The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 08-16-14

Posted on August 17th, 2014 at 11:08 am by

Ann Arbor Human Rights Commission: “No Comment”

Ann Arbor resident Neal Elyakin is a founding member of the Michigan-Israel Business Bridge, a Board Member of the Michigan Chapter of the Friends of the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) and a Board Member of the Jewish National Fund. The Fund controls Palestinian land that was ethnically cleansed during the Nakba of 1948; the Business Bridge is antithetical to the Palestinian call for Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, and the IDF kills and maims innocent Palestinian women and children by the thousands and is perhaps the most egregious violator of human rights on the planet.

Now, Mr. Elyakin – an American citizen and possibly a citizen of the Jewish state – is free to associate himself with any organization he chooses, and we support his freedom. But it raises questions of conflict of interest when this supporter of the Jewish state, which he calls “my country”, including specifically his support of the [tongue-in-cheek] “most moral army in the world” is appointed by Mayor John Hieftje to sit on the local Human Rights Commission.

This writer attended the Human Rights Commission meeting on August 13, and raised this conflict of interest during their public commentary time, wondering what statement the HRC would make in regards to Mr. Elyakin’s fairly obvious conflicts of interest. The answer was quickly forthcoming: “No comment” said HRC Chair Leslie Krauz Stambaugh. “We do not respond to public comments.” Then she explained that the Commission had a “lot to do tonight.”

Readers are invited to read Gideon Levy’s column, written months before the current mass murder in Gaza, aka “Operation Protective Edge”, began. [ital]”The most moral army in the world; The Israel Defense Forces believe brute strength is the only way to act, yet Israelis refuse to see what Amnesty International and others tell them”. Also, a more detailed description of the local Human Right Commission’s refusal to see conflict of interest when it’s right under their noses, can be read here.


10 vigilers
“It’s the Jews, Stupid!”
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends

One Response to “Report on Beth Israel vigil 08-16-14”

  1. Betsy Mayfield

    We have the same kind of vetting for human rights positions in Iowa. It is sickening and, Henry, I laud you, as ever, for standing up to it. If you haven’t read Alison Weir’s book on the founding of AiPAC, etc. in the U.S. you will not have the background to understand where such public denial, indifference and selection of the wrong people to manage human rights issues came from — a Justice of the Supreme Court – Brandeis. Again, sickening. And not changing, even now.

    How are we going to rise above this? Henry is doing it? We need a whole country to stand up. I feel that Jewish Voice for Peace does a great deal more than say, “The Friend’s Society” and with some “peace” groups I get the feeling that they want the problems to continue so they have a “raison d’être”. We need some kind of unity.

    One thing I do know is that we two more years under Obama to make progress. If we get Hillary Clinton, all bets for a solution are off; a Republican, all bets on all things are off. Henry is a model for us all and demonstrates how not to give up. Bravo once again, Henry Herskovitz. Betsy Mayfield
Powered by WordPress. Theme developed with WordPress Theme Generator.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
%d bloggers like this: