The September 2021 issue of HJN contains a letter by Rachel Loewith-Rochwerg headlined, "We must not stifle those who question Israel's policies." The November 2021 HJN contains seven letters lambasting the letter by Loewith-Rochwerg. Both sides of this fractious issue have a right to express their honestly held opinions. However, it is very disturbing to see one side vilifying the other for exercising their "freedom of speech" to present a legitimate, alternative viewpoint. Israeli Jews (and Arabs) are permitted to criticize Israeli government policies. Many do so with zeal. Do Canadian Jews not have the same right as their Israeli counterparts? Both sides in this “family” dispute are justifiably concerned about the rising menace of antisemitism.
Both sides are looking for ways to "stem the tide." What gives one side the right to proclaim that they and they alone understand the threats we face, that they and they alone have the required answers, and also the justification to demonize a respected member of our community as a way to impose their views. Ironically, the headline on page 5 of the November HJN proclaims "New generation of leaders want to see more community cohesiveness." Obviously, some members of the community have not yet embraced the message.
Letters published in the Letters to the Editor section do not necessarily reflect the views of the Hamilton Jewish News or its publisher, the Hamilton Jewish Federation. To submit a letter for publication, email firstname.lastname@example.org.