Michael Lerner brings down the house at Muhammad Ali funeral by standing up for Palestinians and against Netanyahu

Middle East

There were a lot of great speeches at at the Muhammad Ali funeral yesterday. We were particularly informed by Oren Lyons, faithkeeper of the Onondaga Nation, explaining that Native Americans have had 524 years of dealing with white people; and that experience was part of Ali’s education.

But we focus on the Middle East here; and Palestinians also came up in the funeral, and in what a wonderful and important way. Below is video of Rabbi Michael Lerner’s great speech, which brought down the house. You will see that he mentioned Palestinians twice and also mentioned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as an occupier and obfuscator. The people in the Louisville auditorium loved it. Especially this line at the start:

[O]ne of the reasons that we .. have called upon the United States to stand up to the part of the Israeli government that is oppressing Palestinians [applause] is that we as Jews  understand that our commitment is to recognize that God has created everyone in God’s image and that everyone is equally precious and that means the Palestinian people as well as all other people on the Planet

And Lerner then offered many other moral lessons in his speech, including denunciation of drone warfare and the Vietnam War and rapacious bankers and cruel, racist sentencing practices for black offenders; but notice that these moral lessons would be completely —— empty if not for the first one he offered: about the equality of Muslims and Palestinians. Lerner had to distance himself from the Israeli persecutors acting in his name in order to give his teaching; and again, notice how the crowd responded.

Lerner’s Eulogy:

Master of compassion, god of compassion, send your blessings to Muhammad Ali and send your blessings to all who mourn for him and send your blessings for all the millions and millions of People who mourn for him all over this planet. I come here speaking as a representative of American Jews — and to say that American Jews played an important role in solidarity with African-American struggles in this country and that we today stand in solidarity with the Islamic community in country and all around the world. [applause]

We will not tolerate politicians or anyone else putting down Muslims and blaming Muslims for a few people [applause].

We know what it’s like to be demeaned. We know what it’s like to have a few people who act against the highest visions of our tradition to then be identified as the value of the entire tradition. And one of the reasons that we in Tikkun magazine, a magazine of liberal and progressive Jews but also an interfaith magazine have called upon the United States to stand up to the part of the Israeli government that is oppressing Palestinians [applause] is that we as Jews understand that our commitment is to recognize that God has created everyone in God’s image and that everyone is equally precious and that means the Palestinian people as well as all other people on the planet. [applause]

I know the people of Louisville have a special relationship to Muhammad Ali and I had a personal relationship in the 60’s when both of us were indicted by the federal government and for our various stands against the War in Vietnam. I want to say that although he was cheered on as the heavyweight champion of the world, you know the truth is — and all the honor to him — but heavyweight champions of the world come and go and sports heroes come and go. There was something about Muhammad Ali that was different. At the key moment when he had that recognition, he used it to stand up to an immoral war and say no, I won’t go. [applause]

And it’s for that reason that tens of millions of Americans who don’t particularly care about boxing do care about Muhammad Ali, because he was the person who was willing to risk a great honor that he got and a great fame that he got to stand up for the beliefs that he had, to speak truth to power when the rest of the people around him said No, no, you’re going to lose your championship, and it was taken away from him for five years, but he stood up and was willing to take that kind of a risk because of that kind of moral integrity. [applause]

So I want to say how do we honor Muhammad Ali? And the answer is the way to honor Muhammad Ali is to be Muhammad Ali today. [applause]

That means us, everyone here and everyone listening. It’s up to us to continue that ability to speak truth to power. We must speak out, refuse to follow the path of conformity to the rules of the game in life. We must refuse to follow the path of conformity. Tell the 1% who own 80% of the Wealth of this country that it’s time to share that wealth. [applause]

Tell the politicians who use violence worldwide and then preach nonviolence to the oppressed that it’s time for them to end their drone warfare and every other form of warfare, to close our military bases around the world, to bring the troops home. Tell those who created mass incarceration that it’s time to create a guaranteed income for everyone in our society. [applause]

Tell judges to let out of prison the many African-Americans swept up by racist police and imprisoned by racist judges. [applause]

Many of them in prison today for offenses like possessing marijuana that white people get away with all the time. [applause]

Tell our elected officials to imprison those who authorized torture and those who ran the big banks and investment companies that caused the economic Collapse of 2008.

Tell the leaders of Turkey to stop killing the Kurds. Tell Israeli prime minister Netanyahu that the way to get security for Israel is to stop the occupation of the West Bank and help create a Palestinian state.[applause]

Tell the next president of the United States that she [sustained applause]— tell the next president of the United States that she should seek a constitutional amendment to make all national and state elections funded by congress and the state legislatures and all other sources of money be banned, including money from corporations, from individuals, all other money, make it all public funding. Tell her that the way to achieve homeland security is not for us to try new ways of domination, the strategy of domination of the world of the other to get security has been tried for the last 10,000 years and it doesn’t work. The way to get security is for the United States to become known as the most generous and caring country in the world, not the most powerful. [applause]

We could start with a global and domestic Marshall plan to once and for all end global and domestic poverty, homelessness — hunger, inadequate education, inadequate health care. [applause]

So I want to, as chair of the interfaith Network of Spiritual Progressives, [offering link here] come and join us. I want to affirm our commitment to the well-being of all Muslims on this planet as well as the people of all faiths and secular humanists as well. We wish to pay honor to Muslims of the world as they continue today the fast of Ramadan and join with them in mourning the loss and celebrating the life of Muhammad Ali, a great fighter for justice and peace. Peace be upon him, peace be upon the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon all of humanity and peace on all of us. Amen. [prolonged applause and standing ovation]

It was Muhammad Ali’s wish that Rabbi Lerner speak at his Memorial.

You will see that the speech fostered irony about Jewish narcissism from Chemi Shalev of Haaretz.

But Jeffrey Goldberg insinuated that Lerner had done something “inappropriate”.

Thanks to Yakov Hirsch and James North.

Update: Initially we misinterpreted Shalev tweet as critical of Lerner, and altered that line.

About Phil Weiss and Annie Robbins

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net. Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss

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110 Responses

  1. John O
    June 11, 2016, 12:09 pm

    Wow! Just wow.

  2. Annie Robbins
    June 11, 2016, 12:57 pm

    i am just floored by Rabbi Lerner’s eulogy. if you want to give him a shout out his twitter is @RabbiLerner — how beautiful, how so very beautiful. and the cheers and expressions of the crowd — and the doubt on the faces of others, including at times bill clinton’s, are priceless. the whole thing — just amazing.

    Thank you Rabbi Lerner!

    btw, not sure i agree Chemi Shalev didn’t think it was a hit. after all, “creates Jewish scandal of the day” could be a very good thing!

    • bintbiba
      June 12, 2016, 1:12 pm

      Dear annie,

      I do not do Facebook or the Twitter thingy …

      But maybe my friendly and grateful warm vibes could accompany you if and when you ever touch base with the good Rabbi !

      I watched the whole Memorial and was in tears at times !
      Lonnie Ali ….what a dignified and beautiful lady !

  3. Kay24
    June 11, 2016, 2:12 pm

    I noticed Bill Clinton was pretending to read something when Israel was criticized, the towards the end gave a weak applause, as if forced to do so. I guess if he was enthusiastic like the others, Hillary’s support from the wealthy zionists will suffer the consequences.

    Rabbi Lerner was called anti Israel by an annoyed zionist, and most probably the mean hasbara brigade will start demonizing him further, but he seems to have a spine, and that will help him face the hatred. The Palestinians need more voices like the Rabbi, and we need to hear such passionate speeches too.

