The home of leftist Tikkun editor Rabbi Michael Lerner was vandalized two days ago, following a decision by the magazine to honor the author of the United Nations' Goldstone Report. Threatening posters were glued to the door and around the editor's California home, some personally attacking the editor and others reportedly accusing leftists of supporting terrorism and “Islamo-fascism.”
Lerner and his assistant, Will Pasley released a statement later in the day, commenting that in the 24 years of the publication's operation, “we have received many death threats and vicious hate mail.'” However, they noted, this week's attack had two new elements that were particularly “worrisome” – one, the attack occurred at Lerner's home, which law enforcement officials pointed out was a way of saying, 'We know where you live;' and two, by linking Lerner to alleged terrorism, they justify the use of violence against him. “Needless to say, this latest attack on Lerner's home has caused great concern to his family,” the statement added.
The leftist publication had decided to award to retired South African Judge Richard Goldstone its annual prize for work to uphold Jewish values. Lerner explained in a statement issued a week ago that “the peace community both in Israel and around the world see Justice Goldstone as upholding the best ethical values of the Jewish community.”
The Goldstone Report was written as the culmination of a fact-finding mission to Gaza in the wake of Israel's 2009 counter terrorism Operation Cast Lead. The report charged that Israel was guilty of committing war crimes during the campaign, and possibly crimes against humanity, basing its claims almost completely on testimony from Hamas-linked Palestinian Authority Arab residents of Gaza.
The report also recommended that its findings be used in any move to further a case against Israel in the International Criminal Court at The Hague.
The commission that carried out the fact-finding probe heard little testimony from Jewish residents of Israel's southern communities who had been bombarded for years by thousands of deadly rocket attacks emanating from Gaza-based terror cells. Moreover, during one session in which testimony was given by a Jewish witness, Judge Goldstone actually appeared to drowse off.
Goldstone has been fiercely criticized by a host of international Jewish leaders, among them Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, and the South African Jewish community where his grandson's Bar Mitzvah had been planned. A bruhaha erupted over whether the community would allow the judge to attend the event in peace, in view of the outrage evoked by his report to the United Nations. Days of negotiations eventually poured oil on the troubled waters, and Goldstone reported to Tikkun that he would attend his grandson's Bar Mitzvah without disruptions by demonstrators.
Dershowitz: 'Tikkun Accused Me of Incitement'
According to Dershowitz, Tikkun blamed the vandalism on an article he wrote criticizing Lerner for claiming the IDF was killing “as many Palestinian civilians as possible, without any military purpose, during Operation Cast Lead,” – a claim patently untrue, he pointed out.
“They claim that I incited those who glued the posters to his house... the managing editor tried to relate my article to an increase in hate mail and ultimately to the great gluing gambit... What he failed to consider is that the hate mail may be a reaction to Lerner's own hate mongering... [He] has been trying to silence me for years,” Dershowitz wrote in a column published Wednesday in the Huffington Post.
“Another of [his] followers, Richard Silverstein, has gone ever further, accusing me in effect of trying to kill [him],” Dershowitz noted. He went on to quote Silverstein, who claimed that “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.”
Dershowitz said he would consider making a deal similar to that offered by Adlai Stevenson to a political opponent: "If you promise to stop lying about me, I will promise to stop telling the truth about you."