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Posted on Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 1:30 p.m.

Protesters ask new Ann Arbor City Council member to spearhead resolution to 'boycott Israel'

By Ryan J. Stanton


Chuck Warpehoski is director of the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice. He's also a brand-new member of the Ann Arbor City Council. At his first meeting Monday night, a group of anti-Israel protesters called on Warpehoski to spearhead getting a council resolution passed to "boycott Israel" based on a similar resolution ICPJ already passed.

Ryan J. Stanton |

A small group of anti-Israel protesters put Chuck Warpehoski on the spot Monday night during his first meeting as a member of the Ann Arbor City Council.

Referencing his background as director of the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice, they called on him to use his new position on council to push for an official city boycott of Israel. They called on him specifically because his nonprofit group already passed a similar resolution.

Speaking during the public comment period at the start of the meeting were frequent protesters Blaine Coleman, Mozhgan Savabieasfahani and Henry Herskovitz.


Blaine Coleman calls on the Ann Arbor City Council to pass a resolution boycotting Israel at Monday night's meeting.

Ryan J. Stanton |

They've been appearing before council for years, sometimes carrying large "Boycott Israel" signs that show what appears to be an Israeli military soldier pointing a gun at a Palestinian family. They want the City Council to vote for an Ann Arbor boycott of all products imported from Israel.

"I'm here because I'm hopeful that Mr. Chuck Warpehoski will spearhead a citywide boycott of Israel and stop arming the racist state of Israel, so that it is no longer able to slaughter children," Savabieasfahani said, telling council members she's upset that children are being bombed by the Israeli military and "many thousands of people are mourning the death of their children."

"I'm here because I'm disgusted by this genocide," she said. "I'm here because I know little children who are being blown up into pieces as we speak."

Coleman used more graphic imagery, calling Israel a "Nazi state."

"Tonight as we meet here, Israel is bludgeoning Gaza with unimaginable numbers of weaponry," he said. "One of the most powerful military machines on earth, Israel, the fourth biggest military machine on earth, is bludgeoning a tiny, helpless strip of land called the Gaza strip where people are packed like sardines."

Coleman referenced a resolution adopted by Warpehoski's group in May 2003 that called for "arms divestment and cessation of U.S. military aid to Israel." In the resolution, ICPJ pledged to work with various groups — including the city of Ann Arbor and University of Michigan — to use their influence to encourage the U.S. government to suspend its military aid and arms sales to Israel and to divest from all companies that manufacture or sell arms and other military hardware to Israel.

"Again, I call on the City Council to pass a resolution to boycott the apartheid state of Israel," Coleman said Monday night, suggesting Warpehoski should put the ICPJ resolution into action. "As I've said before, the trillions of dollars the United States has spent on killing Muslims, on killing Arabs, should be spent instead on rebuilding Detroit and rebuilding the inner cities of the United States."

Warpehoski and other city officials did not respond to the protesters during the meeting, but they shared their thoughts with during interviews later in the night.

Warpehoski said he doesn't think it's the best use of the City Council's time for the anti-Israel protesters to show up the way they did Monday night, but he said that's their right.

"This is a group that loves to draw attention to themselves and they do it wherever they can. I'm not surprised they're here," he said.

He added, "There is no resolution speaking to their concern on the table, and I have not heard anybody say there is going to be one anytime soon."

Warpehoski said it's true that ICPJ did pass a resolution taking a stand against military spending and military investment in Israel.

"But we're a peace group," he said. "We don't think the U.S. should be giving military arms to any country, so yes, we have concerns about military spending with Israel."

He added, "We also have done extensive lobbying against U.S. military funding of Colombia, which has an atrocious human rights record, and U.S. military funding in Mexico, which has made the drug war even more brutal in that country. We're a peace group. We don't like military funding."


Mozhgan Savabieasfahani also used the podium Monday night to make a case for boycotting Israel. "I'm here because I'm responsible to my humanity and I'm even responsible to your humanity," she said. "I am responsible to speak to you and ask you to do what's right."

Ryan J. Stanton |

Warpehoski said one of the campaign promises he made is that he will not be voting for any resolution that's critical of Israel while harassment of the Beth Israel Congregation in Ann Arbor continues.

He's referring to the synagogue on Washtenaw Avenue that is the site of regular anti-Israel protests on Saturday mornings.

