Avid Editor's Insights

Cleveland Library Postpones CAIR’s Anti-Israel Propaganda Tripe

Posted by avideditor on March 11, 2008

I wish they would cancel this instead of just postponing.

Cleveland Library Postpones CAIR’s Anti-Israel Propaganda Tripe: “

1

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library has postponed a three-part series on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict amid concerns from Jewish residents that the program would be biased against Israel.

The program was to open March 12 with the showing of ‘Searching for Peace in the Middle East,’ a 30-minute documentary sponsored by the Washington, D.C.-based Foundation for Middle East Peace. The organization’s website describes the film as a ‘vivid, compassionate portrayal’ of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The event was to be presented locally by Cleveland Peace Action and co-facilitated by CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

According to the library bulletin, the film was to be followed by a ‘structured public discussion’ facilitated by representatives of the Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Arab communities. The library’s board postponed the program after recognizing the paucity of pro-Israel representatives among the facilitators, says library director Steve Wood.

‘The decision (the board) made was the right one,’ he adds.

Cleveland Heights resident Fred Taub calls the ‘Searching for Peace’ documentary ‘blatantly biased’ against the Jewish state. For example, it harshly criticizes Israeli settlements in the occupied territories and suggests a ‘moral equivalency’ between Palestinian and Israeli violence.

David Berenson, a Jewish board member of Cleveland Peace Action, is ‘disappointed’ that the program has been postponed. He feels the documentary is balanced compared with more provocative films that are weighted toward either side of this conflict. Berenson notes his organization was not only working on adding a pro-Israeli member of the Jewish community to the discussion before March 12, it was also willing to replace the event’s CAIR representative; that group’s involvement was a particular sore point to Taub and other Jewish protestors, who claim CAIR has an anti-Israeli bias.

Taub, who runs frumcleveland.com, a website that is geared to Cleveland’s Orthodox Jewish community, sent letters decrying the program to city council, the school board, and library board members. He believes pressure from the local community against the library board, particularly in light of the library tax levy on this week’s primary ballot, ultimately submarined the scheduled program.

‘The library should not be used for a political agenda,’ Taub says.

Thoughts of this week’s levy quickened the pace of the board’s decision, Wood admits. However, the library director says the film and subsequent discussion session could be rescheduled. A library committee consisting of, among others, Cleveland Peace Action officials and members of the Cleveland Jewish community will be formed to ‘develop the content (of the program) and select knowledgeable representatives from all sides of the debate.’

Meanwhile, Cleveland Peace Action officials have requested that the library go ahead with the final two events of the Israel-Palestinian discussion series in April and May. The group has invited CH-UH city, school and library officials to review the remaining program points, notes Berenson.

Discussing serious issues ‘is the responsibility of the public library,’ contends Wood. ‘The library is not the place for censorship.’

(JNews)

(Via avideditorla’s shared items in Google Reader.)

One Response to “Cleveland Library Postpones CAIR’s Anti-Israel Propaganda Tripe”

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