Ann Arbor Area Community News
Tensions are rising again on the pages of the Ann Arbor News over the protests against the Israeli Government by the Jewish Witnesses for Peace.
Who are these extremists anyway? This is the same group whose members publicly called the Ann Arbor City Council the “Ku Klux Klan Council,” the president of the Jewish community a “filthy swine,” and other Jewish leaders “purveyors of slime (with) money and power.” Though they claim that they act out of concern for the Jewish community, they advertise their repugnant actions on Web sites like aljazeera.info and electronicintifada.net. Their leader, Henry Herskovitz, mourned the imprisonment of Sami al-Arian, a supporter of Islamic Jihad who called Jews “monkeys and pigs.” Even their name is misleading – many of the Jewish Witnesses for Peace are, in fact, not Jewish.
The Sabbath vigils conducted at Beth Israel Congregation by Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends have been criticized for treating religious worship as political activity. However, synagogues may also serve as Jewish national as well as religious institutions, because modern Israel is central to Jewish religious belief.
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