Discussions about Israel and Palestine frequently devolve into partisan arguments about how to solve the impasse over territory and borders. Rabbi Michael Lerner has written a new book titled “Embracing Israel/Palestine: A Strategy to Heal and Transform the Middle East.” Bishop Desmond Tutu calls the book “provocative, radical, persuasive, and, if given the attention it deserves, could make a major contribution to reconciliation.”

Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun Magazine and chair of the Network of Spiritual Progressives.

  • fatima

    The Palestinians  have said no to an independent state  many times since 1937. At camp David, 12 years ago, they said no to a state on 97% of the West Bank, 100% of Gaza  with 30 billion dollars going to their refugee population.  Do you really think this is a matter of finding the right borders? Do you think the Palestininas will ever accept the existance of a Jewsih state in the Middle East?

  • Sam

    It is ethnic and racial discrimination, by definition, to not allow Palestinian refugees to return to their home while any Jewish person in the world is allowed to immigrate. Isn’t the real problem with states that are associated with  one particular ethnic group, be that Jewish or Arab?

    It seems that the only offer not on the table, that of a real, binational state with equality for Jews and Palestinians alike is the only answer which will fix all the problems.

  • Gerald Fnord

    It were better that there were no nations at all—all government is mystified violence, but unfortunately at our low technical level it seems to be a choice between mystified violence and the real thing on a daily basis—but my family’s experience being mostly slaughtered because no-one else cared whether we lived or died has impressed on my the need for physcial force in our corner.

    That is to say, in the ghetto or prison-yard that is Earth, it can be fatal not to be a member of one gang or another.  This holds for us, Jews…and it holds equally well for the Palestinians, who are definitely a people now because of their shared and peculiar experience, and about whom no-one else—including most Arabs—give a damn on a fundamental level.

  • JG

    Why is Michael Krasny being so hostile — interrupting, challenging, dismissive?  He has had very vile people on his show and been extraordinarily civil.  

    • Daryl O

      I agree. Michael was doing a particularly poor job of letting the guest on today’s show finish his thoughts. I was listening to the program in my car and changed the station because I got tired of listening to Michale interrupt his guest.

  • Benny

    Michael, you are arguing with a passion that demonstrates a bias.  It is detracting from the objectivity of the program. 

    • Janet_alejandra1

      I completely agree.

      • Carlo Ponti

        Me too.

    • Pollysei

      I definitely agree and in an interesting twist I think Michael’s transparent bias caused me to become more interested in the interview and more curious about Lerner’s thoughts.

    • Egray1


  • Cgbegley

    Thank you for having Rabbi Lerner – he is brave to speak against the dominant cultural voices on this issue. It is indeed so much more complicated than is often presented. I wish more listeners would have patience to listen instead of just reacting…

  • Geoffrey Cook

    I have exchanged e-mails w/ the Rabbi whom I admire along w/ J-Street & the JVP although I am a columnist for the Muslim Observer.
         First, I have compared the Muslim Brother as a slightly right of Center group much like the European Christian Democrats who feel that religion should be brought into their democratic politics.
         Hamas was mentored by the Brotherhood.  If brought into the PA would recognize Israel.
         Further, Jimmy Carter called the last election in Gaza he has ever seen.  Hamas is not responsib le for the attacks, but rather Islamic Jihad.

  • Jen

    I’d like to recommend Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome by Dr. Joy DeGruy. I would suggest that the marginalized oppression Rabbi Lerner sees as cause for  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder would find support in her arguments. 

  • Douglas

    Life is relationship. Love, wisdom, truth… is unconditional relationship.

  • Ctoc1

    Mr. Krasny, you were extremely aggressive this morning. Rabbi Lerner was unable to finish his sentences.

  • Sheree

    Thank you for challenging Rabbi Lerner, Michael. I wish you had also done so with Richard Goldstone.
    And to all you supporters of a Palestinian state with no Jews allowed – what’s with your ‘settlement’ obsession? Why can’t Jews live in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) if a million Muslims can live in Israel. Why should there be 57 Muslim countries (22 of them Arab) and 0 Jewish states?

  • Steve Feldman

    The host’s pessimism and skepticism seems out of place.  Europe, home of world wars, is united in a single euro zone.  The Berlin Wall doesn’t exist any more.  Apartheid ended in South Africa.  There is no reason the good people of Israel and the good people of Palestine can’t live together peacefully if they give up their biases.  Even Rabbi Lerner seems to underestimate the possibility that Jews, Christians and Muslims can live peacefully together, as they have in history and do, for the most part, today.  

  • Susan

    I, too, was surprised and somewhat shocked by Michael’s attitude verging on hostile…  Disappointing.

  • Peter

    This exchange beginning at 29:45 should not go unchallenged:
    KRASNY: Sadat was probably assassinated by the Muslim Brotherhood …
    LERNER: Exactly!
    KRASNY: … who are now coming into power in Egypt once again.

  • MattCA12

    Agree that the interviewer’s constant interruptions rendered whatever points Lerner was attempting to make very difficult to follow.  Perhaps Forum should give Krasny his own platform on this issue; he obviously feels strongly about it.

  • Gryphonisle

    Krasny has resisted having Rabbi Lerner on his show for years;  his conduct here is not unusual as whenever he has had Israel as an issue, he has always allowed the pro-Israel contingent to have the last word and diminished the voice of the pro-Palestinian side.
    In Krasny’s defense, the Rabbi tends to wander and get off message.

  • Debbieduenas

    Michael Lerner says what many of us feel in our hearts, but are afraid to verbalize.  Yes, a 2 state solution for now, a NO state solution for the future.  Ecological zones, yes!

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