January 19, 2022

Annual Year in Review Didn’t Mention June Rally Addressing Hate, Anti-Semitism

To the Editor:

While reading the recent Town Topics annual review of significant events in Princeton during 2021 [“Year Starts and Ends at COVID Peaks, as Town Moves Forward,” December 29, 2021], we were disappointed to discover that there was no mention of the June 17 rally addressing hate, anti-Semitism, and rising overt anti-Jewish incidents in Princeton and Mercer County. This peaceful and upbeat event was organized by the Jewish Federation and co-sponsored by a broad coalition of Jewish organizations and religious institutions. More than 300 people attended the rally, which featured local clergy of many faiths, local and statewide office holders, local Jewish teenagers, and Jewish and non-Jewish community leaders expressing their commitment to eradicating anti-Jewish bias and other manifestations of causeless hatred and endorsing tolerance.

The absence of coverage of the June 17 rally against hate and anti-Semitism was compounded by the content of Town Topics’ coverage of the “pro-Palestinian” rally that took place earlier last spring. The assembled crowd at the rally chanted “Palestine must be free from the river to the sea,” which unambiguously advocates the forceful expulsion or destruction of the seven million Jewish citizens of Israel. This antagonistic tenor was never mentioned. The coverage did not portray the complicated dynamics of the conflict and the role of Israel as objectively and impartially as we expect from a newspaper committed to a balance.

We hope that fairness and understanding will grow in our Princeton community and that Town Topics will play its important role as a vital news outlet for the entire Princeton community with greater accuracy and sensitivity.

Dan Herscovici
President, Jewish Federation of Princeton Mercer Bucks

Naomi Richman Neumann
Chairperson, Jewish Community Relations Council

Mark Merkovitz
Executive Director, Jewish Federation of Princeton Mercer Bucks

Carnegie Center, Princeton

Editor’s note: Town Topics thanks Dan Herscovici, Naomi Richman Neumann, and Mark Merkovitz for calling our attention to the June 17 rally, the absence of which was unintentional in the 2021 Year-End Issue, and notes their comments.