Anti-Israel Protest at Chicago LGBTQ Conference Was About Shutting Down Debate and Attacking Jews

(Ha'aretz) Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum - I was in Chicago for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Creating Change Conference and attended the Jan. 22 reception for Jerusalem Open House when about 200 protestors appeared, threatening and chanting and acting aggressively and calling for the eradication of Israel. The mob-like feeling of the crowd was frightening and profoundly disturbing. I tried to reason calmly with the protesters, but they only screamed back at me. The protesters insisted that only their voices can be heard. I believe in the robust, vigorous world of debate and ideas and support the right of the protesters to protest passionately. But the protest was about shutting down, disrupting, and silencing. While I am not one to lightly use the anti-Semitism charge, I have to say that I personally felt attacked as a Jew. The writer has been spiritual leader of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in New York City since 1992.

2016-02-01 00:00:00

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