The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 06-23-18

Posted on June 29th, 2018 at 8:17 pm by

Back to Basics

The lady in this  January video repeats an oft asked question: why do we hold our vigils in front of a synagogue? Let’s take a moment to answer this question, because on the face of it, it’s a pretty good question.

We answered this question briefly in our 2003 statement: Why We Vigil, but as the years rolled on, our answer became more sophisticated, nuanced and factual. Our statement then read: “We hold vigils outside this synagogue because Beth Israel is a political institution as well as house of worship, using its faith to promote a nationalist political agenda…”

A few years after that (2007) Rabbi Rob Dobrusin spilled the beans and admitted that every member of Beth Israel Congregation supported Israel’s claimed “right” to exist as a Jewish state. In other words, he affirmed our conviction that Beth Israel Congregation is indeed a Zionist organization.

In addition, we pointed out that Beth Israel flies a foreign flag in its sanctuary, that the congregation recites a prayer for the state of Israel every week, that many congregants wave Israeli flags as they drive into the parking lot, and that some even sport Jewish (as opposed to NON-Jewish) Israeli license plates on their vehicles.

Then we read The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and our argument became even stronger. Malcolm argued that the best way for sincere white people to help his “Organization of Afro-American Unity”, was to confront the racism that existed within the white community. We then recognized the similarity … the racism that drives the Jewish state is created and nurtured within the Jewish community, and that Beth Israel was certainly no exception.

For starters, Jews are told they are different from the rest. This creates an “us-versus-them” paradigm. They wear skullcaps; Jewish children are taught a foreign language which is used officially in only one country. They are taught unnecessary dietary laws; their families use two sets of dinnerware, some even use two dishwashers, one for each set. They worship on Saturday, though the majority of the religious US population prefer Sundays. They celebrate holidays which underscore us-versus-them. The Book of Esther is a good example. A common Jewish reference to many holidays are “They tried to kill us. We won. Let’s eat.”

Alleged victimization is the crucial bond that convinces Jews (and many non-Jews) that the uniqueness of this particular group of people creates for them a special status. When Hollywood – an effective emotional manipulation tool – produces over 300 films on both Holocaust fact and fiction, a toxic supremacism is formed. Perhaps Golda Meir said it best: “After the Holocaust, Jews are allowed to do anything.” Using military snipers to kill over 130 Palestinian Gandhi-styled protesters, and taking advantage of a compliant American press to suppress these murders from US citizens is a good example of Jews being allowed to do simply anything they want.

So back to the woman’s question, and to paraphrase Vince Lombardi, “A synagogue isn’t just an appropriate place to protest the state of Israel; it’s the ONLY place.”


Attendance held between 4 and 5 vigilers May 19,26 and June 2, 9, 16, 23
Witness for Peace
Remember the USS Liberty
Henry Herskovitz

Report on Beth Israel vigil 05-12-18

Posted on May 17th, 2018 at 12:00 pm by

Laying Claim

As our small group approaches its fifteenth year of existence, we claim the title of “Longest running regular street protest in Ann Arbor history”. Are we mistaken? Have we forgotten an activist group with a longer, sustained record? Please inform us and we will gladly take our ordered place in the history books.

Shaking Down the Mennonites

At the request of Bruce Leichty, Witness for Peace members Dan McGowan and I traveled to Newton Kansas to attend a conference entitled “Mennonites and the Holocaust”, held at Bethel College in North Newton, March 16 and 17. Bruce was the immigration lawyer who represented Ernst Zundel’s unsuccessful attempt to be reunited with his American wife, Ingrid Rimland Zundel. It was Dan’s and my first opportunity to meet Bruce, and we were impressed with the man’s decency.

