A Nerve Struck

Last week we reported on two Ann Arbor News letters which promoted this weekend's protest and boycott against the Israeli-funded Batsheva Dance Company*. This week four letters appeared in the same newspaper from Apartheid Israel apologists, two written by past and present Director's of the Jewish Federation of Greater Ann Arbor. Of these four, we present an analysis of three by PeaceMonger:

One of the complaints that opponents of the Palestinian boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel frequently make is: "Boycotts aren't effective." Ruth R. Gretzinger's "why bother?" response (Ann Arbor News 2/12/09) to Henry Herskovitz's letter (AAN 2/3/09) is a fine example of this class of fallacious reasoning. Herskovitz wrote in favor of boycotts against Israel, generally, and in favor of boycotting the Batsheva Dance Company (BDC), in particular. The giveaway, of course, is that Gretzinger does "bother" because her fear is precisely that boycotts against Israel will be effective.

So, with such an inauspicious start what is Gretzinger to do in the rest of her letter? Why, personally attack Herskovitz and then spread falsehoods, naturally. First, she accuses Herskovitz of being a "well-known rabble-rouser." In reality, Gretzinger has just paid Herskovitz a high compliment, for rousing the "rabble" from their Zionist-induced complicity, ignorance, indifference, and defeatism is precisely what Henry seeks to do.

As George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) says in It's a Wonderful Life to the villainous Henry Potter (Lionel Barrymore), a slum-lord and the richest man in Bedford Falls: "Just remember, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you're talking about, they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community." And so it is that Gretzinger and her fellow Zionists want the "rabble" to remain asleep-- to keep quietly working and letting Washington DC send their tax money to Israel at the tune of $6.8 million per day and to keep sending their children to die on foreign battlefields for the sake of Israel.

Next up, Gretzinger tells her readers that BDC members "are dancers, not soldiers" when, in fact, some of the dancers are soldiers. In an October 2006, Dance Magazine interview BDC Director Ohad Naharin said: "It seems to me that in Israel more of the young dancers are likely to have had military experience than in the U.S. In Israel when people really want to dance, they will find a military service that will allow them to dance. We have two soldiers in our junior company." Naharin is himself an Israeli Occupation Forces veteran.

Then Gretzinger strikes up the "art, not politics" tune. David S. Bach (AAN 2/12/09) joins in with: "To suggest a boycott of this dance troupe for the political actions of their government is to suggest that the world should have boycotted all things American for the last eight years." In response, it will suffice to quote Rabbi Tovah Shalom's online comments to Bach's letter:
It would have been a good thing to "have boycotted all things American for the last eight years." In fact, it's not a bad idea now and some people are doing just that. The fact is that almost all Americans are, to varying degrees, responsible for the actions of the US government. An effective boycott campaign might have motivated Americans to prevent the illegal invasion of Iraq and it might help end the illegal ongoing occupation of that country, not to mention Afghanistan.

An effective boycott of the US might restrain Obama, who wants increase the number of US combat troops. In his first week in office he authorized illegal missile strikes on Pakistan--a sovereign nation and, ostensibly, a US ally, at that--that killed two dozen people.
As for the insipid claim that "Through the arts and through cultural exchange come understanding.": Well, Hitler and Stalin would have loved that one. Only someone incredibly ignorant of history could make such a claim. Ever heard of the Reichskulturkammer, Triumph of the Will or Arno Breker? How about the Proletkult, Socialist Realism, Bulgakov, or Solzhenitsyn? Every modern, repressive regime has been keenly aware of the importance of culture and promoted some works and artists while suppressing others. And the approved art has never found a shortage of "little Eichmanns," to quote John Zerzan, and dupes to lap it up. The monstrous Jewish state is no different and, thus, we have the Batsheva Dance Company and its fans.
Attorney and former city council member Joan H. Lowenstein, Zionist shill and past president of the Jewish Federation of Washtenaw County, weighs in (AAN 2/13/09) with some classic guilt-by-association. Curiously, she starts out with something that, while perhaps an overstatement, is demonstrably true. An unsourced quote she attributes to "Iranian cleric Hojjatoleslam Ali Maboudi" says: "The Zionists brought Obama to power to help America pass through its current challenges."

Zionists certainly did play a major role in getting Barack Obama elected. As Shmuel Rosner, Chief U.S. Correspondent for Ha'aretz wrote in a blog post entitled "Obama supports Israel. Period.":
It is no secret that Jewish money plays a big role in the Democratic Party. "They don't have the number [of voters], but have the means to get the voters," a prominent Democratic operative told me last week. That's why I told the told the NY Sun that "I don't think his real motive is to win votes. It's, of course, Jewish money."
Not coincidentally, after the major party nominees were selected, a spokesman for the most visible component of the Israel Lobby gloated: "AIPAC is pleased that both parties have selected four pro-Israel candidates."

