Tikkun Magazine Tries to Muzzle Me


Tikkun Magazine, which I have long criticized for spewing hatred against Israel, is now trying to silence me by employing old fashioned McCarthyism tactics. They are blaming me for inciting a group of protestors who apparently glued some political signs to the house of Michael Lerner, who runs Tikkun. Of course I don’t know any of these protestors, nor was I aware of their actions until I read about them in the newspapers. Lastly, it goes without saying that I do not approve of people pasting posters on someone else’s property.

Although Lerner regards this as a hate crime, the local authorities have apparently explained to him that he cannot achieve the martyrdom status bestowed on victims of hate crimes because his Jewish attackers were not attacking him for his religion, but for his politics. On a scale of one to ten, having a few posters glued to your house ranks at about a one for seriousness. Lerner went to the press and is trying to use it to bully me into silence.

Tikkun blames the posters on an article I wrote criticizing Lerner for claiming that the Israeli government made a decision to kill as many Palestinian civilians as possible, without any military purpose, during Operation Cast Lead. This of course is entirely untrue, and the Goldstone report, which originally made this claim, produced absolutely no evidence to back it up. The reality is, as Colonel Richard Kemp, the former British Army Colonel, said,

“I don’t think there has ever been a time in the history of warfare when an army has made more efforts to reduce civilian casualties and deaths of innocent people than the IDF is doing today in Gaza.”

My criticism of Lerner was entirely valid, and it must have struck a painful chord in this rabbi who pitifully claims that he is pro-Israel; a curious statement to make for one who is essentially accusing the Israeli government and military of a blood libel. Lerner has been trying to silence me for years. In reviewing one of my books, he accused me, in the pages of Tikkun Magazine, of having the blood of OJ Simpson’s victims “on my hands,” because I was a member of the legal team that defended him.

This time, the anti-Israel guru and his followers have resorted to a different technique. They claim that I incited those who glued the posters to his house. The managing editor of Tikkun, David Belden, tried to link my article to an increase in hate mail and ultimately to the great gluing gambit. “It’s undoubtedly due to Dershowitz,” he said. What he failed to consider is that the hate mail may be a reaction to Lerner’s own hate mongering.

Another of Lerner’s followers, Richard Silverstein, has gone ever further, accusing me in effect, of trying to kill Lerner. Here’s what he has said,

“In effect, Dershowitz words here are the equivalent of ‘will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?’ Of course there are those willing to act on Dershowitz’s rhetoric. He, of course, is too slick to be caught anywhere near a real act of violence. He would rather use rhetorical violence to impugn the morals of his enemies and gin up real violence by others.”

This is by one who supports the rabbi who has impugned the morals of his own enemies, namely the leaders of Israel, by falsely accusing them of setting out to kill as many civilians as possible. Lerner, Belden and Silverstein know that I oppose violence as strongly as I favor the open marketplace of ideas. I have long argued that the best answer to falsehood of the kind promoted by Tikkun is the truth, and that the answer to bad speech is good speech. Tikkun Magazine has incited hatred against me and others who support Israel. I have been threatened with real violence, not a couple of posters on my house. I have needed armed bodyguards, policemen with bulletproof vests and other forms of protection from those incited by Lerner and his crew. Yet I would never try to shut down Tikkun nor silence Lerner. Nor should he try to silence me.

In any event, his efforts to frighten me into silence will not work. I am tempted to make a deal with him, of the sort that Adlai Stevenson offered one of his political opponents:

“If you promise to stop lying about me, I will promise to stop telling the truth about you.”

I will not make that promise because I will continue to tell the truth about Michael Lerner, as long as he continues to lie about Israel. Let him whine to the press about a little glue on his house. If he can’t stand the heat, he should get out of the kitchen.

  • Antitikkun

    Now where did I put my Super Glue?

  • insecticide

    Not rabbi. But "rabbi." Lerner is not and never was a rabbi.

  • osama

    Thank you fat Michael Lerner for helping me achieve all of my goals.