Some of the conference’s views were captured by titles of the presentations, e.g.:

– “Anti-Semitism and the Concept of ’Volk’”
– “Mennonite Scholarship in the Third Reich: From Knowledge Production to Genocide”
– “An Illusion of Freedom: Denominationalism, German Mennonites, and Nazi Germany”
– … and the Keynote Address: “Neighbors, Killers, Enablers, Witnesses: The Many Roles of Mennonites in the Holocaust” (This topic was the Keynote Address, delivered by Doris Bergen, the Chancellor Rose and Ray Wolfe Professor of Holocaust Studies at the University of Toronto)

A lifelong Mennonite, Bruce sees himself as a member of that community. Alerted by the above topics and sensing a shakedown of his Mennonite community, Bruce secured a nearby venue for Dan and I to speak and bring a different point of view to those being disseminated at the conference. To inform conference goers of his event (“Two Jewish Revisionists Consider the Holocaust”), Bruce created and distributed flyers announcing the Friday evening event. Political flyering seems as common as football pep rallies on college campuses, but when campus honchos determined that Bruce was using this technique, he was ordered to stop.

And stop he did. But on Saturday he was asked to leave the campus by College President Jon Gering. This writer video-taped the exchange between Gering and Leichty, which included an impromptu conversation between myself and an unknown Holocaust affirmer; that video can be viewed here.

I wanted to remain in the lobby of the Luyken Fine Arts Center to capture Bruce’s exit from Krehbiel Auditorium, but was asked to leave the campus by the North Newton police. They could provide no reason to have me removed from the campus, other than the request came from President Gering, who, according to the police, needed no reason to have me evicted from campus.

I asked the officer if he would inform Bruce of my off-campus location and he said he would. To my surprise, it was the officer – not Bruce – who showed up to tell me that Bruce had been arrested and was being detained at the Harvey County Detention Center. Bruce was released only after 18 hours of detention. His story has been picked up by CODOH, the Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust: “Lawyer Arrested for Holocaust Dissent in Kansas”. Readers are encouraged to view this document while holding the Bill of Rights to the US Constitution close by.


Attendance held between 3 and 4 vigilers April 21, 28 and May 5, 12
Witness for Peace
Remember Al-Nakba
Henry Herskovitz

Report on Beth Israel vigil 04-14-18

Posted on April 17th, 2018 at 2:52 pm by


Prior to our most recent report, this formerly-unfailing writer always used the blind carbon copy option (BCC:) to send out our vigil reports. Last week I failed (using TO:) and that contributed to the kerfuffle of emails flying this way and that. Sorry about that; will do better in the future. Comments from readers are always welcome, but it would ease the process if folks posted their comments on (see Comment link at the bottom of each report.)


Some readers were upset upon receiving last week’s report, and some have opted out of receiving future reports. Some others wanted to offer their thoughts and admitted feelings of discomfort. We have always respected email privacy, but need to know if you want your name removed from the list. Just send me an email requesting same, and you’ll receive no more vigil reports.

Response to a Comment

We quoted a segment from Paul Eisen’s Holocaust Wars last week, and in response a reader suggested viewing that quote from a different angle He suggested that we all try to “… go find the most educated, secular, progressive, enlightened, perceptive, sensitive African-American you know – deny American slavery and then stand back.”

On the surface, it appears he’s onto something, but further thought on this produced some real differences between denying the Holocaust and denying American slavery.

I first thought of Monika Schaefer, a Canadian citizen now serving her 100th day of administrative detention (no charges have been brought) in a German prison for singing about the Holocaust. I could be wrong, but I know of no country that imprisons people for denying American slavery. Perhaps some readers could show me I’m wrong about this, and I’d be happy to admit it.

Second, I pondered whether there were lies promulgated about slavery to the extent lies have been spread about the Holocaust. Was the fat of deceased slaves used to make bars of soap? Were lampshades made of Blacks’ skin?

Have books been recently banned on American slavery the way Amazon has just banned over 100 titles questioning the standard Holocaust narrative? Check out the Jewish Chronicle’s article “Under pressure, Amazon stops selling Holocaust-denial books” here.