"Hopefully soon that quits," Warpehoski said.

Mayor John Hieftje and Tom Crawford, the city's chief financial officer, said they're not aware of any instances in which the city's dollars might be directly or indirectly supporting the Israeli military, nor did the protesters identify any.

The city has more than $220 million in investments, mostly in U.S. government securities. Crawford said the city's investments are made with returns and risk in mind, but not any social criteria.

Below are two videos of the anti-Israel protesters in action. The first video is from a demonstration Tuesday at U-M. The second is from an appearance before the City Council in 2009.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 8:54 p.m.

Does it strike anyone else as the least bit odd that Mr. Coleman and Ms.Savabieasfahani aren't at all bothered by the over 100,000 Syrians (and counting) including many thousands of children--like those "allegedly" gassed by Asad's troops just a day or two ago--slaughtered or the atrocities and repression committed by her native Iran against its own citizens, or the nearly daily mass killings in Iraq, etc? Why are they so obsessed with their hatred for Israel, and why are they so absolutely silent about the mass killings committed by Arabs and Moslems against even their own coreligionists and fellow citizens? Could it be that Israel is a _Jewish_ state? That being the case, just like "Jewish" Witnesses for "Peace" and Friends targeting a Jewish house of worship on its day of rest, isn't that antisemitism, hate speech, and racism? And, BTW, the quotation marks around the first and fourth words in the name of the synagogue-stalking band are accurate as most of the participants are not Jewish and the group's principal ideological goal is the extermination of Israel--Mr. Herskovitz makes that patentlyclear in this thread and everywhere else he takes or is given a forum--so saying that JWFP&F is for peace is as disingenuous as it is cynical.


Fri, Jan 11, 2013 : 8:34 p.m.

Palis are lead by Hamas who are on the US list of terror organizations. They don't recognize Israel's right to exist, continue to fire rockets into Israel civilian centers and sned suicide bombers. Israel is our only ally in the middle east and only democracy. I think i will continue to support Israel.


Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 10:23 p.m.

Chuck and Henry need to come together. They have both been respected by the Palestinian-American community in Metro Detroit.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 7:46 p.m.

Does this even mean anything? And Henry Herskovitz receives respect and succor from Holocaust deniers and other fanatics. Just read his blogs to see how worthy of respect he is!


Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 3:27 a.m.

This generation of the reporters has abandoned truth in favor of promoting agendas that are inconstant with any value associated with a "free press". With very few exceptions, this corrupt press is unified by leftist socialist drivel that dictates what they will report and what will be covered up and hidden from the American people. It is up to us to decide their place in our future. In this case, that corruption is demonstrated by the refusal to discuss the FACT that hamas terrorists not only target Israeli civilians – hence earning their terrorist designation – but hide behind women and children. They fire rockets from schools, shopping centers and other populated areas then carry the bodies of children through the streets as though they are not guilty of their murder. They hide weapons in houses, apartment buildings, medical centers – where ever – as part of their PR campaign to portray Israeli military strikes as unreasonable. Like Benghazi, our corrupt, government loving, Israel hating press has no regard for truth - they only know their agenda, but we will decide how to punish them for their lies as we did when the 135 year old Ann Arbor News.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 7:52 p.m.

Roadman, What about telling us that the eponymous author of the Goldsteone Report himself repudiated it when confronted with how unbalanced it was? Also, if you're going to cite it, how come you're silent about how it also condemned Hamas for its many atrocities? Why do you always seem to present only one side of the story? Need i ask?


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 7:49 p.m.

Hey Shepard, please make a better, more balanced case for Israel. You say a lot of things that are indeed true about Hamas targeting civilians in its relentless war to wipe out Israel, but your stereotypical characterization of the US government and press as "leftist socialist" is absurd. BTW, I am a proud leftist supporter of Israel as are Alan Dershowitz and Spain's ultra-leftist Pilar Rahola.


Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 4:25 p.m.

"But just to be clear, you are referencing the UN that spent 11 years convincing the world that there were WMD's in Iraq – specifically a nuclear weapons program." Just to be clear, in 2002 UNSCOM chief inspector Scott Ritter declared that 98% of Iraq's WMDs had been destroyed. Just to be clear, the UN was not concerned about the Iraqi program by 2003. Just to be clear, American intelligence agencies didn't think there was a WMD program in Iraq. Just to be clear, the Bush administration cooked the books where WMD intel was concerned, and enlisted in its efforts the "liberal" media, especially the NYT Just to be clear, what this is in reply to is one of Shep's many low calorie fact-free posts.


Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 4:05 p.m.

With regard to 2008-9 operation, the UN fools play games, pretending they don't understand war. Why do you think the operation was necessary to begin with? The very people firing rockets at civilians are later crying because their own civilians died as a result. The Palestinians have either been made mad by their hatred or hoping for sympathy by waging the stupidest, least effective but deadliest and most self destructive PR campaign in history. Regardless of the care Israel or any force employs to minimize civilian casualties, some casualties will happen – but far fewer then the more effective "kill them all" approach advocated by terrorists like hamas. The UN has made itself irrelevant. Bottom line is that you can google up all the bs you like, but if you really want to see peace in this part of the world, you should work with the antagonist and instruct hamas how to quickly apologize and embrace Israel rather then waste more decades and generations on their mission of endless, impotent, petulant hatred. They lost - get over it.


Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 3:58 p.m.

The fact that America is moving towards a post-reporter era beyond our corrupt, leftist socialist government aligned national media has nothing to do with the corrupt, incompetent, foolish, irrational, anti-American UN or any embarrassing "reports" it cooks up. But just to be clear, you are referencing the UN that spent 11 years convincing the world that there were WMD's in Iraq – specifically a nuclear weapons program? The same UN that appointed the terrorist buffoons in Iran key negotiators for a "global arms treaty"? LOL The UN who's "human controlled global weather" fraud featured the disgrace and resignation of their so called "climate chief", Yvo de Boer after the discovery of systematic fraud in their so called "research"? ....yea, that "UN".


Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 6:31 a.m.

What about the U.N. Goldstone Commision Report that found credible proof of war crimes and crimes against humanity against Israel in Gaza in Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009? What about Amnesty International and Jewish civil rights organizations within Israel such as B'tselem and Machsom Watch that have documented human rights abuses by Israel against Arabs? What about the Meretz political party in Israel opposing the airstrikes in Gaza? Did the "leftist press" give a slanted account of the Deir Yassin Massacre?


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 9:29 p.m.

I sympathise with the Arab Palestinian residents of Gaza. But from what I've been able to see, those oppressing them are the governments of the Arab countries of the middle east. Israel has tried to help them, only to be answered by violence aimed at Israeli civilians....since before 1949.

Mitch Smith

Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 7:08 p.m.

I support Israel to defend themselves from Iranian missiles. I deplore the lynchings the residents of Gaza showed over the last couple days. I deplore Turkey calling Israel a terrorist state.


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 3:22 p.m.

Hamas needs to be shown that bullies cannot hide......I support Israel and their fight. The Hamas area should nothing more than a pile rocks when Israel is finished with them. American soldiers should be standing side by side helping to bring Hamas to their knees and end the terror that have brought to the world.


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 8:24 p.m.

The same thing was said about Vietnam and the Viet Cong insurgency. President Shimon Peres correctly opined that if Hamas could be destroyed it would have been done long ago. Hamas has the support of the Gazan people and Hamas leaders themselves have been targeted by Al-Qaeda due to being overly conciliatory to Israel. Israel's Meretz political party, who hold a number of Knesset seats, opposed the recent IDF action in Gaza. Bibi successfully negotiated with Hamas over the Gilad Shalit matter and now will enter into talks with Hamas over the IDF blockade of Gaza pursuant to truce terms. Let us see more negotiations rather than violence.


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 3:03 p.m.

Why not boycott the administration, Obama just funded Israel $200 million this week for more military weapons defense? How much did Ann Arbor fund besides our tax dollars.


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 2:36 p.m.

This puzzles me. Every time I encounter one of these "Stop Israel from murdering innocent Palestinians" threads, it gets pointed out that Hamas IS targeting civilians, while Israel is trying hard to AVOID harming civilians (which is impossible due to Hamas' human-shield practices). And the anti-Israel contingent routinely ignores these comments. Are they being blatantly disingenuous? Or is there another factor that I'm missing?


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 3:33 p.m.

They are being blatantly ingenious !


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 1:55 p.m.

The city of Ann Arbor needs to be diligent in taking care of the City of Ann Arbor.


