The Forward sees threat from ‘censors,’ but other Jewish editors and groups differ

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Is a “mobilized faction” in the American Jewish community attempting to “censor” dovish views? The president of The Forward newspaper thinks so, but other editors and leaders of some left-of-center Jewish organizations see things differently.

The dispute arises from the July 12 episode of the Jewish Broadcasting Service (JBS) television series “L’Chayim,” which featured a panel discussion on freedom of speech in the Jewish community.

“Generally speaking, I believe that we are blessed with a lively and open discussion in the American Jewish community, and I don’t see much evidence that freedom of speech is endangered in any way,” Yoffie said.

Another participant in the JBS television discussion, Amanda Berman, director of legal affairs at The Lawfare Project, told there is “a censorship problem related to Jewish and pro-Israel advocacy, but Sam Norich’s position on that problem is entirely inverted.” She pointed to recent instances in which pro-Israel speakers and events on college campuses have been disrupted or shut down “by raging mobs chanting genocidal slogans and expletives.” Instead of focusing on such activities, The Forward “has now set a precedent [by publishing the Barghouti advertisement] that its pages are a welcome place for terrorists aiming to perpetuate genocidal viewpoints and outright lies,” Berman said.

“No one silenced The Forward,” said New York University legal scholar Thane Rosenbaum, who also took part in the July 12 JBS panel discussion. “They made this decision without anyone’s help. If they were a true Jewish news source, they would have practiced self-censorship, and not given voice and moral support to a killer of Jews.”

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