My thanks to The Jewish Standard for recent opinion pieces by Kenneth Jacobson and Shammai Engelmayer warning against demonization of the Orthodox and the charedim. Demonization of external enemies makes peace in the Mideast that much harder, and intra-Jewish demonization hobbles our community.

On that topic, the July 1 op-ed piece by another Engelmayer, Juda (“Parade no place for lightning rods”), advocates excluding controversial groups from the Israel parade, including the New Israel Fund, “which helped finance an effort … to divest from Israel.”

I asked the NIF about that and other incidents, and was told that it has a firm policy opposing global BDS (boycott/divestment/sanctions). The policy is available on the NIF website. The examples cited in the op-ed piece are more than five years old; four of the five grantees have not participated in any BDS-related actions since, while the fifth, the Coalition of Women for Peace, is no longer eligible for NIF funding. NIF engagement with dozens of Israeli NGOs actually allows it to make the case against BDS in a manner that convinces other organizations instead of threatening them.

Let us try to ask questions and understand others rather than perpetuating sinat chinam (baseless hatred) and lashon hara (evil speech).