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 1:54 p.m.

What is it about Ann Arbor that we attract these kooks? Do these people pester the Saline, Ypsilanti, Chelsea city councils on foreign policy matters? Bottom line: Let Obama handle this one and just focus on managing the city.


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 1:20 p.m.

I support Israel's right to exist.

Bill Wilson

Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 2:23 a.m.

Do you have the right to exist? And if the answer is yes, if Britain decided that I should live in the house you own, should I be allowed to declare that you're a terrorist, and take the house without paying for it?

Dog Guy

Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 5:06 a.m.

Who is Ann Arbor's current Secretary of State?


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 12:20 p.m.

The Glorious People's Democratic Republic of Ann Arbor does not have a "Secretary of State." The title is Foreign Minister.


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 3:28 a.m.

Boycott Israel for defending itself. Only in Ann Arbor.

Basic Bob

Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 4:32 p.m.

We stand up for all bullies!

Neal Elyakin

Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 3:22 a.m.

I appreciate that Mr Warpehoski indicated that he promised not to vote for any resolution critical of Israel so long as local synagogue pickets continue. He also said he will not vote for a resolution critical of Israel that does not recognize the complexity of the situation. Mr Warpehoski appears to have made a committment to our local issues, his day job notwithstanding. As a council member, he is staking his claim to be on the side of local issues that affect our city. Let's support him in his efforts.


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 3:08 p.m.

I can't understand why his vote on a matter that might come before council would be affected one way or another by what a group of protestors may be doing. Why would that matter unless he is confused about his different roles.


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 4:52 a.m.

Time will tell.


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 1:05 a.m.

Perhaps the pro boycott forces can explain why the Arab states fund weapons supply to Gaza rather than supporting economic development

The Black Stallion3

Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 1:18 a.m.

Sounds like the blockade is working !!!


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 1:10 a.m.

Because there is an Israeli naval blockade that prevents the entry of items such as glass, cement and other materials that can be used for reconstruction. The world community donated $4.4 billion to rebuild Gaza following the last IDF invasion in 2008-2009 but the blockade prevented entry into Gaza of much of these materials.

Henry Herskovitz

Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 12:10 a.m.

Thanks to Mr. Stanton for covering this story and for including the videos in his column. I sent the first video to my friend in Gaza, with whom I was Skyping yesterday and was able to hear her residential neighborhood being bombed. After view the video she emailed: Thank you Henry for sharing. Thank you all for supporting us. I hope next time we will see UofM students Standing with you. I love you guys and cannot express How thankful I am for having people like you Advocate for us. A million thanks for your support and efforts. Have you seen what K wrote on my facebook wall? Check it out! Be well Ps. M seems so furious, I miss and love Her so much I am so proud of all of you especially you Hugs from Gaza


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 8:05 p.m.

Gaza was bombed three days ago? By whom? What am I missing? Oh, and I never see Mr. Herskovitz getting worked up by all those rockets fired from Gaza into Israel. Also, where is his concern over the actual missiles just fired from Lebanon into Northern Israel? PS: How do we know he's also not fabricating his "friend's" e-mail? He's invented a lot of other things such as why he sees it necessary to continue to harass, stalk, and besiege the worshipers of Beth Israel with his so-called "peaceful" "vigils" and calling his anti-Israel synagogue stalkers witnesses for "peace." When he clearly states his goal is the eradication of Israel where about one-third of the Jews in the world reside, which is a call for genocide, how is that witnessing for peace?


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 5:13 p.m.

how about you going over and try to solve the problems yourself?. maybe stay for a long time because that is what it will take.

The Black Stallion3

Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 1:03 a.m.

OMG........what next...?


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 12:50 a.m.

Mr H Please spread your falsehoods somewhere else!


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 12:31 a.m.

Well ain't that sweet! Lets start publishing letters from Israel describing all the attacks against children in Israel!


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 12:07 a.m.

It's called "City Council" and as a taxpayer I resent these folks wasting my tax dollars and Councils' time on matters that are not city business. These folks, in my opinion, do not have a right to bring this subject matter before the city council. This is a United Nations matter. City Council needs to start screening citizen speakers and enact a resolution to discuss poertinent city business.


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 3:20 p.m.



Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 11:05 p.m.

I support Israel. I support its right to exist as a state. I support its right to defend her borders.


