Town must unite in prioritizing the fight against antisemitism 

April 13, 2024

I commend Town Manager Kerry Lafleur for addressing the unsettling incident during the Finance Committee meeting on March 14, 2024. This effort, alongside the explanation of the incident and the measures taken to prevent future occurrences, underscores a commitment to our town’s integrity. However, the response’s focus prompts my concern. 

The incident transcends a mere breach of digital security; it’s a manifestation of a larger, more disturbing trend of antisemitism, reminiscent of the troubling events our community witnessed on October 7. The anti-Semitic imagery and rhetoric that infiltrated the meeting are not isolated incidents but part of a rising wave of hatred that software updates or enhanced security protocols alone cannot address. 

The impact of such hate speech on community members, especially those of Jewish heritage, is profound, demanding a response that extends beyond the technicalities of meeting management. It necessitates a stronger, more explicit condemnation of antisemitism and a clear statement of support for those affected. 

Understanding the need for a thorough investigation before releasing the meeting’s recording, it is essential to maintain transparency and accountability. The community deserves to know that acts of hatred are met with more than technological barriers but with a united, emphatic stand against all forms of bigotry and discrimination. 

In response to the rising antisemitism locally and globally, it’s imperative that our leaders, educators, and residents clearly unite in a strong, vocal opposition to hate, transcending technical solutions to embody our core values of inclusivity and respect. We must advocate for a balanced approach that addresses both technical and human elements, reinforcing our community’s resilience against divisiveness and hatred. 

Debra Kavaler Wysopal 

Annursnac Hill