Posted: 2/23/2018 7:13:00 PM
Author: Librarians for fairness R4esearch Committee
Source: Librarians for Fairness Reacts To A Public Library's Anti-Israel Event

by Librarians for Fairness Research Committee

On February 11th, the Portsmouth Public Library, in New Hampshire, hosted a program entitled: "Jerusalem: What's Next?" Taking the anti-Israel position was Arab-American journalist Robert Azizi, and purportedly speaking on behalf of the Israeli viewpoint was Alan Elsner, adviser to Jeremy Ben-Ami, the director of J-Street. Another member of
J-Street served as the moderator.

We maintain that this was a stacked deck against Israel.

There can be no doubt that this was a clearly anti-Israel event, and a sham as a "debate." In April of 2014, some seven years after the founding of J-Street, Professor Alan Dershowitz, author of THE CASE FOR ISRAEL, made the following comment about it: "I went back and read every single J-Street press release from the first day of its existence. I could not find a single one that praised Israel. How can you be a 'pro-Israel' organization and not express any pro-Israel views? It is shocking to me. Every press release seems to have a negative about Israel." And the following month, Professor Dershowitz remarked: "J-Street is the worst hypocrisy. They want to be part of the 'big tent' but they will not allow people like me to ever speak at J-Street events."

Librarians for Fairness agrees with Professor Dershowitz's codemnations of J-Street and we maintain that it is still an anti-Israel group. And given J -Street's history of Israel-bashing, it came as no surprise to us that both
Mr. Azizi and Mr. Elsner concluded that the United states should not have recognized Jerusalem as Israel's captal.

Two other public libraries which, we note, have been unfair to Israel in their programming have been the Brooklyn (NY) Public Library and the Stark County Public Library, in Canton District, Ohio.

Public libraries, as taxpayer-supported institutions, have both a professional and ethical obligation to be neutral about international conflicts. The Portsmouth (NH) Public Library has clearly presented an anti-Israel program. For the sake of balance, fairness, and professionalism, we call on it to now schedule an unequivocally pro-Israeli lecture.