TRIBUTE TO THE MEMORY OF DAN KLIMAN
Guest post by SF Voice for Israel
To all members of our local Bay Area Zionist community, and to those around the world connected with us by e-mail:
On behalf of StandWithUs/San Francisco Voice for Israel, I want to thank so many of you who have sent your own expressions of grief and sympathy over Dan Kliman's untimely death. Many of you have asked about plans for a memorial service, since his funeral will be back in Schenectady NY. We are still awaiting word from his synagogue as to whether they are planning anything; if not, then we will organize something ourselves in the very near future and we will announce it on these same lists. We will also shortly post an online location where you can leave expressions of sympathy and remembrance that will be forwarded to his family.
In the meantime, the task that Dan was so devoted to--standing up in public for Israel in the Bay Area-- needs to continue. There are still too many occasions when those who wish to see Israel destroyed take their message to the public, when a pro-Israel presence is needed. So for those of you who have asked "what can I do to help", there are two things you can do.
The first is to donate to Stand With Us; as many of you know, San Francisco Voice for Israel serves as the Bay Area chapter of Stand With Us. You can do this online at http://www.standwithus.org/DONATE/, or you can send a check to StandWithUs P.O. Box 341069 Los Angeles, CA 90034-1069. Contributions are tax deductible. There is a place on the website donations page to note that this contribution is in Dan's memory.
The second is to join us this Sunday in Berkeley. Bay Area Women in Black (BAWIB) is a local anti-Israel group that was always a high priority for Dan to counter on the streets; it was so important to him that he, as an observant Jew, gave up attending most Shabbat morning services for the last several years to stand in counterprotest to them at the farmer's market by the Grand Lake Theater in Oakland. They will be holding a vigil this Sunday from 1 to 2 PM at the Ashby BART station, where there is also a farmer's market at that time.
Why was BAWIB so important to Dan? Because it especially rankled him that many of them are Jewish, and claimed to be protesting Israel in the name of Judaism. Because they claimed to be protesting for peace, when they condemned every action Israel has taken to defend itself against rocket attacks and terrorism. Because they routinely demonize Israel and apply double standards against the world’s only Jewish State while excusing any Arab crimes against humanity. Because they support the so-called "right" of return of millions of 4th generation descendants of 1948 refugees while they refer to ALL of Israel as "occupied territory". Because they stand together with anti-Semitic organizations. Not only that, but the one time that Dan was the victim of an assault by someone driving by a counterprotest, it was members of BAWIB who attempted (unsucessfully) to physically prevent the police from arresting the perpetrator.
This is an opportunity to stand in Dan's shoes, to be there because he can't. We will do what we usually do-- we will be there with Israeli and American flags and with pro-Israel signs, and pass out flyers to explain to passersby why we are there and what we stand for. BAWIB absolutely hates the fact that we are there, and nothing would have pleased Dan more than to see several hundred Bay Area Zionists show up to peacefully confront them. As counterdemonstrations go, this is pretty low-key-- they stand in silence, so they are not confronting us or yelling anything at us. (However, please also remember that while Dan devoted his activism to countering people such as this, they also were not responsible for his death, so we should not let our grief lead us to do anything beyond a peaceful counterdemonstration.)
This is not taking the place of a memorial service; we will not be making speeches about Dan or doing anything specific other than the grassroots Israel activism that gave such meaning to his life. Please join us. Look for the Israeli flags.
As always, feel free to make your own signs but please no signs or graphics offensive to any racial or ethnic group including but not limited to Arabs, Islam, or Palestinians. Signs in violation of our policies are not welcome.