Here’s a lesson in democracy. In preparation for the upcoming November election
a group of local activists sent a questionnaire to the 85 candidates from their county
running for seats in the state legislature. They hoped the information they’d receive
would encourage debate and allow voters to make better decisions at the ballot box.
What did they get instead? They got slammed. Their survey was called “abhorrent
and repulsive,” and the newspaper that brought the charges against them ignored
their calls for a reasonable policy debate and did not allow them to respond with as
little as a letter to the editor.
The candidate survey from Peace Action Montgomery came under attack for a single
question in it, that – you guessed it – addressed the Israeli occupation.Del. Benjamin
Kramer (D-Montgomery), one of the candidates receiving the survey, issued a public letter
Anti-Semitic? You be the judge.
Question 5 is composed of only three sentences. The first two are statements of facts:
Ask Ron Halber, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of
Greater Washington, who described the questionnaire by Peace Action Montgomery
as “abhorrent and repulsive.” The JCRC holds its own set of candidate forums and dis-
tributes questionnaires to inform its members. But apparently others cannot do as
This whole controversy erupted on the front page of the local Washington Jewish
Week (“Parsing the D-word”). Peace Action Montgomery was quoted in the D-article,
but its letter to the editor following the publication of the slander was never printed.
In that letter, Peace Action Montgomery called for an open, reasonable debate on the
merits of BDS, pro and con. The group even invited the paper that slandered it to
co-moderate the debate. But the Washington Jewish Week has chosen to ignore the
invitation altogether. What are they so afraid of?
We print here what the Washington Jewish week would not publish:
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