    • JWalters
      June 11, 2016, 7:23 pm

      Astute observation. Here’s a clear and forthright, excellent analysis comparing Donald Trump’s and Hillary’s anti-Palestinian bigotry, by history professor Lawrence Davidson.
      https://consortiumnews.com/2016/06/11/two-bigots-running-for-us-president/

      • Kay24
        June 11, 2016, 9:42 pm

        “In what way is Hillary Clinton, now the “presumptive” presidential candidate of the Democratic Party, behaving like a de facto bigot? She does so in her open, prosecutorial hostility toward the fight to liberate Palestinians from the racist oppression of Israel and its Zionist ideology.

        Clinton, having in this case traded whatever principled anti-racist feelings she has for a fistful of campaign dollars, has openly sided with the Zionists. And, as she must well know, they are among the world’s most demonstrative bigots.

        Having made this alliance, she praises Israel as a democratic state upholding the highest ideals and ignores or justifies the illegal and blatantly racist treatment of its Palestinian population. In fact, she wants to reward Israel for its racist behavior and policies by pretending that to do so is to assist in the necessary self-defense of the Zionist state.

        At the same time, former Secretary of State Clinton is willing to attack those who fight against Israeli bigotry, particularly in the form of the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) movement. Disregarding U.S. law, she has pledged herself to destroy the BDS movement even if she has to rip to shreds the First Amendment of the Constitution to do it.

        And – here is the irony of it all – she claims she has taken this position in order to fight anti-Semitism, one of history’s most pronounced bigotries.”

        Good description. Thanks for that interesting article.

    • Kathleen
      June 14, 2016, 5:58 pm

      Watched live and noticed Clinton first laughing in a mocking way, then looking down when Lerner went for the jugular.

      I believer Lerner was challenging all of us to hold Clinton’s feet to the fire if she becomes President. Although I believe that will be impossible when it comes to the I/P conflict and other disastrous middle east policy decisions she has been deeply involved in.

      When Lerner was headed to the microphone the host of the event said something about “not ruffling feathers” Lerner answered “we will see about ruffling feathers” He started hitting the nail and kept banging.

      He had the room (Ali’s) family up standing for quite some time.

      There were so many incredible speakers. Worth watching the whole event. Moving. What a testimony to Ali’s character that this is how he wanted it.

      Like so many my age we started really respecting and loving Ali when he put his own career, finances on the line by deciding not to serve in the criminal Vietnam war. Learned so much more about what a humanitarian he was throughout his life.

  4. ritzl
    June 11, 2016, 2:13 pm

    Parts were really good and spoke to Ali’s model of courage and timeless inspiration. ··sniffles··

    Parts were really bad and promoted politics of killing Muslims, destroying whole countries for no apparent reason, facilitating domestic economic apocalypse and inequality, etc., that were completely at odds with Ali’s stand-up-and-cheer (wish-he-was-still-here) message and moral legacy.

    Yep. Lerner then, like me now, should have left any references to current, profoundly non-laudible, muddled and muddling (the anti-Ali effect), tarnishing domestic politics out of any tribute to a very great man.

    Sorry.

    • Annie Robbins
      June 11, 2016, 7:04 pm

      Parts were really bad and promoted politics of killing Muslims, destroying whole countries for no apparent reason, facilitating domestic economic apocalypse and inequality, etc., that were completely at odds with Ali’s stand-up-and-cheer (wish-he-was-still-here) message and moral legacy.

      please explain. i transcribed the speech above and don’t recognize these parts. could you use the text of the speech and highlight what parts you’re referencing?

      • ritzl
        June 11, 2016, 8:09 pm

        Hi Annie.

        “Tell the next president of the United States that she…” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/06/standing-palestinians-netanyahu/#comment-842773

        Anywhere Lerner said “she” he was talking about Clinton, and by extension advocating her signature policies of destabilization and death abroad and the effects of free trade here at home.

        “Dropping bombs and bullets on brown people” is specifically what Ali said he would not do at risk of prison. To fold a political pitch for a candidate that promotes policies that would – perhaps arguably – be anathema to the Muhammad Ali of the 60s, into a eulogy for him was pretty out of line. To me anyway.

        My recollection/sense of Ali was that he would have opposed both Trump and Clinton. I have no idea why Lerner would tarnish Ali’s legacy by associating him with Clinton – even if, but also especially because, the association is so highly debatable.

        Ali’s words at the time:

        “Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here. I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality.… If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years.”

        http://fusion.net/story/309979/muhammad-ali-dead-quotes/

        But like I said there were good parts. And who knows, maybe today Muhammad Ali did support Clinton. I just found that the references to “she” took me right out if the moment.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 11, 2016, 9:58 pm

        Anywhere Lerner said “she” he was talking about Clinton, and by extension advocating her signature policies of destabilization and death abroad and the effects of free trade here at home.

        would that hold true for everyone talking about Clinton, that by extension they are advocating her signature policies? or just lerner.

      • ritzl
        June 11, 2016, 10:31 pm

        “…everyone talking about Clinton”…no.

        In the context of Lerner’s eulogy about political advocacy, that we’re in the middle of a presidential campaign, and Clinton is the only woman candidate…yes.

        To me, if one is advocating for a candidate, they’re advocating for the policies of that candidate. If those policies and historical practices of the candidate touted seem directly opposed to Ali’s own words, it stands out.

        To state my assumption, when Lerner says “she” in the above context he is saying “Vote for Clinton.” I could be wrong about that, but it read that way to me.

      • Sibiriak
        June 12, 2016, 4:20 am

        ritzl: … advocating her signature policies of destabilization and death abroad and the effects of free trade here at home.
        ————————-

        The structure and content of the speech suggests otherwise. Lerner first calls for “speaking truth to power”:

        That means us, everyone here and everyone listening. It’s up to us to continue that ability to speak truth to power. We must speak out…

        He then goes down a list of powerful folks that need to be subjected to popular pressure:

        Tell the politicians…

        Tell judges…

        Tell our elected officials…

        Tell the leaders of Turkey…

        Tell Israeli prime minister Netanyahu….

        ————————-

        That list of the powerful that need to be pressured culminates with the next president of the United States:

        Tell her that the way to achieve homeland security is not for us to try new ways of domination , the strategy of domination of the world of the other to get security has been tried for the last 10,000 years and it doesn’t work. The way to get security is for the United States to become known as the most generous and caring country in the world, not the most powerful. [applause]

        We could start with a global and domestic Marshall plan to once and for all end global and domestic poverty, homelessness — hunger, inadequate education, inadequate health care. [emphasis added]

        —————————

        Lerner is calling for a progressive foreign policy that replaces domination with generosity — the opposite of “policies of destabilization and death abroad”; and he is calling for a global and domestic Marshall plan to end poverty, hunger etc.– the opposite of the Clintonite neoliberal ” free trade” scam.

      • Marnie
        June 12, 2016, 4:46 am

        I was on the edge of my seat and completely swept away by the emotions of Michael Lerner and the audience, but felt like I was hit with a bucket of ice when he brought up the next president and what “she” should do. It was very hard looking at bill clinton. I’m not sure about the last part of his speech when he’s talking about “her” as president, but I choose to take his words to “her” as words to the unwise to be wise if she’s elected. I loved his words about what america should strive to be – compassionate, generous, caring and not powerful, although being compassionate, generous and caring is very powerful.

      • ritzl
        June 12, 2016, 11:31 am

        Sibiriak, Agree and disagree.

        Yes Lerner laid out an enlightened moral vision in the good parts. Agree.

        But then he muted/muddled that beautiful moral message by soliciting support for a presidential candidate who’s history and immutable predisposition going forward (as evidenced by her apparent inability to learn lessons from past catastrophic errors in judgement) to continue down that “war as first resort,” “We came. We saw. He died.” psycho-“path.”

        The killing of “brown people,” which Ali tirelessly protested, is apparently completely acceptable behavior for Clinton. By including his solicitation for Clinton, Lerner zeroed out his moral message and Ali’s moral legacy (within the context of the eulogy). So I disagree. The “structure and content of the speech” did not suggest otherwise. Not the whole speech.