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 10:32 p.m.

Blaine Coleman and Henry Herskovitz: Ann Arbor's version of the hatefully-misdirected Westboro Baptist Church. Directing their message at the wrong people, all for publicity.


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 10:27 p.m.

Ann Arbor is not going to solve the world's problems, and shouldn't be wasting time trying to do so. Now about that public art....

Billy Bob Schwartz

Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 1:51 a.m.

Brad...seems pretty concrete to me.


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 1:10 a.m.

I was wondering just how much sidewalk $15K would buy myself. What exactly is there about sidewalk that currently needs studying anyway?


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 12:28 a.m.

We can't even build a sidewalk without a $15K study!


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 10:53 p.m.

go cathy you are 100% correct.

The Black Stallion3

Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 9:27 p.m.

If they call for a boycott of Israel then we will start a boycott of "Ann Arbor"

The Black Stallion3

Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 1:30 a.m.

I don't think you would understand......Just watch !!!!


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 1:08 a.m.

Do tell us how exactly your "Ann Arbor" boycott will play out.

mike gatti

Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 9:27 p.m.

Could they ask him to restore leave pick up too.


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 9:18 p.m.

OK so nail me. come on people whom was the first to start it. not israel. i am sure we would and have done the same. attack us and we will attack you. enjoy your first term chuck it will i hope be your last. people worry about ann arbor not the world. we have enough going on with our fighting men and women. support them vs trying to solve the world problems.

Bill Wilson

Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 2:19 a.m.

Golfer, Israel promised to pay for the land they took, and made that promise in 1947. Where's the money? Now, you can say that part of the population of Palestine chose to go to war against Israel and label them as terrorists, but there were nearly one million people who did not choose war, and were forced to flee, in face of the war. Why haven't these near one million refugees been paid for their land? Could it be because Israel pretends that the entire population of Palestinians are terrorists because they never had any intention of paying for the land, or allowing the 'right of return.'?

Billy Bob Schwartz

Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 1:49 a.m.

Well, I guess maybe it was the British, et al. Once you give a country to two different peoples, and once they fight over it and one group flees, then what is to happen? I understand the thinking behind a Jewish State after The War. I just don't see how it could end well.

David Shtulman

Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 9:02 p.m.

You go Chuck!


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 8:53 p.m.

Perhaps City Council should pass a resolution to boycott "the aggressors" and leave it up to each individual to decide for themselves who that is.


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 8:37 p.m.

Welcome to the new antisemitism! One can no longer attack Jews or say antisemitic remarks directed at individuals, but Israel is seen as the "Big Jew" whom it's ok to attack and feel morally justified. Not admitting Israel's right to exist is simply antisemitism pure and simple. There have been atrocities on both sides, and I'm not giving Israel an unqualified thumbs up, but I find such one sided criticism to be reprehensible and a waste of time for the Council.


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 8:07 p.m.

Stop the BS. Israel has a right to exist and to protect its people form attacks (which target CIVILIANS). What a complete waste of time for an already useless city council.

P Beal

Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 8:05 p.m.

I have little sympathy for either the Palestinian or the Israeli ostensible policies: they are flawed, incomplete, and bigoted. And although I agree with him that much of what we have spent recently in the middle east has served miniscule purpose except to the negative , in another area somewhat of my expertise, I find the comments of the speaker in the 8/17/2009 video (Coleman, again?) about the re-vitalization of American inner cities hopelessly shallow, un-researched and misguided. The problem(s) are far more complex than throwing any amount of money at them could solve…


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 7:53 p.m.

Ironically, it was Chuck Warpehoski who organized the protest in 2009 against the Israeli military incursion into Gaza and labeled counter-demonstrators with the American Movement for Israel as as well as Herskovitz' group as"unreasonable". Mr. Warpehoski made news as he garnered 175 demonstrators to protest in extremely adverse weather during Operation Cast Lead. A United Nations investigatory commission later found credible proof of war crimes and crimes against humanity against Gazans committed by Israel Defense Forces during that incursion. Councilperson Warpehoski needs to be a local voice on City Council on this issue. He cannot remain silent. His status as a City Council member gives him added weight and local visibility.


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 5:15 p.m.

Chuck Warpehoski will be a one term person unless he gets with ann arbor not the world.


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 12:26 a.m.

