Brian’s Column: Vigil for Peace and Liberty

As goeth Palestine, goeth the world
By Brian R. Wright

In keeping with a new spirit of, well, peace and liberty—and a PMA (positive mental attitude)—I am covering an as yet little known public demonstration, every Saturday in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on behalf of Palestinian freedom.

The demonstrators tell us: “Far too few Americans are aware that a self-appointed syndicate effected by a handful of Jewish-nationalist ideologues (Zionists) connived with US and UK global statists to seize the Middle East land of Palestine—via terror, mass murder, and expulsion—resulting in the ethnic cleansing of >750,000 residents. It was called the Nakba, officially launched and consummated in 1948 with the founding of the ‘Jewish’ apartheid state known as Israel. But the Nakba and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians continue to this day. As the vast majority of Americans continue to HAVE NO EFFIN’ IDEA, thanks to Jewish Power’s iron fist on the mainstream media.

Here’s a realistic Twitter feed of the Israeli harsh realm.

I’m covering this story because: As a middle-class kid growing up in Kansas in the 1950s and 60s, I went to a Protestant (Lutheran) church and sang hymns, and so on. As important, I was taught in school and the media that the US government was benign, just, and trustworthy. Also that six million Jews were killed by Hitler and the Germans during “The ‘Good’ War.” Like my peers, I just took the official stories on faith. The Walter Cronkites on TV sealed the general feeling—with an aura of deep sympathy for the Jewish people—as axiomatic truth… though later, qua engineer, I knew the six million number had to have some amount of tolerance +/-. [Turns out quite large -.]

Nobody in authority, including my parents, ever relayed information like the following quotation (and its systematic implementation) from the ‘George Washington of Israel:’

“We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population.”
— David Ben Gurion, to his general staff in 1948

Which doesn’t sound good. To my tiny mind at the time, that would have seemed to be the same kind of thing the Germans did to the Jews. Only the Jews were doing it to ‘the Arabs,’ whoever they were. In high school I read Ayn Rand and became quite a fan of hers. She opined that like the American Indians, the Arabs were “barbarian savages.” Sadly, I fell into line with that official story until I started reading more widely and, in fact, got to know well and ride with Russell Means of the American Indian Movement.

“Wait a minute, have we been lied to?”

So fast forward 40-50 years, as I begin to realize that a lot of what I was told by the authorities, especially about Israel and Zionism, just didn’t add up. I started reading solid and verifiable material on those subjects, rather than the official stuff. Indeed, I became a bona fide Independent Truther in all things—only in the past five years or so on the reality of the so-called Jewish State. [If you want to read one book on Israel truth to get you started, please check out Alison Weir’s Against our Better Judgment, pictured at right.]

Naively I expected the vast majority of my regular peers from all walks of life would treat my newfound discoveries—that virtually ALL the official stories (from 9/11, GMOs, toxic atmospheric spraying, smart meters, 3G-5G, the income tax, compulsory schools, vaccines, the ‘Holocaust,’ mass-casualty incidents, etc.) were Phony Baloney—with joy and pats on the back. Quite the contrary, I became more and more someone to avoid, a “confused pariah,” definitely heading for the O-List… i.e. ostracized. What for? I’m a good guy who ate Wonderbread sandwiches as a child.

“Had I stumbled into some bad lighting,” as Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) in the movie, Clueless, pondered? No, not at all. But I had definitely run into the so-called Barrier Cloud (BC) of social acceptability, aka CSAKO (community standards for approved knowledge and opinion), these days being effectively forced upon everyone by totalitarian social media and the cyber magnates. [Note: I am working on a spiritual-epistemological transcendence of this pervasive BC mindset: the FLOW Fellowship.]

Last Great Act of Defiance…

… or first-sprouted seed of truth that the Buddha claimed “like the Sun and the Moon, cannot be long hidden” to sweep the world clean of Collective-Brain Syndrome, the imminent-viral Zionist version in particular?

The Witness for Peace (WFP) Vigil, after 16+ years of Saturdays, still has the potential to blossom, for sure. Some background on the vigil and its origins: The current leader/founder of WTP is a former member of the Beth Israel Congregation itself, his name is Henry Herskovitz. Way back in 2002, Henry went to Palestine under auspices of the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice and discovered that the Zionist state of Israel was committing horrific indignities and atrocities daily on the Palestinians. From a widely discussed Ann Arbor Observer article in 2006:

He wasn’t always such a firebrand. A retired engineer, Herskovitz was inspired to activism by a 2002 trip to the Israeli-occupied West Bank. “I saw things that rocked my world,” he says, his voice lowered to a whisper. “There are soldiers everywhere. There are sniper towers everywhere. Walking down the street, you are never out of sight of a gun. And there are over seven hundred checkpoints that Israel has set up, restricting travel, making it impossible to… to live a life.

