East Texas Jewish Community Responds To Iran President's Visit - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


East Texas Jewish Community Responds To Iran President's Visit

It's just one visit, but it has captured the attention of most of the country.

"The fact that he's able to come over here and the fact that he's able to be given a forum to speak, and to be challenged, and to be protested, that's part of what makes America great," said Neal Katz, Rabbi of Temple Beth El in South Tyler.

Rabbi Katz said he is not upset with Ahmadinejad's visit today, but rather his words of the past.

"When we see people attacking the notion of a state of Israel, or questioning the validity of our greatest tragedy, those kinds of things concern us," said Katz.

Today, the president of Iran had to answer some tough questions about those remarks during his speech in New York at Columbia University--those past remarks included calling for the destruction of Israel and his denial of the Holocaust.

"What really is at the heart of it is not whether he should be able to speak, but the content of what he is saying, and the content of what he is saying is very troubling," Katz said.

And others in the Jewish community agree.

"He very much has a problem with Israel, the United States, Western style democracies in general," said Scott Lieberman, a member of Temple Beth El.

But Liegeman said Ahmadinejad's visit can also be a positive thing.

"I certainly think his exposure to the people in this country and the chance for people to be educated as to what this guy stands for, could be a powerful tool," he said.

Katz said America should appreciate the oportunity to allow this type of dialogue to happen.

And it's a dialogue which now has a lot more people talking.

Layron Livingston, KLTV 7 News. llivingston@kltv.com


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