Berkeley, Ca. May 3, 2010
Release dare: May 4, 2010
Berkeley police today confirmed that the attack on Rabbi Lerner's home late Sunday May 2nd or early morning Monday May 3rd was in fact a crime and was being investigated.
The attackers used a powerful form of glue
to attach posters to his door and around the property of his home
attacking Lerner personally, and attacking liberals and progressives as
being supporters of terrorism and "Islamo-fascism." They posted a
printed bumper sticker saying "fight terror--support Israel" next to a
carcature of Judge Goldstone whose UN report on Israel's human rights
violations in its attack on Gaza last year has been denounced as
anti-Semitic and pro-terror by right wingers in Israel and the U.S.. The
caricature has Goldstone talking about his being kept from his
grandson's bar mitzvah, and the caricature of Rabbi Lerner responds by
saying "any enemy of Israel is a friend of mine." This attack and
vandalism follows on a week filled with Lerner and Tikkun staff
receiving hate mail, prompted apparently by Tikkun's announcement that
in case the South African Zionists had succeeded in preventing Judge
Goldstone from attending his grandson's bar mitzvah, as they threatened
several weeks ago, that Rabbi Lerner would gladly hold the bar mitzvah
in the SF Bay Area instead, and following Tikkun's announcement that in
light of Goldstone's courageous willingness to stand up for human rights
in Israel (his report called on the Israeli government to do its own
independent, pulbic and credibly objective investigation, punish those
responsible for the crimes or show that they didn't happen, and thereby
show that these actions were not government policy but the mistakes or
evil choices by people in the IDF who were acting as rogue elements and
not as a manifestation of the people of Israel) that Tikkun will award
our prestigious Tikkun Award to Judge Goldstone in 2011 at the event
celebrating our 25th anniversary! This story, which was prominent in
Ha'aretz and many other Jewish magazines and websites, has intensified
anger against Lerner and Tikkun among those who seek to perpetuate the
Occupation, and great support among those who realize that the
Occupation is really hurtful both to Israel and to the Jewish people
In the 24 years of Tikkun's operation, we have received many death threats and vicious hate mail, including phone calls to our office announcing that "Rabbi Lerner is dead" and others saying "We will kill all of you." This particular attack has two worrisome elements not previously there: 1. They attack Rabbi Lerner's home. As law enforcement people told us, this is a way of conveying the messaget to Lerner: "We know where you live, we know your house is vulnerable, so don't ignore our threats." 2. By linking Lerner to alleged terrorism, they provide for themselves and other extremists a "right-wing justification"to use violence against Lerner, even though Lerner has been a prominent advocate of non-violence. He regularly critiques Palestinian acts of violence when they occur, including the shelling of Israeli towns by Hamas, just as he critiques the violence of the Israeli occupation, and as he critiques the US war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the occupation of Chechny by Russia, the occupation of Tibet by China, the human rights violations agaisnt their own people by the rulers of Iran, the acts of violence of those resisting the US occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, the violence against women and homosexuals in many Arab and African countries (and in the US and Israel as well), the genocide in Darfur, the violence against Jews in some parts of Europe, and the list goes on.
Needless to say, this latest attack, on Lerner's home, has caused great concern to his family.
What can you do? Let people know that this kind of thing is happening in the Jewish world to people who critique Israeli policies.
To reach Rabbi Lerner directly:RabbiLerner@Tikkun.org or call the Tikkun office at 510 644 1200.