Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Jewish Organizations are making terrible decisions re David Harris-Gershon

I’m very disheartened, dismayed and pretty much disgusted over the recent cancellations by Jewish communal organizations that had previously reserved my friend David Harris-Gershon to speak about his book.

David’s book is about a process of reconciliation that he went through with the family of the terrorist who tried to kill his wife.

To make a really long story short, the reason that they have cancelled his speaking events is because in July 2012 he wrote an article in Tikkun entitled: Today, I’m coming out in Favor of BDS (Boycott,Divestment, & Sanctions against Israel.)

Some of you might jump up and say, “Great, ban his ass.”

But I’m going to tell you why that’s not the right answer.

David has over and over and over and over clarified his position on the issue. He has most recently written in Haaretz after being banned by the DCJCC that he “views economic sanctions as a legitimate form of nonviolent protest for Palestinians to use, despite my opposition to some tactics used by the BDS movement and its implicit goal of a bi-national state.”

I don’t see why any Jewish organization or Jewish leader would not be okay with that statement, especially given the fact that when Palestinians used a violent form of protest, his wife paid a high price and their friends were murdered.  He is saying, “Go ahead, use a non violent form of protest to make your point” and I am adding, rather than setting off bombs and killing innocent civilians.

Why David felt the need to write that article in the first place, I really don’t know. But find me a politician who hasn’t changed his or her mind about something, or clarified a position, since July 2012.  Remember Barack Obama’s red line? Remember Netanyahu’s not-so-subtle support of Mitt Romney?  It happens all of the time, and I don’t know why executive directors or donors feel the need to ban someone like David from speaking about his book – which has nothing to do with BDS.

As David keeps reminding us, he is a Zionist and he is a Jewish studies teacher. I knew David and his wife during a period when they were becoming more observant. I hung out with David while he was at the West Bank Yeshiva. I went to their hippy Jewish wedding. I visited them a few months after the bombing in Jerusalem. I saw them when they lived in DC. David stayed at my place in Chicago a couple of times, once to visit a sick relative and the other to attend a conference on teaching Israel in the classroom. His wife came to my wedding reception 18 months ago. I can tell you with absolutely no hesitation that David has no inclination to destroy the state of Israel or the Jewish people. He will not convince the college students at Hillel to boycott Israel or Federation donors to stop giving their dollars to campaigns.  He will not make JCC members not want to attend a Yom Haatzmaut celebration.

He will tell the story of his book, sign a few copies, and offer a unique, tragic and hopeful perspective to the Israeli-Palestinian narrative.

I am finding it hard to swallow the bitter pill that the power players in the American Jewish community, a community in which I worked for 12 years as a Jewish educator sending thousands of people to Israel, can be acting so reprehensibly to one of its own.  It’s also just a big mistake. Every Jewish communal organization talks about “engagement, engagement, engagement.” No one, especially not Millenials, wants to be engaged by organizations resembling dictatorships with 501(c) (3) designations.

And the excuse of “unwavering for support for Israel” or “campuses are under attack” just doesn’t cut it when you are essentially ostracizing someone based on your own ignorance, rhetoric bulimia and lack of nuance rather than a true threat.

David is not harming Israel. Just ask the first Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben Gurion who said the following: The test of democracy is freedom of criticism.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Harris-Gershon has been a prolific writer in support of BDS. Given the volume of this writing, it is not unreasonable for the DCJCC (which states on its website that it opposes BDS) to be concerned about providing a platform to someone who is such a prolific writer about the topic. The author may not personally wish for Israel's destruction, but he has been an enabler of those who do hold such views. Decisions of this sort are difficult ones, and which reasonable minds can disagree as to whether they are correct. But the decision itself is certainly a reasonable one, and consistent with the Center's mission.

Sharna Marcus said...

I'm not sure if I understand you. If you mean David is a prolific writer on BDS, I don't think that's true. He's written on many subjects and that's not focus of his writing.

If you mean he is a prolific writer, that's a nice thing to say about him. So if he wasn't a prolific writer, you'd be okay with his point that Palestinians using a non violent form of protest is better than them using a violent form of protest, which is what he has clarified over and over and over and over and I included in articles including the recent one I mention in Haaretz?

We can disagree, and I'm sure the decision was difficult and it's my guess contingent on some sort of funding threat or fear, but the Center is wrong because actually, having David not speak contradicts their mission as written on their web site, which I've included below.

