A letter to the editor by Alex Cutler (“Our Community Must Stay United,” Jan. 2024) objects to Jewish RI even publishing an interview with Professor Ruth Ben-Artzi, calling it “inappropriate for a Jewish organization.”
If Dr. Cutler wants to wait until Israel is safe before the Jewish community is allowed to disagree on how to achieve that safety, he may be waiting another 5784 years. Israel has never been safe. Jews have always disagreed. In fact, one might say it is our lively intellectual discourse – what our grandparents called “Yiddishe kop” – that has contributed to our survival.
Dr. Ben-Artzi is an eighth-generation Israeli who was born and grew up in Israel, served in the IDF, and has immediate family and countless friends currently in Israel. She is an Associate Professor of Political Science with a focus on Middle Eastern Studies at Providence College, and a Providence resident who is raising her three children in the Rhode Island Jewish community. She also happens to be Benjamin Netanyahu’s niece, and as such views the situation in Israel with the utmost gravity, both personally and professionally.
We appreciate hearing Dr. Ben-Artzi’s deeply educated perspective on the conflict in Israel and are grateful to Jewish RI for publishing her interview.