        Perhaps Lerner is an extremist optimist and thought that Clinton could be “pressured” into becoming more Ali-like, or at least internalizing some of his views, but that’s a forlorn hope, imho. As a result he, again imho, was simultaneously advocating both for and against Ali’s vision in this eulogy.

        Lerner merged potential spiritual uplift with demonstrated, real-world proclivities, and told us it’s all good. What a shame. What a waste of a pristene moment.

        Having said all that, reasonable adults can take the good bits (which you listed) to heart, ignore the bad/self-defeating bits, and be inspired. I was just disappointed that the insertion of highly-debatable politics meant we (or selfishly, *I*) were left with the need to make that choice.

        I never should have brought this up.

      • David Doppler
        June 12, 2016, 1:05 pm

        Thank you, Mondoweiss for featuring and linking this part of the memorial service that didn’t get coverage in my usual sources. Thank you for the link to the incredible back story about Ali requesting that Lerner speak there, despite decades of non-contact (except Ali reading his books, and one letter), which, to me, makes amends for Lerner’s using the platform to promote his views, which seemed a bit out of place, over the top, upon viewing, without yet knowing of Ali’s specific request. If Ali wanted it, then it was not out of place.

        And thank you ritzl, Annie, Sibiriak, Marnie, for parsing Lerner’s Jeremiad. His central message – be Ali today, speak truth to power – resonates deeply, and deserve the kind of coverage and analysis only Mondoweiss seems capable of.

    • WH
      June 13, 2016, 3:02 am

      I fail to see how the references to Clinton are any expression of support. They express the assumption that she will become president, and urge the public to move her in a better direction than he knows she operates in.

      • Kathleen
        June 14, 2016, 5:20 pm

        Totally agree.

  5. echinococcus
    June 11, 2016, 4:00 pm

    Tell Israeli prime minister Netanyahu that the way to get security for Israel is to stop the occupation of the West Bank and help create a Palestinian state

    …and keep the rest, eh?
    What are you all aahing and oohing at a Zionists’ speech? His job is to make Zionists look nice and keep whatever they conquered.

    • JWalters
      June 11, 2016, 7:36 pm

      Lerner is advancing the discussion in the right direction. Step 1, Netanyahu is wrong. It opens the conversation to further relevant facts. Critiques like yours, that he still leaves out a lot of truth, are also invaluable.

      • echinococcus
        June 11, 2016, 11:42 pm

        Right direction?
        He is saying the same things as the Yahoo when it comes to what counts. The relevant fact, in the order of importance, is not that the Zionist entity is repressive or ugly or uncharitable: it is that it is illegal and with no right to be anywhere on Palestinian territory. The “two-state” plea is something Bush and Blair and Obama and Clinton and all crocodiles give lip service to: it’s the best way to ensure that all Palestinians remain under total Zionist control and the best way to pretend that their right to other people’s land is recognized.
        So no, he is advancing it in the wrong direction, the one that is jake with the whole abominable business as long as there aren’t too many massacres and that some charitable bones are thrown to the natives.
        I know, of course, that many here aren’t happy with this order of priorities, as they are hell-bent on ensuring a “legal” foothold to the Zionist entity and present the human rights excesses as the main problem. What better toward that than advocating an undefined “two-state” “solution”?
        Meanwhile, the important thing to impress in the mind of the uninvolved American is not necessarily the fact that the Zionists are horrible and use thoroughly Nazi methods. It is that they are entirely On Other People’s Land and intend to deal with the owners of the land exactly like the US with its natives in the 19th Century.

    • Boomer
      June 14, 2016, 5:44 am

      “His job is to make Zionists look nice [at least in their own eyes; feel good about themselves,] and keep whatever they conquered.”

  6. hophmi
    June 11, 2016, 4:39 pm

    Thank you to Rabbi Lerner for endorsing the two state solution. Will Mondoweiss follow suit? Thank you also to Rabbi Lerner for echoing Yossi Klein Halevi’s call last week for American Jews to “to protect the physical and emotional safety of American Muslims.”

    • Donald
      June 11, 2016, 5:31 pm

      I’ve always liked Lerner– he’s obviously a decent guy who really does want a fair and just solution for everyone. He genuinely hates violence. I can say this without necessarily agreeing with him about everything. If Palestinians are willing to support a 2ss, that’s fine with me, but it isn’t my choice or Lerner’s to make.

      • hophmi
        June 11, 2016, 11:55 pm

        Lerner’s problem is that like many activists, he has a very hard time seeing anyone else’a POV, ans that can make him insufferable. I met him once, and he was just sanctimoniousness personified. That’s not the way to make change.

      • eljay
        June 12, 2016, 8:55 am

        || hophmi: … he was just sanctimoniousness personified. That’s not the way to make change. ||

        You’re hypocrisy personified. That’s not the way to make change, either.

      • Mooser
        June 12, 2016, 12:31 pm

        “I met him once, and he was just sanctimoniousness personified.”

        Not an easy-going, hail-fellow-well-met, regular guy like you, “Hophmi”?

    • Steve Grover
      June 11, 2016, 6:28 pm

      Hophmi,
      Why do you care if MW and their fellow travelers endorse a 2ss or not? Hatred of Israel is their industry.

      • JWalters
        June 11, 2016, 7:27 pm

        Love of Justice is their industry.

      • Mooser
        June 11, 2016, 8:24 pm

        “Why do you care if MW and their fellow travelers endorse a 2ss or not?”

        “Hophmi” doesn’t care. I know that, because “Hophmi” comes almost everyday to tell us he doesn’t care what we endorse.
        And you are making it more and more apparent that you don’t care, either, “Grover.”

      • eljay
        June 11, 2016, 9:35 pm

        || Steve Grover: … Hatred of Israel is their industry. ||

        Say the Zio-supremacist hypocrite who – like all Zio-supremacists do when it comes to I-P – hates justice, accountability and equality.

      • Talkback
        June 12, 2016, 3:55 am

        Well, Grover, one must by a psychopath to love what Israel is doing to Palestinians. And I can tell that you love it a lot.

    • echinococcus
      June 11, 2016, 7:14 pm

      One good way to know what three-card monte players are up to is to watch reactions by the Hophmis of this world.

      Hophmi loves Lerner, as Lerner advocates keeping conquered Palestine (with a lot of charities) and making the abominable deal official. Like the Rockefellers and Carnegies running philanthropic good works for their victims. Hophmi loves the call to “protect the physical and emotional safety of American Muslims” while massacring people, no matter their religion, on their own land conquered and enslaved by the Hophmis and the Lerners.

      BS is getting cheaper by the hour.

    • Annie Robbins
      June 11, 2016, 7:24 pm

      hops, i would endorse a palestinian state if it was an option. i also thoroughly endorse unicorns — but what good would it do? israel has never allowed a sovereign palestinian state — nor endorsed a plan for 2 sovereign states.

      bds does not “endorse” a 2ss or a 1ss for good reason. the objective of bds is equal rights, the right of return, ending the occupation and dismantling the wall. this is what they endorses and does not imply a preference wrt 1 or 2 states (probably because it is more important for unity within the collective of palestinian society wrt objectives/demands for equal rights)– hence, as long as palestinian [3] demands are met, the outcome wrt 1 or 2 states remains secondary (to their primary objectives).

      Rabbi Lerner thinks 2ss is doable. all the world could endorse it but if israel and palestine do not, without an active body from the international community willing to enforce it (because israel will not allow it), it becomes irrelevant whether mondoweiss readers and commenters endorse it or not.

      so ask yourself, do you support outside intervention imposing a 2ss on israel/palestine? because you must know by now israelis will not allow it at this time and age. so your support for a 2ss is meaningless sans support to impose this solution.

