Old letters
Old letters iStock

More than 200 members of the American Jewish community, including well known writers, intellectuals and activists, have signed a letter urging freedom of expression and condemning what they say is the “suppression of dissent” among US Jews, reported Newsweek.

The document is being referred to as the “Jewish Harper’s Letter.”

It was organized by the new Jewish Institute for Liberal Values, whose mandate is to challenge the increasing threat to the liberal value of the free expression of ideas.

The letter, addressed to “Our fellow Jews on equality and liberal values,” condemned the ideology that is “taking hold across the country, which insists there is only one way to look at the problems we face, and those who disagree must be silenced,” and stated that "suppression of dissent violates the core Jewish value of open discourse.”

Judaism "cherishes debate, respects disagreement, and values questions as well as answers,” it stated.

"There's been a growing culture of censorship in the Jewish community as there has been in broader society—people don't feel free to openly discuss sensitive topics and instead they feel bullied to repeat pieties about critical social justice," David Bernstein, founder of the Jewish Institute for Liberal Values, told Newsweek. "We don't think that's healthy."