Fieldston School Update
I posted yesterday about Riverdale, NY, residents crying foul at the lack of balance on a panel scheduled to take place at the local Fieldston school. The NY Sun has an update, which describes an interdenominational protest by neighborhood rabbis and other residents who opposed the one-sided representation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:
Yesterday's protest was organized by Rabbi Avi Weiss, spiritual leader of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale. Rabbi Weiss was invited to participate in a panel entitled "the Role of Religion in the Region" but withdrew after learning that only Mr. Judt and Mr. Khalidi were scheduled to speak at the final assembly.
In a letter addressed to Fieldston's principal, John Love, Rabbi Weiss called the final panel "so profoundly tilted against Israel that it renders your entire program a deep disservice to your students in intellectual, educational and moral terms." He later told The New York Sun: "This is not an open school. It's very closed."An alum of the school who attended yesterday's event had this to say:
Rabbi Weiss wrote a letter, which was signed by five other rabbis in Riverdale, that stated their opposition, as well as pointing out that in a meeting with Mr. Love on Friday they had offered to find a third speaker, such as Dennis Ross or David Makovsky, to balance the final panel.
The panel was also criticized as onesided by the Zionist Organization of America, the Anti-Defamation League, Rep. Eliot Engel, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and Councilman G. Oliver Koppell.
Ms. Leventhal and some others who heard the speakers said that while they stayed clear of topics like suicide bombings and Israel's right to exist, it was definitely tilted against Israel with repeated references to Israel as an occupying force and an apartheid state.Sure. Repeatedly calling Israel "an apartheid state" is objectively balanced.