This is a guest post by AKUS
Lerman has been using the Guardian as his (only?) way of furthering the dispute which caused him to leave the Institute of Jewish Policy Research or IJPR. His support for the Oborne documentary, and the litany of one sided accusations and “discoveries” about “the Jewish lobby” could be hurled at a long list of pro-Palestinian organizations. But, leaving aside his obsessive hatred of Israel, which of course makes him a welcome guest on CiF, that does not really interest him as much as having an avenue, in his fevered anger, with which to attack his former employer in a newspaper that has nothing to do with his departure from IJPR:
Thus, buried in his angry article, we see:
Sadly, acting director of the Institute of Jewish Policy Research Jonathan Boyd’s recounting of the contemptible attack he experienced falls into the category of irresponsible scaremongering. He uses a distorted version of Alan Rusbridger’s comments in the programme on press coverage of Israel as a stick to beat the media for rising levels of anti-Semitism – a classic case of blaming the messenger.
It doesn’t end with the attack on Jonathan Boyd. In an earlier column, he used the Kaminski affair as the basis for his attack on the IJPR. At the time, in a previous article, I wrote:
Lerman’s appointment in early 2006 as Director (for the second time) of a Jewish community think-tank, the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (IJPR) precipitated the resignation of four IJPR directors and of one of its honorary patrons, the Conservative peer Lord Kalms. This was because Lerman had questioned the viability of Israel as a Jewish State. In 2008 Lerman “left” the Directorship of the IJPR and he is now futilely trying to strike back at mainstream Jewish leadership, using the Kaminski affair as a crutch to justify himself:
Having played the Kaminski card against Lord Kalms once, Lerman uses the Guardian to further his attack on this person. Lord Kalms is apparently a personal nemesis of Lerman’s who resigned from the IJPR, presumably taking his (considerable?) financial support with him, in protest against Lerman’s virulent bias against Israel. Lerman uses this latest article, ostensibly in support of the Oborne documentary, to take aim at Lord Kalms
These same businessmen and entrepreneurs who support and drive the Israel lobby organisations are sought after to chair major Jewish charitable institutions. They’re not kept hidden in boxes. They’re lionised. We should have the guts and the confidence to allow the robust but fair discussion of their involvement in politics. Peter Oborne investigated Lord Ashcroft. Why shouldn’t he do the same with Lord Kalms?
Not only is Lerman disguising his campaign via these articles in the Guardian against his former employer and a person whose resignation likely precipitated Lerman leaving the organization (since his views and direction were opposed to the aims of the organization and its supporters), he is, it seems being deliberately provided with a platform to do so. I cannot help wonder why the Guardian insists in inserting itself into a spat that should be taking place, if at all, within the Jewish community.
Perhaps Lerman, this broken reed, is the best stick they can find to beat the IJPR for the “crime” of employing people who support Israel.