A Note From Germany


by Victor Grossman, Tikkun’s Berlin Correspondant


It didn’t affect many people directly, but even small victories are welcome these days. Germany’s Constitutional Court just ruled that no-one should be forced to declare themselves officially male or female.

Discrimination Against Black Workers

Los Angeles Black Worker Center
October 5, 2017
Discrimination has created a crisis in the Black community. Although the passage of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act forbids racial discrimination in the workplace, black workers continue to face higher rates of discrimination in the workforce than white workers do. ‘Whether working full-time or part-time, Black workers earn only three-quarters of what white workers earn,’ as stated in the introduction of the brief. , ,

Dear Friends and Allies:The Los Angeles Black Worker Center (LABWC) and National Employment Law Project (NELP) demonstrates the need for California to explore expanded anti-employment discrimination to better protect workers in the era of Trump. You can download the white paper HERE

You can view the white paper HERE

Los Angeles, California, October 5, 2017 – The National Employment Law Project and the Los Angeles Black Worker Center released a white paper today that offers analysis on why anti-discrimination laws must be strengthened to protect communities of color in the workforce as national civil rights enforcement agencies are threatened with cuts and elimination.  The report is published as a broad coalition of unemployed, underemployed and union workers call on Governor Brown to sign Senate Bill SB 491- The California Anti-Employment Discrimination Action of 2017- a bill that would begin the process of expanding anti-discrimination enforcement authority to local governments to fill the enforcement gap.

Merkel Clobbered While Rightists Threat Grows

[Editor’s note: the rise of the racist Right in Germany in the Sept. 2017 election once again demonstrates the weakness of a centrist politics whose only holy principle is compromise in order to get or hold power. Just as in Brexit in England and in the Trump victory in the U.S., the centrists continue to believe that “more of the same” will satisfy people whose lives are filled with pain and frustration. Sadly, the European left, like the American left, has little to offer beyond rational economic programs–unable to understand the psycho-spiritual pain generated by the competitive market place and hence unable to speak to the depth of frustration many experience in their daily lives. We at Tikkun have analyzed these dynamics in The Left Hand of God: Taking Back our Country from the Religious Right (HarperSanFrancisco) and in our analyses of the 2016 election https://www.tikkun.org/newsite/we-cant-transform-american-politics-till-we-understand-the-psychodynamics-at-play .

Grassroots Venezuelans in the Midst of the Economic War

The Real Price of Trump’s Venezuela Sanctions

By RYAN MALLETT-OUTTRIM, August 25th 2017


economic crisis 2017
U.S. sanctions

Five hundred and sixty seven thousand dead children. That was the death toll of international sanctions on Saddam’s Iraq, according to a 1995 study published in The Lancet by researchers from the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation. The conclusions of the study were shocking: five years after sanctions had been first implemented, UN humanitarian workers found a once rich, oil producing nation wracked with famine. The sanctions were aimed at pressuring Saddam, though in reality their impact was felt most by the poorest Iraqis. One researcher found that around a third of children under the age of 10 in Baghdad showed signs of stunted growth, while 12 percent were in urgent need of immediate medical attention due to extreme malnutrition.

G20 in Hamburg


Berlin Bulletin No. 130, July 10, 2017

Victor Grossman, Berlin

The concert hall in Hamburg’s wonderful new Elbphilharmonie edifice resounded with Schiller’s thrilling Ode to Joy and world brotherhood in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Nineteen heads of state were there for a G-20 conference; only Erdogan from Turkey was missing; he may not appreciate Beethoven or was too busy worrying about the huge peaceful march to Istanbul, a first major response to his repression. All other leaders and their spouses heard the music; even Donald Trump was seen for a TV moment with half-closed eyes, in euphoric enjoyment of Beethoven, we assume. Or why else?

U.S. Imperialism–Changing Direction?

 Editor’s note: As in all articles published by Tikkun, except our editorials, Tikkun does not necessarily agree or endorse the views we publish. We choose our articles to present views that are rarely aired in the mainstream media and which might contribute to the healing and transformation of our world that Tikkun seeks. But we don’t have staff or resources sufficient to ensure that the views and facts presented in our articles are accurate or that they will for sure lead to the world we want. Sad, but with a total of 2.5 people working at Tikkun, it’s the best we can do!–Rabbi Michael Lerner, Editor

US Imperialism: Changing Direction? 

By Zoltan Zigedy

Developments over the last few weeks further remove the fog obscuring the foreign policy objectives of the US ruling class. A series of seemingly unrelated events casts light on the goals of US policy makers in an era of intensifying international rivalries.

Life So Good

There was another picture of her at their wedding. Two young boys in coffee-colored suits stood behind them, holding guitars way too big for their bodies, surrounded by a crowd of what must have been a hundred, their priest dressed in white toasting them with a big glass of red wine.

Response to Martha Sonnenberg’s Kaddish for Che

March 6, 2017

Reader response to Martha Sonnenberg’s Kaddish for Che:

Querido Che: Che está Presente
by Nancy Scheper-Hughes


The spiritual and political afterlife of Che, like the afterlife of Jesus of Nazareth, begins with their brutal torture and deaths at the hands of ignorant soldiers, colonizing forces, and local collaborators. Both faced their capture and deaths with equanimity, gentleness, and love. Both were given opportunities to surrender and save themselves, but  both acquiesced to their fate, remained true to their beliefs, and faced their executions with words of comfort and of love. Che: “I know you are here to kill me. Shoot, you are only going to kill a man… please, tell my wife to remarry and try to be happy.” Jesus: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”.

