I was present at the JCC on June 19 when people representing Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow disrupted the presentation of Israeli consul Almog Elijis (“‘Anti-occupation’ group disrupts Israeli diplomat event at JCC,” June 29). In an appalling display of brazen rudeness and insufferable self-righteousness, these people bellowed very loudly in a patent effort to prevent Elijis from being heard and did not desist until police officers forcibly removed them from the hall.
The moderator, Josh Sayles of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Community Relations Council, downplayed the incident, indicating that these people were entitled to their opinions, but noting that they should have conveyed them in a more delicate manner. Sayles depicts Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow as almost benign, if perhaps misguided. These groups, however, are anything but benign. They are a menace to the Jewish people.
Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow feel an intense need to criticize Israel, which is confronted with an enemy in the Palestinians that persists in seeking its destruction. They should not be invited to coffee. They should be vigorously opposed.
Edward L. Russakoff