Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Thursday | February 13, 2003

ANSWER bans rabbi from speaking at SF rally

Another reason why the anti-war left needs to oust ANSWER from its activities.

[T]he peaceniks pulling together the San Francisco march and rally may have tainted their efforts by allowing the banning of Rabbi Michael Lerner as a speaker.

Lerner is the progressive Jew. He edits Tikkun, a magazine mostly written by lefty Jews. (Its name is Hebrew for "to mend, repair and transform the world.") He can be counted on to sign on to most liberal causes. He is a signatory to the Not In Our Name antiwar pledge. His Tikkun Community is a member of the United for Peace & Justice coalition that opposes a U.S. war against Iraq. (Other members include the American Friends Service Committee, Global Exchange, Greenpeace, TransAfrica, Working Assets.) He has been a leading Jewish voice against the hawks of Israel and a supporter of Palestinian rights, while calling himself a Zionist.

So it was natural that his name was floated as a speaker for the protest. Not In Our Name and United for Peace & Justice were two of the four coalitions behind the event. (According to Lerner, he did not ask to address the San Francisco rally. "You can't say much in three minutes," he notes.) But International ANSWER, another of the organizers, said no.

Lerner's crime: he had dared to criticize ANSWER, an outfit run by members of the Workers World Party, for using antiwar demonstrations to put forward what he considers to be anti-Israel propaganda.

While ANSWER has no part in the NYC rally this weekend, it is unfortunately a co-sponsor of the SF rally. Lerner, for his part, is not urging a boycott -- he's encouraging people to attend the rally. But it remains difficult for the anti-war left to claim legitimacy when it continues to be led by the far-left bigoted censors at ANSWER.

(Incidentally, the link above is to an article published in The Nation, not exactly a propaganda wing of the VRWC.)

Posted February 13, 2003 08:08 AM | Comments (48)


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