A New Horizon for Peace: An Israel-Palestine Union

In light of the total deadlock on the question of Palestine, a group of Israelis and Palestinians is developing an original vision of peace, which under the current circumstance is becoming more relevant than ever: “two states, one homeland.”

Following Netanyahu’s return to power, a sense of despair engulfed the peace camp in Israel, Palestine, and beyond. Indeed, the Likud Party’s policy of strongly supporting Jewish colonization of the West Bank and recent vicious Israeli attacks on Gaza make peace based on the two-state solution seem like a disappearing mirage.

Letters: Transforming the Legal Arena

Restoring Mutual Recognition to the Legal System
I was pleased to see two discussions of restorative justice in the Summer 2015 issue of Tikkun, in Peter Gabel’s visionary essay, “The Spiritual Dimension of Social Justice:  Transforming the Legal Arena,” and in Al Hunter’s reviews of two new books on prison abolition. Restorative justice has played a major role in transforming the criminal justice system in countries such as New Zealand, and it is making an impact in jurisdictions throughout the United States, but it is more than just an alternative approach to crime and punishment. Restorative Justice is an international movement for social transformation. Restorative practices (a more inclusive term preferred by some practitioners) call on us to, as Gabel writes, “link our collective moral impulses with a collective coming-into-connection that holds the promise of making those high moral impulses a living social reality.” And when we fail to act on our highest moral impulses, as we all do at times, restorative practices provide a framework for repairing the harm. Sitting in a peacemaking circle, or another restorative process guided by a skilled facilitator, participants experience the fulfillment of the “desire for mutual recognition” that Gabel describes.

The Problem is that Life is Imperfect

The best way to achieve Mr. Gabel’s noble goals is, first, to recognize what can and cannot be accomplished by the various decision-making institutions in our society, and then to try to equip them to perform optimally in their areas of influence.

A Response to Gary Peller

The desire for mutual recognition is not an abstract universal, but a concrete universal manifested in all human situations as an expression of the very meaning of what it means to be a social human being.

History and Transcendence

The imposition of the “desire for mutual recognition” as the universal that ties us all together in common humanity onto the description of every social phenomena is ahistorical and undialectical—it fails to account for the concrete particulars of time and space that give exercises of social power a particular spin and story.