Read more about books that Tikkun recommends.
Read more about books that Tikkun recommends.
Check out the contents of our summer 2018 issue.
Reflections on Fasting (and not Fasting) of Tisha b’Av (2018)
I am lucky. I fast pretty easily. I always have. Once in 1978 when I was a steadfast macrobiotic and living in Albuquerque, New Mexico I fasted 52 hours, no food, no water, just to see what it would be like. It’s a story for another time.
[Editor’s Note: Uri Avnery is chair of Israel’s peace organization Gush Shalom and a frequent contributor to Tikkun’s website]
ONE CAN look at events in Gaza through the left or through the right eye. One can condemn them as inhuman, cruel and mistaken, or justify them as necessary and unavoidable.
But there is one adjective that is beyond question: They are stupid.
If the late Barbara Tuchman were still alive, she might be tempted to add another chapter to her groundbreaking opus “The March of Folly”: a chapter titled “Eyeless in Gaza”.
THE LATEST episode in this epic started a few months ago, when independent activists in the Gaza Strip called for a march to the Israeli border, which Hamas supported. It was called “The Great March of Return”, a symbolic gesture for the more than a million Arab residents who fled or were evicted from their homes in the land that became the State of Israel.
The Israeli authorities pretended to take this seriously.
Ageism is so pervasive that we barely even stop to acknowledge it. This has drastic consequences when the limits of our compassion begin impacting healthcare policy.
Tikkun note: Thanks to our media ally tomdispatch.com for sharing the article below by Rebecca Gordon. And first, a brief part of an introduction to her piece by their editor Tom Engelhardt. “Stabilization: Lessons From the U.S. Experience in Afghanistan” put out by the office of the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, or SIGAR, focused on 15 years of U.S. efforts to defeat the Taliban and “reconstruct” that country. Issued in late May, it got a few cursory news reportsbefore disappearing into the maw of Trump addiction. But don’t blame The Donald for that. When was the last time — even before he entered the Oval Office — that any serious attention was paid here to the longest war in American history, our forever war or “generational struggle” or “infinite war”? When was the last true policy debate on it? Presidents — even Donald Trump — just re-up on coming into office, surge more U.S. troops in, and watch as things devolve. The generals fight; U.S. commanders come and go (the 17thof the Afghan war is just arriving); our European allies ever more wearily support the last superpower on the planet; and things only get worse while SIGAR issues its reports. Even its latest one only ended up recommending yet more military and other efforts at greater cost to “stabilize” that country. There’s a certain pathos to it, even as yet more Afghans die, more lives are ruined or uprooted, and yet more insurgent/terror groups form in that country (and neighboring Pakistan). It has all the charm of watching mice on a treadmill. Recently, for instance, there was a new “insider attack” that took the life of an American serviceman and wounded two others, the first in perhaps a year; the Taliban seemed once again to be gaining ground as Afghan government security forces shrank; British Prime Minister Theresa May, preparing to be kicked in the teeth by President Trump, obsequiously came close to doubling her country’s force in Afghanistan; approximately 15,000 U.S. military personnel (not counting private contractors) continue to serve there; the U.S. air war has been ramped up; the latest Pentagon review of the American effort may soon be launched; and undoubtedly SIGAR has begun to clear the way for its next report.
Rabbi Michael Lerner interviews Congressman Keith Ellison. They cover everything from identity politics to the Global Marshall Plan to Ellison’s decision to leave Congress and run for Attorney General of Minnesota.
Editor’s Note: Christian Liberation Theologian Leonardo Boff presents a framework for understanding the current moment in the suffering and struggle in Brazil by stepping back from the details and contextualizing it in the cosmic evolution of a spiritual world seeking to manifest itself in and through a world of love. –Rabbi Michael Lerner
The karmic weight of Brazilian history
The grave magnitude of the Brazilian crisis is such that we lack means of explaining it. Trying to go beyond the classic approaches of critical sociology or history, I have invoked the explanatory capacity of the psychoanalytical categories of “light” and “shadow;” generalized as personal or collective anthropological constants. I tried out a possible understanding that comes to us from the theory of chaos, an important chapter of the new cosmology, because from this chaos, in a situation of the highest complexity and relationship interaction, life as we know it arose, including our life. This has proven to be capable of identifying that Powerful and Loving Energy that sustains everything, the Generating Principle of all Beings, and of opening to Him with veneration and respect.
B’tselem, the Israeli Human Rights Organization, has called for Israeli soldiers to refuse orders to shoot into a crowd of unarmed civilians. The Israeli government justifies its killing of demonstrators last Friday and its intent to do so again this Friday by claiming that there are violence seekers among the crowd, and that some threw molotov cocktails toward the separation wall. Yet this is no excuse to kill innocent civilians. Intentionally shooting and killing nonviolent protestors is inhumane and inexcusable. We face this problem in U.S. peace and justice demonstrations when a few people smash windows or throw rocks at police.
