They fill our sidewalks with hate speech, Ann Arbor rabbi says in response to court ruling – MLive.com

Posted By on August 22, 2020

ANN ARBOR, MI While a federal judge has concluded protests outside an Ann Arbor synagogue amount to free speech, Rabbi Nadav Caine argues its still hate speech.

It may well be that the court has made a correct decision according to the law, but the proceedings show that the protesters are liars and charlatans, said the rabbi at the Beth Israel Congregation on Washtenaw Avenue, which has been targeted by weekly anti-Israel protests for over 16 years.

They fill our sidewalks with hate speech to harass our worshippers, and then claim its just a good public location, Caine said in a statement this week.

They portray themselves as kindly types who bring their detractors tea and wish them a nice day, while they espouse Holocaust denial and anti-Semitic global conspiracy theories, he continued. And their hate fails to alarm some progressive leaders who would be rightfully shouting from the rooftops if this were a mosque. I suppose Im less disappointed in the Court of Law than I am in the Court of Public Opinion.

First Amendment allows anti-Israel protests outside Ann Arbor synagogue, judge rules

Marvin Gerber, a synagogue member, filed a lawsuit over the protests last year, arguing they amount to hateful, anti-Semitic speech. The protest messages offend and anger him, cause extreme emotional distress, significantly diminish his enjoyment in attending sabbath services and adversely affect his willingness to attend, the lawsuit stated, also raising concerns about the impacts on children in the congregation.

Miriam Brysk, identified in court records as a Holocaust survivor and member of the Pardes Hannah Congregation located in an annex next to the synagogue, joined as a co-plaintiff.

Protest signs have carried messages such as Resist Jewish Power, Jewish Power Corrupts, No More Holocaust Movies, Boycott Israel, Stop U.S. Aid to Israel and End the Palestinian holocaust.

In an 11-page order Wednesday, Aug. 19, U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts said the First Amendment more than protects the expressions by defendants.

The judge also found the plaintiffs failed to assert a concrete injury and lacked standing to sue. Legal counsel for the plaintiffs are now asking for reconsideration.

Plaintiffs take issue with judges dismissal of Ann Arbor synagogue protest lawsuit

Henry Herskovitz, leader of the protest group, has said his groups demonstrations are peaceful vigils in support of Palestinians who are being killed by the Israeli military and he denies being anti-Semitic.

Were not there because theyre Jews. Were there because theyre Jewish Zionists, he said, complaining the synagogue displays the Israeli flag and prays for Israel.

Herskovitz has said he is Jewish and used to attend Beth Israel, but he had a falling out with his faith years ago.

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They fill our sidewalks with hate speech, Ann Arbor rabbi says in response to court ruling - MLive.com

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