At least 26 Signatories
On the Wall Street Journal Ad
Criticizing Glenn Beck for Holocaust Analogies
Are Themselves Tied to Nazi Analogies
In response to this week’s ad in the Wall Street Journal by rabbis criticizing talk host Glenn Beck’s references to the Nazis, Jewish Americans for Sarah Palin today released the following statement:
Two of the lead signatories on the anti-Beck ad, Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson and Yael Ridberg, and fellow-signatories Rabbis Melanie Aron, Leila Gal Berner, Gary Bretton-Granatoor, David Brusin, Neil Comess-Daniels, Brian Field, Gary Gerson, Lynn Gottlieb, Sheldon (Shaya) Isenberg, Steven Jacobs, Jonathan Kligler, David Kline, Marc Kline, Michael Lerner, Mordechai Liebling, J. Rolando Matalon, Steven Reuben, Victor Reinstein, Chaim Seidler-Feller, Sid Schwarz, Gerald Serotta, Myra Soifer, Mervin Tomsky, and Arthur Waskow have all been officials of organizations or publications that have sponsored speakers or authors who have misused Holocaust terminology.
JewsForSarah are not aware that any of these rabbis has ever publicly protested against those instances of Holocaust-abuse. As officials of the offending organizations and publications, at the very least they should have publicly protested these abuses, or resigned their positions.
The results reported here are from a preliminary inquiry by Jewish Americans for Sarah Palin. We invite all responsible American Jewish organizations to conduct their own research into this matter.
• • •
1. Rabbis Bradley Shavit Artson, Chaim Seidler-Feller, and Arthur Waskow all served on the editorial board of Tikkun, the magazine founded and edited by Rabbi Michael Lerner (also a signatory on the ad).
– An essay in Tikkun 1989 by Phillip Lopate, who was then its Literary Editor, mocked author Elie Wiesel, and scholars Yehuda Bauer and Lucy Dawdowicz as “Holocaustians.” He also stated that there was “a grain of truth” in the writings of “the more moderate [Holocaust] revisionist historians” and claimed his mother was “erotically excited” by blue numbers on the arms of Holocaust survivors. (Tikkun, May -June 1989)
– An essay in Tikkun in 2002, by former Green Party senatorial candidate Joel Kovel, claimed that Israel is “turning its occupied lands into a huge concentration camp.” (New York Sun, Oct. 14, 2002)
– An essay in Tikkun in 1997, by Ross London, described visiting a whaling museum in Massachusetts: ”I could not help but imagine a Nazi museum of Jewish artifacts, the hordes of smiling Germans families that came to see the mementos neatly on display of an extinct race and how the battle against the Jews was historically fought and won.” (Tikkun, Sept.-Oct. 1997)
– Rabbi Lerner, in a debate in Berlin in 1993, claimed that Jews have built a “religion of the Holocaust” based on “new commandments: ‘I am the Holocaust, thou shalt have no other Holocausts before me…Remember the Holocaust to keep it holy.” (Los Angeles Jewish Journal, Jan. 14-20, 1994)
2. Rabbis Melanie Aron, Leila Gal Berner, David Brusin, Gary Bretton-Granatoor, Neil Comess-Daniels, Brian Field, Sheldon (Shaya) Isenberg, Jonathan Kligler, David Kline, Marc Kline, Mordechai Liebling, J. Rolando Matalon, Steven Reuben, Yael Ridberg, Sid Schwarz, Chaim Seidler-Feller, Gerald Serotta, and Myra Soifer were founding signatories on the “Break the Silence Campaign.”
– Break the Silence co-sponsored a 2000 U.S. speaking tour by Jeff Halper of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. In an interview on Boston radio station WBUR’s “Connection” program on Jan. 18, 2000, Halper compared Israel’s legal system to Nazi Germany’s Nuremberg Laws. (On Camera, Feb. 3, 2000)
3. Rabbis Victor Reinstein, Myra Soifer, and Lynn Gottlieb have all served on the Advisory Committee of the Jewish Peace Fellowship (JPF).
– The JPF co-sponsored a 2000 U.S. speaking tour by Jeff Halper of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. In an interview on Boston radio station WBUR’s “Connection” program on Jan. 18, 2000, Halper compared Israel’s legal system to Nazi Germany’s Nuremberg Laws. (On Camera, Feb. 3, 2000)
4. Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb served on the National Council of New Jewish Agenda.
– NJA co-sponsored a U.S. speaking tour by Israeli extremist Gideon Spiro, who said Israeli soldiers should refuse orders to serve in Lebanon, because “Adolf Eichmann also said he obeyed an order.” (The Progressive, April 1989)
– NJA co-sponsored a speaking tour by Israeli extremist Dov Yermiya. In a speech in Seattle in 1981, Yermiya compared Israel to Nazi Germany. Confronted by criticism of that analogy, Yermiya replied: “It appears that I erred in explicitly mentioning the name which Jews consider a private asset, some kind of primate Satan which must not be mentioned in the same breath as their own actions, as parallel as those actions may be.” (University of Washington Daily, May 2, 1981)
– NJA cosponsored an event in Los Angeles in 1990 at which Prof. Yigal Arens was one of the featured speakers (Los Angeles Jewish Journal, Dec. 21-27,1990), even though Arens was a leading figure in the extremist Jewish Committee on the Middle East, which compared Israel to the Nazis. For example, a JCOME ad in L.A. Weekly (Dec.16-22, 1980), in which Arens’s name was prominently featured, asserted: “The European experience culminated in the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust. How tragic that in our own time the very State established by Jews in the aftermath of this evil has become a place where racialism, religious discrimination, militarism and injustice prevail…”
5. Rabbi Michael Lerner (in addition to his role as editor of Tikkun, see #1 above)
– In a debate in Berlin in 1993, Rabbi Lerner claimed that Jews have built a “religion of the Holocaust” based on “new commandments: ‘I am the Holocaust, thou shalt have no other Holocausts before me…Remember the Holocaust to keep it holy.” (Los Angeles Jewish Journal, Jan. 14-20, 1994)
6. Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller
– “I’ve been driven for years by the notion that the Jewish people did not survive the Holocaust to become victimizers…” – Seidler-Feller, in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal, May 1, 1998
A UCLA student who has attended Seidler-Feller’s lectures on campus, reported in the Yeshiva University student newspaper The Commentator that Seidler-Feller “has compared Jewish treatment of Palestinians to Nazi treatment of Jews.” (Jewish Press, Nov. 14, 2003)
7. Rabbis Gary Gerson, Steven Jacobs, Mervin Tomsky, and Arthur Waskow signed a 1982 “Rainbow Sign” petition citing the Holocaust as the basis for their demand that the U.S. and Soviet Union adopt a mutual freeze on nuclear weapons.
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