The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 11-07-15

Posted on November 8th, 2015 at 6:50 pm by

Local TV station initiates coverage of DYR billboard, then clams up

Billboard Oct 2015 1 of 2-sm

A story within a story … reporter Camille Amiri of local television station WXYZ-TV “breaks” the news of our billboard in the Detroit area and interviews only ADL (Anti-Defamation League) Detroit Regional Director Heidi Budaj, and claims that she tried to “reach out to the organization who had this billboard put up”. Neither this writer, nor Dan McGowan, Executive Director of Deir Yassin Remembered, was ever personally contacted, nor contact made via the DYR website. Amiri also assures her readers “Of course we will let you know when and if they (DYR) do call me back and get a more definitive answer on what exactly this billboard means.”

This writer phoned the TV station within one hour of Amiri’s broadcast on Thursday, October 22, and repeatedly tried via email to contact her over the next few days to provide the answers to her question, but to no avail. She responded only once and that was to say she had forwarded my contact information to the news room.

Why the Wieselian silence? Why the false statements? And why the immediate dropping of the story? For help on this let’s allow the Detroit Jewish News and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency to provide insight. The female reporter from the DJN called this writer but was apparently shocked into printable silence by my claim that America and Israel were ideologically opposites: (1) America represents separation of state and religion, whereas Israel is wedded to the Jewish faith; (2) America does not discriminate based on ethnic origin or religious affiliation in granting the right to vote, while Israel denies millions of Palestinians that same right; and (3) Americans enjoy freedom of political expression, where Israel does not.

She questioned the third claim, but again had no response to the fact that it is illegal in Israel to question the standard narrative of the “Holocaust”.

Julie Weiner of the JTA did not even bother going through any potentially damaging phone call interviews, and merely ascertained from Mr. McGowan that more billboards are planned, pending funding. In spite of receiving my contact information, Weiner elected not to proceed.

We are left to speculate re: the silence from the Jewish community on this topic. We feel it’s clear that they would like this embarrassing billboard removed from the sight of the viewing public, and possibly informed WXYZ to drop it. Perhaps Tony Soprano carried the message personally to Camille Amiri. We really just don’t know.

Billboard story gets play internationally

Flip to the good side: many news organizations picked up on our billboard, including the American Free Press, the Arab American News, the Jerusalem Post and Russia Today. Dave Gahary of the AFP spent over an hour on the phone with this writer, and we anticipate a story coming out soon.

The billboard strikes a nerve – just as our weekly vigils do – in the heart of the Jewish community. They know that the claim of dual loyalty is a valid one, despite the kneejerk reaction from Heidi Budaj. Michael Hager wants to know the number of congressmen and senators currently holding dual citizenship with Israel, and so do we. To which country are these political leaders pledging allegiance? Why is it that Benjamin Netanyahu receives more standing ovations addressing OUR congress than any US president in recent memory? Why does Barack Obama say there is “no daylight” between the U.S. and Israel despite the three major differences listed above?

Isn’t it clear that our leaders in Congress and the White House are hand-picked or coerced to pay homage to the “special relationship” by the enormous financial and political pressure exerted by the Jewish Lobby? Deir Yassin Remembered and Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends see the daylight, and we’re not the only ones. That’s why the billboard has enjoyed so much success. The next one is coming. Stay tuned.


Oct. 24 Nine vigilers
Oct. 31 Seven vigilers
Nov. 7 Four vigilers
Israeli Citizens in OUR Congress?
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends

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