Federal lawsuit filed against Pro-Palestinian human rights vigil
When Henry Herskovitz was prohibited from giving a talk to his synagogue about his trip to the Palestinian Territories, he began a weekly vigil that has lasted 16 years. Meanwhile, the synagogue hosts Israeli soldiers and takes children on propaganda trips to Israel…
Now Herskovitz is being sued, and the SPLC accuses him of ‘Holocaust denial’…
A Michigan synagogue member has filed a federal lawsuit against “Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends,” a small human rights group that has been holding a pro-Palestinian vigil outside a synagogue in Ann Arbor, Michigan, every week for 16 years.
The vigils are led by Henry Herskovitz
, who began the vigils after traveling to the Palestinian Occupied Territories in 2002. Upon his return he tried to give a presentation about his trip to the synagogue he attended, Beth Israel Congregation, but was prohibited from doing this.
Eventually, barred from speaking inside the temple, Herskovitz decided to hold a vigil outside. He has been joined in his vigil every Saturday morning since by a fluctuating group of diverse human rights defenders, both Jewish and non-Jewish. The participants are peaceful and do not obstruct people from entering the synagogue. It appears that many, perhaps most of the participants are over 70.
The 85-page lawsuit was filed by Beth Israel member Marvin Gerber
, who is seeking an injunction to stop the protesters or to restrict their actions. He is also seeking punitive and compensatory damages for the “emotional distress” he says the vigils have caused him
He is demanding a jury trial.
Herskovitz replies that he would “compare Gerber’s ‘alleged suffering’ with ‘the actual suffering’ of Palestinians gunned down by the Israeli military for protesting.”
Israeli forces have killed almost 10,000 Palestinian men, women, and children since 2000, ...Palestinians in Gaza began a weekly protest in March of 2018, and Israeli soldiers have shot numerous participants, including journalists, medics, and children.
Herskovitz says that he does not “deny the Holocaust.”
In fact, he feels that Nazi violence should be thoroughly investigated. He believes that just as our understanding of other periods in history has been expanded as new information comes to light or new analyses are presented, new information about the Holocaust should similarly be explored, including evidence suggesting that some aspects may have been misreported.
Herskovitz emphasizes that he simply “opposes mendacity” and supports “open debate” on the Holocaust
as on all subjects (video below). He is outraged that historians, scientists and others are being imprisoned in Europe because their research appears to contradict some components of the received Holocaust narrative
— particularly since some items have already proved fallacious.
Most of all, Herskovitz feels that the extreme emphasis on the Holocaust
, which US forces helped end almost three-quarters of a century ago, is a key factor in preventing Americans today from opposing Israel’s 70+ years of violence against Palestinians.
He believes that the constant references to the Holocaust
and the frequent Hollywood movies about it constitute “the ultimate gate keeper that prevents Palestine’s oppressor from being exposed and brought to justice.”
Herskovitz writes: “When Hollywood – an effective emotional manipulation tool – produces over 300 films on both Holocaust fact and fiction, a toxic supremacism is formed.
Perhaps Golda Meir said it best: ‘After the Holocaust, Jews are allowed to do anything.’
Using military snipers to kill over 130 Palestinian Gandhi-styled protesters, and taking advantage of a compliant American press to suppress these murders from US citizens is a good example of Jews being allowed to do simply anything they want.”
Herskovitz writes: “If it were any other people trampling the lives and rights of Palestinians, Americans would have no problem going after the perpetrators of these crimes and bringing justice to Palestine.”
Prior to filing the lawsuit, Gerber sent a certified letter to Herskovitz about the sign he found “particularly offensive and insulting.” The sign said: ‘End the Palestinian Holocaust’
Gerber demanded that the group stop using the sign and publish “a complete and unequivocal retraction of the statement.”
Yet, legal analysts have found that Israeli actions against the Palestinians fit the legal definition of genocide, and diverse writers have used the phrase “Palestinian holocaust
” and made similar comparisons to the Holocaust
Historian Salman Abu-Sitta in his book, Palestine right of return, Sacred, Legal, and Possible
“The Palestinian Holocaust is unsurpassed in history. For a country to be occupied, emptied of its people, its physical and cultural landmarks obliterated, its destruction hailed as a miraculous act of God, all done according to a premeditated plan, meticulously executed, internationally supported, and still maintained today…”
Palestinian Christian priest and author Father Elias Chacour has commented: “If the Jewish Holocaust lasted for four years —then thank God it ended after four years. My Palestinian Holocaust has lasted more than 50 years and I see no end to it.”
Read the whole article and see the attached videos here