      • hophmi
        June 12, 2016, 4:50 pm

        Not true, not true at all. The 2ss remains the most realistic and pragmatic of solutions. I’m always surprised at how people here call for solutions imposed from the outside in the Holy Land, but criticize them in virtually every other situation.

        BDS all but endorses a one state solution, their official agnosticism notwithstanding.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 12, 2016, 5:53 pm

        Not true, not true at all. The 2ss remains the most realistic and pragmatic of solutions

        what’s not true? that “israelis will not allow it at this time and age. so your support for a 2ss is meaningless sans support to impose this solution.”

        so you think israel will allow it? you think it’s realistic and pragmatic and they will allow it? ok, whatever. clearly we do not agree.

        BDS all but endorses a one state solution

        speaking of realistic and pragmatic, in most ways it is already one state, just one apartheid state. the entire geographic region is ruled by the same regime. bds endorses neither as much as it endorses both because their goals are not state specific they are rights specific. so if they have those rights, which are equal rights, then what difference does it make? the fight over 1 or 2 states doesn’t interest me, because israel won’t allow equal rights in one state or 2. so it’s a moot point arguing about it.

        again, until there’s a outside solution imposed on israel nothing will change. i firmly believe that and it’s not true that i would criticize boycott, divestment and sanctions “in virtually every other situation.”

        with the right pressure from outside, if sanctions were imposed on israel, i believe they would be forced to change their ways. i wasn’t suggesting a military intervention, i don’t advocate bombing them into submission. bds is non violent pressure. but in any such viable 2ss scenario, initially there would probably have to be international forces protecting the border like there is in lebanon. i don’t really see that happening, i don’t see the international community coming together and forcing change anytime soon.

        so i think what will happen is that global citizens (regardless of their governments) will stop purchasing israeli good and we’ll continue to see a dive in israeli exports. similar to what’s been happening recently: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-05-16/israeli-economy-slows-in-first-quarter-as-exports-plummet

        May 16, 2016: Israeli Economy Slows in First Quarter as Exports Plummet

        The Israeli economy slowed far more sharply than expected in the first quarter as exports plunged, prompting calls for government investment to boost growth.
        Gross domestic product expanded at an annualized rate of 0.8 percent in the January-March period compared with a revised 3.1 percent in the previous three months, the Central Bureau of Statistics said Monday. Exports, excluding diamonds and startups, sank 12.9 percent. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey had been for 2.6 percent growth.
        “Exports are going through a very difficult period and the impact on GDP was worse than expected,” Alex Zabezhinsky, chief economist at Meitav DS Investments Ltd., said by phone, citing Israeli makers of pharmaceuticals and electronic components as the hardest hit. “This is going to continue to affect growth all year.”

        The Bank of Israel has been reluctant to use unconventional tools, such as the negative rates adopted by other central banks, to stimulate the economy after 20 months of annualized price drops and tepid growth. The new data should propel government policy makers to act more aggressively to stave off a recession, said Shraga Brosh, president of the Manufacturers Association of Israel.

        ‘Dangerous Direction’

        “The Israel economy has been moving in a dangerous direction for a long time,” Brosh said in an e-mail. The government, he said, must take steps to “promote industrial growth and exports, improve productivity and create new jobs in the private sector.”

        Sluggish global demand and the strength of the shekel have hurt overseas sales, which account for about a third of the $300 billion economy. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd., one of the country’s largest insurers, lowered its 2016 growth forecast last week to 2.7 percent from 3 percent. Zabezhinsky says growth will probably be about 2 percent.

        The fourth-quarter figure was revised downward from an earlier estimate of 3.8 percent released a month ago.

        Because private consumption rose 4 percent and capital investments went up 17.3 percent, the numbers “are not weak enough for the BOI to use the interest rate tool,” said Rafi Gozlan, chief economist at Israel Brokerage & Investments Ltd. “Yet we believe that due to the downward trend in exports, the low inflation and the strong shekel, the BOI will increase its volumes in the forex market.” The central bank’s benchmark rate has been 0.1 percent for more than a year.

        Market Reaction

        The shekel weakened 0.8 percent to 3.8149 per dollar, the lowest level since April 6 at 6:17 p.m. in Tel Aviv. The Tel Aviv benchmark index of stocks closed down 0.1 percent.

        Beyond the decline in exports, economic indicators are strengthening, said Ori Greenfeld, chief economist at Psagot Investment House, pointing to growth in consumption and investment.
        “It’s not as bad as it looks,” he said. “The bottom line is that even if we don’t see exports rebounding, we may see yearly growth holding strong.”

        Sales of Israeli goods are plagued by several industry-specific problems, Zabezhinsky at Meitav said. Intel Corp., which has large production facilities in Israel, is suffering from the global slowdown in the personal computer sector, he said. Pharmaceutical companies, an important Israeli export industry, are in a “negative momentum” and may cut investments, he said.

        just because they do not mention bds, does not mean it is not a factor.

      • eljay
        June 12, 2016, 6:16 pm

        || hophmi: … The 2ss remains the most realistic and pragmatic of solutions. … ||

        I agree with you:
        – Israel, the secular and democratic state of and for all of its Israeli citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally; and
        – “New State” (whatever it is to be called), the secular and democratic state of and for all of its “New State” citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally.

        I agree with you: No “Muslim State” or “Jewish State” or any other type of supremacist state.

        I agree with you: If they wish to do so at some point in the future, citizens of the two secular and democratic states can choose democratically to self-determine as a single nation and merge their two states into one larger secular and democratic state of and for all of its citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally.

        I agree with you.

      • hophmi
        June 13, 2016, 8:10 pm

        Annie, most of Europe is experiencing slower growth than Israel is. Is that because of BDS too?

      • Annie Robbins
        June 13, 2016, 8:30 pm

        Germany Increases Exports and Trade Balance http://www.fxempire.com/news/economic-news/germany-increases-exports-and-trade-balance-342936

        Italy growth expands on rapid rise in exports, investment remains a key driver http://www.econotimes.com/Italy-growth-expands-on-rapid-rise-in-exports-investment-remains-a-key-driver-215286

        “europe” is not a country. tell me the european country you’re referencing and i’ll let you know if it’s impacted by a boycott.

      • hophmi
        June 14, 2016, 12:19 pm

        ““europe” is not a country. tell me the european country you’re referencing and i’ll let you know if it’s impacted by a boycott.

        This is such a silly discussion (no serious economist I’ve seen has suggested that BDS has had any economic impact on Israel whatsoever), but OK. The two hardest hit industries are pharmaceuticals and electronics. Neither one is a target of the BDS movement. The reasons are common enough; the shekel has been very strong in recent years, and thus, Israeli goods are priced less competitively. Israel has the largest manufacturer of generic drugs in the world, so if the pharmaceutical sector slows down, Israeli export numbers will be affected.

        As far as Europe goes, if you’ve read a newspaper in the last five years, you know that European economies have experienced very sluggish growth in recent years. You can look at the OECD statistics. Israel’s GDP growth has averaged around 3% in the last five years. That beats almost every state in the EU except Ireland and Luxembourg. Most of Western Europe has been between .5% and 1.5% in the past five years, including Germany, France, and the UK.

      • (((James North)))
        June 14, 2016, 12:26 pm

        BDS is having so little economic impact that you’ve made 1817 comments here at Mondoweiss, many of them against BDS.

      • hophmi
        June 14, 2016, 2:26 pm

        I don’t believe that BDS has a real economic effect on Israel; the data does not back that up. But I don’t believe that BDS’s goal is to trully affect Israel economically.