Any organization has the right not to invite a speaker. However, disinviting a speaker who is a supporter of Israel, Jewish studies, lived in DC, taught Jewish studies in DC, is just not right, and not very Jewish.


The Washington DCJCC does not support or oppose candidates for elected public office. Opinions expressed at all programs of the Washington DCJCC belong solely to those expressing them. The Washington DCJCC partners with many organizations and groups to present programs, but does not endorse the political views or policy positions of any program partner. The Washington DCJCC is committed to presenting a wide selection of programs that present multiple viewpoints and encourage you to visit our calendar for information on dialogues and public affairs programming.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect, your premise is not accurate. He has specifically written that he formally endorsed BDS. He wrote that on two blogs, and since then has written many pieces expressing support for various BDS activities. The BDS campaign seeks an end to Israel as a Jewish State. The DCJCC explicitly opposes BDS. Frankly, they probably were not aware of DHG's prolific writing on this when they first invited him to give a talk. Bit with that knowledge, they reasonably concluded that they had improvidently extended him an invitation to put on a program at the Center. Disinviting a speaker who is an actve enabler of a cause that seeks to end Israel simply is not unreasonable.

Sharna Marcus said...

First off, let me say that I do not support BDS. However, if I ran a Jewish organization, I could in good conscious have him speak even though he supports their right to exist, which is a fundamentally democratic principle. I support the Boy Scout's right to exist, even though their policies are homophobic. If a boy scout troop leader wrote a book about Israel, I wouldn't ban him from my organization.

Also, I don't believe the JCC didn't know about the controversy. I just don't think they received the pressure that resulted in the decision until later. Yes, had they received the memo, David Harris-Gershon is not welcome in any Jewish institution that receives funds from XYZ, then they wouldn't have invited him in the first place.

In the case that the BDS movement seeks to end the existence of Israel as a Jewish state, DAVID DOT NOT SUPPORT THIS. But the BDS movement is not monolithic. For example, there is a movement not to buy products from the West Bank/Judea and Samaria. So if someone supports that movement's right to exist, but not the movement itself, are they not allowed to speak. Also, not to mention, he isn't speaking about BDS.

One more thing. Remember all of those congressmen and President Obama who were against Gay marriage. How many of them have changed their stance? David's one article coming out in support of BDS, in which he has since clarified his position, is no different from that. Remember Senator Rob Portman?"I bet the @TheDCCenter would welcome him to speak since he changed his position as would @ChicagoGMC

Anonymous said...

I respect your view that you could allow him to speak despite your opposition to BDS. But that doesn't answer whether the Center's decision was reasonable. Should the Center feel under some obligation to allow anyone to speak, no matter awful the cause they actively support? By that standard, the Center should give a platform to a Nazi activist or holocaust denier to speak about German art work in the 1930s. Drawing the line can be a difficult and imprecise, but sometimes it must be done.

You can choose to believe what you want, but DHG was booked to speak at the Center months ago, long before the Hillel controversy surfaced. It is completely plaisible that the Center was not aware of his BDS advocacy at the time of his booking.

Further, the fact that some BDS supporters do not oppose Israel's existence is irrelevant. The movement's stated objectives envision an end to the Jewish State. Those who lend their support to BDS enable its cause.

Finally, and with all due respect, DHG's "clarification" is anthing but . . .

Sharna Marcus said...

Sorry I didn't publish your comment sooner. I live in Israel and went to sleep.

First of all, whoever you are, I appreciate the respectful dialogue that you have started with me. Too often comments section end up devolving, and I appreciate the good-willed tenor of the discussion.

I don't know if I can argue with the word reasonable. I don't think the decision is malicious or anything like that. But I'm not sure why that matters. If it is a bad decision, the fact that is a reasonable bad decision doesn't make really that much of a difference to me. I guess if it was a malicious bad decision, that would be worse, but I'm not sure why the distinction is super important.

I believe had Hillel not banned him and the person from JFNA had not said what he said, they wouldn't have disinvited him. I also don't know, but can portend that there was pressure put on the executive director of the JCC by donors, other organizations, or both to disinvite him.

