Rabbi Lerner has accused the peace movement of excluding him from speaking at the February 16 demonstration in San Francisco because of his views on Israel, and he has labeled the anti-war movement, 'anti-war anti-semites.' In our participation in the anti-war movement, A Jewish Voice for Peace has found that Jews have close and staunch allies in the movement. We have found that our opinion is sought time and time again and that our stance in support for a truly just peace between Israelis and Palestinians and respect for Israeli human rights as well as Palestinians' been respected and represented in the speakers that have been chosen. At the upcoming demonstration, Mitchell Plitnick, Director of Administration and Communication for A Jewish Voice for Peace, will speak, along with Israeli refusenik Ofer Shorr, Kate Raphael from San Francisco Women in Black. In addition, three rabbis with views similar to Rabbi Lerner's will speak at the February 16th demonstration, Rabbi Steven Pierce, Rabbi Pam Frydman-Baugh, and Rabbi David Cooper.
Rabbi Lerner's views are welcomed in the coalition. He is an important spokesperson for the movement for peace and justice in Israel and Palestine. But because he criticized one of the coalition partners, ANSWER, in the New York Times and over Tikkun Mail, the coalition, including the Tikkun representative present at the meeting, decided that we were capable of finding another speaker with views similar to his who did not openly attack a coalition partner.
We stand in unity with Tikkun in calling for a joint Jewish anti-war, anti-occupation contingent. We stand in unity with the coalition of organizations who are sponsoring this march in opposing the attack on Iraq. We intend to continue working with both groups to oppose war on Iraq and to stand for the human rights and dignity of both Israelis and Palestinians.