    Your friend,
    Osama bin Laden

    • Morrisminor

      That is so intelligent, sound like you are a real deep thinker

  • Jason

    WHo is Richard Silverstein? Find out here:

    www dot kapodickie dot blogspot dot com

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Underzog Underzog

    It is understandable that the coward Michael Lerner would try to muzzle Alan Dershowitz. Michael Lerner is the same coward who would not debate Rabbi Meir Kahane, Zt"l when he was alive.

    And it is questionable that Michael Lerner is a Rabbi, too:http://www.masada2000.org/selfhate.html

    p.s. I managed to call up Michael Lerner on the late, great David Brudnoy talkshow and made him sputter more than usual >>>>>>>>veg<<<<<<<<<<<<<

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Underzog Underzog

    It is understandable that the coward Michael Lerner would try to muzzle Alan Dershowitz. Michael Lerner is the same coward who would not debate Rabbi Meir Kahane, Zt"l when he was alive.

    And it is questionable that Michael Lerner is a Rabbi, too:http://www.masada2000.org/selfhate.html

    p.s. I managed to call up Michael Lerner on the late, great David Brudnoy talkshow and made him sputter more than usual >>>>>>>>veg<<<<<<<<<<<<<

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Underzog Underzog

    It is understandable that the coward Michael Lerner would try to muzzle Alan Dershowitz. Michael Lerner is the same coward who would not debate Rabbi Meir Kahane, Zt"l when he was alive.

    And it is questionable that Michael Lerner is a Rabbi, too:http://www.masada2000.org/selfhate.html

    p.s. I managed to call up Michael Lerner on the late, great David Brudnoy talkshow and made him sputter more than usual >>>>>>>>veg<<<<<<<<<<<<<

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Underzog Underzog

    It is understandable that the coward Michael Lerner would try to muzzle Alan Dershowitz. Michael Lerner is the same coward who would not debate Rabbi Meir Kahane, Zt"l when he was alive.

    And it is questionable that Michael Lerner is a Rabbi, too:http://www.masada2000.org/selfhate.html

    p.s. I managed to call up Michael Lerner on the late, great David Brudnoy talkshow and made him sputter more than usual >>>>>>>>veg<<<<<<<<<<<<<

  • freemind

    with rabbis like this who needs ennemies?

  • Jack Zeller

    Michael Lerner's arguments and rantings are as specious as Tikkun. And everyone knows it…He is a dangerous fool.

  • Michael

    Allan,ignore these kapos ,they are scams and not worth even to mentioned their names

  • JWilson

    It takes some chutzpah for the man who tried to have the governor of California ban a book and then got Norman Finkelstein fired to claim that he is being "muzzled" by criticism.

    • PW Virginia

      Finklestein was fires because he was incompetent …That someone points this out doesn't change the fact…

    • PW Virginia

      Finklestein was fires because he was incompetent …That someone points this out doesn't change the fact…

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/gorpreebley gorpreebley

        Not correct, Prof. Dershowitz challenged Finkelschmuck's scholarship. The reason he did so is Finkelschmuck had become the go to scholar for hatred against Israel.

        Not correct, Prof. Dershowitz challenged Finkelschmuck's scholarship. The reason he did so is Finkelschmuck had become the go to scholar for hatred against Israel.
        Not correct, Prof. Dershowitz challenged Finkelschmuck's scholarship. The reason he did so is Finkelschmuck had become the go to scholar for hatred against Israel.

        People should remember that Prof. Dershowitz is a card carrying liberal. But unlike many liberals today, he is pro-Israel. I disagree with the professor on many things but I am proud to live in a country with liberals like him who challenge my thoughts and ideas.

        Yes he defended Klaus von Bulow and OJ Simpson, but you never want to live in a country in which an Alan Dershowitz cannot standup and powerfully challenge us to live by our laws and the principles of this nation.

        By contrast, "Rabbi" Lerner is a closed system. Unable to see the genocide in the hearts of Israel's enemies

  • J Vincent

    Does dickie Silvestein have a job

  • Syd Barrett

    It was surely a white man that did the gluing job. Probably a tea partier. That's what Michael Bloomberg told me, anyway.

  • lopper

    Juden.
    Ghettos Jews.
    Jabotinsky believed "Yiddish blut is nicht hefket" (Jewish blod is not cheap), but Lerner and his crowd would give it away, so that they may remain part of a global elite. Like Kastner before him, advnacing the interests of his private mafia, so that other yidden may burn in furnaces. May Lerner's name and memory be erased.

