[Fwd: FEB. 16 ANTI-WAR COALITIONS ON MICHAEL LERNER]

Mallard Q. Duck mqduck at earthlink.net
Fri Feb 14 03:43:40 MST 2003



-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [IAC-SF] FEB. 16 ANTI-WAR COALITIONS ON MICHAEL LERNER
Date: Wed, 12 Feb 2003 15:41:00 -0500
From: International Action Center <iac at actionsf.org>
To: IAC-SF <IAC-SF at action-mail.org>



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:	            CONTACT:
February 12, 2003 			Bert Knorr (510) 644-8071,    						(415) 307-8028 
(cell)

BAY AREA UNITED AGAINST WAR                 NOT IN OUR NAME PROJECT
INTERNATIONAL ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) COALITION
UNITED FOR PEACE & JUSTICE

STATEMENT FROM FEB. 16 ANTI-WAR COALITIONS
REGARDING RABBI MICHAEL LERNER

We would like to clarify the misunderstanding regarding Rabbi Michael 
Lerner's perception that he was "banned" from speaking at the peace rally. 
His charges are untrue, and we wish to set the record straight.

As the Bush Administration continues its relentless drive toward war, the 
mass mobilizations in cities around the world on the weekend of Feb. 15-16 
have taken on great significance. Millions of people are expected to 
demonstrate in cities around the world in what may be the last opportunity 
to stop a new war on Iraq before it starts.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, four coalitions -- each comprised of many 
organizations and individuals -- have come together to sponsor a broad and 
united anti-war march and rally on Sunday, Feb. 16.
The four coalitions -- Bay Area United Against War, Not In Our Name 
project, United for Peace & Justice, and the International ANSWER (Act Now 
to Stop War & End Racism) Coalition -­ have been working together 
successfully for the last several weeks to maximize the turnout on Feb. 16.

One of the first agreements that was made between the groups organizing the 
Feb. 16 anti-war protest was that none of the coalitions would propose 
rally speakers who had publicly attacked or worked to discredit one of the 
coalition groups. When members of the Tikkun Community, who have actively 
participated in the organizing meetings for Feb. 16, suggested to Bay Area 
United for Peace and Justice that it propose Michael Lerner as a speaker, 
it was explained by members of UFPJ that since he had publicly attacked 
ANSWER in both the New York Times and Tikkun community email newsletters, 
his inclusion in the program would violate the agreement among the Feb. 16 
organizing groups.

It was this issue -- Michael Lerner's public attacks against one of the 
anti-war coalitions -- that resulted in his not being formally proposed as 
a speaker on Feb. 16; his views on Israel and Palestine had nothing to do 
with it.

Within the anti-war movement, there is a wide spectrum of diverse and 
opposing views regarding Israel and Palestine, and those views will be 
heard on Feb. 16. On that day, two rabbis, David Cooper and Pam 
Frydman-Baugh, both of whose views are similar to those of Michael Lerner, 
will be speaking. To reiterate, the fact that Michael Lerner was not 
invited to speak on Feb. 16 was not the consequence of a veto by the 
A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition. None of the coalitions have veto power over the 
Feb. 16 program

We strongly abhor all forms of racism and bigotry, including anti-Semitism. 
At the same time, we don't believe that criticism of Israeli government 
policies should be labeled as anti-Semitism any more than criticism of U.S. 
government policy should be labeled as anti-American. On the eve of a 
terrible war, we call upon everyone to join together in making Feb. 15-16 a 
massive and powerful statement for peace and justice. We're heartened by 
the broad range of participation that is developing for Feb. 16, including 
within the Jewish community, and invite one and all to join with us in our 
efforts to stop the war on Iraq.

Issued by: Bay Area United Against War, International A.N.S.W.E.R. (Act Now 
to Stop War & End Racism) Coalition, Not In Our Name Project, United for 
Peace and Justice


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