I can't really deal with the slippery slope argument, especially involving the Holocaust. It's too loaded. Also, a person who denies the Holocaust has a problem because he is delusional. I wouldn't invite a delusional person to speak at my organization.What if you found out that someone had committed adultery in their lifetime and were a speaker? Is that problematic, because it's one of the 10 commandments?

Two more things:

One reason is that I have worked with young people since 2001. This is the most tolerant, community service minded generation to every live. Millenials have their issues, no doubt, as have all generations, but you cannot take that away from them.

However, because of that, they expect other people to be both tolerant and community service minded. This decision to ban David from so many Jewish organizations will take a toll on their participation. Why? All they have to do is google Hillel or DCJCC and guess what they will find? The articles about banning him. Many of them will not want to be part of organizations that they will deem as intolerant.
I support his clarification; It's good enough for me. Here it is again:

"I view economic sanctions as a legitimate form of nonviolent protest for Palestinians to use, despite my opposition to some tactics used by the BDS movement and its implicit goal of a binational state.

It's a view I hold with regard to the United States and its sanctions against Iran, a view I hold in general to be unimpeachable: the legitimacy and preference of nonviolent forms of opposition, such as sanctions, over war and violence."

I have an Israeli in my immediate family who served in the IDF, born and raised here, etc. When David's book was published, he googled David and found that same controversial. He had met David's wife, but not David.
He looked me straight in the eye and said, I am not okay with a BDS supporter.
So I emailed David, and said this was my immediate family member's red line. He sent me the clarification. I
read it to my immediately family member, and he said, okay.

My immediate family member understood the distinction, I just wish Jewish organizations would.

I would welcome the continued dialogue, however if you do not write again, and if you are Jewish, Good Shabbos.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your appreciation of my tone. I hope I have adequately conveyed that I, too, appreciate and respect your view.

Regarding the point about pressure, please note that the DCJCC has a strong record of standing up to pressure from organizations in the Jewish community who disapprove of the fact that some of its programming includes significant criticism of Israel. In fact, the Center has taken recently taken bold stands in that regard, in presenting perspectives from across the spectrum of the community. So, the notion that the DCJCC is broadly attempting to silence critics of Israel does not stand up to scrutiny. Rather, they have concluded that DHG's BDS advocacy crosses the line in a big way, and completely flies in the face of the Center's mission and the purpose of its programming.

Second, please be aware that DHG has written a lot about this subject, on multiple blogs for multiple years, and although he has been challenged on it many times, until the Hillel incident he never attempted to walk back his explicit BDS endorsement. Even when his endorsement was reposted on an antisemitic hate sites, he did not walk that back and instead has engaged in friendly tweets with the site's bloggers. Further, a look back at his on-line work reveals diaries that regularly engender comments expressing harsh hatred of Israel, consistent with the aims of the BDS campaign. And, for the most part, the comments go unchallenged by the diarist. The entire body of his work suggests an attempt to have it both ways on BDS, and to act as an enabler of the worst elements of that campaign. That is troubling even to those, like the Center's leadership, who are on the left side of the political spectrum. So, I would ask your family member to read a representative sample of DHG's body of work before proclaiming that the so-called clarification is ok.

About the slippery slope argument, the point is that sometimes lines have to be drawn, even when doing so is difficult and even imprecise. Please keep in mind that in this instance the line was drawn by an organization whose leadership has stood up to intense pressure from mainstream pro-Israel activists to not have programming critical of Israel, and who are personally involved in organizations such as J Street. That strongly suggests that this was not a knee-jerk reaction by those who hold Israel-can-do-no-wrong attitudes, but rather was made after carefuly considering all of the circumstances. Those that dismiss this decision out of hand may themselves be guilty of knee-jerk reactions.

Shabbat Shalom.





Lex Rofes said...

Sharna, I think most of your comments are spot on, and I would agree with them. But I think you should be less apologetic.

What if David Harris-Gershon *did* endorse BDS? The implication of some of your comments is that *then* it would be okay to ban him. Though David Harris-Gershon, as you mentioned many times, and as he has clarified, does not endorse BDS, that isn't the point.

