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Colorado’s Jewish Community call on Colorado Public Radio to examine and change its persistent erasure of Jewish voices


We, the undersigned members of Colorado’s Jewish Community, call on Colorado Public Radio to examine and change its persistent erasure of Jewish voices in its coverage of anti-Israel and antisemitic activity and its oversimplification and overt sympathy toward anti-Israel and racist protesters. We ask that you examine your coverage and commit to including Jewish voices when Jews are being targeted and attacked. 

 

This communication arises from the factually incorrect piece by reporter Paolo Zialcita on June 23rd covering the Pride Parade. Please note the following points:

 

First, calling these protesters “pro-Palestinian” is a dangerous oversimplification that endangers Jews in Colorado. The deadly Hamas terrorists attack on October 7, 2023 included the murder of over 1,200 Israelis and abduction of over 250 people, many of whom were children, women and the elderly, and nine of whom are Americans. Anti-Israel protesters carrying racist signs and chanting slogans demanding the death or expulsion of Jews “from the river to the sea,” glorifying martyrdom and “intifada,” and demanding “resistance by any means necessary,” have gone largely ignored by the Colorado press, uncritically challenged and/or excused for their aggressiveness.

 

It is an unacceptable practice for the press to ignore the dangerous rhetoric found far too often among these activists. It is much more accurate to describe these protests, especially the one that disrupted the Denver Pride Parade and Festival as “anti-Israel,” rather than “pro-Palestinian.”

 

Next, it is important to note that it is inconceivable that a story that includes a variety of anti-Israel and antisemitic perspectives did not include a quote from a single Jewish person. This is all the more disturbing because the protest that saw anti-Israel activists seize the stage and the spotlight from the LGBTQ+ community occurred immediately prior to the scheduled performance of Laura Menorah, a very Jewish-identified drag queen, leaving the impression that Laura Menorah’s was interrupted simply for being openly Jewish.

 

Furthermore, it is astounding that a story related to the LGBTQ+ ignores the critical fact that Hamas represses human rights and routinely murders people simply for being LGBTQ+ in Gaza. According to Amnesty International, an organization that routinely criticizes Israel, “Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip repressed the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly. Torture and other ill-treatment were reported in Palestinian detention centers. Members of Palestinian armed groups summarily killed several suspected ‘collaborators.’ In Gaza, death sentences were passed and executions were carried out.”

 

The New York Times reported, “In Gaza, like in many places in the Arab world, homosexuality remains taboo and gay life happens largely behind closed doors. Government persecution is not uncommon, and in one high-profile case Hamas killed a prominent commander after accusing him of embezzlement and homosexuality.”

 

Finally, the article failed to mention clearly antisemitic statements and images at Pride. One of the protesters featured in images in the article made objectively hateful, antisemitic statements including, “Jewish people are the bullets that are sent into Palestinian bodies,” to cheers from the crowd. The article also failed to report the many antisemitic images and racist statements made by other protesters, including one who wore the green headband of the al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s military wing, along with the violence-justifying slogans “globalize the intifada” and “Palestinian liberation by any means necessary.”


We demand that CPR and all Colorado media do better reporting on the war in Israel and Gaza and ensure that Jewish voices are represented, not silenced or ignored. We would like to offer as a resource to CPR organizations within our community that can help producers, reporters and others at CPR to be better educated about antisemitism, anti-Jewish rhetoric and other actions that have such a negative impact on the Jewish community and their allies. We would be glad to help you better inform your audience with the depth and nuance in coverage they deserve.

 

Signed,


A Wider Bridge

American Jewish Committee

Anti-Defamation League Mountain States

Israeli American Coalition

Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center

Jewish Community Relations Council of Colorado

Rocky Mountain Rabbis and Cantors

StandWithUs

Stop Antisemitism Colorado

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