The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 10-15-16

Posted on October 17th, 2016 at 9:21 pm by

Israel and the Holocaust at City Council

The power wielded by the Ann Arbor Jewish Community was evidenced Monday, October 3 this year. City Council meetings are scheduled for the first and third Mondays of each month, except for the few times an election preempts the day. “What about our New Year holiday? “ cry the Jews of this town. And before you can say “Remember Deir Yassin”, the Oct. 3 meeting was rescheduled to Thursday, Oct. 6. This writer addressed Council that evening on the topic: Israel and the Holocaust. Text of speech follows signature.

Witness for Peace

Careful readers of these reports have detected a change in the name of our vigil group. Formerly known as “Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends” we have renamed ourselves as “Witness for Peace”.

No more “Jewish”. No more identifying with the false narratives of Jewish exceptionalism, Jewish values (as if they somehow rank higher than other ethno-religious values), Jewish suffering, or anything contributing to the media-induced power that the word “Jewish” conveys. If Jews are represented by the constant haranguing we peaceful protester receive at the hands of BIC congregants (watch a short clip here), then we want nothing to do with anything “Jewish”. For over 70 years, Jews have been pummeling hapless Palestinians while gaining more and more control over a multitude of US foreign and domestic policies, without a peep of protest from the mainstream Jewish community.

Who wants it? For readers wondering about Jewish groups like Jewish Voice for Peace or the US Campaign to End Israeli Occupation and claiming that they ARE making sounds towards peace, we ask: Really, are you working for an end to Jewish supremacism in Palestine (or in the US)? Are you defending or ignoring Israel’s claimed right to exist as a Jewish state? Are you holding your own, Jewish, community accountable for the racism born and nurtured within?

Who wants it? Will we be successful at extricating ourselves from the Jewish problem? Or will we remain trapped, like Shlomo Sand and Avigail Abarbanel, into their tribal refuge? Gilad Atzmon, in this week’s essay “Can Jews ever leave their Cult?” explains this phenomenon clearly as he writes:

Abarbanel [also Sand … ed.] is obsessed with the holocaust and this is hardly surprising. The Holocaust is currently the most popular Jewish religion. The Israeli prominent philosopher Yeshayahu Leibowitz observed in the 1970s that Jews believe in many different things but all Jews believe in the Holocaust.

As Vigil Supporter M notes: The word “Witness” can be used both as a noun and a verb. Witness for peace.


Oct. 8: Two Vigilers
Oct. 15: Three Vigilers
Henry Herskovitz
Witness for Peace
Ann Arbor City Council
October 6, 2016

Good evening,

Two items of interest to the historical event called the Holocaust have arisen recently. First is the new law passed by the Michigan Legislature and signed by Governor Snyder on June 13 mandating the teaching of the Holocaust in Michigan public schools, and the soon-to-be released movie “Denial” which depicts Historian David Irving’s struggles against libelous claims from Emory College Professor Deborah Lipstadt.

Some may think that I’m insensitive for broaching this topic, but there are important reasons for doing so. Why, for instance, have Americans not stood up against Israel’s acts of aggression against the Palestinian people, and Israel’s dominance in the US Congress and White House? I would like to share with you the four reasons most people give for Israel’s claimed right to exist as a Jewish State.

1. God gave the Jews the Land
2. The Balfour Declaration
3. The UN Partition Plan
4. The Holocaust

Most American Jews are secular and don’t really believe that God intended Palestinians to be so mistreated. The Balfour Declaration, we now find, was a quid pro quo for getting the US into World War ONE on Britain’s side. And the UN Partition Plan was a forced vote with only those countries who would not be affected casting their votes in favor.

And that leaves the Holocaust as the single underpinning for emotional support for the state of Israel. Let’s listen to a few comments; one by Gideon Levy, Israeli journalist in March of this year: “… Israel would have never been established without the Holocaust”. And consider the words of Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir to Knesset Member Shulamit Aloni: “After the Holocaust, Jews are allowed to do anything.”

Are they? Are Jews really allowed to bludgeon Palestinians, dominate the US, brandish its hegemony over the Middle East, and use this historical event to silence criticism? Or will Americans educate ourselves about the facts and have the strength to separate historical event from religious dogma? At least to ask questions like: If Elie Wiesel was correct in his description of Nazis as being evil, why did he and his father elect to evacuate Buchenwald with them, rather than wait to be liberated by the advancing Soviets?

Israel and the Holocaust: I hope I’ve made some connections.

Thank you

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