        I think BDS’s main goals are political and social. The goals are to denomize the Israelis, to divide the Jewish community in order to make it ok to denomize those Jews who support Israel. BDS presents itself as non-violent for Western audiences, but is really just what Jasbir K. Puar said it was – a way for Westerners to support Palestinian nationalist goals and tactics, including the recent stabbing Intifada. In Europe, where there are fewer Jews, the denomization of Israel and of the Jewish community has resulted in harassment and physical violence toward Jews, and that violence has resulted in almost no comment from the BDS movement.

        So I do feel personally threatened by BDS, and I do feel the need to speak out about it. The denomization that accompanies the BDS movement means Jews get harassed and physically attacked. So I will continue to comment here, and to make the case that BDS is morally wrong, and ultimately, hurtful to the cause of peace, the long-term emanicipation of Jews from historical persecution, and to the Palestinians themselves.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 14, 2016, 4:16 pm

        yada yada yada. as you demonize the bds movement and claim you’re demonized. yes, we know, boring!

      • Mooser
        June 14, 2016, 5:02 pm

        “I think BDS’s main goals are political and social.”

        Hmmm, “political and social”? Aren’t those areas in which Americans are free to make many choices?
        And in the “social” area, Americans don’t really need to account to anybody except themselves.
        Yup, that “social” thing is scary.

        ” So I will continue to comment here, and to make the case that BDS is morally wrong…”

        And restrict yourself to Mondo’s readership, and pile up “hits” “UPVs” and “sessions” for Mondo? Cool!

      • Marnie
        June 15, 2016, 3:35 am

        Hophni –

        “BDS is morally wrong” and the 2ss remains viable and “Lerner’s problem is that like many activists, he has a very hard time seeing anyone else’a POV, ans that can make him insufferable. I met him once, and he was just sanctimoniousness personified. That’s not the way to make change.”

        Are you rabbi lerner?

  7. MHughes976
    June 11, 2016, 5:39 pm

    ‘The part of the Israeli government that is oppressing Palestinians’ is a very strange phrase. The idea that the Palestinians are somewhat oppressed is not that far from the miainstream now but it is deprived of much impact while people still accept, as if rather obvious, that there is a readily available 2 state solution. I accept that the people who think this way are the vast majority in the West. They cannot see that the 2ss ideas commonly canvassed are screamingly unjust. Are they beginning to see that continuing oppression plus continuing absence of a proposal for the supposedly obvious solution amount to an intention never to let that solution, even were it possible, come about?

  8. mtorres
    June 11, 2016, 7:25 pm

    I was disgusted to see that a high-profile Zionist like Michael Lerner would be on the list of people to speak at Muhammed Ali’s funeral, given that Ali himself had expressed strong support for freedom and justice for Palestine. I understand that it was Lerner’s good anti-Vietnam War work that caused Ali to think well of him, but Lerner has spent his life working for racism, to keep “the Jewish state” Jewish, to ensure that Jewish supremacy would always exist there.

    If David Duke suddenly said “we must respect Black people”, would the progressive world fall at his feet, shower him with great praise and call him a lovely man? Especially if he only said it because he realized that his and his followers’ own racism had backed them into a corner that meant they could no longer continue their racism?

    Lerner was front and center in the opposition to the work for Palestinian freedom in the Bay Area ’84 to 2000 and for long after I left – to the present day. You will always find him when they need someone from the Jewish community to take a “moral” stand against the occupation, or even to “be kind to Palestinians”. You will never find him where the same community is being asked to take a stand against all racism – he stands only against the kind that doesn’t affect Jewish supremacy in Israel.

    The new approach by Israel supporters, of whom Lerner is typical, is to take what sounds like a “principled stand” to “end the occupation” meaning West Bank and Gaza, as if that occupation were the problem rather than just a symptom. You see this approach everywhere now, and the kudos that approach is getting is very disturbing, for that occupation is only a symptom.

    My god, he gets praise for calling for respect for Palestinian people? As though that were such a brave thing to call for? Are you kidding me?

    Surely everyone knows that “ending the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza” leaves apartheid alive and well inside ’48 Israel. There is no support amongst Lerner and his ilk for Right of Return – a primary tenet of BDS – and certainly NO talk about equal rights throughout the land!

    • Annie Robbins
      June 11, 2016, 10:05 pm

      I understand that it was Lerner’s good anti-Vietnam War work that caused Ali to think well of him

      not exclusively. if you open the last embed in the article it says

      Much to Lerner’s astonishment, attorney Ronald DiNicola told him Ali had been a “big fan” of the rabbi’s work…..in 1995, Lerner says, he got a letter from Ali in which he said he appreciated the book “Jews and Blacks Let the Healing Begin” that Lerner co-authored with Cornel West.

    • Steve Grover
      June 11, 2016, 10:11 pm

      Hey mtorres,
      Did you see Billy Crystal point out that Muhammad Ali helped him raise a lot of money for Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

      • Marnie
        June 12, 2016, 8:59 am

        From Haaretz – “Religion ain’t bad; it’s people who are bad,” he said. “You know the entire power structure is Zionist. They control America; they control the world. They are really against the Islam religion. So whenever a Muslim does something wrong, they blame the religion.”

        “But Ali expressed tolerance well before that, when in 1996, before lighting the Olympic flame at the Atlanta games, he declared: “My mother was a Baptist. She believed Jesus was the son of God, and I don’t believe that. But even though my mother had a religion different from me, I believe that, on Judgment Day, my mother will be in heaven.

        “There are Jewish people who lead good lives. When they die, I believe they’re going to heaven. It doesn’t matter what religion you are, if you’re a good person you’ll receive God’s blessing. Muslims, Christians and Jews all serve the same God. We just serve him in different ways.

        “Anyone who believes in One God should also believe that all people are part of one family. God created us all. And all people have to work to get along.”

        So what’s your point “Steve Grover”?

      • Steve Grover
        June 12, 2016, 10:31 am

        Marnie,
        Thanks for reminding me that I control America and the world. I’m too busy controlling all that to be able to further respond at this time.

      • Mooser
        June 12, 2016, 1:02 pm

        “I’m too busy controlling all that to be able to further respond at this time.”

        Yup, and your first job is to get the room to stop spinning.

      • Steve Grover
        June 12, 2016, 2:31 pm

        Mooser,
        The only thing that spins is your head every time I comment.

      • Mooser
        June 12, 2016, 3:34 pm

        “The only thing that spins…”

        In that case, you should have no problem composing a brilliant response to “Marnie”.

      • Steve Grover
        June 13, 2016, 2:04 pm

        Sorry, Mooser I can’t. I’m too busy. You can’t imagine how busy us Zionists are controlling America and the World. Its a tough gig.

      • Mooser
        June 13, 2016, 2:49 pm

        “You can’t imagine how busy us Zionists are controlling America and the World. Its a tough gig.”

        ZING!!!

      • zaid
        June 13, 2016, 10:31 pm

        “Ali was one of the few and first notable Americans to voice unqualified support for Palestinians in our struggle against Zionism’s settler-colonial project in Palestine.

        Many of those who got up to praise and eulogise him would be among the first to persecute a contemporary athlete if he/she would dare to embark on the moral path Ali walked decades ago when he went to a Palestinian refugee camp and said openly, “I declare support for the Palestinian liberation struggle”.”

        http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2016/06/greatest-black-man-supported-palestinians-muhammad-ali-160612050518697.html

      • zaid
        June 13, 2016, 10:43 pm

        “After announcing his retirement from the ring in 1974, Ali lost no time in throwing right hooks at Zionism and embracing the Palestinian cause. Talking to reporters in Beirut, Lebanon, at the start of a tour of the Middle East, Ali said that “the United States is the stronghold of Zionism and imperialism.”
        On a subsequent visit to two Palestinian refugee camps in southern Lebanon, the former heavyweight boxing champion was quoted by a news agency as saying: “In my name and the name of all Muslims in America, I declare support for the Palestinian struggle to liberate their homeland and oust the Zionist invaders.”

        http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/news/1.723042

      • Marnie
        June 14, 2016, 1:17 am

        “Sorry, Mooser I can’t. I’m too busy. You can’t imagine how busy us Zionists are controlling America and the World. Its a tough gig.”

