Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Jews vs. Jews at Hillers

19. July 2004 • Ari Paul
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The Ann Arbor News covers the boycott of Hillers by the Jewish Witnesses for Peace. The JWP and other groups are calling a boycott of the high-end, pro-union grocery store because it donates a portion of its profits to the state of Israel. In response, pro-Israel groups have urged their members to shop there.

Members of local Jewish congregations and their supporters answered picketers Sunday by buying oranges, matzos, cheeses and other groceries at Hiller’s Market.

Shoppers streamed into the Arborland store, and traffic backed up on Washtenaw Avenue after more than 2,000 e-mails went out from the Jewish Federation of Washtenaw County last week, urging members to support Hiller’s by shopping Sunday.

They shopped as about a dozen members of Jewish Witnesses for Peace waved signs on the sidewalk next to Arborland saying such things as, “Hiller’s supports Israeli violence,” and “Hiller’s supports illegal settlements.”

  1. well – if they are going to do this, they shoudl boycot every single major union inlcuding UAW, SEIU, AFSCME, and UNITE because they ALL invest heavily in Israel bonds which fund teh state of Isreal, adn associated policies.

    and as they of course oppose US aid to Israel – they should follow the Ralph Waldo Emerson model – stop paying taxes and go to jail.

    then again – its easier to simply yell and call poeple names, isn’t it.
       —David Livshiz    Jul. 20 '04 - 02:04PM    #
  2. you mean thourou, i think, but the sentiment remains…

    “Emerson: What are you doing in there?
    Thourou: What you doing OUT THERE?”
    -when rwe bailed hdt for not paying taxes due to america’s war policies…

    -a transedentalist ari p.
       —Ari P.    Jul. 20 '04 - 02:24PM    #
  3. ari -you’re absolutely right. my mistake. i plead a rather long morning.
       —David Livshiz    Jul. 20 '04 - 02:42PM    #
  4. You mean “Thoreau” I think, but the sentiment remains, even if you moralists have higher things in mind than spelling the names of your sources correctly. You are quite right about the unions; the Yemeni auto workers tried years ago to get the UAW out of Israel bonds. We’ll leave the unions to you experts, but practice your spelling so they understand you.
       —Harry Clark    Jul. 20 '04 - 03:14PM    #
  5. livshiz and i are too busy pondering the profundaties of life to pay attention to the mundane task of spell checking…

    hukt on fonix werkt fur me,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Jul. 20 '04 - 03:38PM    #
  6. For the last 35 years or so the IRS simply garnishes what it is owed from paychecks, bank accounts, etc. One doesn’t go to jail.

    It is sufficient to be prepared to go to jail if necessary, not to voluntarily go.

    I’d rather stay out of jail and use my freedom of speech, while it lasts, to try to get miserable, racist, pro-Israeli policies changed.
       —Larry Hochman    Jul. 20 '04 - 04:03PM    #
  7. Right, I’m sure Jim Hiller influences Israeli policy SO much . . .

    If you’re so passionate about changing policies that are bad, by all means, protest. But, protest those who have already stated an opinion ON THOSE POLICIES, or control those policies.

    Hiller’s Market does not give the money he gets from Israeli products to settlements and such. The money goes to education projects, hospitals, etc. (Look it up in the Detroit Jewish News, it may have been last week’s issue or the week before). Hardly supportive of the occupation if you ask me.

    It’s hard to really believe the stated motives of those who protest when they protest at synagogues and Hillel and grocery stores, and not in front of embassies, consulates, or offices of organizations who have at least taken a stance on the issues that they disagree with (even if they can’t control those issues).

    But, hey, that’s my opinion, you can disagree all you want.

    P.S. Guys, please check your spelling when you post. I know you’re joking around, but when people have discussions on here, we want to be able to read what you post, even if it doesn’t mean anything.
       —Jared Goldberg    Jul. 20 '04 - 07:02PM    #
  8. Why exactly are the unions supporting Israel, anyway? Seems like an odd connection. How many autoworkers are even Jewish, for instance?
       —Brandon    Jul. 20 '04 - 11:03PM    #
  9. Mr. Hochman – under US tax code you can opt to have your employer not withdraw money from your taxes, and instead calculate them yourself. The way to do this is to maximize the number of deductions with the employer.

    Now, Mr Hochman – if you want to change Israel’s policies – you should go protest Israel (or someone who can influence policy) – not individuals that give money to a state (for specific reasons no less). and while doing this, just to show you’re intilectually honest – and to gain some credebility – why don’t you point out that killing kids at pizza parlors, when you specifically target them – is a crime against humanity, and a violation of all sorts of laws.

