The Threat to Free Speech by Rabbi Alan Sherman

Rabbi Allan Sherman

Rabbi Alan Sherman, a close friend of mine, asked me as a favor to post this article for him. I have written many articles about Rabbi Sherman and his unfair treatment from the Jewish community because he is a Republican rabbi. He has a strong voice, one some are trying to silence; however, I feel that it needs to be heard. Here is what he has to say:

In the early ’80s when PBCo had a human relations board I served a term as chairman. My vice chair was Dr. B Carleton Bryant an outspoken black man who was an educator at then Palm Beach Community College. On a fact finding mission to Belle Glade to determine housing conditions we scheduled a town hall meeting. Dr. Bryant warned me ahead of time that during Q & A I would be shouted down as a racist. I asked him why and he answered that I was a white man of privilege, who dressed nicely and couldn’t possibly relate to their problems. His analysis was right on.

After some thought I realized that by calling me a racist it was an attempt to illegitimize me and shut me down completely. In today’s political environment the same tactic is being deployed with the result of people afraid to express their opinions for fear of retaliation to include job loss.  In addition to being called a racist accusations of being called Islamophobic or a white supremacist accomplish the same end.  It is worth noting that cases of anti-Semitism are treated differently. Celebrities and athletes making hateful statements need only have a session with a Rabbi to be exonerated. Their jobs are not in jeopardy.

Inflammatory accusations prevent us from asking legitimate questions. For example we recognize that Black Lives Matter has noble goals and legitimate complaints. Yet can we address the violence associated with their protests? Is it wrong to focus on Islamic societies that treat women and girls cruelly, promote terrorism and the hatred of Jews? Is it wrong to question countries that chant death to America and the overthrow of our government and way of life? The objective of inflammatory language is to make us realize that if we do speak up there will be negative consequences. Those who use this language have been successful in keeping us quiet given the cancel culture, systemic race theory and “social justice” environment which have given them cover.

The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) is an organization which has developed deep roots in the Democratic Party. In 2014, the UAE designated CAIR as a terrorist group. Their goal is to promote political Islam presenting them as a civil rights organization. Senate majority leader Chuck Shumer in 2003 acknowledged that “prominent members of CAIR’s leadership have intimate connections with Hamas”. At one point during his administration President Obama embraced CAIR by inviting their officials to the White House twenty times. To prevent criticism they are quick to call you Islamophobic and label your group as a hate group.

Since 2014 CAIR has succeeded in merging its Anti-Israel positions onto the BLM movement in the name of civil rights castigating Israel as an apartheid state and calling on the United States to end all military aid to Israel. This is why BLM demonstrations have included the defacing of synagogues with anti-Semitic graffiti in Los Angeles, Kenosha and other cities. Is it wrong to question BLM as to why they have chosen to work with CAIR in accepting anti-Semitism into its platform? Are we racist and Islamaphobic for doing so?

The Jewish community bears responsibility for not having condemned the anti-Semitism which was intentionally overlooked. The six hundred Jewish organizations supporting BLM felt that it is the most important movement since the civil rights era and marginalizing anti-Semitism was a small price to pay. The Jewish community will pay dearly for this mistake in the future.

The invitation to Linda Sarsour, a CAIR ally has posed a conundrum for Joe Biden. On one hand her slurs of Jews have raised criticism resulting in Biden having to distance himself from his campaign. Realizing that damage control was needed Biden’s top campaign advisors called her to apologize pledging that the Party would be genuinely inclusive. He can’t have it both ways. Would it be wrong to raise criticism of this intersectionality without be labeled Islamophobic? There is much fear of violence as a result of our free speech being silenced. If we don’t protect our constitutional rights now there will be much trouble ahead.

– From the desk of Rabbi Alan Sherman

About the Author
Angela Van Der Pluym is a Jewish girl from Chicago. She has a Political Science degree with an emphasis in Public Law. She is apart of the Young Leaders cabinet of Herut Noth America. She is a dog mom to her bulldog, Kylo.
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