The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 07-13-19

Posted on July 13th, 2019 at 5:11 pm by

City Attorney’s Office: 1, Hired Lawyer: 0

“I represent a number of congregants who belong to Beth Israel Synagogue (sic) located at 2000 Washtenaw Ave. For approximately 16 years, beginning in 2003, on every Sabbath during those 16 years, several protesters in varying numbers have been picketing the Synagogue, both directly in front of the Synagogue as well as across from the Synagogue on Washtenaw Ave.” writes attorney Marc M. Sussleman to Ann Arbor Assistant City Attorney Kristen Larcom.

Marc M. Susselman, J.D., M.P.H.

Susselman’s four page letter builds his “case” around the assumption that Washtenaw Avenue is a “street” and he stretches the definition of street to include the sidewalk.* Thus, he concludes, a permit is required to attach our signs to chairs (an agreement Witness for Peace reached with the City Attorney’s office in 2010), and “Therefore, the protesters are violating the [City] Code by engaging in their activity without a permit” and concludes “If you disagree with any portion of the Code, please advise me which section(s) I am misinterpreting and how I am misinterpreting them.”

Ms. Larcom’s Complete Response

“We write in response to your letter of May 16, 2019, having reviewed the ordinance you cite and your interpretation of them. We disagree with your interpretation. The ordinances you cite do not require one to obtain a permit to engage in the activities you describe. Moreover, the First Amendment right to freedom of speech is a critical consideration in the application of ordinances under these circumstances.”

Readers are welcome to view the documents here, including the reprimand Susselman received when he apparently attempted to circumvent correct communications channels in the City Attorney’s Office.


Witness for Peace is grateful to the Freedom of Information Act of 1967, and for the efforts of Vigiler C in exercising our rights to obtain these public documents.

*This is our interpretation of Susselman’s 4-pager. Readers are free to interpret the document differently.


Henry Herskovitz
Between 3-5 vigilers June 22, 29 July 6, 13
Thumbs: 17, Fingers: 5 on July 13
Resist Jewish Power
Witness for Peace

3 Responses to “Report on Beth Israel vigil 07-13-19”

  1. Clif Brown

    Score one for our very precious civil rights, something that Palestinians who live under Israeli military rule in the occupied territories can only dream of having.

  2. Ibrahim Soudy

    Great Job.

  3. Henry Herskovitz defends the 1st Amendment; Thomas Willcutts refutes libertarianism a.k.a. “anarco-capitalism” – Kevin Barrett

    […] First hour: Henry Herskovitz of Witness for Peace has been picketing the Beth Israel synagogue in Ann Arbor, Michigan for many years due to that congregation’s support for Zionism. Now they’re trying to shut him down…and he’s fighting for his First Amendment rights. Will attorney Marc M. Susselman succeed in his “lawfare” action contending that Witness for Peace has no First Amendment rights to …? […]

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