The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 08-25-18

Posted on August 27th, 2018 at 12:52 pm by

Approaching the Tipping Point?

Our weekly de-briefing yielded a consensus opinion: the motoring public provided support for our vigil in an unprecedented manner. In our 75-minutes, almost ALL of the passersby who indicated either support of disapproval, were in support of our messages. What is to be concluded from this observation?

– That Americans are realizing Israel is no longer our friend
– That Americans are getting tired of forking over $10 Million a day to Israel
– That Americans have tired of fighting wars for Israel
– Or that, senility is setting in amongst us vigilers

Whatever the reasons, there did seem to be a noticeable tick upwards in the way we were perceived by motorists last Saturday. Think we’re senile? Come check us out as we approach our 15th anniversary of working for Palestinian liberation and freedom.

Witness for Peace – 15 Years!

Our vigil on September 15, 2018 marks the 15th anniversary of our weekly vigils, If you’ve ever joined our protests, please consider a homecoming visit in three weeks. There will be much to celebrate, and to review the reasons why this small group is committed to this form of political activism. See our report “Back to Basics”.

Outlasting the Rabbis

Rabbi Rob Dobrusin of Beth Israel Congregation announced his retirement this past June. He joins Bob Levy from Temple Beth Emeth as activist local rabbis unable to dislodge Witness for Peace from our goal of peacefully dismantling the Jewish state. Levy, who was once referred to as a “nasty rabbi” by former vigiler Larry Hochman, stepped down in 2016, and we note that Jewish Federation Executive Director David Shtulman – also a WfP critic – threw in the towel in January 2017. To the new rabbis and directors who have taken their place we welcome discussions about our activism, anytime, any place.

Gilad Atzmon will Celebrate our Anniversary

Philosopher, author and world-renowned saxophonist Gilad Atzmon will be with us September 12-15 and will join our vigil on Saturday September 15. Gilad never claims to be a street activist, but will set aside that claim and thrill us with his presence to celebrate our 15 years. He has committed to an open house evening discussion at Vigiler L’s home in Ypsilanti at 7pm on Thursday Sept. 13, and a concert/discussion with a musical group in Toledo, Ohio on Friday Sept. 14. Details for the concert on Facebook at

Listen to a Jewish Rant

On August 15, this writer addressed the board of directors of the People’s Food Co-op in an effort to get them to cease advertising in the Washtenaw Jewish News. We noted that the Co-op works “towards the elimination of institutional and structural racism and oppression” and asked why we would advertise in a newspaper that promotes a country that practices the opposite. Unfortunately, my presentation was interrupted by a local Jewish fellow named Blair Ellis, who hurled insults like “holocaust denier”, “fascist”, and “anti-Semite” towards me. PFC President Jaime Magiera asked Ellis to refrain from interrupting, and when Eliis refused, placed a call to the police. If you download and play this audio file you will hear Ellis’ hysterical rants and a young woman’s willingness to stand in “solidarity” with him. [Curiously, Ellis has nothing to say about the gun-toting Israeli soldiers, implicitly supported by the Washtenaw Jewish News, who killed over 130 men, women and children in the recent Israeli assault on Gaza protesters… ed.]

We plan to continue our presentation to the Board at their September meeting. Stay tuned.

RIP Phyllis Ponvert

Our friend and former vigiler Phyllis Ponvert passed away about two weeks ago and Witness for Peace mourns her loss. Her unique style of protest was to hold a sign for Beth Israel Congregants to read, which listed the current number of Palestinian children’s deaths as well as Jewish Israeli children. We dedicate this report to Phyllis, and miss her.


Attendance held between 4 and 6 vigilers August 4, 11, 18 and 25
Witness for Peace
No Jewish State
Henry Herskovitz

2 Responses to “Report on Beth Israel vigil 08-25-18”

  1. Ibrahim Soudy

    Excellent work. Keep up and keep going.

  2. Michael Rabb

    good job, Henry .
    stop the genocide
    end the jew state
    free Palestine
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