    • Sarah Leah Lawent

      I hope when his time comes, they throw him next to the horror from Neturei Karta they just buried! I'm sure they can find some ppl from the NIF to keep them company.

  • david

    A Christian friend has asked me to point out that there are also many non-Jews, of every race, creed and color who despise Lerner for his hatred of Israel. And he's no rabbi, either; he calls himself that to impress people, but his bogus ordination is recognized by no major group. He's no more a rabbi than I am.

  • rac

    This shameful so called rabbi is known to be a a fabricator.and as always hungry for attention. Note this article about him where he himself admitted to fabricate letters to the editors on his own magazine in order to garner a favorable attention:http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/5319/tikkun-e

    So, it might be that he also fabricated this new incident about his home being vandalized. He of course on his Tikun Magazine blames it on Professor Dershowitz and the 'right wing Zionists where they used a tough glue on 5 posters 5X7 inches in size.. How does he knows that it was the right-wing Zionist who did so? The local police didn't determined so.

    I guess Lerrner couldn't stand Mr. Dershowitz criticism about his nefarious actions against the Jewish State so he goes to this ugly extent.

    A rabbi should strive for reconciliation. But Lenrner would have none of that.

  • USMCSniper

    Alan Dershowitz should know better tha to argue with a fool like Michael Lerner.

  • http://truthandjustice-online.com Solitarius

    This whole thing is a non-issue. Why are Dershowitz and Horowitz concerned with this idiocy and these idiots.

  • AL.
  • PAthena

    Note the new form of attack on freedom of speech, used by President Obama and his followers, including former president Bill Clinton – speech which leads to violence should not be allowed.

    • trickyblain

      Um, that was the Supreme Court. In a 1919 opinion given by Oliver Wendell Holmes.

  • Jacob

    I love how, on Lerner's Tikkun website, he is described as a "public intellectual".

    Says who?

  • Jacob

    I love how, on Lerner's Tikkun website, he is described as a "public intellectual".

    Says who?

    • Sarah Leah Lawent

      He's at the intellectual level of most of the American public these days, so it would seem. (Apologies to all thinking Americans out there)

  • trickyblain

    I really have no dog in this fight, but I'm not seeing the part where Lerner is trying to "muzzle" or "silence" Dershowitz.

    • Democracy First

      I agree; it`s not clear. Perhaps Lerner, by blaming dershowitz for the `hate crimes`committed against him, figures that puts a strong moral, maybe even legal, onus on Dershoswitz to quit criticizing him.

  • Syd Barrett

    It was surely a white man that did the gluing job. Probably a tea partier. That's what Michael Bloomberg told me, anyway.

  • lopper

    Juden.
    Ghettos Jews.
    Jabotinsky believed "Yiddish blut is nicht hefket" (Jewish blod is not cheap), but Lerner and his crowd would give it away, so that they may remain part of a global elite. Like Kastner before him, advnacing the interests of his private mafia, so that other yidden may burn in furnaces. May Lerner's name and memory be erased.

  • david

    A Christian friend has asked me to point out that there are also many non-Jews, of every race, creed and color who despise Lerner for his hatred of Israel. And he's no rabbi, either; he calls himself that to impress people, but his bogus ordination is recognized by no major group. He's no more a rabbi than I am.

  • http://kapodickie.blogspot.com Richard Silverstein

    I am an unemployed cheerleader for Hamas and I cross dress to show my support for terrorism. I always attack Dershowitz because he is so much smarter than me and he has a job. Actually Dersh's goldfish is also smarter than me. And I street walk for Normie Finkelstein.

  • Richard

    "Public Intellectual" – on Lerner's site. It is a misprint. He means pubic intellectual

  • son of yishai

    Actually the Bay Area Jewish community should condemn Lerner, not the sticker pasters. Lerner is the real vandal. He has led the Bash Israel anti-semites for decades. This one-time Seattle terrorist who supported the stripping of the Gush Katif Jews of all their property now dares to whine when a sticker is pasted on his door? Gimme a break!