        You’ve just demonstrated hasbara at its core. Deflect, distract and nothing more. No overtime for you.You make a statement about Muhammed Ali’s generosity (if it’s true, I haven’t checked) as if he became a zionist. First off, he’s African American, not your token zionist, and he’s Muslim. So what was your point?

      • Steve Grover
        June 14, 2016, 2:44 pm

        Marnie,
        I simply demonstrated how stupid anti-Semetic anti-Zionism is. By the way the Champ did utter anti-Semetic slurs and he shouldn’t get a free pass.

        Just bringing up that Ali wasn’t the crazy Israel hater the Mondoweiss crowd desired him to be. Here is Billy Crystal’s eulogy.

        http://youtu.be/wdmU6MMW5bg

      • Marnie
        June 15, 2016, 12:50 am

        Steve Grover –
        You could have made this post your first one. Antisemitism is wrong. Antizionism is right. They are two separate issues, no matter how badly you want to make them one. Why should someone who dislikes or even hates israel be called ‘crazy’. There are millions of brilliant people all over the world and in the united snakes that hate it. The ideology that was the impetus for the ‘state’ of israel is hateful. Period. The ideology that continues to drive the ‘state’ of israel is hateful and increasingly violent and deadly to all non-Jews but especially Palestinians. How you and others, including Mr. Lerner, can continue to support that regime is mind-blowing.

      • Steve Grover
        June 15, 2016, 2:39 pm

        Marnie,
        If I were to take your suggestion and say what I said in one post I’d lose a lot of money. After all MW pays me $1000 per posted comment. They delete 90% of my posts to save money.

        You say that there are millions of brilliant people who hate Israel. Marnie, all you did was point out that there are a lot of brilliant crazy anti-Semites. This is nothing new.

        May I suggest should watch some baseball? Especially, the Chicago Cubs. Maybe you wouldn’t call us the “united snakes”.

      • (((James North)))
        June 15, 2016, 2:57 pm

        Mooser: There you go again. Your masterstroke is making this alleged “Grober” a Chicago Cubs fan. Aside from George Will, there are no such people.

      • Mooser
        June 15, 2016, 3:01 pm

        “Mooser: There you go again.”

        Sorry. It seems I just can’t help myself, so I’ll depend on Mondo to cut me off if I go too far.

      • Marnie
        June 16, 2016, 12:02 am

        steve grover “If I were to take your suggestion and say what I said in one post I’d lose a lot of money. After all MW pays me $1000 per posted comment. They delete 90% of my posts to save money. You say that there are millions of brilliant people who hate Israel. Marnie, all you did was point out that there are a lot of brilliant crazy anti-Semites. This is nothing new.”

        Thank you. Another shill for Lyin’ Zion has made it clear there is no point talking to zionists. I can begin to imagine the frustration Palestinians have trying to negotiate with such arrogant intransigence because I experience it every day, but I don’t get arrested or have my dwelling blown up or get shot in the head when I argue.

      • Steve Grover
        June 16, 2016, 2:01 pm

        Marnie,
        Since MW in my opinion is an Israel hating site, I will not engage in debate about Israel here. I will only mock MW and the anti-Semetic Israel hatred. Anything else is foolish.

      • Mooser
        June 16, 2016, 3:37 pm

        “Since MW in my opinion is an Israel hating site, I will not engage in debate about Israel here. I will only mock MW and the anti-Semetic Israel hatred.”

        (You might want to learn how to spell “Semitic”, BTW)

        You really understand how the Web works, “Stevila”! You just keep up your inimitable “mock”, and your words alone may bring the entire place down.

        (Did you know, “Steve Grover”, that if you write a comment, and it is rejected, the website still gets “hits” and “UPVs” etc. from it. Isn’t that nice?)

    • Boomer
      June 13, 2016, 5:15 pm

      @mtorres, re: “. . . he [Rabbi Lerner] stands only against the kind [of racism] that doesn’t affect Jewish supremacy in Israel.”

      I had refrained from adding my opinion this thread: after all, my opinion matters not at all. But seeing this comment prompts me to chime in. I don’t know as much about the Rabbi as you evidently do. I first read about him during the first Clinton administration, in his role of Mrs. Clinton’s “guru,” as some called him. At first my opinion was favorable. I subscribed to his magazine, and sent him what was (for me) a good bit of money to support his worthy efforts.

      But over time, I became disillusioned. The worthy efforts never seemed to accomplish anything for Palestinians. The glittering words may have salved the consciences of liberal Zionists, but it seemed that buying time for further land thefts was the more tangible effect.

      I’ve read his justification of Zionism as “affirmative action” for Jews. It has never seemed convincing to me. Others published in his magazine explained that, after all, there were plenty of other Muslim countries where the Palestinians could go. Also, they pointed out, there never was such a thing as a Palestine, or Palestinians. It was Israel which made the desert bloom. After Rachael Corrie was killed, I read that the U.S. had no damn business being involved (though I don’t recall anyone complaining about our financial, military, and diplomatic support for Israel).

      Eventually, I quit looking to liberal Zionists for a solution. I was happy to discover this site.

  9. Kay24
    June 11, 2016, 10:14 pm

    Not only a liar, but apparently the Nutty leader of zio land, is corrupt too. More investigations ahead. Sara must have sold more bottles.

    Israel Police’s Anti-corruption Unit Reportedly Launches New Probe Into Netanyahu
    According to Channel 2, new scandal is said to be unrelated to other allegations against the prime minister.
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.724430

  10. yonah fredman
    June 12, 2016, 5:58 am

    Regarding lerner’s endorsement of hillary with “her”, hillary’s surest constituency are blacks and though the crowd in Louisville was not only black it was mostly black and to play to the crowd and its demographic support for hillary was another way of playing to the crowd, preaching to the choir. I understand those who thought he was preaching to them suddenly find out that they are not in the choir and that jarred you.

    • Shmuel
      June 12, 2016, 7:06 am

      Gut yontef, Yonah. I think you’re being a little cynical about Lerner’s intentions (“playing to the crowd”), but yes, HC has a lot of support in the black community, so it comes as no surprise that such a statement would have garnered applause. You’re also right (and cynical) about the difficulty that many activists (of all stripes) have in recognising and accepting differences and making alliances rather than demanding/expecting ideological purity and agreement on everything.

      • yonah fredman
        June 12, 2016, 8:11 am

        Gut yontiff, Shmuel.
        Muhammad Ali was by far the most significant sports figure of my lifetime, and that in his older years he read lerner and cornel west and sought friendship across ideological battle lines was quite heartening.
        Before the primary season I wondered who was scarier: trump or cruz? But Trump is scary. For someone to run for president and use this occasion to take potshots at the “Mexican” judge in his personal litigation battles, is just plain ridiculous. The war against Iraq and Libya cast understandable shadows on hillary’s foreign policy wisdom or recklessness so I understand the reluctance to support her here at mw (Just as I understand Republican aversion to the Clintons or just hillary).
        Michael lerner, I’ve been following his career since the first intifada and in my primary circles he is mocked ridiculed and dismissed as far left. He has quite an ego and many affectations, but all told I’d give him a thumbs up, although most people who seek the limelight can elicit appropriate cynicism.

      • yonah fredman
        June 12, 2016, 8:19 am

        Another thing about lerner: he’s been involved in translating prayers from hebrew to english, from chauvinist to universalist and from God as he to God as he she or it, for most of his adult life, thus riffing on the president as she, not only has the endorsement which wins over the crowd, but also reflects the liturgy word fixing that by now is second nature to him.