Are there over 50 museums in Germany dedicated to the memory of American slavery? Is there one in Berlin, built with German taxpayers’ Euros? Is it mandated by law that German children are taught the history of American slavery? Consider:

The US Holocaust Memorial Museum is located on the National Mall in our nation’s capitol, funded in part by US taxpayers. And although it is not yet US National policy to mandate the teaching of the Holocaust, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that eight states (including Michigan) have some form of required instruction “about genocide, including, but not limited to, the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide.” And The article reports the prospect of 20 more states “pledg[ing] to mandate Holocaust education.”

This list of differences is just a minimal one; others may suggest additions to it.

Having a Beer with Thomas Jefferson

Many readers remain unconvinced that Richard Spencer’s response to my question exonerated him of the title “White supremacist”. This writer wouldn’t mind having a beer with Declaration of Independence author Thomas Jefferson, and he is almost never referred to as a White supremacist. In fact, he is often quoted as saying, “Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate, than that these people [Black slaves] are to be free.”

Yet the next few sentences of the same quote reads “Nor is it less certain that the two races, equally free, cannot live in the same government. Nature, habit, opinion has drawn indelible lines of distinction between them. It is still in our power to direct the process of emancipation and deportation peaceably and in such slow degree that the evil will wear off insensibly, and their place will be pari passu filled up by free white laborers. If on the contrary it is left to force itself on, human nature must shudder at the prospect held up.”

Now, some readers might be nodding and saying to themselves that indeed Jefferson was a White supremacist, but would the wish to share a beer with the man cause such societal rejection as not minding having a beer with Richard Spencer?


Four vigilers in a steady rain and 36F
Witness for Peace
America First Not Israel
Henry Herskovitz

Report on Beth Israel vigil 04-07-18

Posted on April 11th, 2018 at 10:38 am by

The Intolerance of “The Left”

This writer is sensitive to name calling. Not in the “I’m hurt” sense, but sensitive to the presence of unwarranted and unwanted name calling. Calling the late Ernst Zundel an “anti-Semite” comes to mind. So when the mainstream press labels Richard Spencer a “White supremacist”, my name-calling antenna starts to quiver. None of the handful of newspaper reporters I contacted responded to my question of why they selected this particular term to label Spencer.

So I laid a simple plan for myself: I’d remain ignorant of further media coverage of Spencer’s speeches and writings and hear only from the horse’s mouth what Spencer had to say. Three members of Witness for Peace drove up to East Lansing, Michigan on March 5 to hear this “White supremacist “ speak, to determine for ourselves if the label fit the bill of goods.

During the Q&A I asked Spencer if he wished to be referred to as a White supremacist and he said no. He preferred the term “White Identitarian”. That is, he identifies as White, and fears for the group’s assimilation and disappearance into a multi-raced society. Erica Chernofsky, writing for BBC News, identifies a similar fear in Jews: “Intermarriage and assimilation are quintessential Jewish fears.”. Perhaps it is the same fear which drives the Jews described by Chernofsky that also drives White identitarians like Spencer.

Interviewed by WILX-TV after the event (interview here), they reported, “’I don’t think I’m for or against, I think I’m for free speech. I am for his ability to speak whatever he wants. I came away from this conference thinking that Richard is a guy I wouldn’t mind having a beer with. I think he’s open to various points of view,’ said Henry Herskovitz, who attended Spencer’s speech.”


I shared this interview with a group of men with whom I enjoy a yearly April retreat, and that unleashed some pretty unfriendly responses and ultimately resulted in my being effectively banned from this year’s event. The risks one encounters by crossing the lines of Political Correctness are severe and swift. These particular men, described as “intelligent, informed and concerned guys” by one group member, are in fact White men. This writer finds the irony breathtaking that an affinity group like ours would be all White, yet their reaction when someone who is willing to consider a man like Spencer on his own terms and respect his humanity if nothing else, is opprobrium.

