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Archive for the ‘General News’ Category

Tikkun’s Interview with Dr. Jill Stein


by: Rabbi Michael Lerner and Ari Bloomekatz on September 7th, 2016 | 5 Comments »

Conducted by Tikkun Editor Rabbi Michael Lerner and Tikkun Managing Editor Ari Bloomekatz in August, 2016.



I’m feeling so much appreciation for your work here as I look over some of your website and some of the really important things you’ve been talking about forever.



Thank you, Jill. As you know, Tikkun is a 501-c-3 nonprofit, and contributions to make Tikkun able to continue to function are tax-deductible. So we are not allowed by IRS rules to endorse a candidate or be identified with a candidate or, a political party. So we will continue to seek to interview other major candidates and have requested interviews with Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.

Could you help our readers differentiate what you stand for from what Bernie Sanders stands for? And if there isn’t a difference, why don’t you run in the Democratic Party where your voice might have much greater impact because of their access to the media?


5 Things the Sanders Revolution is Not


by: Anthony D'Agostino on September 6th, 2016 | Comments Off

The next President of the United States will not be a self-described democratic socialist at the head of a political revolution.  Bernie Sanders and his supporters will close ranks and work for a Clinton victory, at any rate, an estimated 80% of them who will follow his lead.  This does not in any way reduce the significance of the Sanders vote in the 2016 Democratic primaries.  It represents something close to half of the Democratic vote and something like ¾ of the Democratic voters under 30 years of age.  Over a million of Sanders supporters cheered him on in rallies in nearly every state.  When this is taken together with the evidence of similar expressions throughout Western Europe and other parts of the world, it becomes clear that the dialogue on the left and center left in American politics has been fundamentally changed, perhaps permanently.  We now have a social democratic movement capable of quickly becoming a majority and leading a government.  It will seem to be submerged for a time; it will only express itself in a small grouping of personalities in Congress; it may only cause a ripple or two in the Congressional election of 2018; it may only indirectly affect the actions of the next administration.  Yet candidates will know from now on that they can appeal to a set of ideas similar to the ones that were aired in the primaries this year and that there will be a constituency ready to listen to them.  The emergence of social democracy is now a fact of life.


LA Jews for Peace Endorses the Platform of The Movement for Black Lives and Demands Gov. Brown Veto AB-2844


by: Dick Platkin and Jeff Warner on September 2nd, 2016 | 1 Comment »

[Managing Editor's note: In two separate statements issued in the last month, the group LA Jews for Peace endorsed the platform of the Movement for Black Lives and demanded California Gov. Jerry Brown veto AB-2844. Like almost everything we post on Tikkun Daily, these statements do not necessarily reflect Tikkun's official stances. For those positions, please refer to the editorials in the print magazine.]


LA Jews for Peace Endorses the

Platform of The Movement for Black Lives

LA Jews for Peace endorses “A Vision for Black Lives, Policy Demands for Black Power, Freedom, and Justice,” the platform of The Movement for Black Lives. The Platform is a strong and comprehensive statement for social, racial, political, and economic justice. We would very much like to live in the society it describes. We also note that some Jewish groups have criticized the Platform as anti-Israel. Their critique centers on three issues:

  • The Platform endorses Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. The Jewish American establishment objects to the platform because they assert BDS’s goal is to destroy Israel. We disagree. Thousands of Jewish and other Americans support BDS as non-violent economic pressure on Israel to end its occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. They are not out to destroy Israel, and their BDS activities would stop when Israel ends its occupation and allows Palestinians to regain their political, human, and economic rights. This is why LA Jews for Peace urges the U.S. government to place comprehensive sanctions on Israel until it makes peace with Palestine, similar to the sanctions it placed on South Africa to end apartheid.
  • The Platform characterizes Israel as an apartheid state.This is obviously true. In the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Jews and Palestinians live totally apart and are subject to separate laws – Jews under Israeli civic law and Palestinians under military law. Jewish communities receive massive state infrastructure support while Palestinian community state support is extremely limited. Within Israel there are over 50 discriminatory laws that restrict Palestinian, but not Jewish, life. This is the definition of apartheid, an Afrikaans word meaning separation.
  • The Platform states that “genocide [is] taking place against the Palestinian people.”That is a false assertion. Israel is not committing mass extermination; rather it extrajudicially executes Palestinians; uses disproportionate force to attack Palestinian homes, civil, commercial, and municipal buildings like schools and hospitals; and expropriates private land and resources. There are more Palestinians alive today, and they comprise nearly half of the population under direct and indirect Israeli control, but their living standards and prospects have been destroyed.


