The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 01-07-12

Posted on January 15th, 2012 at 11:01 am by

An Addition to our List

In last week’s report we listed 28 Jewish individuals – journalists, pundits and policy makers – who initiated and supported the invasion of Iraq. According to Vigiler D, we failed to include a famous Zionist, former Irgun journalist, and hasbara merchant:

If there were a CEO of the Holocaust Industry it would undoubtedly be Elie Wiesel, that contemptible poseur and windbag to quote the late Christopher Hitchens. Wiesel went to President George Bush and told him that Iraq was a terrorist state and that it was the moral imperative of the United States to intervene. Needless to say, Wiesel’s son never served in our military.

JWPF at City Council

At least three members of Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends attended the Ann Arbor City Council meeting this week. This writer’s three-minute commentary was devoted to possible conflicts of interest held by US District Judge Mark Goldsmith, as he prepares to hear the ACLU 1st Amendment case against the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority (text below signature). The Ann Arbor Chronicle covered the presentation:

By way of background to remarks made by Henry Herskovitz during public commentary, the AATA currently faces a lawsuit over its rejection of a proposed advertisement that included the text, “Boycott ‘Israel’ Boycott Apartheid.” [For a detailed account, see Chronicle coverage: “Bus Ad Rejection Affirmed”]

Herskovitz told councilmembers that he’d addressed the AATA board at its Dec. 15, 2011 meeting to identify what he contends are conflicts of interests on the part of board members Jesse Bernstein, David Nacht and AATA legal counsel Jerry Lax in connection with that lawsuit. At the council’s Jan. 9 meeting, Herskovitz added the judge who’s hearing the case as someone who he contends has a conflict of interest – Mark Goldsmith. Herskovitz said that Goldsmith had served in a leadership capacity in the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation League and owns Israeli bonds.

[By way of an update on the lawsuit, the result of a Jan. 4, 2012 telephone conference was to set a new deadline for the AATA to respond to the complaint and motions for preliminary injunction and a temporary restraining order. That date is Jan. 31, 2012. Replies to those responses are due on Feb. 14. Another telephone conference call among the parties and the judge is scheduled for Feb. 28.]

For video coverage please go to and advance to 00:15:22.

JWPF Sponsors Gilad Atzmon Performance

JWPF is proud to help sponsor a fund raiser for Deir Yassin Remembered, who is hosting the talented jazz saxophone player and inspirational author Gilad Atzmon, as he joins DYR Board Member Rich Siegel in a musical feast March 13 in Geneva, New York. See flyer here, and see you in the city at the tip of Seneca Lake.


Nine vigilers
Want Peace? Defeat Israel.
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends

January 9, 2012
[383 words]

Good Evening,

Last month I spoke at the AATA Board meeting, where I indicated my support of my public transit company, and addressed the issue of at least three possible conflicts of interest in the upcoming ACLU case. Since my talk was adequately covered by the Ann Arbor Chronicle, and since some new information has emerged, I’ll keep my prior comments brief.

AATA Board Chair Jesse Bernstein is also on the board of directors of the Michigan Israel Business Bridge, an organization which promotes the economic health of the state of Israel. Board member David Nacht’s LinkedIn profile identifies him as a supporter of the Anti-Defamation League and a donor to the Jewish Federation of Washtenaw County. And Legal Counsel Jerry Lax added his name to a 2008 advertisement, “Michigan Jews Who Support Senators Obama and Biden”, a campaign heavily supportive of Israel.
The issue of possible conflict appears evident, because the AATA board voted against posting an ad on our buses critical of the very state these gentlemen support.

The new information which has emerged focuses on US District Judge Mark Goldsmith, and a potential bias also in favor of the state of Israel. According to Mr. Goldsmith’s biography “He has also served in the leadership of several community organizations, including … the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation League.” We have since determined that his leadership included Board membership on the ADL.

In addition, Mr. Goldsmith’s 2010 federal Financial Disclosure Report indicates that he doesn’t own any US bonds, but he does own an undeclared value of Israel bonds, and that he and his wife sent their sixteen-year-old daughter to study in Israel.

Judge Goldsmith is free to support whichever foreign state he chooses. The conflict of interest lies, however, at the heart of this case: The ACLU is suing on behalf of their client Mr. Coleman, who wishes to place a political ad on our city buses, in support of the worldwide call for boycotts against the state of Israel, and Judge Goldsmith is poised to determine the outcome.

Canon 3C(1) of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges says: “A judge shall disqualify himself or herself in a proceeding in which the judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned …”

I would hope that Judge Goldsmith would reflect on this information and recuse himself.

Thank you


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