A statement on public discourse
Rabbi Robert Scheinberg,
United Synagogue of Hoboken
November 24, 2010
(Permission is granted to reprint this statement, but only in its entirety.)
Like many, I was distressed by controversial artwork that introduced an unnecessary and painful resonance of Nazi-era politics into local Hoboken politics. Such imagery and rhetoric implicitly compares people today, in the relatively minor struggles of Hoboken politics, to an ultimate example of evil of our times, thereby trivializing the suffering of the Nazis' victims. I am glad that the artist has apologized for her poor judgment. Now it is time to move on.
The most sensitive events of the last century are entirely irrelevant to the critical issues that face Hoboken today. It is unwise and hurtful to invoke them, or the reaction to them, for rhetorical purposes or political gain. Hoboken is better off when the conversation stays focused on the substance of issues, rather than on issues of rhetoric.