The Fear and the Passion

Editor’s note: Here is a perspective from the U.K. which presents an overview of how some British Muslim progressives are trying to make sense of Trumpism, the British exit from the UK’s previous integration into the Common Market, and the growth of right-wing movements manipulated by elites of wealth and power.  

The Fear and the Passion

By Tahir Abbas

Since the inauguration of President Trump, barely a month ago, many people around the world have been deeply disturbed by his many negative utterances, provocative put-downs of other countries, and by the people he has appointed to run major elements of the American government. The result has been a global outcry among women, the young, minorities and liberal-minded people at the narcissism and self-centred nature of much of President Trump’s limited but impactful words. Right-wing extremists have felt empowered by a form of triumphalism reflected in Trump’s repeated theme ‘to make America great again’. The impact this has on minority communities of all backgrounds, but especially among Muslim and Jewish groups, are painfully felt. In this short essay, I explore the depth of this upset and discuss what it means for communities with shared norms who would otherwise not be allied.

Pope Francis: Capitalism is Terrorism Against All Humanity


Collective Evolution       December 23, 2016

Pope Francis: capitalism is “terrorism against all of humanity”

Alanna Ketler

Once again, Pope Francis has made global headlines, shocking reporters late Sunday after blaming the “god of money” for the extremist violence that is taking place in Europe and the Middle East. A ruthless global economy, he argues, leads disenfranchised people to violence. Responding to a question from a journalist about whether or not there is a link between Islam and terrorism, more specifically addressing the fatal attack on a priest by a Muslim extremist in France last week, Pope Francis said, “Terrorism grows when there is no other option, and as long as the world economy has at its center the god of money and not the person.” “This is fundamental terrorism, against all humanity,” he continued. “I ask myself how many young people that we Europeans have left devoid of ideals, who do not have work. Then they turn to drugs and alcohol or enlist in [the Islamic State, or ISIS],” he said.

Berlin’s recent election: Omen of What is to Come?

Editor’s Note: Our correspondent from Berlin gives us a picture of the dangerous rise of fascistic and racist forces and the problems faced by a splintering Left. Might this be a warning sign for politics in all the capitalist countries in the coming decades?  To understand his analysis, remember that the Linke party is probably the most progressive in Germany, next most are the Greens, and the SPD (social democrats) are much like the Democratic party in the U.S.

Victor Grossman

2016 September 22
There is currently too much dramatic news abroad in the world, mostly bad.  What can an election in one single city mean, far from most fronts? Yet the voting in Berlin last Sunday (September 18th) was full of drama and meaning, also outside Germany. The results caused some to grieve, some to applaud and analysts like soothsayers to turn to arithmetic.

Leonardo Boff on the Brazilian Impeachment–what it’s all about

The impeachment of a dignified and innocent President by a mentally and financially corrupt pack 

Leonardo Boff

          Earthcharter Commission 

Once upon a time there was a nation that was great in terms of her territory and her cheerful people who, nevertheless, were unjustly treated. The people suffered misery mostly in the great peripheries of the cities and deep in the interior of the country. For centuries it had been governed by a small wealthy elite, who never cared about the fate of the poor. As a mulatto historian put it, the people was socially«castrated and castrated again; bled and bled again». But slowly Brazil’s poor began to organize, in every type of movement, accumulating social power and nourishing a dream of a different Brazil.

Soul Searching in Germany by Victor Grossman


 by Tikkun’s correspondent in Germany, Victor Grossman

BERLIN BULLETIN No. 115August 15 2016

Soul-searching is often on the agenda for people who long for peace, better lives for everyone and for the rescue of our planet. November 8th in the USA is one case in point, but I refrain here from announcing my own decision in my New York, a “safe” state. Germany also demands soul-searching – not only with the refugee question. On the national level, stout, commonly self-assured Sigmar Gabriel, head of the Social Democrats (SPD), is less popular than ever and so is his party, now down to 22 % in the polls.

The Real Meaning of Brexit: A Cry of Pain

Editor’s Introductory Note:  The vote by a majority in the UK to exit from the European Union  (Britain exiting, now called Brexit) is actually a cry of pain by the working people of Britain, and a reflection of the growing pain that will shape the social and political lives of our world in the coming decades till that pain is fully addressed.      Unfortunately, the media and the ruling elites refuse to take responsibility for the global mess they’ve been making. Instead they seek to put the  blame on a sudden surge of ultra nationalism and hatred of immigrants. But this is a distorted picture that seeks to blame working people’s fears on their own reactionary ideologies, and misses the way the ruling elites of the society, the !% of richest people and their millions of allies in the upper levels of banks and corporations, media, academia, law, government and politics, who have developed a neo-liberal economic strategy that has resulted in massive loss of jobs and a triumph of the values of materialism and selfishness in daily life, are actually now trying to blame everyone else for the global mess they have made. Don’t get taken in by the media and the politicians and their superficial explanations–read the two articles below please!

A Call for Love in the Face of Hatred: Rabbi Lerner’s talk at Muhammad Ali’s Memorial

In case you who missed it, here’s Rabbi Lerner’s talk at Muhammed Ali’s funeral. His vision is all the more relevant given the horrific killings in Orlando and the way it is being used to promote fear, hatred and Islamophobia. It has gone viral on social media and inspired over a million people already. If it inspires you as well, please read below for how to be an ally with Rabbi Lerner to help build the world he describes.