Refutes Knapp's criticism


(Re: “Jackson owes Singh an apology,” Nov. 3)

To the Editor:

I am frankly befuddled and perplexed by Betsey Knapp’s demand that I apologize to Ramdat Singh for my Oct. 18 letter to the editor. In that letter, I commended Mr. Singh for condemning Hamas’ attack on Israeli civilians, while lamenting his apparent unwillingness to speak out against the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), who have blamed Israel for the attacks, calling them a “direct result of Israel’s apartheid regime.”

Ms. Knapp does not say anything in my letter was untrue. And she does not point to any actual statement to date by District Leader Singh, District Leader Martin, or their political club, the Unity Democrats, taking on the DSA and its divisive rhetoric about Israel. Ms. Knapp points to a generic statement opposing “hatred,” but ultimately her letter does not even mention the DSA at all.

And it is not as if Ms. Knapp is unfamiliar with the DSA. In fact, she previously served as the campaign treasurer for DSA member Samelys Lopez’s DSA-backed challenge to Ritchie Torres in the 2020 congressional primary.

Perhaps she and the Unity Club do not want to alienate the DSA because they are counting on its support in primary elections next year. I do not know.

Instead, Ms. Knapp attempts to distract the reader with a straw man, saying I accused Mr. Singh of antisemitism and supporting hatred, which my letter plainly did not do.

I did ask Mr. Singh to clarify his views about the DSA’s rhetoric in light of his prior support for the DSA and his social media activity concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

But this is a legitimate question about a political topic of interest to the community.

Asking it does not mean I have accused Mr. Singh of antisemitism. To the contrary, I have seen no evidence he harbors hateful views.

Speaking of views, those in my Oct. 18 letter were my own. I wouldn’t be a very good lawyer  if I weren’t able to think for myself.

It is unfortunate that vitriolic and unfounded attacks like Ms. Knapp’s are turning people off to local politics at a time when we desperately need more people involved in making our area a kinder, and safer place to live.


Ben Jackson

Ben Jackson, Betsey Knapp, Ramdat Singh, Israel, apartheid, DSA, Democratic Socialists of America,