After being elected, the "first Jewish president" wasted no time in appointing Rahm Israel Emanuel as his Chief of Staff, the highest-ranking member of the Executive Office of the President of the United States. Emanuel once served the Israeli Occupation Forces as a civilian volunteer and as Ali Abunimah notes, "Emanuel is one of the most hard-line supporters of Israel in the Congress and has been for many years." No wonder Obama backed Israel's Hanukkah Massacre in late December and January that killed over 1,300 Palestinians and left over 5,300 injured.

In the rest of her letter, Lowenstein lumps Herskovitz with Bishop Richard Williamson and Hizbullah Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem. As Lowenstein makes clear, these men have violated one or more of the nine commandments of the "Holocaust Religion" identified by Israeli journalist Shraga Elam, though the offending Herskovitz quote is only: "Join the worldwide boycott against Israel."

Lowenstein helpfully instructs us that "It is not paranoid or alarmist to say that there is a resurgence of anti-Semitism - and of acceptance of anti-Semitism - in the world today" thereby suggesting that, yes, it is paranoid and alarmist. At times like these, the words of Dr. Norman G. Finkelstein are apt. In Beyond Chutzpah (p. 85) he writes:
Wrapping themselves in the mantle of The Holocaust, these Jewish elites pretend and, in their own solipsistic universe, perhaps imagine themselves to be victims, dismissing any and all criticism as manifestations of "anti-Semitism." And, from this lethal brew of formidable power, chauvinistic arrogance, feigned (or imagined) victimhood, and Holocaust-immunity to criticism has sprung a terrifying recklessness and ruthlessness on the part of American Jewish elites. Alongside Israel, they are the main fomenters of anti-Semitism in the world today.
In The Holocaust Industry, (p. 3) Finkelstein argues:
"The Holocaust" is an ideological representation of the Nazi holocaust. Like most ideologies, it bears a connection, if tenuous, with reality. The Holocaust is not an arbitrary but rather an internally coherent construct. Its central dogmas sustain significant political and class interests. Indeed, The Holocaust has proven to be an indispensable ideological weapon. Through its deployment, one of the world's most formidable military powers, with a horrendous human rights record, has cast itself as a "victim" state, and the most successful ethnic group in the United States has likewise acquired victim status. Considerable benefits accrue to this specious victimhood--in particular, immunity to criticism, however justified.
Zeitouna Ladies Call the Cops

These Reports, and http://zionistsout.blogspot.com/ have warned repeatedly of the harm done to justice in Palestine by such Zionist organizations like Zeitouna, a blatantly political group in spite of their claims to the contrary. Certainly, if six Jewish and six Arab women want to have coffee in the privacy of their homes we have no problem with that. The problem is that this Zionist-led group creates and disseminates a professionally made movie and broadcasts their message of dialogue, when in fact dialogue is not appropriate under the circumstances.

So when two members of JWPF handed out flyers outside the Ann Arbor District Library explaining that dialogue is inappropriate "when the conversation is co-opted by persons in power" and "when an issue of justice is concerned", four uniformed members of the Ann Arbor Police Department were dispatched to the scene. They were joined by two security guards from the Library, who made sure the two leafletters were kept at bay, and on public property. Readers are invited to read the flyer "When Dialogue is NOT our Hope" by Joseph Phelps.

A Small Point Raised at [University of] Michigan Student Assembly

This writer utilized the "Community Concerns" segment of Tuesday's MSA meeting to address Jewish students and inform them that for the most part their University studies rely on, and build upon, their past education. So that college physics courses rely on the student's high school physics and build from there, same for math, history, etc.

The only subject where this cumulative process does not work, however, is a Jewish students' ability to understand Palestine, because their former "education" on this topic has been biased for them - intentionally or not - by parents, family, Hebrew school mentors, Rabbis, etc. Jewish students were encouraged to first, have the courage to set aside all previous "knowledge" on the subject, to restrain from kneejerk reactions to criticism of Zionism, and learn from scratch, using their own investigative methods.

We at Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends hope that MSA will reject suggestions to "modify" of this portion of MSA meetings. See the story in the following day's Michigan Daily.

Play to Win

Five dollars is hereby offered for the FIRST email respondent with the correct answer to the following question: Only three weeks after the completion of Apartheid Israel's Hanukkah Massacre, Ann Arbor's Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice met, to discuss - one would hope - issues of peace and justice... so we ask: how many times was the word "Israel" mentioned during the entire two-hour meeting of these peace activists?

Eight Vigillers, temperatures warming...
* See You at the Dance:
        Saturday, Feb. 14 7:30 PM
        Sunday, Feb. 15 3:30 PM
        Power Center for the Performing Arts
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends