Zionism Loses a Round in Local Night Club

Three members of Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends attended a musical performance at a local night club last week. Two were dressed in typical Palestinian solidarity garb: one wore a Free Palestine hat with a Justice shirt (Arabic); the other stylishly wore a black and white keffiyeh. The third was adorned with Handala pendants. Our waiter - observant of our dress? - gushed excitement about this being his last work night, for next week he was off to Israel to teach at a Jews-only school for the summer. The memories of last winter's Hanukkah Massacre and the death of friend Bassem Abu Rahme were instantly triggered by this young man's arrogance or ignorance. Rather than confront, the three of us elected to move to a table attended by another wait staff. That seemed to be the least provocative way to handle the situation.

To our surprise, we were soon visited by the club's manager, who presented us with a bill, and asked us to finish our drinks and leave. It seems the waiter complained that he "felt uncomfortable" with our departure, and asked his boss to do something about it. Vigiller M asked to speak to the manager in a quieter area, and explained our situation: If the manager were a gay rights supporter, how would he feel about tossing a few extra bucks towards his waiter who planned on starting a new job with the Christian Coalition, working against equal pay for gay people? Would his discomfort compare with ours as Palestinian solidarity activists?

The manager at first sided with the waiter, but after thinking over M's arguments, he returned and explained that he considered we had acted properly and that the waiter was being sent home early. He then offered a free round to those of us who stood our ground. Those free cocktails tasted good as we savored our tiny victory. But it was a victory nonetheless!

If Shlomo is Right, "Anti-Semite" is a Clever Ruse

Many Arab friends have more than once alleged that Judaism is a much more recent religion than we Jews were led to believe. In a 2008 article entitled "Shattering a 'national mythology'" by Ofri Ilani in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, Professor Shlomo Sand "... attempts to prove that the Jews now living in Israel and other places in the world are not at all descendants of the ancient people who inhabited the Kingdom of Judea during the First and Second Temple period."

He claims no Jewish exile, no Jewish Diaspora, and a very questionable claim to an "ancient homeland" for the Jews. From the article:
[According to Sand, the description of the Jews as a wandering and self-isolating nation of exiles, "who wandered across seas and continents, reached the ends of the earth and finally, with the advent of Zionism, made a U-turn and returned en masse to their orphaned homeland," is nothing but "national mythology." Like other national movements in Europe, which sought out a splendid Golden Age, through which they invented a heroic past - for example, classical Greece or the Teutonic tribes - to prove they have existed since the beginnings of history, "so, too, the first buds of Jewish nationalism blossomed in the direction of the strong light that has its source in the mythical Kingdom of David."]
Readers are invited to see the full article at: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/966952.html and to consider the cleverness in inventing the word Anti-Semite, which means of course "Anti-Jewish", not "Anti-Arab" as the term implies. This writer knows no other external term that has been created to imply a negative assertion about an ethnic group: anti-German, anti-Irish, anti-Greek are just that. There's no special word invented to convey those meanings. But anti-Jewish assertions has its own term: if you dislike Jews (or if you are merely one whom Jews dislike) then you are not merely anti-Jewish; you are an "Anti-Semite".

In the light of these allegations (some new), this term seems to have been carefully selected to imply the false (according to Sand) connection of modern day Jews to the Semitic lands of the Middle East. This ruse, then, invokes a connection every time the "anti-Semitic" label is used. Not only is the main shield of the state of Israel being invoked to attack any critic ("anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism"), but the implied false claim to the land is being reiterated. Pretty clever!

Peace Group Co-sponsors JCC Protest

The Michigan Peace Network informs us that the Middle East Task Force of Ann Arbor has voted to co-sponsor our protest next Sunday, May 17th. As reported last week, MidEast Just Peace and the Newaygo County People for Peace have lined up as supporters. Thanks to all, and to future endorsers/supporters. Please join us in rejecting a "celebration" of the Zionist project in Palestine.
What: Protest Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide. Protest "Celebrate [Apartheid] Israel" Day at the Jewish Community Center
When: Sunday, May 17, 2009
Time: 10:30 AM - 4:00 PM (Event runs from 11am - 3pm)
Where: 2939 Birch Hollow Drive (Corner of Pebble Creek Dr.)

Seven Vigillers
A "Two-State Solution" is Apartheid
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends