American Editor Rejects Incitement Complaint
JERUSALEM (AP) _ An American magazine editor has rejected a complaint filed with police that accused him of inciting Israeli soldiers to refuse to serve in the occupied territories.
Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun, a Jewish journal dealing with current affairs, said the complaint was meant to distract attention from ″American Jews coming to Israel to support the Israeli peace movement.″
Lerner was in Israel in June to lead a conference on Middle East peace.
Police said they received a complaint from Eli Karamani and Shifra Hoffman of a group called Victims of Arab Terror International, claiming Lerner called on soldiers to refuse service in occupied territories.
Karamani is a Jerusalem resident whose son was slain last year, allegedly by Palestinian nationalists.
Police said they are still investigating the complaint nearly two weeks after it was filed.
″It’s not an urgent file so it may take weeks,″ said police spokeswoman Anat Granit. She said police would not contact Lerner unless the district attorney decided to prosecute.
Lerner said through a spokeswoman that he left Israel after waiting 10 days to hear from the police.
The spokeswoman, Erika Henik, said Friday that Lerner presented a position paper at the conference with suggestions on how to end the occupation. One idea was for soldiers and civilians to sign a petition agreeing not to serve in the occupied territories if 10,000 others signed, she said.
She said several of the Israeli speakers at the conference also proposed refusing to serve in occupied areas.
She said Lerner believed that ″the entire episode was concocted to avoid discussing the real topic, which was American Jews coming to Israel to support the Israeli peace movement and external pressure on the Israeli government.″