The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 01-21-17

Posted on January 24th, 2017 at 6:09 pm by

Jackie Robinson and Jewish Power

Emotions naturally flare at watching the PBS special shown on MLK day of the career of baseball icon Jackie Robinson. Who could not grow emotional when reminded that Jackie and wife Rachel were bumped twice from the planes carrying them to a spring training camp in Florida? What outrage is felt by viewers recognizing that this discrimination they experienced came merely because of the color of their skin and nothing else!

Yes, we get it. And we feel for the Robinsons; their plight was genuine. Racial discrimination still exists in America.

But what about Muhammed Ali, my friend and sandwich shop operator in the Balata refugee camp near Nablus, Palestine? Muhammed grew up in Haifa, graduated high school there and earned a technical degree before being bumped, not just from an airplane, but from his home town. Yes, he cannot return to Haifa and swim in the Mediterranean the way his family did before him. He cannot even travel to the Haram esh-Sharif/Noble Sanctuary to practice his religion. Like Jackie Robinson, Muhammed is the wrong “color”: neither ethnic Jew, secular Jew, nor religious Jew.

Isn’t there a story here as well, PBS? Perhaps even more compelling than Robinson’s, because Muhammed has yet to break his “color” barrier. Hello, Hollywood, isn’t his story worthy – at least – of a two-hour documentary?

And what about the perfect made-for-Hollywood, emotional story of Ernst Zundel? Talk about compelling: here is a lifelong pacifist who leaves his Germany because he wishes not to serve its military and chooses Canada as his home. There he practices his skills as artist and publisher, while growing aware that his German people are being discriminated against, due to what Ernst believes is a falsification of history. He is forced to defend himself against charges of “spreading false news”, but reversed the tables and eventually caused Canada’s Supreme Court to strike down the same law under which he was prosecuted. *

His story doesn’t end there, however. He marries (naturalized US citizen) Ingrid Rimland, and seeks US citizenship at their new home in Pigeon Forge, TN. But instead of the US government granting this well-deserved citizenship, Ernst is effectively kidnapped from his mountain home by agents of this same government and whisked back to Canada where he is to spend two years in solitary confinement. From there Canada renders him back to Germany to a sham of a trial and five-year incarceration – not because of his skin color – but because of his political beliefs. The outrage that we felt for Jackie Robinson matches the outrage that a man is jailed not for who he is, but for what he believes and says.

Made for Hollywood. A perfect, emotional story, much like Muhammed’s. But because “Jews totally run Hollywood” (Joel Stein, LA Times) we are unlikely to hear these stories. Likewise, it appears PBS selects the stories we are to watch, and those they decide the public will not see.

Jewish Power in action. It’s there for the witnessing.

*- The Great Holocaust Trial by Michael Hoffman, p. 120


Three vigilers
Henry Herskovitz
Witness for Peace
America First Not Israel

One Response to “Report on Beth Israel vigil 01-21-17”

  1. Francis Clark-Lowes

    Great post, Henry.
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