The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 01-05-13

Posted on January 13th, 2013 at 9:27 am by

A Peep from City Council

Newly elected Ann Arbor City Councilman Chuck Warpehoski lashed out at our vigils at Council’s January 7th meeting after fielding some critical remarks from vigil supporters B and M. He falsely accused us of displaying a swastika painted over the star of David, and distorted our claim that Beth Israel Congregation takes innocent children on purposeful trips to “Israel” where they are indoctrinated into an ideology that monstrously kills Palestinians, steals their land and claims a mythical “right” to their actions. It is some, but not all, of these vulnerable children who are twisted into monsters, who may grow up to embrace a viewpoint exemplified by Ovadia Yosef.

Yosef is the former Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel – a government employee – and the founder and current spiritual leader of the Shas political party. Shas is Israel’s fourth largest party in terms of Knesset seats and four of its members currently hold posts in Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet. In 2010, the Jerusalem Post reported on Yosef’s claim that “Goyim were born only to serve us [Jews]. Without that, they have no place in the world – only to serve the People of Israel”. Then there’s another government employee, Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, who wrote “The complete guide to killing non-Jews”. And another former Sephardic Chief – Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu – said in 2008: “… it is important to make one thing clear – the life of one yeshiva boy is worth more than the lives of 1,000 Arabs.” Pretty monstrous, wouldn’t you say?

Old Tactic, Same Results

Over a year ago we reported that the tactic of Zionist Jews was to make donations to the American Friends of Magen David Adom, and to send small Christmas cards to this writer facetiously encouraging our peaceful weekly vigils. This year I received a similar, but larger congratulatory document suitable for framing from Helen and David Aminoff of Ann Arbor.


No time was wasted calling the Aminoff household to thank them for this award, and to invite them for coffee so that our similarities and differences could be openly and discussed in a friendly atmosphere. Helen called back immediately, corrected my pronunciation of “Magen David Adom”, and said:

Good evening Henry Herskovitz, this is Helen Aminoff returning your call … thank you for your good wishes but neither my husband nor I feel that it would serve any useful purpose to sit down with you at this stage.

Last week we reported that our voice – and more importantly the voice of Palestine – had been once again denied a radio audience by our friends at WEMU, a local NPR affiliate station. Now we get a one-on-one invitation similarly refused. But we take heart in the fact that our nine-year-long venue at Beth Israel Congregation is the one media source within our control, and we continue to receive overwhelming support from passing traffic. Perhaps it is this reason that our friends and opponents fear our message so much that we are denied these opportunities for communication.


Five vigilers, Sixteen Degrees Fahrenheit
Remember Rachel Corrie
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends

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