Tikkun Editor Rabbi Michael Lerner Cooperates With Anti-Semite

  • July 23, 2015

By cooperating with anti-Semite Kevin Barrett, Tikkun magazine editor Rabbi Michael Lerner provides tacit approval of anti-Jewish conspiracy theories he otherwise claims to reject.


Image from Barrett

Image from Barrett's Veterans Today article

Most recently, Lerner contributed a chapter to Barrett’s 2015 book We Are Not Char­lie Hebdo! Free Thinkers Ques­tion the French 9/11, which fea­tures essays by Bar­rett and twenty-one oth­ers, most of which claim that the shoot­ings at the Char­lie Hebdo head­quar­ters and at a kosher mar­ket in Paris were a “false flag oper­a­tion” per­pe­trated by any num­ber of cul­prits includ­ing the Israeli gov­ern­ment, the United States gov­ern­ment, and/or the French government.

In Barrett’s chapter, he claims that these attacks were just one in a long his­tory of events – such as the 9/11 attacks and the 2001 anthrax poi­son­ings – per­pe­trated by Israel in order to “incite hatred of Mus­lims and sol­i­dar­ity with Israel.” He also alleges that the West does not com­pre­hend Israel’s duplic­ity because of “the extent of clan­des­tine Zion­ist power; and the fact that the Holo­caust story has become the most sacred nar­ra­tive of the West, despite the ques­tion­able fac­tual basis of some of its most impor­tant details.”

Lerner’s chapter, titled “Mourning the Parisian ‘Humorists’ Yet Challenging the Hypocrisy of Western Media,” does not make any such anti-Semitic claims, but rather criticizes the Western media’s “media-circus surrounding this particular outrage [the Charlie Hebdo attack] while the Western media quickly forgets the equally despicable acts of systematic murder and torture that Western countries have been involved in.” Lerner asks “…did you ever wonder why there wasn’t an equal outrage at the tens of thousands of innocent civilians killed by the American intervention in Iraq or the over a million civilians killed by the U.S. in Vietnam…?”

Lerner report­edly told the Jewish Chronicle he was “absolutely mis­led” when Bar­rett asked him to submit a chapter to this book.

However, in a May 21 article by Barrett in the anti-Semitic Veterans Today, Barrett quotes Lerner as amended this statement: “However, in the final analysis, it was my mistake, not his misleading me, that was the problem–so I apologize to him for saying I was misled and I apologize to my community for seeming to help give credibility to a conspiracy theory I utterly reject.”

While in his apology to Barrett, Lerner distances himself from the book’s content, Lerner appears to preserve his ties to Barrett despite Barrett’s long record of anti-Semitism.

In a June 27 interview on Barrett’s Truth Jihad online radio show, Lerner appears as the guest and the two seem to have a positive relationship with each other, agreeing on a number of topics including that the killing of Muslims during the War on Terror is somehow similar to the Holocaust.

Notably, this is not the first time Lerner has collaborated with Barrett. In 2007, Lerner contributed to Barrett’s book 9/11 and American Empire: Christians, Jews, and Muslims Speak Out.

In Lerner’s chapter titled, “What next? Will it make a difference if we succeed in exposing 9/11 as a fraud?” Lerner writes, “I am an agnostic on the question of what happened on 9/11.” Lerner makes no anti-Semitic claims while arguing that “I would not be surprised to learn that some branch of our government conspired either actively to promote or passively to allow the attack on 9/11.” Barrett’s chapter in the same book discusses what “the US empire, and especially its Israeli outpost” had to gain as “the architects of 9/11.”

Despite contributing to Barrett’s 2007 book and agreeing with Barrett that 9/11 is a “fraud,” in an interview that year in The Forward, Lerner distanced himself from the anti-Semitic aspect of Barrett’s message stating, “Anything about Israel and the relationship to 9/11 I think is total baloney.”

And yet despite all his disclaimers, Lerner continues to provide a degree of support to an anti-Semite who amplifies anti-Jewish conspiracy theories in the U.S. and internationally through platforms such as Press TV, Iran’s English-language propaganda network, where Barrett recently claimed that Jews and/or Israel were behind all that is wrong with the world.