Linh Dinh, after a recent visit to Ann Arbor writes:
College towns proliferate in approved political statements, so in Ann Arbor, I saw a “Black Lives Matter” banner at a church, “Black Lives Matter” signs outside homes, a rainbow flag in front of a church with “God is still speaking” and a “WITH ISRAEL WE STAND” sign at a liquor store, etc. A house displayed a “PEACE” rainbow flag and a bed sheet painted with “WE SUPPORT OUR MUSLIM NEIGHBORS. Nowhere did I see “STOP BOMBING MUSLIMS,” “STOP SUPPORTING THE TERROR STATE OF ISRAEL” or “STOP SLANDERING AND PROVOKING RUSSIA.” At his Deir Yassin Remembered website, lifelong Ann Arbor resident Henry Herskovitz explains:
Jackie Robinson and Jewish Power
Emotions naturally flare at watching the PBS special shown on MLK day of the career of baseball icon Jackie Robinson. Who could not grow emotional when reminded that Jackie and wife Rachel were bumped twice from the planes carrying them to a spring training camp in Florida? What outrage is felt by viewers recognizing that this discrimination they experienced came merely because of the color of their skin and nothing else!
But what about Muhammed Ali, my friend and sandwich shop operator in the Balata refugee camp near Nablus, Palestine? Muhammed grew up in Haifa, graduated high school there and earned a technical degree before being bumped, not just from an airplane, but from his home town. Yes, he cannot return to Haifa and swim in the Mediterranean the way his family did before him. He cannot even travel to the Haram esh-Sharif/Noble Sanctuary to practice his religion. Like Jackie Robinson, Muhammed is the wrong “color”: neither ethnic Jew, secular Jew, nor religious Jew.
Isn’t there a story here as well, PBS? Perhaps even more compelling than Robinson’s, because Muhammed has yet to break his “color” barrier. Hello, Hollywood, isn’t his story worthy—at least—of a two-hour documentary?
Born Jewish, Herskovitz soured on his tribe after a trip to Israel. He saw firsthand the gross brutality of the illegally founded terror state. Back in Ann Arbor, Herskovitz wanted to give a presentation to his synagogue, Beth Israel, but the rabbi nixed the idea. Outraged, Herskovitz has staged an anti-Israel protest outside Beth Israel each Saturday for 13+ years. Though Herskovitz loves to ride his motorcycle long distance, he always come back in time to stand with his signs. A small band join him.
Last year, I visited Herskovitz at home and saw anti-Israel messages everywhere, including on the salt shaker, the fridge, the car, the garage and even the fireplace’s ember screen. To some neighbors’ dismay, Herskovitz paid to have “STOP US AID TO ISRAEL” and “LIBERATE PALESTINE / END ISRAEL” incised into the sidewalk outside his house.
The strategy behind this billboard’s statement, ‘America First, Not Israel’, is to drive a wedge between those who feel American interests are not served by fighting wars for Israel, and the Israel-firsters in this country who manipulate our leaders into the false premise that Israel is the ally of the United States.
Charges of anti-semitism quickly flooded in, and the message was taken down, so it was put up at another, more out of the way spot, until this second billboard company was also pressured to remove it. Henry:
Like Michigan rust on vehicles, Jewish Power remains relentless at getting its way. Just when Witness for Peace was to announce the installation of a local billboard—sponsored by sister organization Deir Yassin Remembered and carrying our message “America First, Not Israel”—we get “the call”. The billboard […] was taken down by Adams Outdoor Advertising one week after installation, effectively terminating a three-month contract.
That’s how long it took for Jewish Power to pressure Adams’ executives into seeing things their way. The call came from General Manager Mike Cannon, who admitted to receiving phone calls asking that the billboard be taken down. Mike claimed he was not the one who made the decision, and provided the phone number of Vice President of Human Resources Brian Grant to field my questions.
Brian developed a mantra for the conversation we shared: “the decision to remove the billboard was a collective decision and was made because the message did not meet Adams’ company standards. We removed the billboard and refunded your money. And that’s all I can say.” Brian fell back on this mantra at least a half dozen times during our 20-minute discussion. And reminded me that, since a clause in the contract allowed Adams to terminate at any time, there was no “breach of contract”.
Q: What were the company standards?
A: [Brian was not going to go into that.]
Q: How do you square the fact that the message was initially approved by Adams?
A: It should not have been approved; due diligence was not applied.
Q: Who were the people complaining about the billboard?
A: [Would not answer that.]
Q: What were the organizations calling for the billboard to be taken down?
A: [See above.]
Q: Would the decision to pull the billboard have been the same had the message been simply America First?
A: Well, you’re asking a hypothetical.
Q: You mean Adams would NOT run a billboard saying America First?
A: [No answer.]
When Russia Today reported on this billboard controversy, the first commenter said, “Calling Americans to put interest of America ahead of Isreal is branded as anti semitic? That goes to prove how much the zionist wants the americans to be brain dead!”
Brainwashed, Americans also cringe at “Jewish power,” but it’s OK so declare and celebrate “black power,” “Latino power,” “gay power” or “women’s power,” etc. Aren’t AIPAC, the flushing of the U.S.S. Liberty down the memory hole, the abject kowtowing of DC politicians to Tel Aviv and our endless war against Israel’s enemy all examples of Jewish power?
“Hate” is a term used by my opponents, not by me. “Hate speech” is used by the Hasbara folks as an epithet thrown at their perceived enemies. Like “Holocaust Denier,” the users of these terms do not define them, but merely slime those whose voices they want to silence. I’m a “hater” because Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center says I am. Could Mr. Potok be a child molester because I make the claim?
I try not to play defense. My experience in these matters tells me that once I start down the slippery slope of “denial,” or defending my position, this tactic merely fuels opponents’ appetite for further questions. It answers nothing. The best defense is a good offense.
Even if I were to admit a hatred of an ethnic/religious group, an interesting question arises. Assume this group was Irish Protestants, and I said I hated them. Who would care? But admitting to hating Jews is another story altogether. Perhaps the phrase “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize” makes sense when used in this context.
And the question becomes rather ludicrous when you consider that I love my sister, her children and grandchildren; ditto for my Virginia cousins, their children and grandchildren. I’m even scheduled to attend a Bat Mitzvah of one of these kids this summer. If you were to tell this group I’m a Jew hater, you would not be believed.
So no, Herskovitz has no beef with ordinary Jews, or he would have to disown his entire family, but haven’t Jewish policy makers, media masters, opinion shapers and bankers used their disproportionate sway over the makeup and direction of this country to harm not just their Muslim enemies, but ordinary Americans?
In putting up the billboard, “AMERICA FIRST / NOT ISRAEL,” Herskovitz merely wants our country to serve its own citizens, and not be distorted, corrupted, discredited and destroyed by a foreign agenda, and I, as an American, can’t help but concur.