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Conference Call with Michael Nagler on ISIS: Is Non-Violence a Plausible Political Principle in an Age of Fundamentalist Terrorism?

Oct28

by: Tikkun on October 28th, 2014 | 4 Comments »

We invite you to join Tikkun and the Network of Spiritual Progressives on a conference call with Michael Nagler regarding ISIS and whether non-violence is still a plausible political principle in an age of fundamentalist terrorism. You can call in Wednesday, October 29th at 12:30 p.m. PDT or 3:30 p.m. EDT

Many peace-oriented activists have had moments in the past few months in which we wished we could stop the genocidal behavior of ISIS and the kidnapping and raping of young women by Boko Haram–by any means necessary. It becomes harder to resist war policies of the Obama Administration when we know of these crimes being committed by fundamentalist terrorist groups. In such a world, has non-violence lost its relevance?

We’ve asked Michael Nagler to address this question, in dialogue with Tikkun editor Rabbi Michael Lerner, in a conference call for subscribers to Tikkun and currently paid-up members of the Network of Spiritual Progressives. Michael Nagler is the director of the Metta Center for Nonviolence, founder of Peace Studies at U.C. Berkeley, and author of The Search for a Nonviolent Future: A Promise of Peace for Ourselves, our Families, and Our World. He was the co-chair of the Peace and Justice Studies Association (2009-2011). There will be an opportunity for listeners to submit questions and comments too.

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How the UK’s Jewish Leadership Killed Off the Two-State Solution

Oct28

by: Robert Cohen on October 28th, 2014 | 2 Comments »

UN Partition Plan for Palestine 1947

Credit: Creative Commons/Wikipedia

In the last month it has become clear that the UK’s Jewish leadership, despite its constant mantra, has no interest in promoting a two-state solution to the Israel/Palestine conflict. At least not in a way that has the slightest practical significance.

We may hear the consistent rhetoric that claims to support compromise and bilateral negotiation, but in reality our public representatives now look as thoroughly intransigent as Israel’s right-wing coalition government.

And if that’s the case we have a serious problem on our hands. It’s a problem that leads directly to the increase in anti-Semitic attacks on our streets and it’s undermining local community dialogue with our Christian and Muslim neighbors.

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Images of Empowerment: Artist Carol Rossetti Challenges Sexism and Affirms Women’s Many Identities

Oct28

by: Lisa Bigeleisen on October 28th, 2014 | No Comments »

Carol Rossetti Women Series

Credit: Carol Rossetti

When Carol Rossetti began posting her illustrations from her “Women” series online earlier this year, she had no clue the images would generate a following of 184.7K Facebook users.

Rossetti, 26, a graphic designer from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, illustrates women using kraft paper and colored pencils. Each drawing features a portrait or figure with a hand-lettered message in response to many kinds of discrimination, addressing issues such as sexism, body image, self esteem, gender identity, and ageism to name a few.

To see more of Carol Rossetti’s illustrations, visit the Tikkun Daily Art Gallery or check out the artists’ Facebook and Tumblr pages.

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It Will Take an Interfaith Village to Stand Up for Civil Rights

Oct28

by: Murali Balaji, Aamir Hussain, and Manpreet Teji on October 28th, 2014 | No Comments »

Bryn Mawr protest

South Asian American students at Bryn Mawr College participate in a demonstration against racism on September 19. Credit: The Bi-College News (http://www.biconews.com)

People from all walks of life seem to agree that news over the past few months has been downright depressing. Whether it’s conflict overseas or the infernos of injustice here in the United States, there is still so much that stands in the way of achieving what we know can be the best of humanity: love for all beings, respect for the earth, and a promotion of peace. Over the past few months, we’ve been reminded of the many struggles we continue to face in promoting equality, justice, pluralism, and mutual respect.

Within the South Asian American community, we have faced many trials together. From the early immigrants from India in the nineteenth century (the majority of whom were Sikh) who faced constant and institutionalized discrimination and racial violence, to the South Asians who arrived in the United States right after the repeal of the Asian Exclusion Act (only to find cities on fire and racial antagonism), our community has endured collective trauma. But we have also made collective progress.

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Gays and “Unique Gifts”: Is the Catholic Church Ready for Change?

Oct23

by: Michael Orion Powell-Deschamps on October 23rd, 2014 | No Comments »

Catholic Church

The Vatican released a preliminary document calling out churches to welcome gays into their communities. Credit: Creative Commons/The National Churches Trust

Some big news happened earlier this month. The Vatican released a preliminary document calling for the church to welcome and accept homosexuals. It was the culmination of an expected change during Francis’ tenure. Since becoming pope, Pope Francis has made verbal overtures towards gay Catholics, famously saying, “If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and is of good will, who am I to judge him?”

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Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? (Who Shall Guard the Guardians?)