    Rabbi-impersonator Lerner dreams of shipping off the Israeli Jews to Arab concentration camps.

  • SuperGoy

    What a bunch of wackjobs you "chosen people" are. Alan Dershowitz is a particularly gruesome specimen, both spiritually as well as physically.

    • Jonah

      What motivates a dupe like lerner must also motivate a dope like you. Dershowitz is a highly distinguished attorney for the most part and Lerner is a trash peddler … like people who resort to personal attacks.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/WildJew WildJew

    I want to believe in Alan Dershowitz, but I cannot. I must not. Alan Dershowitz supports the establishment of a Muslim-terror state in Israel. Professor Dershowitz supports Israel's destruction.

  • Yetwave

    Mail order 'rabbi' Lerner is Uncle Yankel, the Jewish equivalent of an Uncle Tom, currying favor with those whom he thinks matter by betraying his own people.

    SuperGoy defines him/herself as not a Jew by the use of Yiddish. Feel free to use the vernacular of the "chosen people" to define yourself. Is your use of it a sign of envy , a compliment, or just the inability of a stunted mental capacity to come up with another word ?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/WildJew WildJew

    I want to believe in Alan Dershowitz, but I cannot. I must not. Alan Dershowitz supports the establishment of a Muslim-terror state in Israel. Professor Dershowitz supports Israel's destruction.

  • badaboo

    The Palestinian National Charter , The Hamas Charter , The Hezbolla Proclaimation , the ranting of Ahmadinejab , the muslims in virtually every country …all wanting the destruction of Israel …WHAT DOES IT TAKE ? Syria and Iran sending missles to Hezbolla's growing ARSENAL in southern Lebanon , the CULT's "religious tenet " to kill a jew is to gain paradise , the inculcation of arab and muslim children to be suicide bombers and murderers , haters of jews and Israel , all done in the open before the eyes of the world, the palestinians themselves Hamas as well as Fatah indicating quite clearly that the purpose of a palestinian state is just another step in Israel's eradication …WHAT WILL IT TAKE ? for the idiots of this world to realize , that there NEVER will be peace between Israel and THE CULT of islam and it's adherents . Yet dhimmis , self-hating jews and the like, facilitate Israel's enemies .Sympathy for deranged religious serial killers , portraying them as "just normal people " ? They are not . Even jews who believe there should be no Israel until Moshiach arrives , all are giving comfort to Israel's enemies.

  • badaboo

    The Palestinian National Charter , The Hamas Charter , The Hezbolla Proclaimation , the ranting of Ahmadinejab , the muslims in virtually every country …all wanting the destruction of Israel …WHAT DOES IT TAKE ? Syria and Iran sending missles to Hezbolla's growing ARSENAL in southern Lebanon , the CULT's "religious tenet " to kill a jew is to gain paradise , the inculcation of arab and muslim children to be suicide bombers and murderers , haters of jews and Israel , all done in the open before the eyes of the world, the palestinians themselves Hamas as well as Fatah indicating quite clearly that the purpose of a palestinian state is just another step in Israel's eradication …WHAT WILL IT TAKE ? for the idiots of this world to realize , that there NEVER will be peace between Israel and THE CULT of islam and it's adherents . Yet dhimmis , self-hating jews and the like, facilitate Israel's enemies .Sympathy for deranged religious serial killers , portraying them as "just normal people " ? They are not . Even jews who believe there should be no Israel until Moshiach arrives , all are giving comfort to Israel's enemies.

  • 080

    Professor Dershowitz complains now as if the left has just now begun its "politically correct" attacks on all opposition. We all know about Lerner. Why doesn't Professor Dershowitz enlighten us about his positions on "hate crimes", and the efforts by the Obama regime to control talk radio. What does he think about Michael Savage? What does he think about Michael Levin? and of course, Rush Limbaugh? And why?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Indioviejo Indioviejo

    David: I'm a non-jew that have and will stand by Israel. In spite of the Learners, chomskys, and all of the hateful enemies of Israel and the civilized world. The leftist cabal covers all races and religions. Our common enemies have no conscience and therefor they find it easy to attack freedom and Democracy in the name of freedom, and Democracy. It's dangerous nonsense.

