Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wayne State University: Collaborators in Genocide Against Palestine

Wayne State University – Collaborators in Genocide

Through the vigilant efforts of MECAWI – The Michigan Emergency Committee Against War and Injustice – it was revealed that the Michigan-Israel Business Bridge was “…offering a presentation and networking opportunity at TechTown featuring Randal Charlton, Executive Director, and Special Assistant to the President for Economic Development at Wayne State University.”

“Collaborators” too strong a word? Let’s quote from the source: “Charlton recently returned from a trip to Israel with other Wayne State colleagues during which he met with scientists, entrepreneurs and companies to explore collaborative opportunities in the areas of stem cell therapies, biobanking, and business incubation. Charlton was accompanied on the trip by Ron Perry, MIBB's Executive Director, who, together with the MIBB network, organized Charlton's business agenda.” So, while Gaza gets bombed and white phosphorus-ed into oblivion with our tax dollars and the monies raised by the Jewish Federations, these business entrepreneurs are happily collaborating their way into colonialist history.

And speaking of Jewish Federations, Ann Arbor’s own Executive Director David Shtulman (you know, the one who regards committed peace activists as “hemorrhoids”) was seen entering TechTown, perhaps an indication of how important MIBB is.

At MECAWI’s request, about a dozen protesters showed up for over an hour, marching in a true Detroit-style picket line with signs and energized chanting. Leaders from the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality were at the forefront. Four pictures of this protest are available at

We remind our readers that the MIBB acts in complete contravention to the Student Council of Wayne State University, which became the first university in the country to approve a divestment resolution against Apartheid Israel (2003).

Check your local universities for events hosting groups like MIBB, dress warmly, and hold your own protests!

More Dynamic Silencing

Our Report of 11-14-2009 described Dynamic Silencing as an attempt by the Jewish community to render silent any sustained argument that undermined the supposed credibility of Apartheid Israel. A blog entry on local Arbor Update held a spirited discussion of the “hit piece” journalism article in the Washtenaw Jewish News, which lobbed personal attacks against some vigillers. A potentially informative exchange was aborted by Matt Hampel, apparently a moderator for the blog. Too bad, because poster Sam Kirkpatrick asked “Henry, I’m curious, what exactly is the point of your protest of the temple? “ See Sam’s expanded question at entry #48 at And see the response Sam never read after signature. Peacemonger has offered the blog "Zionists Out of the Peace Movement" as a forum for continuation of the comments begun on Arbor Update.

Reminder: Attend “Jerusalem is Ours” Sunday

What: Presentation by Jamal, “Jerusalem is Ours”
Where: Community Room, Ypsilanti Public Library, 5577 Whitaker Road
When: Sunday, December 13th at 1:30 PM

Boycott Apartheid Israel

Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends

Sam, thanks for writing …

The point of our protest is more a presence than a point … a retired clergy leader said to me recently “You’ve made your point” as if the vigils should stop. The sad fact is that the ethnic cleansing of Palestine is ongoing, hence the ongoing nature of our vigils.

Within our group we have come to a consensus of what we want, although there exists a variety of opinion member-to-member. But as a group we want the synagogue to be faithful to its claimed human rights record and join Palestinian civil society in their demands to (1) restore the full civil and political equality of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel within Israel, (2) demand the prompt implementation of the rights of Palestinian refugees of 1947-8 and 1967 to return to their homes and properties in Israel and Palestine as stipulated in UN resolution 194, and (3) the prompt end of Israeli occupation and colonization of all lands seized by Israel in 1967

For the record, I have never demanded anything, yet alone to speak from the pulpit in the synagogue, in spite of witnessing Zionist speakers from the same pulpit. In the summer of ’03 I had shown photos from my trip to Palestine to all three Rabbis in town, and asked that I be able to address their congregation at a time of their choosing. All three denied me any access to their congregation, Rabbi Dobrusin going as far as to say he needed to “protect” his congregation. At the time I wasn’t savvy enough to ask him “From what?”

In essence, we are asking Beth Israel to show the general public that they are indeed a place of worship, and not a center of nationalist support for the state of Israel. They could do this by severing their ties with the Jewish Federation, which fund raises for Israel, or making statements showing their rejection of Jewish supremacism in Palestine. Aisner writes that, for me, Beth Israel need only remove the foreign flag flying from the same pulpit I’m accused of wanting to make speeches from, and I’ll personally quit vigilling there.

1 comment:

nancy princeton said...

Aparthied should go away completely in the 21st century.