Berkeley police today confirmed that the attack on Rabbi Lerner's home late Sunday June [sic] 2nd or early morning Sunday July [sic] 3rd was in fact a crime and was being investigated.
The attackers used a powerful form of glue to attach posters to his door and around the property of his home attacking Lerner personally, and attacking liberals and progressives as being supporters of terrorism and "Islamo-fascism." They posted a printed bumper sticker saying "fight terror--support Israel" next to a carcature of Judge Goldstone whose UN report on Israel's human rights violations in its attack on Gaza last year has been denounced as anti-Semitic and pro-terror by right wingers in Israel and the U.S.. The caricature has Goldstone talking about his being kept from his grandson's bar mitzvah, and the caricature of Rabbi Lerner responds by saying "any enemy of Israel is a friend of mine."
This is indeed a hate crime, and should be vigorously pursued with the perpetrators caught and punished to the fullest extent of the law. The Jewish community has no place for retrograde thugs who attack people due to having dissident political views. I may have my differences with Rabbi Lerner, but he is a Jew, and thus an attack on him threatens me as well.
Unfortunately, the end of the email alert concludes with the following suggestion: "What can you do? Let people know that this kind of thing is happening in the Jewish world to people who critique Israeli policies."
We are quite fortunate that this sort of thing, by and large, is not happening to "people who critique Israeli policies". The explosion of violent anti-Semitic incidents has by and large not been focused on Israel's critics. Actually, I take that back: for many of the victims may well have criticized Israel on numerous occasions -- I reject the notion that the average Jew is in that nebulous class of people who purportedly are "unable to critique Israeli policies". But it is true to say that when Jews are targeted for violence, it is not typically because they critique Israel. Insofar as I fear being targeted for anti-Semitic treatment or violence, it is not my criticisms of Israel that worry me. There are, of course, extremists who do undertake such violence for that reason -- Rabbi Lerner's attackers being one, the pipe bomb targeting Ze'ev Sternhell was another. But I do not feel besieged, and I do not accede to the notion that, as someone who has criticized Israeli policies in the past and plans to do so in the future, I should feel besieged as a result.