It’s the Holocaust, Stupid!

Perhaps this email excerpt from one group member – a former Michigan Supreme Court Commissioner – revealed my true transgression:

… But I am disturbed by the evolution of Henry’s political beliefs. He seems to have moved far away from his original position, in which he spoke up bravely for principles of fairness and humanity, to a position that is incomprehensible to me: in our last [gathering] he denied the Holocaust.

Stop and think about that. That is a defiance of reality.

It is not open to discussion. Period. My daughters are Jews. I will not countenance that lie. It is part of a great evil, for which Spencer is a chief spokesperson.

Unless you can tell me that what I have recounted does not fairly reflect your views (you denied the Holocaust to my face, and cited figures from the book you were reading as evidence that no systematic extermination of Jews occurred and that only a few hundred thousand died!), I think you should vote yourself off the island.

So I’m now off the island, the politically correct are fully in charge, and as one of the friends writes, the tradition can continue without having it “poison[ed]” by unpleasant topics and associations. The liberal crowd is properly challenged by Paul Eisen:

… The Holocaust resolves the great dilemma of modern Jewish life – how to be a Jew when you no longer believe in the Jewish God. Secular Jews have found many gods to replace the one they reject – Marx and Trotsky, atheism, psychoanalysis, multiculturalism, human rights, money and success, and of course, Zionism – there’s lots to choose from but only one that serves as a catch-all for everyone. And if you don’t believe it, try this – go find the most educated, secular, progressive, enlightened, perceptive, sensitive Jew you know – deny the Holocaust and then stand back.

Some notes in closing: The three WfP members who attended the Spencer talk agreed that ALL the violence they witnessed in East Lansing emanated from the antifas present and NOT from the supporters of Spencer. Anticipating violence from the antifas, Spencer’s groups elected to distribute tickets at a distant outdoor location. And all three – even those who don’t drink beer – admitted that, from what they had heard, Spencer did not appear to be the vile racist the media depict him to be.


(We averaged between 3-6 protesters March 10 – April 7; vigils were held every week)
Witness for Peace
America First Not Israel
Henry Herskovitz

Report on Beth Israel vigil 03-03-18

Posted on March 6th, 2018 at 2:47 pm by


If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this one should suffice to express the dedication of a few peace activists in Ann Arbor. Here we have Vigiler G, doing what she does best: braving the elements to take our simple messages to the motoring public. Date of photo: Feb 10, 2018:

Appropriate Venue

Fourteen years ago our staff writer penned “Why We Vigil“, and included the following:

“We hold vigils outside this synagogue because Beth Israel is a political institution as well as house of worship, using its faith to promote a nationalist political agenda”

The following photograph serves to confirm our allegation that BIC serves as a national (but not OUR national) political agenda. Yellow Israeli license plates are (sorry, Christians and Muslims) reserved for Jewish citizens of the state of Israel. And, when used as vanity plates in Ann Arbor, they serve notice that the bearer holds allegiance to a foreign state, as well as (perhaps) a sly “F*** You to protesters .

Another possible Israeli dual citizen is Neal Elyakin, also a BIC congregant. You may remember Elyakin as the Jew targeted Ali Ramlawi’s candidacy in the =last election to City Council=. Here’s a snapshot of the snappy red convertible Elyakin drives to his house of warship on nice weather days.


Witness for Peace
America First Not Israel
Henry Herskovitz
Jan. 27 4 vigilers
Feb. 3 ? vigilers
Feb. 10 4 vigilers
Feb. 17 4 vigilers
Feb. 24 4 vigilers
Mar. 3 3 vigilers

Report on Beth Israel vigil 01-20-18

Posted on January 22nd, 2018 at 10:54 am by

WfP Pitches a Shutout Four Weeks in a Row

As southeastern Michigan temperatures plunged into the low single-digits, Witness for Peace members have bundled up – as we have done for the past fifteen winters – only to observe the opposition throwing in the towel on these bitterly cold mornings. They have been no-shows for the last four weeks in front of Beth Israel Congregation.

