Sunday, January 13, 2008

Ms. Magazine: Another Letter

The following letter was sent to Katherine Spillar, Executive Editor, Ms. magazine, at

Copies were sent to the following:

Dear Ms. Spillar:

I have heard of Ms. Magazine's refusal to publish an advertisement from the American Jewish Congress featuring three of the many women with prominent roles in Israeli society. I have also seen the advertisement and read your justification for the refusal to publish it.

I find the reasons given ingenuous, at best.

All the criteria you give for ads you accept seem to be met by the advertisement and by the non-partisan, non-profit organization seeking to place the advertisement.

It was certainly less partisan than the cover you mention, which featured one of the three women in the ad, thus favoring one party whereas the rejected advertisement included women from two different political party.

Ms. also has the precedent of featuring a single woman from neighboring Jordan, effectively endorsing the policies of Queen Noor's late husband, King Hussein. Indeed, one would expect the implicit endorsement of a royal dictatorship to be in sharp conflict with the mission of Ms. magazine.

I am left to wonder about the real reason for the rejection of the American Jewish Congress advertisement. There is only one reason I can think of: a fear of offending those who hate Israel by publishing an advertisement which shows the only liberal democracy in the Middle East in a favorable light.

This pandering to hatred would be a disgrace for any publication, but is especially disgraceful for a publication founded as an exercise in idealism, as part of a movement led in large part by Jewish women who were also Zionists.

The wrongful decision should be reversed, a public apology given and those responsible either fired or required to participate in diversity training.


Alan H. Stein
President, PRIMER-Connecticut

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