[The latest of many reasons.]
Rabbi Michael Lerner has been banned from speaking at the antiwar rally in San Francisco this Sunday, February 15. One of the rally organizers, Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER), has stated that it will not allow a “pro-Israel” speaker to take the stage.
Note that Rabbi Lerner has been an outspoken critic of Israeli policy in the occupied territories — so outspokebn that he is regularly excoriated by some members of the American Jewish community.
He does however support the right of Israel to exist — which is apparently too “pro-Israel” for A.N.S.W.E.R., the lead organizers.
What about other, less extremist, participants in the demonstrations? (Which are about war against Iraq, aren’t they?)
Other coalitions organizing the rally, including Not in Our Name and United for Peace and Justice, have acceded to ANSWER’s opposition to Lerner, on the grounds that they had previously accepted as a condition for participation in the demonstration the agreement that if one of the groups vetoed a speaker that all would have to agree.
Not quite the model of Gandhian courage, if you ask me. And not very inviting, in a world of al Qaeda directives to “kill Americans and Jews.”
[Thanks to The Nation for publicizing this offense.]