True Christian Charity

We observed the true spirit of Christmas on Dec 23rd. Anne Cherney, our first counter protestor, brought a tin of Christmas cookies for each vigiler and made a special effort to include sugar-free cookies for Vigiler R, who battles adult-onset diabetes. Unlike her Jewish counter-protesting partners (as we detailed in our vigil report of October 7), she embraces her “enemies”, and treats them with kindness. Anne is currently battling health issues of her own and we wish her a full recovery.

Has Palestine Fallen Through the Cracks?

The Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice continues to ignore Palestinians. This purported peace group posts events and accomplishments from time to time, and the last email we received from them contains 18 items (list follows signature), but none of them deal with Palestine … or Israel … or the legitimacy of a Jewish state … or Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions … or Jewish Power. In fact, it appears the entire raison d’etre of ICPJ remains to protect Jewish Power. We former members of the then-very-active Middle East Task Force were summarily dismissed following our unanimous decision in 2006 to support BDS. To refresh our memories of the battle between ICPJ and its own METF, see Setting the Record Straight.

No Surprise

Had we done our homework on ICPJ, we might never have been duped into thinking it was a peace and justice organization when it comes to Palestine. Our top researcher combed the files at the Bentley Historical Museum and came up with the smoking gun: A letter from the “Interfaith Council for Peace”, circa 1975, which condemned UN Resolution 3379, the one that determined Zionism to be a form of racism. The letter is viewable here, and contains in part:

We must respond to the United Nation General Assembly action of passing a resolution designating “Zionism as a form of racism.” We find this resolution to be offensive, and in our view, it will contribute significantly to the maintenance of tension and the threat of war in the Middle East

Witness for Peace at City Council

This writer spoke on the topic “Holocaust Education” to the Ann Arbor City Council at their meeting on Tuesday, January 16. Concerned that the public remain unaware of the plight of two revisionists: Alison Chabloz and Monika Schaefer, Council was duly informed. Some new friends have uploaded the video to YouTube. Click here to view.


This report is dedicated to the memory of our wonderful friend and vigiler, Marcia Federbush, whose life will be celebrated on Sunday, January 28, 2:00 pm (service @ 3:00) at Nie Funeral Home, 2400 Carpenter Road, Ann Arbor. All are welcome.


Witness for Peace
America First Not Israel
Henry Herskovitz
Dec. 30 6 vigilers
Jan. 6 5 vigilers
Jan. 13 4 vigilers
Jan. 20 5 vigilers

Talk to Ann Arbor City Council January 16, 2018

Good evening,

I bring to Council’s attention the names of two women, whose stories do not appear in the Ann Arbor News, the New York Times or the Washington Post. They are Alison Chabloz and Monika Schaefer. Alison hails from Great Britain, and Monika is a Canadian citizen. They are united in the fact that both are musicians and both sing satirical verses challenging the truthfulness of Holocaust narratives. Their followings are small, but vociferous and engaged.

Monika Schaefer lives in Jasper, Alberta, and was attending the trial of lawyer Sylvia Stolz in Germany. Stolz is on trial for what the German government falsely labels “Holocaust denial”. During a recess, Monika was apprehended by German authorities and has been held in administrative detention since January 10. The Jewish advocacy group, B’Nai Brith Canada, had filed complaints against Monika with the German government, and appears to be taking credit for her detention there.

Alison Chabloz lives in Derbyshire County, England, and according to the UK Daily mail is accused of calling the gas chambers a ‘hoax’ and has been taken to court “…in what is believed to be the first private prosecution in the UK for anti-Jewish racism.” The private party refers to the Committee Against Anti-Semitism.

