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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

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The headline to Elizabeth Kratz’s “Community News” (“YU Prof. Signs B’Tselem-Linked Letter Protesting Jerusalem as Capital of Israel,” December 28, 2017) item mischaracterized the academics’ letter that Yeshiva University Professor Jess Olson signed: it was not “protesting Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” but rather calling on the Trump administration to clarify its Jerusalem declaration in a manner that would serve to de-escalate any tensions it created.

That a university professor exercised his freedom to express a nuanced personal view like this should not be considered news, even if it might be unpopular in some sectors of the community the university serves.

Ms. Kratz’s hybrid of reporting and editorializing fans the embers of what is essentially a non-story and, in contrast to the academics’ aspirations, seems to be trying to escalate tensions, at least within the Orthodox Jewish community.

Harley Schnall

New York, NY