The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 10-20-18

Posted on October 21st, 2018 at 2:49 pm by

Palestine and the Holocaust

We presented a major reason for revisiting the facts surrounding the Holocaust in our vigil report of July 28 and this week decided to share this important viewpoint with members of Ann Arbor’s City Council at their meeting on Oct. 15. Council meetings are videotaped and you can advance to 00:25:20 at

Or simply click here to just get the three-minute presentation. The text of the talk follows signature:

New Sign at our Vigil

University of Michigan professor John Lippold-Cheney has been punished by the University for refusing to write a letter of recommendation to a student who wished to study in Israel. Cheny-Lippold was motivated to withhold the letter by his activism, honoring the 2005 Palestinian Call for Boycotts Divestment and Sanctions on Israel for its ongoing violations of Palestinian civil rights.

This writer believes Cheney-Lippold did right by refusing to write the letter. Other well-meaning activists disagree, but we both agree that the reaction of the University – to rescind the professor’s upcoming sabbatical, to make him ineligible for his merit-pay increase, and to threaten him with job loss – is extreme.


Three vigilers
Witness for Peace
Resist Jewish Power
Henry Herskovitz
Ann Arbor City Council
Public Commentary
Oct. 15, 2018
[392 words]
Palestine and the Holocaust

Good evening,

Many critics of Palestinian resistance to their ethnic cleansing at the hands of Israel have often complained that they should utilize Gandhian tactics of peaceful protest instead of violence.

Many Americans are unaware that Palestinians initiated just such a tactic on March 30 of this year, when thousands of them amassed on the Gaza border seeking to end their incarceration. Every Friday more tens of thousands take part in this march.

What has been the reaction of Israel to this peaceful attempt at liberation? Israel stages and uses IDF snipers, who use live ammunition and have killed over 200 Palestinian protesters. Seven more were killed two days ago in an action by the Jewish state that is akin to shooting fish in a barrel. The Palestinian protesters are unarmed.

I have been active in Palestine’s liberation for the last 15 years. Many of my friends have indicated to me that to bring up the Holocaust weakens and undermines my efforts to bring freedom to Palestine. I disagree, and here’s why:

One of the victims of these sniper attacks was a 21-year-old female medic named Razan Al-Najjar. She was shot to death trying to help a wounded protester on June 1. We now remember her. We remember the American student Rachel Corrie, who was crushed to death in 2003 by an IDF bulldozer. We remember my friend Basem Abu Rahme, shot to death in 2009 by an Israeli teargas cannister at close range.

I’ve spoken to council about these killings and I’m sure many of you share in the sorrow we in the Palestine liberation community feel. The trouble is, no matter how much we grieve, no matter how much average Americans feel for the Palestinians, these feelings of sorrow and pity are always trumped by the suffering of Jews during the Holocaust.

It’s that simple. If it were any other people trampling the lives and rights of Palestinians, Americans would have no problem going after the perpetrators of these crimes and bringing justice to Palestine.

The Holocaust seems to be the ultimate weapon used to manipulate American feelings. Fear of being accused as a “Holocaust Denier” keeps many inquisitive people in line. It is indeed a powerful weapon, and it appears vital to me and many others that this weapon be examined to see if it warrants the power it wields.

Thank you

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