Councilperson Warpehoski needs to be a local voice on City Council for LOCAL issues ONLY! To suggest otherwise could ONLY be done by someone that does NOT understand the roll of local government!


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : midnight

Give me a break Roadman, I resent my tax dollars being wasted by your international biases. It's called "city council" take your arguement to the United Nations and send an email to Hamas to start wearing uniforms and quit firing missles from residential areas. We need to have a city resolution to "mind our own business".

John of Saline

Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 7:38 p.m.

Reading more: they're such morons. There are a couple million people in Gaza. The low death count shows how CAREFUL Israel is. That's despite their enemy's policy of hiding weapons and soldiers in civilian areas. Saying they're just bombing Gaza indiscriminately is willfully ignorant, and based on the fact that this group only gets exercised when Jews are shooting weapons, likely anti-Semitic.

John of Saline

Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 7:35 p.m.

"Genocide." Only one side in the conflict has ever routinely called for the extermination of the other, Ms. Savabieasfahani. And it isn't the Israelis, who'd rather be left alone.


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 3:19 p.m.

Germany revisited? Did you know that Mein Kempf is still boycotted in Germany? Interesting thing if we should go back and reread about mass genocide.


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 7:32 p.m.

Mayor John Hieftje and Tom Crawford, the city's chief financial officer, said they're not aware of any instances in which the city's dollars might be directly or indirectly supporting the Israeli military, nor did the protesters identify any. Are they sure that they are not supporting Palestine? City council should NOT give this group anymore time and ear than ANY group that comes before them!

Vivienne Armentrout

Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 7:19 p.m.

I'm sorry to see this happen. During the primary campaign, I stated that this (Israeli-Palestinian conflict) or any other subject of national or international politics and policy should not be a subject for the council agenda and I still believe that to be so. I believe that it was CM Briere who wisely instructed me that there can be a local hook to some such issues. She said that the council voted to disinvest in South Africa during the apartheid era, as many other local governments did. In that case, it made sense for the council to take action. But most times, it takes up Council time and energy for a symbolic action that does nothing to advance the interests of the citizens of Ann Arbor and at least in this case is divisive by the very nature of the issue. Mr. Warpehoski will face a number of challenges in reconciling his role as an advocate for causes with his role as a representative. He is a thoughtful person who places a high value on ethics, and I wish him well as he threads his way through this and other such issues.


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 7:34 p.m.

@Vivienne: In January of 1984 the Ann Arbor City Council narrowly voted against a resolution calling for a military embargo against Israel. That vote went along party lines with all Republicans voting against it and all Democrats voting for it. I recall no significant local Jewish opposition to the resolution, in fact, Raphael Ezekiel, a U-M professor who is Jewish, was one of its key supporters.

Top Cat

Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 7:18 p.m.

No call from the "protesters" about ending aid to Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan and the Palestinians ? No call from the "protesters" regarding the death of Israelis, including children, from bombs and rockets from its enemies ? How are we supposed to then view the "protesters" as anything other than haters and enemies of the Jewish people ? I don't see Jews killing Americans at Fort Hood or in Lower Manhattan.

Ed Kimball

Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 12:38 p.m.

So is firing hundreds of missiles at population centers. And the missiles fired from helicopters were, unlike the Hamas rockets, not aimed at children. In fact, Israel had warned civilians to leave the area. Hamas told them to ignore the warnings, presumably because they are more interested in seeing news stories about Palestinian children killed than they are about the actual safety of those children.


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 2:34 a.m.

So is firing a Hellfire missile from a helicopter at civilian children.


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 10:22 p.m.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't blowing up a bus full of civilians in Tel Aviv a human rights violation?


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 8:20 p.m.

Look at the 462-page U.N.Goldstone Commission Report which found human rights violations against Israel and Amnesty International's own reports as well as those of B'Tselem and Machsom Watch, Israel's own Jewish human rights organizations which have documents specific instances of human rights abuses carried out against Arabs.

Albert Howard

Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 7:05 p.m.

I support Israel and Jerusalem by any means necessary.

Albert Howard

Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 1:01 a.m.

@ Homeland Conspiracy Choose this day who you will serve.

Homeland Conspiracy

Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 8:32 p.m.

You have NO choice in the matter


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 7:02 p.m.

I'm sure such a resolution will have "Israel" shaking in its boots -


Sat, Dec 1, 2012 : 7:25 a.m.

