In defense of dissent

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After reading last week’s editorial entitled “Who’s against a Malibu central park?” I feel compelled to speak up. Like most Malibu residents, I am not personally involved in the day-to-day issues facing our city, but I deeply appreciate both the public servants who maintain this beautiful city’s infrastructure and those private citizens who take time from their schedules to roll up their sleeves, initiate good proposals and get involved in civic affairs.

Therefore, I was taken aback by the editorial’s personal attack on the character and motives of Mr. Ozzie Silna. I am constantly amazed by Mr. Silna’s generosity, whether it concerns children in need or victims of unfortunate circumstances, and I respect his sincere efforts to keep this city pristine. The beauty of this great country is that it allows for voices on all sides of every issue to be heard; none must ever be silenced. Debate and discussion are key ingredients for a healthy society, or, as Thomas Jefferson put it, “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” We should give our greatest respect and appreciation to those who work tirelessly in city government to help make Malibu a better place. And at the same time, we should not forget the importance of private citizens like Mr. Ozzie Silna, who don’t hold public office yet are ready to involve themselves beyond the call of duty.

Rabbi Levi Cunin

Chabad of Malibu