Oct23

by: Michael N. Nagler on October 23rd, 2014 | 1 Comment »

Iguala Massacre

Family members demand justice in Iguala, Guerrero. Credit: Creative Commons/The Yucatan Times

I’ve just come from a three-hour conversation with Pietro Ameglio Patella, prominent Mexican professor and nonviolent activist, and an old friend. He was in the country with his friend Carlos Moreno who has been searching for his son for three years without any cooperation from the official parties – indeed not only that, it has made him a target of death threats himself.

The situation in México is, without exaggeration, catastrophic. Anyone can be taken off at any time, and both drug lords and the government operate with complete impunity. Gangs come and measure your house or your business and charge you for “protection” by the yard, and recently a radio journalist was killed right in the middle of a broadcast by someone who entered the studio, fired four shots point blank and calmly walked out. As Patella told me, “our wives are in a constant panic; we don’t know from which direction the bullets could come.” No government agency offers help to the anguished parents seeking information about their lost children or other loved ones, not to mention doing anything to control the violence, because indeed they are part of it. Patella and Moreno reject the definition of “failed state” for Mexico today. Rather, they told me, it’s a criminal state.

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The Ambassador and the Uzi

Oct21

by: Deborah Kaufman on October 21st, 2014 | 10 Comments »

Michael Oren Israeli ambassador

Credit: Creative Commons/Wikipedia

The Israeli Ambassador would be arriving soon. He was back in the Holy Land, on leave from Washington, and wanted to pay his respects to our family in the days after my stepfather Bill suddenly died of a heart attack. We were sitting Shiva at the family apartment in Jerusalem, observing the traditional seven days of mourning. Masses of people had been coming and going, bringing honey cakes and fruit plates to the apartment where they piled up in a sugary mass on the dining room table.

My mom, whose dementia had been accelerating, was hardly aware of the guests and their gifts, of the tales they told about Bill as a Haganah freedom fighter in pre-state Israel and later as an academic star and head of the English Department at the Hebrew University. Mom’s eyes were cloudy as she sat on the couch in a pink cashmere sweater, sipping tea, and smiling vaguely at the close friends and relatives whose names she could no longer remember.

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The Power of Testimony: One Woman’s Voice

Oct21

by: Janet Goldblatt Holmes on October 21st, 2014 | 1 Comment »

domestic violence

Credit: Creative Commons/Wikipedia

During the winter of 2013, I read the compelling article, “Hidden Children of the Holocaust” about children who were sexually and physically abused by the “foster” families who claimed to have “saved them from the Nazi’s.” For many, forty or fifty years passed before they could tell their stories.

I read of a woman who was unable to share her secret with her spouse, children, family, or friends. I was shaken by how isolating that must have been, with my own experience of date rape seeming small and insignificant. These threads of shame and self-dismissal are common in survivors of assault and molestation. As I became a witness to the accounts of violent betrayals of trust, the familiar conflicts of shame and blame surfaced.

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From the New Right to Neoliberalism: the Threat to Democracy Has Grown

Oct20

by: Jean Hardisty on October 20th, 2014 | 1 Comment »

Public Eye Fall 2014

This article appeared in the special neoliberal edition of The Public Eye magazine

The U.S. is in the grip of an unprecedented dominance of right-wing ideologies and policies. Many progressive commentators see that the same band of New Right actors that have long pushed a conservative agenda are up to their old tricks, trying to block any reformist progress under a Democratic president. But what we are experiencing now is not simply “more of the same.” There has been a political shift in the Right’s reigning ideology. The shift is from the Right’s fixation on capturing and consolidating power to establishing rule by the laws of unfettered capitalism.

The Right’s current success owes much to its persistent pursuit of a well-established social agenda and its increased emphasis on existing economic goals. To maintain that we are in the “old” struggle alone is to miss the rise of what we might call the Right’s “Chamber of Commerce” wing. This sector has a storied history that many people, aside from economists, often gloss over. Its current manifestation embraces a far-reaching, effective, and increasingly entrenched ideology: “neoliberalism.”

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Catering to Men’s Rights Is Not the Point of Feminism

Oct15

by: Jessica Renae Buxbaum on October 15th, 2014 | 3 Comments »

national day of actionto defend women's rights

Protestors rally for National Day of Action to Defend Women's Rights in Dallas. Credit: Creative Commons/ Steve Rainwater

Faced with increasing opposition from “men’s rights activists,” some feminists are responding by inviting men’s rights proponents into the feminist sphere, arguing that feminism can help men. For example, feminists such as actor Emma Watson to bloggers on Feminspire, Huffington Post, Mic, and Bustle are replying back to men’s rights activists with something along the lines of: We do care about the high rate of homelessness with men, male survivors, and all those men’s issues, and we want you to join us in the fight to address it all. But this response to the backlash misses an entirely crucial point: that the men’s rights movement has an opposing worldview to feminism and that to become part of a feminist movement, these men’s rights activists would need to change their perspective.

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