Even if the organization is against BDS, welcoming a speaker to speak about something totally separate from BDS should be kosher. We don't expect speakers to agree with us on everything. We expect the words that they say and the topics they talk about to not be way outside the realm of our organizations' missions. If we say anyone who endorses BDS is not allowed to speak in Jewish organizations, we have to say bye-bye to all of Judith Butler's incredible contributions to gender and sexuality studies, bye-bye to Pete Seger's myriad contributions to the Jewish community over the years, and bye-bye to the leadership of many Rabbis who give their lives to the Jewish people but support BDS (see the Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council for many of these individuals -- though JVP does not endorse the full BDS movement, some of the Rabbis involved with their council do).

Thank you for bringing up this conversation though, as you and I clearly agree that restrictions on conversation in the Jewish community are becoming more and more problematic for our communities and for our likeihood of engaging my generation of Jews (I'm 23).

fizziks said...

I think you are obfuscating the issue. The problem is not only, or even primarily, that Mr. Gershon has passionately endorsed BDS. Rather, it is that he re-tweets the likes of Mondoweiss and Electronic Intifada and time and again provides cover for classic antisemitic memes such as the ZOG hypothesis on Daily Kos. These actions, more than the BDS advocacy, place him far outside of what should be acceptable discourse in Jewish organizations.

If you disagree with this, I am wondering where you would draw the line? At what point does someone's associations make it so that Jewish communal organizations should not be required to provide them a forum?

Anonymous said...

I see you want to end this, so I will say thank you for the opportunity to discuss this issue. Although I strongly disagree, I respect your differing view and appreciate that you have considered mine. That shows a lot integrity on your part.

For whatever it is worth, I will point out that DHG has had a regular practice of deleting comments to his pieces that are critical of his viewpoint. That is very telling.

--Take care.

Anonymous said...

I see you want to end this, so I will say thank you for the opportunity to discuss this issue. Although I strongly disagree, I respect your differing view and appreciate that you have considered mine. That shows a lot integrity on your part.

For whatever it is worth, I will point out that DHG has had a regular practice of deleting comments to his pieces that are critical of his viewpoint. That is very telling.

--Take care.

Sharna Marcus said...

Dear Anonymous, Haha. I didn't want to end. I thought maybe you did, so I was just being polite by saying Shabbat Shalom.

The comments he takes down are attacking in a vile way, not critical, and I can guess it freaks out his loved ones, as it would mine and I'm guessing yours. David benefits from both negative and positive comments as it draws attention to his book.

I also just learned this fact, that I missed. The name of the JCC series is "Embracing Democracy." Come on, that's just funny that they disinvited him with that name. And David Grossman was a speaker who supports boycotting products from the settlements. Now, David Harris-Gershon is no David Grossman, and perhaps the boycotting of settlement goods is somehow more palpable to the American Jewish community (I don't see why though, technically, the old city is a settlement,although I don't view it that way) But David, in his clarified position, hasn't even supported a boycott, just the right to boycott.





Sharna Marcus said...

Dear Anonymous, Lex and Fizziks,


It's great that the JCC has remained so independent in general. But as you know, especially given that now something in the WP has been published about this, you're only as tolerant, in the eye of the public, as your latest decision; you're only as engaging as your most recent program; your workout room is only as good as the condition of the machines when the last person used it. That may not be fair, but that's how it is.

The Hillel incident was not the first time he was challenged on it. As I said, I challenged him on it when my family member asked me about it in August. He said the same exact thing to me as he said to Hillel. He had no reason to lie to me or withhold the truth. We've been friends for over 15 years. It wouldn't have ended our friendship, and I no longer work in the Jewish community, so he had nothing to gain. One of the early pronouns in his book belongs to me! It wouldn't have ended our friendship. But had his answer had been different, my immediate family member probably would have thought negatively about him.

If David has friendly conversations or tweets with people who are anti-Israel or pro BDS or even antisemitic, I'm actually okay with that. Let me tell you why. I grew up somewhere with significant antisemitism. The only way to change people's minds was to engage them in dialogue. Such as, you know, I really didn't kill Jesus Christ, or actually, the tip you left was 11 percent, mine was 15, so I don't think Jews are inherently cheap, or Dear Teacher, we probably shouldn't sing a song about converting people who will otherwise go to hell. Isn't this whole peace process based on one person who is Anti Israel and maybe antisemitic engaging with an Israeli leader?. Now, if what you're saying is David did not call someone out on what they said, if it was antisemitic, in some way, then yes, I do have a problem with him. But I do believe the only way to teach people about Israel and Jews is to engage them. I've dedicated most of my life to this, and as I work in a non Jewish environment now, I still am doing this.