By Anthony Gronowicz
This entire race to mutual destruction began with the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki that were militarily unnecessary:
President Truman misled the American people into thinking that Hiroshima and Nagasaki that were military targets. The reason for the bombing is that the Soviet Union had acceded to an Anglo-American request to enter the war against Japan the very day that Nagasaki was bombed. The bomb’s successful testing in July 1945 made Soviet participation unnecessary. One year earlier, the head of the Manhattan Project to build the world’s first atomic bomb, General Leslie Groves, had told Nobel Prize winner Joseph Rotblat that “the main purpose of the bomb was `to subdue the Russians.’”
Most Americans are unaware of the anti-nuclear bomb perspective of World War II’s Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower, Five-Star Fleet Admiral of the U.S. Navy and Chief of Staff to the President William D. Leahy, and Commanding General of the United States Army Air Force Henry H. Arnold—among others. Eisenhower wrote, “… I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him [Stimson] my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly, because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives.” Leahy concluded, “… [T] he use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan … [I]n being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages.
[Editor’s Note: Neither of these positions below represent Tikkun’s position. We call for a focus on healing the PTSD on both sides while simultaneously calling for a campaign for “One Person/One Vote” in an Israel/Palestine with a new constitution that would guarantee without possibility of change through any future democratic process that both Jews and Palestinians would forever have the Right of Return in this new entity. And while we think that formulating it that way might reassure both peoples that their concerns are heard, we put it forward also with the hopes that Israelis would find that growing support for that alternative might produce an Israeli majority for the 2 state solution which we think the best path but politically distant in 2018. –Rabbi Michael Lerner ]
Ending the Occupation is the Path to Peace
By Jeff Warner and Yossi Khen, Feb. 27, 2017
Peace has eluded the parties in Israel-Palestine for decades. Israel, the stronger party economically, militarily, and diplomatically, has effectively prevented peace from emerging. That sad fact has not changed, even though Palestinian nationalism is stronger than ever and the Palestinian cause is gaining international recognition. In frustration, some Palestinian solidarity advocates are pursuing desperate but futile paths. An example was promulgated by Richard Falk in a public speech in Los Angeles on February 7, 2018, while discussing his well-researched U.N. report on Israeli apartheid.
Patriarchy: A major obstacle to world peace
Discussions on peace are central to humanity since they force us to deal with some fundamental issues regarding our human existence, its purpose and nature. As we all know, world-peace is much more than just the state of ‘absence of war ‘. The voluminous literature on ‘just peace’ and ‘just war’ testifies to this fact well. My purpose is not to engage with this literature directly but to offer some reflections on what I consider to be the major impediment to world peace today. Today, we live in an incredibly interconnected world that one or two generations ago was simply unimaginable.
Has Trump Unwittingly Doomed The Israeli State? By Henry Siegman
Trump’s move on Jerusalem achieved what years of Israel’s settlements failed to do—shatter the illusion of a two-state outcome. The question whether “liberal Zionism” can survive the far right trends that now dominate Israel’s political life was raised forcefully in the New York Times by its columnist Michelle Goldberg. It was prompted by Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which Goldberg described correctly as “another nail in the coffin of ‘liberal Zionism’.”
While the reactions to Trump’s initiative have not yet fully played out, much is already evident. To begin with, they have exposed the stunning level of ignorance and misinformation that exists on this subject.
Editor’s Note: While the article below by Alfred McKoy details the decline of U.S. international status and power during the Trump regime, my reaction is to ask: what attitude should spiritual progressives take to that decline? On the one hand, there are many anti-imperialists who will actually cheer on this development after decades of wishing to constrain the destructive impact of American power with its primary goal of promoting the international interests of American corporations in particular and the global capitalist system in general. What could be better than to have American power decline, some are asking. That this is being facilitated by a dictatorial, racist, sexist and idiotic President Trump is worrisome because of the still strong possibility that he might stumble into nuclear war, endangering not only Americans but all life on the planet. Yet, in the long run, the anti-imperialists argue, if Trump can be restrained, his presidency may go down in history as the moment the U.S. stopped running the world, to the benefit of many in nations around the globe!
[Tikkun Introductory note: As is true of all articles published or emailed out from Tikkun, the positions articulated are not those of Tikkun magazine unless they come as editorials from Rabbi Michael Lerner. Our desire is to provide a large tent for liberals and progressives, Jewish and interfaith and secular humanists and militant atheists to engage in presenting their views on politics, culture, social theory, environment, literature, philosophy, psychology, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism (and other religions including scientism, Marxism, empiricism) and strategies to bring environmental sanity, peace and social justice and heal, repair and transform our world (this is the meaning of the Hebrew word tikkun). Israel/Palestine is, Of all the topics that cause division and discord, one of the most prominent. Subscribers and donors have left us in the past either because we published articles or took position that were too critical of Israel or too challenging of some of the strategies and discourse used against it, too critical of the Palestinian posiitons or too supportive of them. We have never identified ourselves as a pro-Zionist publication or an anti-Zionist publication.