The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 12-17-11

Posted on December 25th, 2011 at 7:59 pm by

An Old Sign Returns

In 2007 Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends (JWPF) shelved one of our signs which read: “Zionism Enabled Nazism” for tactical reasons: we felt that sign was reaching beyond our then message of freeing Palestine. But core member Vigiler L just finished reading The Transfer Agreement by Zionist Edwin Black, and demanded the return of the sign. She writes:

I remember the shortages, passing all the gold stars in the windows (My husband’s aunt was one), the headlines about the suffering and everything else because WWII was a significant part of my childhood.

Edwin Black, a Zionist, reveals in “The Transfer Agreement” that Zionists undermined the worldwide boycott that almost brought down Hitler’s government. The Zionists in Palestine traded with Hitler throughout the thirties, even buying products from boycotting countries and reselling them to Hitler. Boycott impoverished Germany prospered, built up its military and the Zionists prospered too. Rich German Jews were saved, but the poor weren’t.

Angry and shocked on learning that Zionist religious fanaticism may have helped cause that war, I wanted that sign.

The sign is now visible on Washtenaw Avenue. We remember responding to a congregant from Beth Israel on this topic in a Letter to the Editor, repeated below signature.

Does Judge Goldsmith Hold a Bias?

Last week we briefly touched on the issue of potential conflict of interest held by Federal Judge Mark A. Goldsmith as he prepares to hear the ACLU First Amendment case against the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority. This week, thanks to the investigative efforts of PeaceMonger, we contacted the ACLU with a summary of the judge’s record of support for Israel, even as he is poised to judge whether signs critical of the state he supports deserve First Amendment protection. The ACLU is in possession of the following:

Mike [Steinberg, Legal Director, ACLU of Michigan]

There seems to be much evidence indicating potential judicial bias in the AATA advertising case. Judge Goldsmith served on the Regional Advisory Board of the Anti-Defamation League, which staunchly supports the state of Israel. In addition, Judge Goldsmith owns Israeli bonds, sent his daughter to study in Israel, held the position of Vice-President for Religious Affairs of B’nai B’rith Barristers in 2009 (B’nai B’rith also advocates for Israel), served Congregation Beth Shalom as past board member and president (Beth Shalom also promotes Israel and hosts an “Israeli Affairs” committee). I forgot his membership in AIPAC – the American Israel Public Affairs Committee – the largest pro-Israel lobbying organization on Capital Hill.

For additional information and a more complete argument, please read “Is Judge Goldsmith Biased in AATA Suit?” at


Eight vigilers
Zionism Enabled Nazism
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends


Ann Arbor News (MI) – Thursday, April 14, 2005

Protester responds to picketing complaint

Barry Gross (“Picketing houses of worship is wrong,” Feb. 27) misquotes one of our signs as “Zionism begets Nazism.” Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends agree that Zionism did not father Nazism. Our sign actually reads “Zionism enabled Nazism” and that statement is quite defensible. Its support comes from many sources, one of which is “The Transfer Agreement,” by Edwin Black , an award-winning journalist and self-proclaimed Zionist. Abraham Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, writes the afterword.

Hitler came to power in 1933 under very unstable conditions, and he had to prove to the German people that he could pull them out of their economic collapse, which resulted from harsh sanctions imposed by the Treaty of Versailles. As reports of Nazi atrocities against the Jewish people reached America, Rabbi Stephen Wise, leader of the American Jewish Congress, instigated a worldwide boycott of German goods that would have broken the back of this fledgling government. “Germany will crack this winter,” writes Mr. Black, as this potential “weapon Hitler feared” loomed large and threatening.

Zionists, however, recognizing the complementary goals of Jewish expulsion from Germany and their own desire for Jews to emigrate to Palestine, collaborated with the Nazis. The Transfer Agreement Reich Decree 54/33, provided a means by which 55,000 Jewish people and their funds would be transferred to Palestine. In return, Zionist leaders agreed to break the boycott, pressured Jewish leaders to halt their activities, and via this Agreement allowed Germany to export manufactured goods to Palestine.

Henry Herskovitz, Ann Arbor

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