News Release

Perspectives on Sen. Lieberman’s Policies

RABBI MICHAEL LERNER
Editor of Tikkun magazine, a bimonthly Jewish critique of politics, culture and society, and author of Spirit Matters: Global Healing and the Wisdom of the Soul, Lerner said today: “It’s great that a Jew is on a major party ticket but unfortunately, just as many African Americans noted Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas did not represent the interests of their community, so many Jews have mixed feelings about the selection of Lieberman. Sen. Joseph Lieberman joined with Bill Clinton and Al Gore to create the Democratic Leadership Council precisely to transform the Democratic Party from its traditional New Deal role to better the lives of working people and minorities into a party that caters to the interests of the corporate elite. He represents the tendency within the Jewish world to abandon the moral vision that has led generations of Jews to work to end poverty and oppression. Rather, he has championed escalations of the military budget while finding savings by reducing domestic social spending. Identifying Lieberman as a moral hero only makes sense when we narrow our vision of ‘morality’ to the sphere of sexual ethics and abandon the Biblical insistence that social justice is the core of ethical life.”
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BARBABA LUBIN
Lubin, director of the Middle East Children’s Alliance, said today: “The selection of Joe Lieberman as Al Gore’s running mate is frightening to me. His role in the Gulf War was not just as a supporter but as one who was in fact pushing for that war. He has continuously, for the last 10 years, functioned as a backer of the sanctions against Iraq (as has Al Gore), where over 5,000 children a month have died as a result. Lieberman is one of the largest recipients of funds from AIPAC, and it’s hard for me to see him as an honest negotiator between Palestinians and Israelis.”
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PAUL BASS
Associate editor at The New Haven Advocate, Bass has been writing about Lieberman for 20 years. He said today: “Lieberman is a very good student of finding where power lies and using that. You won’t find many people in Connecticut who don’t like Lieberman — personally, he’s very friendly. But in his first Senate run, Lieberman attacked liberal Republican Lowell Weicker from the right on school prayer and red-baited him for his support for normalizing trade with Fidel Castro. He was the first Northerner to lead the Democratic Leadership Council, which moved the Democratic Party to the right by co-opting Republican issues. He’s been for the death penalty and capital gains tax cuts. His biggest financial backers are military contractors, financial services companies and pro-Israel groups. He’s a supporter of aggressive foreign military intervention — he’s called for the assassination of foreign leaders. He’s been very skillful at building a national fundraising network, he was one of the first to realize that the influence of the traditional party structure was waning and you had to set up your own machine. He has voted for the McCain-Feingold bill to ban soft money, but has stockpiled funding even when he had only token opposition.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini or Norman Solomon, (415) 552-5378