I know I'm super late to the party here, but I wish I could give you an award for that, AK. Well done.


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 4:38 p.m.

"I" think you mean that the "resolution" would have "Israel" shaking in its "boots".


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 6:52 p.m.

The city council needs to get to work and not be spending time on resolutions that are politically motivated that really mean nothing. So, Ann Arbor condemns a country or city or a company and then what? The nuts will come out of the woodwork if this keeps up.


Fri, Nov 23, 2012 : 8:01 p.m.

Too late; they're out.


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 6:52 p.m.

Another waste of time and money


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 6:48 p.m.

Maybe all sides of this conflict should be boycotted. Maybe then the slaughter caused by each side would stop.


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 7:48 p.m.

@Neal Elyakin: "Hamas cares little about the people who live in Gaza.........." The Gazans were rejoicing in the streets yesterday and praising their popularly-elected government. Israel agreed to end targeted assasinations and engage in negotiations on easing the blockade and allowing freer passage through her borders with Gaza. Bibi did the right thing in avoiding a ground invasion. Gaza and their inhabitants have come a long way since the IDF and Civil Administration imposed totalitarian rule on Gaza when the First Intifada began in 1987; the Second Intifada ended with the IDF's 2005 disengagement from Gaza. There has been a continual erosion of the IDF's control over Arab areas in Palestine and Lebanon since the 1980s.


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 3:15 p.m.

I so totally agree with this one. Israel was recreated after it was removed from the planet thousands of years ago and then brought back. Everyone thinks this is a waste of space. IMO? Hamas should be boycotted.

Neal Elyakin

Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 1:41 p.m.

Hamas fires Iranian built rockets at Israeli civilians because Hamas wants to kill all the Israelis and destroy the State of Israel. This is their stated goal; they will not accept Israel's existence and have partnered with Iran to be Iran's proxy - Hamas cares little about the people who live in Gaza, they use them as shields, store rockets in homes and mosques, grab children as they run from Israeli troops, and use photos from the Syrian conflict as their own to gain public sympathy. This recent action has nothing to do a blockade; it is a continuation of Hamas' terror campaign to destroy Israel.


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 12:14 p.m.

They have been slaughtering each other there for centuries. There is no reason to believe that they will stop any time soon. A boycott will have no impact on their hate for each other.


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 8:56 p.m.

There has been an Israeli export blockade against Gaza for years - that is why they fire rockets at Israel. Jimmy Carter recognized this.

Joe Dohm

Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 6:47 p.m.

Does anyone know why they put Israel in quotes? It seems to me that they must add some meaning but I can't figure out what it is.


Fri, Aug 23, 2013 : 8:33 p.m.

When you want to dehumanize and de-legitimize a people, you make it seem like they're not real and don't exist, hence the quotation marks. It also smacks of living in a fantasy world of non-existent realities. Israel is indeed real, but those who claim she's not legit reside in a parallel universe, like those who draw up all those maps that don't have Israel on them as they dream of its elimination from the map along with the annihilation of its people. Note to Mr. Herskovitz. _everything_ is temporary, but all things being equal (often, they're not), Israel will be here long after Mr. Herskovitz's group of hate sign toting vigil-antes are gone.


Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 12:49 a.m.

Henry Herskovitz Nice try spreading falsehoods about Israel! Is that a Palestinian trick? Israel maintains diplomatic ties with 157 countries There are 196 countries in the world.

Henry Herskovitz

Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 12:18 a.m.

"Israel" is placed in quotes to indicate - among the other items Roadman lists - its temporal status. Placing a temporary entity in quotes is realistic, not scary. The real word is Palestine; less than half the world recognizes "Israel".


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 9:16 p.m.

Sure enough. But it's still just punctuation.


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 8:46 p.m.

Check the protest signs.


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 8:20 p.m.

Actually the only thing that appears in quotes is "boycott Israel". No instances of just "Israel".

Angry Moderate

Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 8:19 p.m.

Brad - yes, they're called scare quotes. Similarly, some idiots write gay "marriage" with scare quotes.


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 8:07 p.m.

And you get all that from punctuation?

John of Saline

Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 7:34 p.m.

It means they deny that Israel has a right to exist.


Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 7:28 p.m.

It is derived from the the fact they do not recognize the State of Israel and advocate its dissolution.