While I have great respect for John Ruskay as a communal leader, I have concerns with his suggestion that “a big tent” is what is needed to combat anti-Israel actions (“Combating Delegitimization Requires A Big Tent,” Feb. 18).
The question not addressed is “are there any limits?” We all recognize that everyone is entitled to his or her own view. However, when we speak of Jewish organizations that represent
collective Jewish voices and which spend communal dollars, there may very well need to be limits on behavior that is harmful to the Jewish people. One such area is the so-called Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, an international effort to make the Jewish state of Israel a pariah.
In a world that is confronted by conflicts between Hindu India and Islamic Pakistan, between Shiite and Sunni Arabs, with the threat of Iran’s theocratic state gaining access to nuclear weapons and Saudi Arabia’s denial of rights to religious minorities, the focus given to delegitimizing the one Jewish nation appears inexplicable. It can rightly be inferred that, whatever Israel may be guilty of, this is a display of anti-Jewishness on a scale not seen since the Holocaust.
While our institutions should be welcoming, we should stand on at least one bedrock principle: that we do no harm to the Jewish people as a whole. A big tent welcomes all, but says to its leaders that you cannot turn away from your responsibility to protect and defend the Jewish people.