    I.e. protesting the consulate is more effective then protesting Madona (who does in fact donate a LOT of money to Israel – it helps her learn Caballah).

    If however, this isn’t about changing policy, but about pretending to be moral and just want to bitch and moan – then I really do expect that you will encourage your cohorts to maximize deductinos, stop paying taxes, and face a federal judge.

    Brandon – the reason is that in the past there were very close connections between the Israeli union – Histradut and the AFL/CIO and other Unions here. In fact, back in teh 30 or 40s when there was that major strike at one of the car plants (ford i think ) histradut helped expand the unions strike fund. Also, its an economic decision – because the more the unions invest in long term bonds, the higher the pay off on previous bonds. The bonds offered to Unions are very generous – and i don’t see unions stoping now – if only because it would be too expensive.
       —David LIvshiz    Jul. 21 '04 - 09:13AM    #
  10. hey, livshiz, i find your explantion about the link between israel unions and the afl faciniating…is there any follow up reading on israeli labor history i can catch up on???

    -a bookish ari p.
       —Ari P.    Jul. 21 '04 - 01:53PM    #
  11. “protesting the consulate is more effective then protesting Madona (who does in fact donate a LOT of money to Israel – it helps her learn Caballah).” -livshiz

    i believe you mean ‘ester’, livshiz…

    like a stergin,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Jul. 21 '04 - 02:03PM    #
  12. I do hope Eugene, Steve, and Eric will allow a Public Hearing on the City’s Palestine Resolution, proposed unanimously by the City Human Rights Commission.

    (Depending on who gets elected).

    The Ann Arbor Human Rights Commission’s Palestine resolution urges a cut-off of military aid to Israel.

    It’s a very mild resolution, when you consider the divestment bandwagon rolling through the churches this summer.

    The divestment bandwagon is coming to Ann Arbor, and human rights advocates are right to welcome it:

    “Methodist Conference urged to follow Anglican lead on Palestine”

    June 27, 2005

    On the Web at:

    “War on Want”

    “The Methodist Church should follow the example of the Anglican Consultative Council and vote to divest from companies supporting Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine, according to a motion to be debated by its 2005 Conference in Torquay this week.

    “Memorial No 28 (submitted by York and Hull District Synod) calls for the Methodist Church of Great Britain to undertake a review of its investments ‘with a view to divesting from any corporations or activities which support the illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip’.

    “The motion notes the World Council of Churches endorsement of last year’s divestment decision by the Presbyterian Church of the USA, and draws attention to continuing Israeli actions in defiance of international law such as the ongoing construction of the Separation Wall and the persistent expansion of settlements on Palestinian land.

    “The response currently proposed by the conference’s Memorials Committee, however, recommends that the motion be referred to the Methodist Church’s Joint Advisory Committee for Ethical Investment, with a view to reporting back to the 2006 Conference instead of taking a decision this year.

    “John Hilary, Director of Campaigns and Policy at War on Want, said:

    ” ‘Israel continues to defy international law with its actions in Palestine, and each new day of the occupation sees more Palestinians condemned to poverty and despair. We call on the Methodist Church to follow last week’s decision by the Anglican Consultative Council and vote now to divest from companies supporting the military occupation of Palestine. Actions not words are needed if we wish to see justice for the Palestinian people.’

    “Notes to Editors:

    “1) The full text of Memorial 28 to the Methodist Conference (and proposed response) is available at

    “2) The Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) unanimously passed a resolution on 22 June 2005 commending its member churches to consider divestment from companies supporting the occupation of Palestine; see

    “3) War on Want is holding a fringe meeting at the Church of England’s 2005 General Synod in York, at 6.45pm on Friday 8 July 2005, to discuss the Church’s response to last week’s ACC resolution. The fringe will take place in Goodricke College Room 20 (G/020), University of York.

    “4) For more details or further comment, contact War on Want campaigns officer Nick Dearden on 07932 335464 or John Hilary on 07879 641848.”

    “Church Israel boycott”

    Written by 7DAYS |
    Sunday, 26 June 2005

    On the Web at:

    “Anglican church leaders have voted to call on their member churches to reconsider their investments in Israel, British newspapers reported yesterday.

    “The Anglican Consultative Council, including the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, voted unanimously for the motion.The resolution calls on the church to pressure firms involved in Israel’s activities in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

    ” ‘Moves towards disinvestment represent a flawed and disastrous course,’ said a member of British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks’ cabinet. ‘They will do nothing to advance the twin causes of security for Israel and statehood for the Palestinians,’ The Times quoted him as saying.

    “The resolution praised the American Episcopal Church for vowing to “take appropriate action where it finds that its corporate investments support the occupation of Palestinian lands.”


