The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 03-30-13

Posted on April 7th, 2013 at 9:51 am by

Flyer Ready for April 17 Protest

The flyer for our April17 protest of “Celebrate Israel Day” festivities at the Michigan Theater is complete and can be downloaded here for printing and distribution. Please make plans to join us as we stand against 65 years (at least) of ethnic cleansing. Contact this writer for more details.

WHERE: The Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor

WHEN: Wednesday, April 17th, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

WHAT: We will protest the Jewish Federation’s celebration of Israel’s ethnic cleansing and genocide of the Palestinian people.

WHY: In 2005, scores of Palestinian civil society groups called for a global campaign including “broad boycotts” of Israel (see That call includes the boycott of cultural events such as the Federation’s celebration of “Israel Day”, featuring Israeli performer Achinoam “Noa” Nini.

A Comment Survives Local Media

Across our desk comes the announcement of a local Holocaust Memorial Day planned for Monday, April 8 at Ann Arbor’s Jewish Community Center. Spurred by the words of the Italian ambulance drive from our report of March 16,

“the more horrible things Israelis do, the more Holocaust Memorial Days they give us.”

we were moved to pen a reply to the article, which was taken down from the website almost as fast as it was put up. After a few emails and phone conversations with staff, we were able to offer a re-write which was accepted for publication. We argued that the comment below fulfilled their own “Conversation Guidelines”, specifically,

“The best comments and posts are those that add more information to the story, express a different viewpoint or help create intelligent debate.”

Our comment,

There are usually “The Five W’s” contained in every news story: Who, What, Where, Why and When. This story omits the important “Why?”. Why are crimes, which were committed in Europe almost 70 years ago, celebrated with such regularity in the United States? Why are there over thirty Holocaust museums in this country, yet no museums describing the horrors of the US slave trade in Europe, the same ocean away from where they were committed?

One answer to “Why?” can be found in The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering. Author Norman Finkelstein raises the topic of using the Holocaust to serve political interests. He writes, “The Holocaust has proven to be an indispensable ideological weapon. Through its deployment, one of the world’s most formidable military powers, with a horrendous human rights record, has cast itself as a ‘victim’ state, and the most successful ethnic group in the United States has likewise acquired victim status.”

There exist political reasons that such remembrances are celebrated, and readers are cautioned to explore the political ramifications of such events as the one described in this article. Former Knesset member Shulamit Aloni captures this political intent succinctly. She said to Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! “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.”

As people remember the fallen in any conflict, one should be aware of other agendas at play.

(1) The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering. Author Norman Finkelstein, p. 3.


Eight Vigilers
Remember Deir Yassin April 9
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends


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