A Response to Cherie Brown’s Article on The Movement for Black Lives Platform and Israel


by: Donna Nevel on September 1st, 2016 | 4 Comments »

Screenshot from https://policy.m4bl.org

[Managing Editor's note: Cherie Brown, the founder and executive director of the National Coalition Building Institute, recently published an online piece in Tikkun that addressed controversy over a portion of The Movement for Black Lives platform the dealt with Israel/Palestine. You can read that piece here. The article below, from Donna Nevel, is a response to that article. Neither represents the official position of Tikkun. For Tikkun's official stances, please refer to the editorials published in the print magazine, which you can subscribe to at www.tikkun.org/subscribe.]

The Movement for Black Lives recently put forth a profound platform that, as Robin D. G. Kelley wrote, “is actually more than a platform. It is a remarkable blueprint for social transformation that ought to be read and discussed by everyone.”

Cherie Brown’s piece on what progressive Jews should be thinking about in relation to this platform – specifically what it says about Israel and Palestine – does not remotely reflect the deeply thoughtful, kind, loving, liberatory nature of that platform or of the Palestinian-led work for justice in Palestine and the world-wide solidarity among so many different communities. Rather, her article caricatured and misrepresented that work for justice.

1. Brown writes: Many Jews on campus report an atmosphere of intimidation when Jews question the validity ofBDS, even if they otherwise support Palestinian rights.”

In addition to this acontextual statement and lack of any documentation for the assertion she makes, Brown’s description of what students are experiencing on campuses leaves out a crucial picture of the (well-documented) harassment and intimidation of Palestinian students, Muslim student groups, and those promoting justice for Palestine. For detailed information that Brown did not include about what’s happening on campuses, please see two reports – one from Palestine Legal and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), (“The Palestine Exception to Free Speech: A Movement Under Attack in the U.S.”) that documents the suppression on U.S. campuses of advocacy for Palestinian human rights, and another from Jewish Voice for Peace (“Stifling Dissent: How Israel’s Defenders Use False Charges of Anti-Semitism to Limit the Debate on Campus”)that documents how Muslim and Arab students are being targeted, the bullying tactics of a range of American Jewish organizations, and the ways Israel advocacy groups intimidate student government to silence debate.


The Ethics and Efficacy of the War on Terrorism: Fighting Terror without Terror? Or How to Give Peace a Chance


by: Charles Webel on August 31st, 2016 | 1 Comment »

Throwing a bomb is bad,
Dropping a bomb is good,
Terror, no need to add,
Depends on who’s wearing the hood.

Roger Woddis[i]

On September 11, 2001, nineteen men hijacked four passenger jets and carried out attacks that killed almost 3,000 people in the United States, demonstrating the vulnerability of powerful nations to massive attacks by small groups of violent extremists. This shocking example of “asymmetric warfare” between powerful nations and sub-national adversaries was an appropriate wake-up call for a nation seemingly inured to its vulnerability to mass political violence within its borders. But rather than waiting for a full accounting of the facts surrounding the attacks and for a debate of all reasonable responses to them, the U.S.-led coalition chose to respond to the violence with more violence–massive military retaliation framed as a “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT).


