Rabbi Michael Lerner on Muhammad Ali, Israel, Palestine and Tikkun (Part Two)
By Max Eternity
Picking up from Part One, my conversation with Rabbi Michael Lerner continues in Part Two.
Rabbi Lerner is the Founder of Tikkun Magazine, located in Berkeley, California. And Tikkun is part of the Network of Spiritual Progressives, which among other things espouses a Global Marshal Plan that “wants advanced industrial countries of the world to use their resources to eliminate, once and for all global and domestic, poverty, homelessness, and hunger; provide quality education and health care for all; and repair the global environment.” And to this end, they have outlined key points toward these goals:
- To use 1-2% of our GDP each year to reduce global poverty, disease, illiteracy, and environmental destruction
- To create an international agency to ethically oversee all funding
- To improve trade agreements to benefit all nations, not just the technically advanced ones
- To create an international peace and justice corps to work throughout the world
- To cut back on military spending and retrain the military to build and rebuild vital infrastructure.
In the first podcast segment below, Rabbi Lerner starts off by commenting on an advertising campaign (September 2016) in San Francisco, sponsored by Pamela Geller of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI).
The AFDI paid to display ads on public buses featuring images of [presumably?] young Palestinian children armed with various lethal weapons and a written statement that reads in bold red lettering: The Palestinian Authority Teaches Children To Hate… End All U.S. Aid to the P.A. Additionally in this podcast segment, Rabbi Lerner says that to create long-lasting peace between the Israeli and Palestinian people, the message he and Tikkun put forth is “the best path for security for Israel is peace and reconciliation of the heart with the Palestinian people.”
In the next segment, I start by asking Rabbi Lerner what he thinks the core structures are for the Israel-Palestine conflict. Rabbi Lerner first says that there are many decent people caught in the conflict who wished it wasn’t going on, and he then makes some very insightful comments about what happens when groups of people have been traumatized for decades and centuries. Beyond this, Rabbi Lerner says that where it all stands today, in regards to the conflict, is that each side is unable to “recognize the humanity of the other side.”
This concludes Part Two of “Rabbi Michael Lerner on Muhammad Ali, Israel, Palestine and Tikkun.”