Friday, May 19, 2006

Dr. Joseph Lerner, O"H

Joe Lerner, Dr. Jospeh Lerner, died last week.

I was well acquainted with him having discussed with him aspects of Hasbara, that mecurial element that Israel never seems to properly grasp and then, within the framework of his assistance to Israel's Media Watch, working together on a few projects. We used to meet either at the office then or at the post office just off Agripas Street.

Aaron Lerner, his son, put out this eulogy that he delivered for his late father and, as I didn't get to make a shiva call (I'm having problems with my right knee), I thought this should be posted here as well:-

18 May 2006

From the eulogy presented by Aaron Lerner at the funeral of his father, Dr. Joseph Lerner, founder and Co-Director of IMRA, last Sunday in Jerusalem

My father, Dr. Joseph Lerner, was a loving father, friend and colleague.

Though my father held the highest super-grade rank in the United States Government that one could hold without being a political appointee, I cannot recall even once that he didn't have time to spend with us.

For Joe Lerner family came first.

My loving father also was an activists' activist - he wasn't just an eitza
(advice) giver - he was an eitza implementer.

In America, Joe Lerner was, among other things, an adamant media critic - so much so that when my parents made Aliyah, the Ombudsman of the Washington Post wrote a column on the editorial page of the Washington Post titled "Last Call from Joe Lerner" that wished him well in Israel.

Here in Israel my father was an eitza implementer and facilitator: both advising and funding such important projects as: Peace Watch, Israel's Media Watch
and the Association for Missing Soldiers.

And of course - IMRA - a hasbarah project that I have had the pleasure and honor to work on together with my parents over these many years as our shared "hobby".

I thank God that my father had all his intellectual power to the very end.

Just days before he became ill he briefed a group of 36 visiting Swedish journalists in Jerusalem on Arab-Israeli affairs and working with a leading Washington attorney succeeded (after a 33 year effort )for the first time in having the chief executive officers of the top six U.S. oil companies asked at a Congressional Committee hearing about their position on the OPEC Cartel. As a result of their responses, legal action is being considered against them.

It is my fervent hope that we can live up to the sterling example that my father set as a loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)

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