The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 01-28-12

Posted on February 4th, 2012 at 7:22 am by

Poll: Israelis Remember the Holocaust as ‘Guiding Principle ‘

Israeli journalist Merav Michaeli has written an op-ed highlighting a survey among Israelis which indicates a “total consensus among Israeli Jews – regardless of religious, ethnic or political differences – that the ‘guiding principle’ for the country and for Judaism itself is ‘to remember the Holocaust.’ ”

Additionally, “The Holocaust is the primary way Israel defines itself. And that definition is narrow and ailing in the extreme, because the Holocaust is remembered only in a very specific way, as are its lessons. It has long been used to justify the existence and the necessity of the state, and has been mentioned in the same breath as proof that the state is under a never-ending existential threat.”

This article provides an interesting insight into a 70-year-old historical event that can place revisionists in prison in 14 different countries, and subject them to verbal attacks, physical attacks, ridicule, ostracism, and loss of jobs in countries that have not yet outlawed a second look at this historical event.

We remember a 2002 Democracy Now! interview with Shulamit Aloni, former Israeli member of the Knesset and Minister of Education. She was asked by host Amy Goodman, “Often when there is dissent expressed in the United States against policies of the Israeli government, people here are called anti-Semitic. What is your response to that as an Israeli Jew?” Aloni: “Well, it’s a trick, we always use it. When from Europe somebody is criticizing Israel, then we bring up the Holocaust. When in this country people are criticizing Israel, then they are anti-Semitic.”

Michaeli’s article also opens the Pandora’s Box: If the Holocaust is so central to Israelis, if it is used – as Aloni attests -as the sword and shield of the Apartheid State and has attained a quasi-religious status, as depicted in Michaeli’s article, then why isn’t it okay to question the standard narrative. Why isn’t it okay to ask the questions: Why did it happen? Why were Jews feared and hated by National Socialists? What on earth was going on in Europe preceding the War? Maybe local peace activists should hold a book discussion on Debating the Holocaust – A New Look at Both Sides by Thomas Dalton as a starter.

JWPF Responds to Federation Offer

This writer is in receipt of a brief letter from the Jewish Federation of Greater Ann Arbor’s Campaign Director Avram Kluger, which reads:

Dear Henry,

A generous gift was made, in your name, to the 2012 Annual Campaign. The Jewish Federation of Greater Ann Arbor appreciates the generosity on your behalf to support Jewish communal needs in Ann Arbor, in Israel and in Jewish communities worldwide.

Avram Kluger

We have sent the following letter to Mr. Kluger and await a response:

Dear Avram,

Thank you so much for your letter of January 20, recognizing the efforts of Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends (JWPF). Please convey an additional thank-you to the person or persons responsible for the generous gift made in my name.

I must say, however, that this notification has caused great distress in our group, because a few others feel slighted that similar gifts were not made in their name. They feel their efforts are being ignored, because I’m getting all the credit, and they work just as hard as I do to bring peace to Palestine.

To correct this situation, and to bring about a more satisfactory relationship between the Federation and JWPF, could you inform donors in your organization to recognize the following two peace activists prior to their next contribution and to cite them accordingly?

Sxx Mxxx
5071 East Main St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Mxxxxx Fxxxxxxxx
1800 West Main St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Thank you for your prompt attention in this matter.


Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Seven vigilers observing …
What exactly are European Jews doing in Palestine?
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends

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