I'm sure the decision was difficult. I have no doubt. But I haven't changed my view that it wasn't the right one. The fact that the JCC claims to be tolerant makes it in a way worse than organization that make no such claims.

Dear Lex, you make an interesting point. However, I did work at a Jewish organization in a leadership role and the current centrist, not right but centrist, position in the Jewish community is that being an active member of the BDS movement and supporting Israel doesn't jive. However, if the speaker wasn't going to talk about BDS, and their talk was super compelling, I would probably fight for their right to speak. However, I'm not sure I would at the expense of funding, etc or quit over the issue. I'm just being honest as someone who has sat in that position in the past.

Perhaps it would be better if these organizations would be truthful: "Our donors don't want you to speak, and we need their money. Sorry."

Dear Fizziks,
I don't think David's retweets put him outside of the Jewish tent. Here's my question. If Electronic Intifada writes, (and these are plausible, but made up) "Settlers burn 20 Olive Treets belonging to Arabs" or "Price Tag marks Mosque," is it not okay for an individual to retweet that? If they retweet, "Jews ruining world," Yes, that's not something to retweet. I have another question, what if Jstreet tweets something interesting, can that be retweeted? Should David also be retweeting when an Arab does something bad to a Jew in Israel? If he wants to, I would. But I have a friend who only writes about bad things Arabs do to Jews in Israel, should he have to write or retweet the other side? I mean, I don't know. It all seems like a little much.

Thanks everyone for your comments.

Anonymous said...

Sharna,

A couple of final points.

While it is true that some of the comments DHG has deleted were vile and deserving of deletion, there are plenty of others he takes down simply because they are highly critical and present facts that undermine his premise. For someone who contends he is being silenced that is very ironic. But for someone believes in BDS, it is entirely consistent.

Finally, the David Grossman analogy is ridiculous on its face. Grossman favors a boycott of the settlements, as do some Meretz Party MKs, btw. DHG, on the other hand, speaks favorably of BDS, which is dramatically different -- both in tactics and objectives -- then boycotting the settlements. I know that DHG has tried using that to paint the DCJCC as hypocritical, but the comparison fails, and spectacularly so.

Sharna Marcus said...

You are a very good writer, anonymous. We have reached an impasse. David is my friend, someone I trust and someone I will stand by until he has proven undeserving. You aren't going to understand what I understand and vice versa. All the best.

Anonymous said...

Sharna, this is a very old thread. As you said, we were at a impasse, and your observation of that point was a nice way to end a respectful conversation.

So, forgive me for adding this; I am not trying to beat a dead horse. But this topic came up again last week.

Last weekend, at a community forum (on a somewhat related but different topic), the subject of the cancellation of David's book talk came up. A DCJCC official in attendance was very clear about what happened. The DCJCC did not know about his BDS advocacy at the time the book talk was scheduled. It came to light after the cancellation of his talk at UCSB. After reading his blog piece (and then other pieces), a DCJCC official spoke to and specifically asked him whether he supports economic sanctions against Israel.

He unequivocally answered "yes."

The DCJCC had years earlier explicitly come out in opposition to BDS. It therefore could not provide a platform for someone who had endorsed BDS and, when asked about it, stated unequivocally that he supports economic sanctions against Israel.

The DCJCC's theater is now putting on a very controversial play critical of Israel: "The Admission," by Israeli playwright Motti Lerner. Reading the news stories about this reveals that the DCJCC certainly is not afraid of controversy or of heckling and threats from right-wing elements of the Jewish community. That speaks volumes abut what the DCJCC is, and about the nature of David's advocacy.

Again, my apologies for bringing this up again, but I thought the additional information was important.

Sharna Marcus said...

Dear anonymous, I asked David to confirm after receiving your comment, and he said no such "yes" statement was made to Ms. Zawatsky. She was who he spoke to.

As for them not knowing his previously published views, maybe they did, maybe they didn't. There's no way to know. However, I like to take people at their word, so let's assume they didn't know.

However, I still contend that they were pressured to cancel by an outside organization or group of people, hence compromising their so called independence. Let's get real here. You are never independent when you receive money from other organizations. I get it.

