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JewishJournal.com

November 1, 2010

Civility statement on political discourse to be unveiled

http://www.jewishjournal.com/nation/article/civility_statement_on_political_discourse_to_be_unveiled_20101101

A Statement on Civility in national political discourse is set to be unveiled by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.

The statement, the first step of a multi-part campaign led by the JCPA to inspire more civility in national political discourse in the United States, will be presented Monday.

More than 100 prominent Jewish leaders from Jewish community and pro-Israel groups, former Washington government officials, educators, rabbis and activists have signed on to the statement. Signers include Republicans and Democrats.

The statement can be signed online, where a list of signatories can be viewed .

It reads, in part: “(T)oday, the expression and exchange of views is often an uncivil, highly unpleasant experience. Community events and public discussions are often interrupted by raised voices, personal insults, and outrageous charges. Such incivility serves no purpose but to cheapen our democracy. When differences spiral down into uncivil acrimony, the dignity of individuals and community is diminished, and our precious democracy is weakened. People holding diverse views cease to listen to each other. Lack of civility makes it more difficult, if not impossible, to open minds, much less find common ground.”

“Therefore we as a community and as individuals, must pledge to uphold the basic norms of civil discussion and debate at our public events. We do this not to stifle free expression of views, but rather to protect it.”

Also Monday, former Bush administration official Noam Neusner will lead a panel discussion on civility titled “Toward Civility: A Community Conversation” at 2 p.m. at the UJA-Federation of New York building, 130 E. 59th St.

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