The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 09-12-15

Posted on September 14th, 2015 at 2:55 pm by

JWPF Completes Twelve Years Holding Jewish Community Accountable

Guest vigiler Michael Rabb joined our ranks this Saturday as seven activists continued the “only game in town” – holding congregants of Beth Israel Congregation accountable for their political, spiritual, and (especially) financial support for the Jewish state, which continues its genocidal program of cleansing Palestine of non-Jews. A football Saturday in Ann Arbor provided an increase in cars passing by and the number of occupants in those vehicles. So, well over 1,200 observers were exposed to political messages they will not receive through the mainstream media.

Sixth Annual Eat-a-Cheeseburger Day Approaches

Peacemonger reminds us that Wednesday, September 23rd will be the Sixth Annual Bill Henry International Eat-a-Cheeseburger Day. Members of JWPF invite you to attend a burger burn at this writer’s home, 4:00 pm, to celebrate the man who, through his memorable action 61 years ago, indirectly brought us the longest running Palestine liberation action Ann Arbor has ever seen.

ICPJ Hosts “Insipid” Rally for Iran

Four members of JWPF accepted an invitation from the deceptively named Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice’s “Vigil for Peace and Diplomacy with Iran” at Ann Arbor’s Federal Building on September 10. About 75 people showed up and listened to Chuck Warpehoski and Joe Summers and Alan Haber. Report readers will remember these guys as the architects of the purge of the Middle East Task Force, then the largest task force of ICPJ, for having the temerity to unanimously support BDS back in 2006.

The Michigan Daily article covering this event including a photo cleansed of our presence but author Allana Akhtar did give us a nod, “Attendees also included four noticeably anti-Israel activists, holding signs that read ‘boycott Israel’ and ‘defeat Israel.’ It also quotes Warpehoski saying the Iran nuclear deal “will help make the world safer for nuclear weapons”. As Peacemonger points out: “Chuck has that right, Israeli and American nuclear weapons are indeed ‘safer’ as they are unacknowledged and untouched by the deal. Iran’s repeated calls for a nuclear weapons-free Middle East go unheeded, virtually unheard, and certainly un-echoed by faux peace activists such as Warpehoski and Summers. Some diplomacy.”

For the vigil from our perspective, Vigiler C reports:

Last night was surreal. It was a protest without a protest. The biggest protest was when this guy came looking at Henry and R’s signs and then decided to stand in front of R’s.

… I couldn’t stand what the [guy] was doing, so I asked R to move around me. Baffled, he did and immediately the [guy] moved again making his place right in front of R. R saw now and said, “Oh, is this why I am moving?” And I said, “Yeah. He’s trying to cover up your sign.”

I told R to hold his sign up, but he didn’t understand [author’s note: R is extremely hard of hearing] and it seemed the [guy] was reaching to take it, so I grabbed it, held it high and said, “Ever heard of free speech?” He said, “What group are you here with? I’m with the Interfaith Council for Peace & Justice. Our message is one of peace. This is not our message.”

I told him, “See that sign?” and pointed to M’s – “That’s why we’re here and that’s why you should be here.” The [guy] said, “I’m here for peace and you don’t tell me why I should be here.”

August 31_Face of occupation-sm

Five minutes after that, they stopped their ‘protest’, crowded into a small circle of about seventy and had different speakers preaching to the choir. The four of us stayed at the corner engaging positive and negative interactions with drivers and passers-by. As the first speaker started, M yelled, “The reason to protest is to end the occupation – end apartheid. What you are doing is not a protest. It’s a joke.”

She was right. That was a controlled protest to give an appearance which lacked substance. As she said, “They are so lame.” Beyond the insipid was trying to stifle our voice as if they owned the corner and the rights of free speech. I am so sick of the sham of their facade and the depth of the infiltration into our mindset, culture and institutions.


Seven vigilers
Henry Herskovitz [with additions from PeaceMonger]
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends
“You’re either a Zionist or an anti-Semite” – vigil supporter M

4 Responses to “Report on Beth Israel vigil 09-12-15”

  1. alan haber

    …Chuck Warpehoski, Joe Summers and Alan Haber. Report readers will remember these guys as the architects of the purge of the Middle East Task Force,

    Just for the sake of truth. i was an opponent of closing down the middle east task force, not an architect. i supported cutting aid to israel, the bds manifestation of the time. and i was not a speaker at the event, i was permitted to make an announcement for another event.

    i would appreciate a correction of your insulting and unusually poor journalism in this particular case.

  2. David Mendenhall

    When one of the Old Testament prophets–I think it was Nahum but not sure–criticized the Israeli government, he fled to Egypt for safety. Israeli agents were sent to Egypt to kidnap him, bring him back to Israel where he was executed. So few people read the bible that it is generally forgotten that Israel became an evil institution and was “abandoned by God” in the prose of the time. I once saw a Zionist newspaper ad attacking the Syrian government, which included a passage from Isiah that, in its original context, was criticizing the Israelis.

  3. Bill Thomson

    Alan’s comment mirrors my recollection of those events. The main drivers were Chuck, Joe and the next “president” of ICPJ, who’s name I have momentarily misplaced. Alan was not part of the problem.

    It does appear that Chuck is speaking the truth. What a slip.


  4. Henry Herskovitz

    Re: Alan Haber

    I made an unwarranted assumption listing Alan as part of the group eviscerating the Middle East Task Force, and apologize for doing so. I will change the on-line report immediately and issue a correction in the next Vigil Report.

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