      • Mooser
        June 12, 2016, 12:48 pm

        “Another thing about lerner: he’s been involved in translating prayers from hebrew to english,”

        That lousy kapo! A shaigetz ainer!
        The Gentiles will learn all of our secrets!

      • Mooser
        June 12, 2016, 1:13 pm

        “from chauvinist to universalist and from God as he to God as he she or it,”

        “From “chauvinist to universalist”? What religious perfidy! Yes sir, if there’s anythiong we Jews need to safegaurd, it’s our precious Jewish chauvinism!

        And as far as God’s gender goes, better we shouldn’t ask. Cause if He’s male, it leads to a very interesting question.

    • Mooser
      June 12, 2016, 12:42 pm

      Uh-oh, “Yonah’s” having Poddy training problems again. He’s got a problem.

      It’s his problem, and ours!

    • Marnie
      June 15, 2016, 8:44 am

      “Regarding lerner’s endorsement of hillary with “her”, hillary’s surest constituency are blacks and though the crowd in Louisville was not only black it was mostly black and to play to the crowd and its demographic support for hillary was another way of playing to the crowd, preaching to the choir.”

      That’s a lot of ‘black’ yonah and there are a lot of so-called black people that find it insulting. Please join us in 2016.

  11. Kay24
    June 12, 2016, 9:30 am

    Terrible, terrible massacre in Orlando. Law Enforcement Officials call it an act of terrorism, but said they are looking into all angles, that it could be a domestic situation too.

    CNN is already giving it the could be ” Radical Muslim” theory , and the first few words out of Jake Tapper’s mouth implied it, also the headline wording flashing across the screen. MSNBC is more cautious, and I guess we will know more soon. Whoever it is, I wish there were less guns in this country. We have the highest number of gun related violence and casualties, from various nut jobs, including the one a couple of days ago, where a young lady, Christina Grimmie was killed.
    Our politicians are more concerned about fighting wars overseas, spending trillions of dollars, instead of focusing on safeguarding their own citizens within the nation, and having stricter gun laws. Unfortunately, after the Sandy Hook elementary school tragedy, everything remains the same.

    • lysias
      June 12, 2016, 12:37 pm

      A few more incidents like this, and Trump’s election will be assured. This one incident may already have given him Florida, and Florida may end up being the whole ball game.

      • MHughes976
        June 12, 2016, 1:04 pm

        Isn’t it possible that those who would react simply with anti-Islamism are Trumpites already and that people who might react rather differently, with sympathy towards the victims and the wish that guns were better controlled, might move away from him?

      • Kay24
        June 12, 2016, 1:51 pm

        McHughes, I agree, there will be many who will focus on the fact that these deadly guns should not be made so easily available for these lunatics, whether religious fanatics, loners, or people politically motivated to kill, to purchase or obtain. When the Constitution was written there were no automatic or assault weapons available, and I am sure if there was, our forefathers would not have even considered making these available to those who abuse their rights. Again, shame on the Congress for being in the pockets of the gun lobby, and who do NOTHING to stop the flow of innocent blood in this country. Whether it is in Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, or so many other massacres, we should ban the weapons that only our military should use, and not the mentally deranged people who want to kill Americans at home.

      • ritzl
        June 12, 2016, 2:03 pm

        I’m watching CBS coverage (@1245) of the LAX response to the Orlando horror and somebody’s waving an Israeli flag behind the podium.

        I can only guess that the flag-waver is trying to send the message that this shooting is good for Israel by bolstering support because the murderer has an Arabic last name. What other purpose?

        Disgusting.

      • MHughes976
        June 12, 2016, 5:26 pm

        I’m M, Kay, (Martin) but not Mc, not being very Scottish. It’s pretty awful to turn the event into Israeli flag-wagging propaganda, but what could we have expected? I’d just like to mention, before the Islamophobic tide rolls on, that I was cheered up this morning by BBC report about Muslim villagers in Pakistan putting their hard earned savings towards a church for Christian neighbours. There are better things in the religious world than homophobic massacres by crazy guys who can buy heavy weapons on a whim.

      • Kay24
        June 12, 2016, 5:37 pm

        MHughes, sorry for the Mc, my eyes must have played tricks on me, because I always read your name as Mc. I know that there a good things happening with Muslims all over the world, but unfortunately in the US, the media gleefully covers only the negative things, so that Americans live under the impression that the majority of Muslims are bad.

        Here is an algorithm of how it is done here. It shows how the media covers crimes by Muslims and ignores the ones by Israel.

        https://twitter.com/MuftahOrg/status/567132439496364032

  12. Anti-Bigot
    June 12, 2016, 11:05 am

    The Rabbi is obviously a good man who loves humanity. As a (Turkish) ex-Muslim (now a “deist”), I don’t know where to start, but since I’m fed up with human hypocrisy and stupidity in general, I will try to keep it short and simple..

    Unfortunately, most people in the world – of all religions and nationalities – are bigots. They are enslaved by their own ego and pridefulness. People can easily see the flaws, wrongdoings and crimes of “others”, but they are rarely able to detect the wrongdoings and crimes by their own people, country, religion, or culture. “Others” are always to blame for everything, others are evil. There are very few truly morally consistent human beings in the world.

    As long as people will put their own interests before the interests of humanity as a whole, they will perish in the mutual hostilities. People must stop worshipping their own people, country, religion and culture. Nothing is more important than justice and peace.

    Why do we make life a Hell for ourselves and for others when life is so short?

    • Citizen
      June 13, 2016, 4:47 pm

      If U R looking for people who will and do stop worshipping their own people, don’t bother with subject rabbi and his type of character.

      • Anti-Bigot
        June 25, 2016, 11:47 pm

        Unfortunately, too many people in the world worship their own people / country / culture / religion / race etc.

  13. Citizen
    June 12, 2016, 5:53 pm

    I guess the jury’ s still out on whether or not religion has had a net + or net – on the human race. Feels good to be part of the “in-crowd”?

  14. JLewisDickerson
    June 12, 2016, 10:28 pm
  15. genesto
    June 13, 2016, 3:50 pm

    I’ve known Michael for about 16 years now. We’ve talked about Israel/Palestine on a number of occasions, and I’ve followed him closely as he has, I would say, evolved from considering one staters like myself anti-Semitic to his staunch and public support of Judge Goldstone following issuance of his famous report (at least until the judge recanted to relieve the Zionist pressure on him and his family). Michael has actually come a very long ways from full blown support of the Zionist state back in the 1980’s, but he has not yet come far enough. His death grip support of the two-state solution is in direct opposition to his call for freedom, justice and equality for all other peoples in the world. He cringes when people call him a liberal Zionist now, but his unwavering support of the two-state solution, long since abandoned as a viable option by those that truly desire justice and equality for Palestinians, paints him as such.

    I still hold out hope that, one day, he will be able to take this last, most difficult step in abandoning this call for a two-state solution and simply call for justice and equality, here and now, for all Palestinians in the diaspora, under Occupation or living as second class citizens in Israel proper.

    • Boomer
      June 13, 2016, 8:57 pm

      @genesto, “I’ve known Michael for about 16 years now. We’ve talked about Israel/Palestine on a number of occasions, and I’ve followed him closely as he has, I would say, evolved . . . ”

      Thanks for this perspective. Maybe I stopped paying attention to him too soon. Yet the evolution is rather late, I would say, for the Palestinians.

    • mcohen.
      June 14, 2016, 8:39 am

      genesto

      “calls for justice here and now”

      i support one state,right of return,justice and equality.there are just on 8 million jews and arabs in israel.right of return would add another say 6 million arabs.thats a lot of people in a small space.if push comes to shove a civil war would destroy everything.some say that jews should just pack up and leave and give it all back lock stock and barrel.
      is that what you had in mind

      there is no shortage of people calling for justice but what would the practical real world solution be…..besides putting well intentioned people like m lerner down……

      if you were the sole judge and jury,genesto,how would you impliment a just solution,
      here and now.