    “Detroit City Council issues Corrie resolution”

    By Danielle Smith
    —- The Arab American News —-

    On the Web at:

    “DETROIT – In a significant first for the family of slain peace activist Rachel Corrie, theCity of Detroit invited a delegation currently touring the country with them to address a session of the Council.

    “Cindy and Craig Corrie, along with the owners of the home she died trying to protect, are on a 23 city tour to talk about their daughter, Rachel, and the plight of the Palestinian people. Rachel Corrie, 23, was killed by an Israeli bulldozer while trying to protect the home of the Nasrallah family from being demolished more than two years ago in the Gaza Strip. Almost a year after Rachel’s death the home was leveled by the Israeli Defense Forces.

    “On June 21st, with Council President Maryann Mahaffey and members Joanne Watson and Alonzo Bates in attendance, Rachel and Craig Corrie, and Khalid and Samah Nasrallah told the story of the home demolitions going on in Palestine.

    “Cindy Corrie ended by saying ‘It was a dream of Rachel’s to bring the Palestinian message directly to Americans rather than (them hearing it) through the voice of well-meaning internationals.’

    “On Monday, June 27th, the Detroit City Council will vote on a resolution that will honor Rachel Corrie and call on the U.S. Congress to work against home demolitions in the Occupied Terriories.

    “In a bid to raise money to rebuild the bulldozed home of the Nasrallahs, local activists from The Palestine Office and The Michigan Peace Team sponsored a fundraising event at St. Mary’s in Livonia. Almost 400 people gathered to listen and contribute.

    “Khaled Nasrallah began by saying, ‘Any part of Palestine is Palestine, even though we have no home, we are just happy to be there.’

    “Khaled described the horrifying years of Israeli aggression. He said ‘You just can’t imagine the bullets, they are not normal bullets. The Israelis would fire them at our house and we would hide in the bathroom because it was in the middle of the house and the bullets could go through three walls. No one was safe. Our house was endangered and no one would visit us.’

    “Later he said ‘When Rachel came, she taught me humanity is (more important than) nationality and race.’ The Nasrallahs had never been to the United States and they said they had met so many Americans who were good people and wanted to help the situation. Khaled said, “We are going back to Palestine with a positive message from America.”

    “Livonia was the tour’s ninth stop on the trip. The donors at St. Mary’s were quite generous. Prior to the stop the tour had raised about $19,000. After Livonia they were up to $32,000. It will take $48,000 to rebuild the Nasrallah home.

    “The Rebuilding Alliance, a grassroots, human rights action group, lends support to Palestinian families as they rebuild their homes and schools during continuing occupation and siege. Through rebuilding, they engage the local Palestinian community, sympathetic Israelis, and people around the world in a hands-on process that builds relationships and reinforces the alliances needed to sustain conscience, encouragement, legal protection, and policy change. They view this model for reconstruction and the safeguarding of fair housing rights as a cornerstone for community-driven peacemaking in conflict areas.

    “Human Rights Watch found the Israeli Defence Forces have made 16,000 people homeless in Gaza over the past four years, regardless of whether their homes posed a genuine military threat (see Oct 2004 report, Raising Rafah: Mass Home Demolitions in the Gaza Strip). Though the Israeli Civil Authority and the Jerusalem Municipality continue to issue demolition orders in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Israel suspended demolitions in Gaza in February 2005. In addition, Israel announced an end to its policy of punitive demolitions—but this type of demolition was only 10% of the total number of homes destroyed.

    “In observations confirmed by B’Tselem (an Israeli human rights organization) and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the pattern of destruction strongly suggests that Israeli forces demolished homes wholesale, regardless of whether they posed a specific threat, in violation of international law. In most of the cases Human Rights Watch found the destruction was carried out in the absence of military necessity.

    “In June 2003, three nongovernmental organizations – the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), the Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights, and Just Peace Technologies – formed the Global Campaign to Rebuild Palestinian Homes. They became the fiscal sponsor.

    “In October, 2003 the group re- registered The Rebuilding Alliance as a nonprofit organization in the U.S.A., convening a board of directors and completing a strategic planning process.

    “The Rebuilding Alliance is facilitating the rebuilding in Rachel’s name. To help, go to

    “M. Kay Siblani contributed to this report.”


    “Israeli ministry condemns Anglican business divestment decision as ‘one-sided’”

    Jun 26, 2005, 14:25 GMT

    On the Web at:

    Excerpt from report by Hilary Leila Krieger in English

    by Israeli newspaper “The Jerusalem Post” website on 26 June

    “The Foreign Ministry on Saturday [25 June] condemned an Anglican resolution urging its member churches to put pressure on companies linked to Israel’s activity in the territories, including possibly divesting their money from such businesses.