But it was still a mistake because now he is being sponsored by Peace Now and JStreet, two organizations that I don't love. He should have been welcomed by an organization that is in the center, like the JCC. Also, because of this debacle, he will probably get a huge audience, which is good for him, but I think it was a bad move on the JCC's part. The JCC in DC is great, however, this was a bad decision.

Anonymous said...

OK, so let me see if I have this straight.

Any assertion that DHG endorsed BDS in his writing or that he supports economic sanctions against Israel is either an outright lie or a gross misinterpretation.

And, although DHG has never actually said anything of that nature, either in writing or in an oral conversation, the JCC decided (after speaking with him) that he was too controversial (even though he never said any of those things), and they succumbed to some completely unreported and anonymous outside pressure to cancel his book talk.

And, the DCJCC caved to this unreported and anonymous pressure, rather than acting on principle, at the very same time it was engaging in exactly the opposite conduct, i.e., standing on principle in refusing to cancel its production of a controversial play (about a purported Israeli massacre of hundreds of Palestinian civilians) despite the considerable pressure and substantial funding threats from a significant segment of the Jewish community.

Come on . . .

Sharna Marcus said...


"Any assertion that DHG endorsed BDS in his writing or that he supports economic sanctions against Israel is either an outright lie or a gross misinterpretation." I don't think I ever said that. It's not a gross misinterpretation. It's just that he has clarified his position on this: people have the right to non violent protest.

"Last weekend, at a community forum (on a somewhat related but different topic), the subject of the cancellation of David's book talk came up. A DCJCC official in attendance was very clear about what happened. The DCJCC did not know about his BDS advocacy at the time the book talk was scheduled. It came to light after the cancellation of his talk at UCSB. After reading his blog piece (and then other pieces), a DCJCC official spoke to and specifically asked him whether he supports economic sanctions against Israel.

He unequivocally answered "yes." "

You wrote to me about a claim that was made at a community forum that David answered "yes" to that question. He says he did not. I was answering your question.

Look, I was giving the JCC the benefit of the doubt, that it wouldn't have disinvited David if it weren't receiving pressure from an outside source. This "disinvitation" came immediately after a very public twitter or FB conversation between David and someone of considerable influence. But you have a point. Maybe the JCC made this, in my point of view, bad decision on its own accord. I have no way of really knowing. Again, though, I think your point that they hosted a controversial play strengthens my idea, not weakens it. Someone did not want David speaking. And I don't think it was the JCC. But you're right. I don't actually know.

Anonymous said...

I see that the DCJCC has done it again, cancelling a performance by the rock band "The Shondes" after it became known that the group endorses BDS and that some of their songs contain highly inflammatory lyrics about Israel.

So, I thought I'd check in and get your reaction. I also wanted to share the following related point:

I had an interesting conversation with a reasonably prominent rabbi recently, one who is very vocal with his progressive Pro-Israel views on a two-state solution, and is supportive of other progressive causes. He told me that there are times when, regretfully, he decides to hold his tongue and not make certain comments about Israel. And it is not because he doesn't think they are important points. Rather, it is because -- given the particular circumstances (i.e., the program, the audience, the other topics being discussed, etc.) -- the inflammatory nature of the point is so great that it would drown out the constructive value of "going there."

He said that rabbis and Jewish community leaders weigh and balance these competing factors all the time on many subjects. He said that the weighing and balancing can often be difficult, and that reasonable minds could disagree on the particular weighing and balancing. But the goal is to move the conversation constructively forward, and sometimes making certain points in certain settings and in certain contexts is far more inflammatory than constructive, and "going there," at least at that moment, is not a productive thing to do. In other words, if the calculation leads him to believe that it will create a [blank]storm rather than a constructive dialogue, then perhaps it is best left for another day.

I hope you will consider this point before assuming (without supporting facts) that right-wing funding necessarily controls the decision making. It may be a convenient excuse, but it may not even scratch the surface of what is actually going on.

Pesach is fast approaching, so chag sameach to you and yours.

Sharna Marcus said...

I appreciate you thinking of me and writing this comment. However, I do have evidence for my conclusions, however, I can recognize the possibility that my conclusions are not 100 percent correct.

But can you recognize the fact that I might have a point?

Anyways, this is old news. The JCC has had two more incidents since the cancellation of David's. Perhaps, sadly, it should just stay away from the topic of Israel and keep its focus on American Jewish issues. Sadly, the topic is too polarizing.