      • MHughes976
        June 14, 2016, 10:35 am

        What I would call for here and now would be the beginning, though not necessarily the immediate completion, of a process leading to equal rights for all. There might be an offer of money for those who did not wish to exercise their RoR, a period in which property rights were settled, perhaps some Northern Ireland style power sharing. I think, partly in the flickering light of the South Africa model, this is just about realistic. Justice delayed is justice denied but maybe you sometimes have to delay justice in order to get justice at all.
        What seems completely unrealistic and beyond imagination is the 2ss, at least as commonly conceived, with a) Israel keeping everything pre-67 and b) the reduced Palestine having a recognisable version of independence. You just can’t put these two things together and make sense.
        I’m not considering solutions favourable to either side for which more force and violence would be necessary.

  16. Mooser
    June 14, 2016, 11:02 am

    So let’s see, “MHughes976”. I’ll take over your house by force, give a quarter of it back to you, and call it “equal rights”?

  17. MHughes976
    June 14, 2016, 1:21 pm

    Well, we’re discussing a negotiated agreement, meaning neither of us gets everything. How about I let you have the bit of the property that means least to me – the haunted wing, perhaps – with the understanding that the results of this division are fully protected by the law and that my political rights, enfranchisement and the chance of holding office, which you had outrageously suppressed, are fully restored? I’d call that equal rights in a reasonable sense.
    A remotely comparable medieval version of this emerged from the English negotiations with the marauding Danes after the tumultuous events that began with the Battle of Reading in the cold January days of 871 and went on for many years. It was decided in the end that an agreement was necessary to save further trouble. It worked in its way.

    • Mooser
      June 14, 2016, 5:48 pm

      . “How about I let you have the bit of the property that means least to me – the haunted wing, perhaps”

      And if I have the house and the power to keep it, how do you plan to make me do that? Appeal to my religion?

      • MHughes976
        June 15, 2016, 1:02 pm

        In terms of this relationship between me and you, which is entirely fictional and indeed implausible, since you are above such things as annexing Berkshire, it would need a few more chapters to explain why this arrangement came to seem acceptable to both us. My real-world point vs. McCohen was that the path to an equal rights outcome is never entirely blocked by the sort of thing he indicates, such as the numbers involved and the current antagonisms. Time and determination can still find a way. But the path is blocked if some of those involved have every intention of blocking it, as is the case here.

      • Mooser
        June 15, 2016, 1:23 pm

        “since you are above such things as annexing Berkshire,”

        Don’t tempt me. Berkshire must be very lovely in spring, as the poet Bryant says:

        “Thou who wouldst see the lovely and the wild
        Mingled in harmony on Nature’s face,
        Ascend our rocky mountains. Let thy foot
        Fail not with weariness, for on their tops
        The beauty and the majesty of earth,
        Spread wide beneath, shall make thee to forget
        The steep and toilsome way.”

  18. xanadou
    June 14, 2016, 7:07 pm

    Lawrd have mercy! What a fabulous eulogy for a fabulous Man.

    M.Ali would have loved the fact that the Rabbi had chosen to address all the issues that were so dear to Mr. Ali’s heart. He had a very strong ego informed by reality, and a healthy understanding of his extraordinary purpose in life, lest his sporting accomplishments be so grotesquely abused as that of Olympian Jesse Owens (by boxing kangaroos for money, per chance?)

    I detest Billy’s Hilly, but Mr. Ali would have loved that Rabbi Lerner’s pretty powerful dig at the sadly, very likely next POTUS that, hopefully, will give her a moment of reflexion at her despicably servile deference to Netanyahoo, who is already showing his contempt for her, as he did with the spineless Obama.

    What a great way to honour Mr. Ali’s life, beliefs and gifts.
    Way to go, Rabbi Lerner! What a wonderful way to show the world that Judaism is a religion like all other: sometimes used by some to further their crude and cruel agendas, sometimes a vehicle of powerful hope and respect for all humanity. That it is OUR choices, not that of somebody’s chosen faith, that is at the root of history.

    • silamcuz
      June 15, 2016, 9:12 am

      I don’t know, the core of his speech revolved around speaking truth to power, but he himself was preaching to the choir talking about justice and civil rights to an audience primarily made up of POC, blacks and Muslims. Seems really hypocritical to me to be honest, but I don’t want to judge.

      • Mooser
        June 15, 2016, 10:53 am

        “Seems really hypocritical to me to be honest”

        Yes, I’m sure it does. But if you give it a try, you might get used to it.

        “…but I don’t want to judge.”

        No, you don’t want to judge. No sir, not you.

        “As a white man, he has absolutely no place in lecturing a audience made up of mostly blacks and POC about needing to speak truth to power, needing to fight injustice, needing to be more like Ali.” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/06/standing-palestinians-netanyahu/#comment-168057

        Well what do you know? Here come da Judge!

      • Annie Robbins
        June 15, 2016, 11:59 am

        I don’t want to judge.

        LOL!

      • xanadou
        June 17, 2016, 4:30 pm

        Insinuating that Rabbi Lerner is a hypocritical opportunist betrays your ignorance of a Man who has been speaking truth to power for a long time, and not just on http://www.tikkun.org.
        Why would he need to pander?
        Or is it his appreciation of a Black Man with whom he shared his profound humanity that’s bothering you?

  19. silamcuz
    June 15, 2016, 9:07 am

    I liked that the Rabbi used his white privilege to speak truth to power, but I also feel that his energy and enthusiasm for justice and liberation is directed towards the wrong audience. As a white man, he has absolutely no place in lecturing a audience made up of mostly blacks and POC about needing to speak truth to power, needing to fight injustice, needing to be more like Ali. These folks have living each moment of their life across generations under the constant threat and violence of white supremacy, so they don’t need some wacky white dude coming in and white mansplaining them about the struggle.

    Respect doesn’t always entail speaking the same language as the oppressed, as the Rabbi demonstrated in the ceremony. True respect is keeping silence and making way for the oppressed to speak for themselves.

    • Mooser
      June 15, 2016, 10:56 am

      “True respect is keeping silence and making way for the oppressed to speak for themselves.”

      Ah, like you do?

    • hophmi
      June 15, 2016, 11:46 am

      “These folks have living each moment of their life across generations under the constant threat and violence of white supremacy, so they don’t need some wacky white dude coming in and white mansplaining them about the struggle.”

      Who are you, Silamcruz? PC Principal from South Park? Nobody appointed you spokesperson for the people who chose to cheer Lerner’s speech. They seem perfectly capable of speaking for themselves without your help, and Lerner, who has spent virtually his entire life as a social activist, can say whatever he wants without your permission. And people are not to be reduced to their skin color and gender. Ali was a black man, and Lerner is a white man (who wears a Bukharian yarmulke), but their races are not the sum total of their experiences.

  20. JLewisDickerson
    June 15, 2016, 4:01 pm

    RE: “Tell the next president of the United States that she [sustained applause]…should seek a constitutional amendment to make all national and state elections funded by congress and the state legislatures and all other sources of money be banned, including money from corporations, from individuals, all other money, make it all public funding.” ~ Lerner

    MY COMMENT: In the long run, public funding of our elections is probably our best (and quite possibly, our only) hope for survival. Unfortunately, there is very little chance that Hillary Clinton will use enough of her precious ‘political capital’ (i.e., the coin of the Clintons’ realm) to achieve such a laudable, selfless goal. She might have had that (i.e., what it would take to bring about public funding of our elections) in her at one time (i.e., Once Upon a Time” *), but I seriously doubt any significant vestige remains.

    *“Once Upon a Time” (unseen by me) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Once_Upon_a_Time_(TV_series)

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