July 15, 2024
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Five Common Principles for the Jewish Community Opposing the Book Reading at the Highland Park Public Library

1. Though we vigorously oppose a planned event at the Highland Park Public Library, we support the library in general and want it to be successful.

2. We oppose the library’s holding a book reading of “P is for Palestine” because it is insensitive to the complexion of the Highland Park community, which includes a large population of Jews. Sections of the book available online indicate that it does not acknowledge the right of Jews to live in Israel and the impact of two waves of terrorist violence (AKA “Intifada”), which killed thousands of non-combatant Israeli civilians, American citizens, and Palestinians. A public reading of this book could rightly be viewed as an insult to Jewish sensibilities.

3. We do not support banning this book from the library; we only oppose a public event highlighting the book.

4. The meeting of the library board of trustees should not be used as a platform to accuse any library staff person, trustee, or supporter of anti-Semitism or anti-Israel activism. We assume that planning this event was an honest mistake, though one that deeply stings members of the Jewish community.

5. We pledge that all who sign on to this statement will participate in public discussion on this issue with decency and respect. We do not condone any yelling, screaming, insults, or threats.

Community members who’ve read and endorsed these principles (as of May 26, 2019):

Dr. Haim Baruh
Milton Erdfarb
Hava Bresler Freidenreich
Harry Glazer
Michael Gordon
Albert HaLevi Mitzner
Josh Pruzansky
Tzippy Russ-Fishbane
Rabbi Ronald Schwarzberg
Bonnie and Steven Steinhardt
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