Another Pipeline War? By Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. – With a responce from Stephen Zunes responds


by: Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. on August 30th, 2016 | 3 Comments »

You can read this online at www.tikkun.org/nextgen/the-mess-in-syriarobert-f-kennedy-jr

Editor’s Note:  We found this analysis of why Western powers got involved in the Syrian war in EcoWatch.  We then asked  Tikkun contributing editor Stephen Zunes for his response. Both are printed below. One thing stands out for us: though Obama assured me when he met with me in 2006 that he would support Tikkun’s proposed Global Marshall Plan (www.tikkun.org/gmp), once elected he allowed the militarists to frame the alternatives in foreign policy in ways that ignored the impact a Strategy of Generosity could have had in preventing the emergence of ISIS (ISIL or The Islamic State) and hence the muddying of the lines between a popular democratic opposition to the Assad regime and a Sunni struggle to achieve dominance through meeting the brutality of Syrian Prime President Assad’s regime with even greater brutality. The nonviolent generosity approach to the region, had it been a central part of Obama’s agenda in his first two years in office when he had a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress, could have precluded the rise of ISIS and other Sunni extremist groups and made it easier for the democractic opposition in Syria to rally the majority of their own country against the human rights violating regime of Assad in Syria.  –Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor   RabbiLerner.tikkun@gmail.com

[Please come to the Tikkun 30th anniversary celebration the weekend after the election, Nov. 12th and 13th in Berkeley, Ca. Set the dates into your calendar now! U.S. foreign policy will be one of many issues discussed and strategies developed on how to change it. More info to follow soon at www.tikkun.org ]

The fossil fuel industry’s business model is to externalize its costs by clawing in obscene subsidies and tax deductions — causing grave environmental costs, including toxic pollution and global warming [ http://ecowatch.com/climate-change-news/ ]. Among the other unassessed prices of the world’s addiction to oil are social chaos, war, terror, the refugee crisis overseas, and the loss of democracy and civil rights abroad and at home.

As we focus on the rise of ISIS and search for the source of the savagery that took so many innocent lives in Paris and San Bernardino, we might want to look beyond the convenient explanations of religion and ideology and focus on the more complex rationales of history and oil, which mostly point the finger of blame for terrorism back at the champions of militarism, imperialism and petroleum here on our own shores.


Brexit, Conflict Resolution and Democracy: Missing the Woods of Democracy for the Trees of Expediency


by: Ashok Panikkar on August 30th, 2016 | Comments Off

“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.” Abraham Lincoln

Most folks, who voted for Brexit, worried about the costs of globalization, feared open borders bringing mass migration into Britain and agonized about ‘faceless’ bureaucrats in Brussels threatening their national sovereignty. Those who voted to remain in the EU, and others who were appalled at the eventual outcome, reacted predictably. Most blamed manipulative politicians, Britain’s infamous tabloid press, xenophobic Little Englanders or even the ill informed rubes who didn’t know any better. Pundits bemoaned the end of post WW2 internationalism; the downing of protectionist shutters; the resumption of nationalistic passions or even the return to the bad old days of European wars and collective bloodletting. Some political scientists questioned the use of a single referendum and said Cameron should have asked for three, spaced, so people would have time to consider the ramifications. Presumably having faith that after casting one (trial balloon of a) vote, we would reflect and make the second (slightly moredeliberateone) after which, we would be in a better position to make the third (and finallyintelligent) vote. Phew, third time lucky. Playing rock, paper, scissors for as long as it takes to get the right result. Does the democratic process have to look like a visit to one of Trump’s casinos to make it work for us?


Featured 30th Anniversary Article: “Back to Basics: A Politics of Meaning for Education”


by: Svi Shapiro on August 17th, 2016 | Comments Off

[Managing Editor's note: Tikkun is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and to mark the date we have put together a special online anniversary issue that you can access at www.tikkun.org/tikkunat30. The issue includes articles, like the one featured in this post below, from the first decade of the magazine that are representative of what we have been doing for 30 years. And as another way to mark the occasion, we have temporarily reduced the price of a one-year print subscription to the magazine from $29 to $18. Click hereor visit http://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/28103-2to subscribe! Already have one? They also make great gifts!]

From Tikkun Volume 8, No. 1. 1993.

If the Clinton administration wants to succeed in changing America’s education system, it must start by recognizing that the Right’s campaign to “return to basics” contains, at its heart, critical insights into the psychological, moral, and social context in which parents face their own future and that of their children. Although progressives have dismissed the conservative education agenda, citing its dehumanizing prescriptions and its distractions from the real issues, the Right has been able to harness deep-seated human concerns and anxieties to the practices and goals of schooling. As we build our own politics of educational meaning, it becomes imperative for us to take these concerns seriously and to address them in ways that will genuinely enhance the dignity, responsibility, freedom, and opportunities of the young.

