Temple Needs to Fire Hill
The sad thing about public vigils and memorials like the one many synagogues held for the Pittsburgh 11 is that we have to have them at all (“CNN Fires Temple Professor for Inflammatory Remarks,” Dec. 6). We as a Jewish community need to be proactive in fighting anti-Semites like professor Marc Lamont Hill of Temple University, who is poisoning the minds of our college youth with his outrageous anti-Israel tirades calling for “Palestine to be free from the river to the sea” and advocating for the use of violence against the state of Israel.
There are those who cite the freedom of speech guarantee to avoid having to take any action against his language that is clearly an incitement to violence; such speech is not protected by the First Amendment. I call upon the same social justice warriors who hold high the “No Room for Hate” posters to employ the same campaigns in support of their Jewish brothers and sisters. We are taught to take action in the face of wrong mindedness, harmful rhetoric and immoral deeds; confronting those wrongs is fundamental to our Jewish values.
So I call upon the JCCs, synagogues and all other Jewish organizations to contact Temple and let them know how Hill’s views are unacceptable to the Jewish community and reflect negatively upon the university he represents. He should not be given a platform to espouse his hateful rhetoric, nor propagandize impressionable students with his lies. He was hired to teach not indoctrinate. He needs to go.
Steve Wenick | Voorhees, N.J.
An Invitation to Show Up at Defacer Sentencing
On Aug. 13, 2017, Philadelphia experienced a precursor to the attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh (“Northeast Synagogue Defacer Pleads Guilty,” Nov. 15).
As was reported in the Jewish Exponent, Sheidali Dzhalilov made a vulgar gesture at the security camera of Congregation Beth Solomon, and then urinated on the front door. When police checked his Facebook account, they found a post in which he had written, “This video makes me wanna kill every single Jew out there, finish what Hitler couldn’t.”
On Nov. 8, Dzhalilov was charged with ethnic intimidation, desecration of a place of worship and institutional vandalism. He pled guilty and his sentence will be decided on Jan. 23. He could be penalized with fines of up to $22,000 and a maximum of 11 years in jail.
It is imperative that the judge and jury hearing this case understand the impact these crimes have had on Congregation Beth Solomon and our whole community. What happened in Pittsburgh could have happened in Philadelphia. We need to make it clear that hatred and disrespect will not be tolerated.
Members of Congregation Beth Solomon will attend Dzhalilov’s sentencing. I invite the community to join them and stand together in solidarity. The sentencing will take place on Jan. 23 at 9 a.m. in Philadelphia’s Municipal Court at 1301 Filbert St.
Ronit Treatman | Philadelphia