Ms. Chabloz hopes to turn the tables: She writes, ” Following previous treatment of me by Derbyshire Constabulary, including six arrests, unwarranted detention and seizure of my property [they are] seemingly … reluctant to carry out any proper investigation into harassment of which I am the victim”.

In regards to knowledge about the Holocaust, Americas appear to lag well behind other western nations. We are not informed about Alison or Monika, nor were we told much during Ernst Zundel’s two trials in Toronto during the 1980’s. We can only speculate as to the reasons for this apparent blackout, but with Council’s permission, I’d like to paraphrase Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller :

First, they came for America’s white nationalists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a white nationalist.

Then they came for the anti-Israel activists, and I did not speak out – Because I supported Jewish Supremacism in Palestine.

Then they came for they came for the Revisionists, and I did not speak out – Because I was ignorant of Revisionism.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Thank you

Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice list of activities.
For an expanded list of these summarized events, click here.

— ICPJ Update – January 12, 2018

  1. Chelsea Housing Diversity Forum – 1/13
  2. REJ Film Series: Great White Hoax – 1/14
  3. ICPJ Coffee Chats – 1/12 (Every Friday!)
  4. Women’s March Bus to Lansing – 1/21
  5. REJ Book Group: Tears We Cannot Stop – 1/23
  6. Time to Care Campaign Film Viewing – 1/30
  7. Sultan and the Saint Film Viewing – 1/31
  8. BIT – Ann Arbor Vineyard – 2/3
  9. ICPJ Monthly Orientations – 2/5 & 2/7
  10. Peace Team Training – 2/10
  11. LATF Dinner & a Movie: Nogales – 2/13
  12. Connect & Act – Save the Date! – 3/10
  13. Stop Spencer Town Hall – 1/13

14. IRT Faces of Faith 2018 – 1/14

MLK Day Community Events 1/15
15. UM MLK Day Symposium events – All Day
16. EMU MLK Day Celebration events – Fri/Sat/Sun
17. Chelsea March and a Movie – 5:15 PM
18. “Me, the Other” Film Premiere, MI Theater- 7 PM

Report on Beth Israel vigil 12-23-17

Posted on December 26th, 2017 at 8:30 pm by

DYR Ad Appears

The Sun Times News, a weekly print newspaper serving a half dozen communities just west of Ann Arbor, ran our ad in their Dec. 6th edition. The 5 by 5 spot ran on page 6.×5%2025%2011-29-17.pdf

A Friend Indeed

Personal friend and Executive Director of Deir Yassin Remembered Dan Mcgowan read our report “Say it ain’t so, Ali!” last month, and took it upon himself to send Mr. Ramlawi the following letter (readers can access the printed copy here):

November 20, 2017

Ali Ramlawi
c/o Jerusalem Garden
314 E. Liberty St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

That you would betray the friendship of Henry Herskovitz and publicly call him a “hater,” speaks volumes of why Palestinians remain occupied in their own land. You don’t owe the people of Ann Arbor an apology for including Henry as a supporter; you owe Henry an apology for throwing him under the bus.

Your obsequiousness reminds me of the former Prime Minister Abu Alaa, who opposed the goal of Deir Yasin Remembered to build a memorial at Deir Yassin, in sight of Yad Vashem, to the Palestinian victims massacred on April 9, 1948. His opposition to DYR arose from the deal he had made with Israel to not ask for anything behind the Green Line in exchange for Israel’s buying his cement. He told me this personally in Arafat’s home in 1996 and he threatened me if I did not comply. Like Judas, he was willing to sell his soul for a few pieces of silver.

Henry Herskovitz is one of the most compassionate, principled people you will ever meet. He has selflessly dedicated his life to the struggle for justice for Palestinian people.

And you betrayed him.

Daniel McGowan

Thanks, Dan. Good friends like you are a true find.


Henry Herskovitz

Witness for Peace
America First Not Israel

Dec. 9 – Seven vigilers
Dec. 16 – Seven vigilers
Dec. 23 – Seven vigilers
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