Statement by the Vaad Harabonim of Raritan Valley on Library Forum Cancellation
1 Sivan 5779
June 4, 2019
As you know the Highland Park library had scheduled a public meeting to discuss the reading of "P is for Palestine" at the public library. This matter attracted extensive coverage from local and national media outlets, as well as tremendous attention from competing audiences who were in favor and opposed to this proposal. We feared that a huge crowd would assemble for this meeting, and the meeting could easily erupt into a volatile confrontation between two opposing factions. In addition, the visible strong opposition of the Jewish community could endanger our religious institutions in the future.
We are relieved to announce that the library has chosen to cancel the meeting and is adopting the following compromise to defuse this situation and restore peace to our community: "P is for Palestine" will be read at the Highland Park Public Library, and a second reading of "I is for Israel" or something similar will take place at a subsequent date, shortly thereafter.
While it was critical for our community to demonstrate opposition to the planned book reading when it was assumed that many outside interest groups - some hostile to Israel - would descend upon Highland Park, we prefer this compromise for the sake of public safety and to avoid potentially toxic confrontations between opposing sides. The Vaad supports this compromise which diffuses a potentially volatile and explosive situation, and we ask the community to show their support as well. We also request that you not attend the "P is for Palestine reading," to prevent possible conflicts and altercations.
Vaad Harabonim of Raritan Valley