Basic Skills: Toward a Curriculum for Survival

One of the rallying cries of those who believe America’s schools are cheating youngsters out of their educational “rights” has been the need to emphasize–or re-emphasize–the “basics.” On the surface, at least, what the basics are seems straightforward: teaching kids how to read, write, and do arithmetic. At one level there is an unassailable sensibleness to this demand: It is debilitating, disempowering, and deeply injurious for any American to lack these skills.

There is in the expectation that schools will instruct children so that they are functionally literate and numerate an obvious logic that is reinforced daily by the experiences of working-class and middle-class parents. To the extent that radical or progressive educators have taken issue with the Right’s version of the argument for the primacy of basics in the schools, they have seemed out of touch with Americans’ everyday concerns, needs, and demands. No agenda for education can possibly succeed if it does not take seriously the importance of teaching reading, writing, and numeracy.


Featured 30th Anniversary Article: “The Rhetoric of Occupation”


by: David Biale on August 17th, 2016 | 3 Comments »

[Managing Editor's note: Tikkun is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and to mark the date we have put together a special online anniversary issue that you can access atwww.tikkun.org/tikkunat30. The issue includes articles, like the one featured in this post below, from the first decade of the magazine that are representative of what we have been doing for 30 years. And as another way to mark the occasion, we have temporarily reduced the price of a one-year print subscription to the magazine from $29 to $18. Clickhereor visithttp://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/28103-2to subscribe! Already have one? They also make great gifts!]

From Tikkun Vol. 5, No. 2. 1990.

When I spoke this past November at the Tikkun conference in San Francisco, I began my remarks with an official disclaimer: I was speaking, I said, only for myself – my institutional affiliation was for identification purposes only. One might well ask why I began by stating the obvious. I did so because it is no longer possible to speak out freely on Israel without the risk of incurring venomous wrath and threats, both veiled and unveiled, to one’s very livelihood. There is a witch-hunt abroad in the land and many of us in the Jewish community are the witches.

Let me cite a few cases, taken more or less at random.

- Arthur Waskow is forced to resign from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College for advocating the creation of a Palestinian state;

- The Zionist Organization of America maintains files (which it publishes for its members) on American Jews who have taken pro-peace positions such as endorsing the Jewish Peace Lobby and signing ads sponsored by Tikkun

- A branch of the American Jewish Congress loses its funding from a major Jewish foundation because it allows another organization to use a room in order to hear a Palestinian speaker;

- Newspapers in the Bay Area report that the Israeli consul-general has spied on and harassed Jewish educational and communal organizations that have dared to engage in dialogue with the insidious P-people;

- Activists in Friends of Peace Now in Toronto report that they regularly receive death threats whenever they mount any kind of program or demonstration.


The Greatest Show on Earth How Billions of Words, Tweets, Insults, and Polls Blot Out Reality in Campaign 2016


by: Tom Engelhardt on August 12th, 2016 | Comments Off

From our ally Tom Engelhardt at TomDispatch.com

Yep, it finally happened. Inearly May, after a long, long run, the elephants of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus were ushered into retirement in Florida where they will finish their days aidingcancer research. The Greatest Show on Earth was done with its pachyderms. The same might be said about the Republicans after Donald Trump’s version of a GOP convention. Many of them had also been sent, far less gracefully than those circus elephants, into a kind ofenforced retirement(without even cancer research as an excuse). Their former party remained in the none-too-gentle hands of the eternally aggrieved Trump, while the Democrats were left to happily chant “USA! USA!,” march a barking retiredfour-star generaland aformer CIA directoron stage to invoke the indispensable “greatness” of America, and otherwise exhibit the kind of super-patriotism and worship of the military usually associated with… no question about it… the GOP (whose delegates insteadspent their timechantinglock her up!“).

And that’s just to take the tiniest of peeks at a passing moment in what continues to be, without the slightest doubt, the Greatest Show on Earth in 2016.