice


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