  • Morrisminor

    How exactly is Mr. Dershowitz being silenced? Did Rabbi Lerner sew his lips together or isolate him in some cell? Sounds like a couple of hot headed people trading barbs, not pounding their opponents heads in. Leave it to FPM to put the most lurid spin on in to satiate their rabid pitbull crowd.

  • http://www.tikkun.org Rabbi Lerner

    It is typical of this website that it consistently prints lies and distortions about me and about other Jews who criticize Israeli policies.
    I received my rabbinic ordination from 3 orthodox rabbis in a Beyt Din (Jewish rabbinic court) the same way that most orthodox rabbis throughout Jewish history and all chasidic rabbis today receive ordination. Two of those 3 rabbis received ordination from Chabad, the third from Yeshiva U's kollel (rabbinic study unit). So why do people need to lie about me in order to make their points?
    Second, why call criticism of Israel's current policies the equivalent of hatred of Israel? This criticism is not aimed at destroying but at strengthening Israel. You may disagree whether it is or not likely to strengthen Israel, but why assume you know the motives of others whom you have never met? Have you for example ever read my book Healing Israel/Palestine. Or read my High Holiday prayer book (the Machzor I put together) a list of sins for which to atone, one of which is “for the sin of not speaking out clearly when the Jewish people are unfairly critiqued.” You may think I'm a sinner on that count, but how can you imagine someone who hates Israel or the Jewish people including that kind of thought in his prayer book? It just makes no sense to dismiss me and others as hating Israel–it's not true, and the evidence is quite to the contrary.

    As to Judaism, one of its essential message from the Torah on is that human beings are deeply flawed but not fatally so, and that we can always return to God once we recognize where we’ve screwed up and “missed the mark.” It was that consciousness that generated the entire prophetic tradition, a prime example of which is read on Yom Kippur when Isaiah stands in front of the ancient Temple and says that God says that S/HE/IT hates the worshippers sacrifices because they are not alleviating the suffering of others on that most holy of days!!! Was Isaiah a self-hating Jew or an anti-Semite? Of course not. He was doing what is intrinsic and beautiful about Judaism. We need to take that example into any and every community of which we are proudly a part, and continue that prophetic critique today.
    And as the Mishnah Avot (sayings of the fathers) says: Do not judge your fellow human being until you’ve stood in his/her place. I do feel offended and hurt by all those on this list who spread hate about me personally. It's morally wrong to do that, not to mention a violation of every Jewish principle of avoiding personal attacks on individuals (which is quite different than critiquing my ideas–which is perfectly legitimate as long as it is the ideas and not the motives that you critique).

    As to our Tikkun/Network of Spiritual Progressives goal: it is to enhance love, caring, generosity, peace, social justice, and awe, wonder and radical amazement at the grandeur and mystery universe. But how that manfiests, say, in relationship to Islam is to recognize that just as there are many different versions of Judaism there are many different versions of Islam, and we should be building ties to the peace and social justice oriented parts of that community. If you don’t know those parts, you should subscribe to Tikkun at http://www.tikkun.org because we print such voices, and they are substantial leadership people in the Muslim world.

    Let me leave you with one line that we sing during the key part of the Yom Kippur Slichot services (read 5 times on yom kippur):
    “And you shall bring to my holy mountain your various sacrifices to be acceptable on my alter. BECAUSE MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL PEOPLES.” Note that it doesn’t say all peoples will become Jews or Christians or like us–it retains the individuality and specificity of different traditions and calls for them to be brought into God’s house, and implicitly for them to bring their own ways in so that God’s house can truly be a house for all peoples. That is the only reasonable future for Jeruslalem, and that is the message that will bring Jews the safety and security that we really need.
    –Rabbi Michael Lerner
    Editor, Tikkun Magazine

    P.S. Is there any reasonable person reading this list that can read what I've just said here and then label it, as many have on this list, as spewing hatred or as "rantings." Fine, disagree, but show the respect toward me that everyone created in God's image deserves (which is why, incidentally, we never allow people in Tikkun to personally put down someone like George Bush or Netanyahu, though we do allow strong criticisms of their policies).

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  • Rabbi Haim

    Lerner is not a rabbi at all but a rabbi impersonator