The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 11-19-16

Posted on November 21st, 2016 at 11:47 am by

Our Vigils Raise Ire of Jewish Community

Careful readers of these reports will remember Barry Gross, the Beth Israel congregant who had his hands on the levers of Jewish Power when he penned the threatening letter to then Mayor Hieftje and City Council members, demanding some action against our vigils in 2004. The Mayor and Council responded by issuing a resolution “condemning” our vigils.

Gross now pens an “Update on picketing outside Beth Israel Congregation”, published in this month’s Washtenaw Jewish News. We (Witness for Peace) responded via the following letter to the editor of that publication:

November 20, 2016s. Susan Kravitz Ayer
Editor and Publisher
Washtenaw Jewish News
Re: Update on picketing outside Beth Israel Congregation, WJN Nov. 2016

Dear Ms. Ayer,

Barry Gross describes Beth Israel Congregation as “a hopelessly inappropriate and ineffective location for this protest.” In our opinion, he is wrong on both counts. The source of what former US President Jimmy Carter has labeled “Apartheid” is the Jewish supremacist racism that drives the Jewish state. This racism is nurtured, perhaps originates, inside the walls of Beth Israel. In addition to leading the congregation in reciting the “Prayer for the State of Israel” and flying a foreign flag on the pulpit, Rabbi Dobrusin indoctrinates young Jewish children on pilgrimages to the Jewish state and poses them with Israeli soldiers on military vehicles.

Additionally, if our vigils were ineffective, Dr. Gross would not waste his time writing articles, nor would Professor Victor Lieberman spend his prayer time harassing us peaceful protesters. Nor would we be receiving countless horn honks of supports as motorists express their appreciation of our message: America First Not Israel. Indeed, Gross appears to be whistling past the graveyard in an attempt to convince WJN readers that our messages are not effective.

Gross might also be misinterpreting the US Constitution First Amendment which “Prohibits Congress from making any law respecting an establishment of religion”, when he writes, “The picketing remains an offensive intrusion into the congregants’ right to freedom of religious expression”. The Constitution refers to the Government’s relationship with the people, not the individual people themselves.

In agreement with Dr. Gross, Witness for Peace is happy that our vigils contribute to peaceful enterprises within the Apartheid State. Vigiler C expresses this succinctly for the group:

“AFNSWAS (which means Oasis of Peace) is the only community in Israel where Jews and Palestinians choose to live, work and raise their children in equality and mutual respect.”

So, our vigils are helping the “only community in Israel” that is behaving humanely, as it should. That sits fine with me.

Thank you,

Henry Herskovitz
Witness for Peace

Question for Jewish Voice for Peace

Witness for Peace has sent an email to Rebecca Vilkomerson, Executive Director of Jewish Voice for Peace and we are waiting a response. We wrote:

Dear Rebecca,

The Anti-Defamation league lists Jewish Voice for Peace as an anti-Israel organization.

Is JVP anti-Israel?


Henry Herskovitz
Witness for Peace
Ann Arbor, MI

Witness for Peace calls on all activists to propose this question to all members of Jewish Voice for Peace. The activist community needs to know where this eminent organization stands on this crucial question.


Nov. 5: Four Vigilers
Nov. 12: Six Vigilers
Nov. 19: Four Vigilers
Henry Herskovitz
Witness for Peace

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