    “The Anglican Consultative Council in Nottingham, England, voted unanimously Friday for a resolution that suggested the 38 national churches examine their investments to make sure companies in which they have holdings don’t support either the occupation or Palestinian violence against innocent Israelis.

    “Foreign Ministry spokesmen Mark Regev said Israel was troubled by the resolution.

    ” ‘It is an unfortunate resolution. It is a one-sided resolution. It ignores the realities on the ground,’ said Regev, adding, ‘It will not in any way help Palestinians or Israelis or help support reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians….’

    Source: The Jerusalem Post website, in English 26 Jun 05


    United Press International

    “Anglicans vote on disinvestment”

    Jun. 25, 2005 at 8:59PM

    On the Web at:

    “Israel’s embassy in London reacted angrily to an Anglican Communion vote favoring disinvestment in companies involved in the occupation of the West Bank.

    “If Anglicans are to be relevant to the peace process they should choose to engage rather than boycott one side,” the embassy said in a statement reported by the BBC.

    “The Anglican consultative council approved the disinvestment resolution unanimously Friday. The measure had the backing of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and echoes one adopted by the Episcopal Church in the United States.

    “The previous archbishop and England’s chief rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, lobbied against the proposal.

    “The resolution is not binding on any of the national churches that make up the Anglican communion.

    “The BBC reports that the Church of England owns millions of dollars worth of stock in Caterpillar, which makes bulldozers used to level Palestinian houses.”


    Report from Protest against “Celebrate Israel” in Boston:

    “Michigan group joins Israel Day rally in Boston”

    By Henry Herskovitz
    —- The Arab American News —-

    On the Web at:

    ” ‘Boston Celebrates Israel’ was the title for events planned at City Hall Plaza in downtown Boston Sunday June 19th. News of this event reached the Ann Arbor group, Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends, which has staged weekly silent vigils at the Conservative Beth Israel Congregation for almost 22 months. One of our newer members hails from Boston, and is a member of the very active New England Committee to Defend Palestine. She suggested the idea of a ‘Road Trip’, and that’s all it took to find 8 local activists piling into a rented Ford Econoline to make the 2-day, 1600-mile trek to the East Coast. We left right after our vigil on Saturday, June 18.

    “Members of NECDP were warm and welcoming to our contingent, and after a 5-hour not-so-silent protest, treated their Michigan brothers and sisters to a fine meal.

    “City Hall Plaza is surrounded by tall buildings and has a bowl shaped outdoor theater, which contained about 1,000 supporters of Israel’s racist state policies, and its determination to drive Palestinians out of their homes and land: in 1948, 1967, and continuing through today.

    “The protesters numbered approximately 80, including 19 Orthodox Rabbis from Neturei Karta International (Brooklyn, NY) – Jews United Against Zionism. They ‘pray for the speedy dismantlement of the State of Israel’.

    “The protest was extremely energetic and well organized by NECDP. The bullhorns, though no match for the professional sound system, stage and rock bands provided by the sponsors of the event, still echoed out our messages off the building walls. ‘Israel: SHUT IT DOWN’, ‘Apartheid: SHUT IT DOWN’, ‘Zionism: SHUT IT DOWN’, rang out time and again.

    “The experience was quite different from the silence we hold at Beth Israel, and it was refreshing to participate in such a lively demonstration.

    “The organizers of this rally took several pages from Israel’s ‘need for security’ propaganda, as they procured over 125 city and private policemen and women, to control 80 peaceful, unarmed and nonviolent protesters. The police were armed with pistols, rifles, dogs, horses, and long wooden billy clubs. They denied close access to the bowl of attendees jeopardizing our rights as protesters. Why have freedom of speech, when the police ensure that the voices of the people are in a place where they are unheard by the power we are attempting to address?

    “Most of the attendees, however, passed by the ranks of the protesters, and some actually entered into conversation. Most did not engage us, however, perhaps recognizing that the time clock of Zionism is running out, and that world opinion is shifting towards its elimination.

    “Back into the van and leaving the outskirts of Boston at 6pm Sunday (June 19), the ‘Taxi Squad’ of Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends arrived back in Ann Arbor at 7AM, driving straight through the night. We were exhausted, but smiling all the way back to our homes, knowing we had made connections to fine people in NECDP, and the fact that we once again raised the voice of the Palestinians, which has been silenced by a world more interested in Michael Jackson.

    “The ‘Taxi Squad’ is willing to do it again.

    ‘Have Vigil, Will Travel.’

       —Blaine. (Palestine)    Jun. 27 '05 - 12:10PM    #