Back in Ann Arbor, Herskovitz— who is Jewish—tried to convince local rabbis to let him speak to their congregations about what he’d seen. After being rebuffed by them all, he decided to organize the protests.

“We’re exposing skeletons in their closet that they’d rather not have exposed,” he declares. “[The Jewish community] doesn’t want this issue discussed at all, because they realize they are on a slippery slope. As soon as they admit one thing, they’ll slide right down to the truth: that Israel was created on the death and destruction of the Palestinians.” His voice gets louder. “Worldwide Jewry are doing their best to silence this issue. That’s why I decided to start the vigils. We’re making noise, and noise defeats silence.”

Henry was joined by another Jewish peace and justice advocate from the Ann Arbor Society of Friends, Sol Metz. The lead BIC rabbi in 2007, Robert Dobrusin wrote an article in the Ann Arbor Observer condemning the vigil as expressing sentiments that are “false and hateful,” while counseling a “nonconfrontational” approach. IOW, ignore them (and the systematic Israeli crimes they point to) and maybe they’ll go away. In reply to Rabbi Dobrusin, Sol Metz wrote a letter to the editor appearing in the Observer as follows:

Beth Israel protesters have moral right

Some of you who have observed our weekly peaceful and silent vigils at Beth Israel Congregation appear to be caught between two claims: We vigil-ers certainly feel that, as a center for nationalist support for the state of Israel, Beth Israel is an appropriate venue for our vigil in support of Palestinians who are denied their rights by that same state. However, Rabbi Robert Dobrusin of Beth Israel claims in an Other Voices article (Jan. 14, 2007) that Beth Israel is strictly a “house of worship.”

For observers who are slightly discomforted by our presence, we offer an insight. We note that Beth Israel displays a foreign flag (Israeli) from the altar in their sanctuary, and that they recite a “Prayer for the State of Israel” every Sabbath. We feel these two actions by Beth Israel demonstrate that, in fact, a political agenda is part of the service at Beth Israel.

Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends will end the vigils if Beth Israel satisfies our three previously stated requests or if equivalent goals are achieved through negotiations with Beth Israel: committing to work for the equal rights for the Palestinian citizens of Israel; committing to work for the end of the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem; and committing to work for the right of Palestinians to return to the homes from which they were forcibly removed in what was to become Israel.

Sol Metz, Ann Arbor

And there you have the essence of things: how the protest started and how it can end (when Beth Israel acknowledges the rights of the Palestinians, including the end of the Zionist occupation and right of return). The WFP principals agree with Palestinian exile poet Nahida Izzat’s outline of the only principled solution. A is A and facts are facts.

So if you’re not doing anything Saturday morning…

As a citizen gonzo-journalist in the tradition of Hunter Thompson, I readily confirm that the WFP vigils ‘restoreth one’s soul.’ Whether Gentile or Jew of Conscience, one finds the root and center of maximum inner peace by taking such effective action for simple humanity. Apparently, Mr. Herskovitz, after a decade and a half of Saturday vigils, has become an Ann Arbor celebrity of sorts, as the demonstration challenges the preconceptions that Israel is pro-American or humanist in any way. Here are just a few unapproved sources that the vigil consensus feels every American should have on his bookshelf:

From my perspective, as a simple middle-class WASP (white Anglo-Saxon Protestant) kid from Kansas, Americans need to do the right thing—even if it means taking on a sacred cow or two. My dear old mom taught me to know what’s right and my dear old dad inspired me to stand up for it. It’s been 16 years and the acorn of the WFP vigil has yet to grow into a mighty oak of truth and justice. But insofar as fundamental human LIBERTY is concerned it’s the only game in town.

Sense of the vigil-ers: Like Field of Dreams, “if we build it they will come.”

I think I’ll be ridin’ wit ’em (at least now and then when the weather isn’t too awful—a bit of a sunshine patriot am I, but I’ll be there tomorrow, anyway). To my friends in the Liberty Movement, just remember: Our founders prevailed thru Valley Forge and the prison death-barges of English tyranny to secure our right to speak and assemble. Rights are like bodies: if you don’t exercise ’em, they turn into so many facsimiles of Jabba the Hutt.

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