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On free speech and having it both ways

As much as it's becoming increasingly unpopular within our Jewish community to defend free speech, I'm going to continue arguing that it's terribly hypocritical to call for the preemptive banning of certain speakers whose views may be critical of Israeli government policy while forgetting that pro-Israel speakers have been - and are still being subjected to exactly the same treatment.

Who is to be the arbiter of which speakers should be allowed to appear here?


I have to admit: I’m really torn when it comes to deciding how to deal with controversial speakers whose message may be objectionable to large swaths of the Jewish community.
The issue has arisen in recent weeks as a result of two speakers having been invited to appear in Winnipeg - one Jewish, one Muslim – both of whom aroused the ire of certain individuals who are experienced at using social media to orchestrate campaigns whose purpose is to delegitimize critics of Israel.

Just how many Israelis are there in Winnipeg anyway?


Although two  stories elsewhere on this site  – about the new survey of Canadian Jews just released, and the town hall on the upcoming Israeli election, may appear to have little in common, there is one theme that does tie them together in my mind, and that is the question: Just how many Israelis are there living in Winnipeg right now?

Did the Jewish Federation cave to undue pressure over controversial speaker?

Lex Rofeberg


If you’re reading this and you hadn’t been aware that there was a huge storm of controversy that developed quickly over the past 2 weeks within Winnipeg’s Jewish community,  also within online Jewish communities whose members weighed in throughout the world – let me explain what happened.