About


For ultimate reality, all phenomena are encompassed within the expanse of equality;
but through concepts of attachment and hatred, we create our own suffering.
No one else creates this: it happens within us as we form thoughts of attachment and hatred.
~ Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche

  Like most Americans, as well as the majority of people in the English speaking world and most Europeans, I was under the spell of the Zionist narrative since childhood. In my case that was reinforced by being Jewish and going to Hebrew school in preparation for my bar-mitzvah in the Conservative tradition. I can remember buying stamps, each of which signified that a tree would be planted in Eretz Yisroel with my little contribution. In 1969 I took a long trip abroad with friends that began in South Africa. We were SF Bay area flower children, although a bit older than most of the counter-culture crowd. But there was no doubt about our tribal affiliation - we identified with the hippies and the extraordinary spiritual revolution that had bloomed from 1965 through 1967. It was therefore most surprising that within a few days we had become quite comfortable with what we saw going on in apartheid So. Africa - once the shock of seeing signs spelling out "Whites Only" in English and Afrikaans had been absorbed. After all, everything seemed so "normal," and everyone was going about their business, busy and self-absorbed, like anywhere else. It's truly amazing how people can become so easily accustomed to the apparent order of things. We take it all for granted, particularly when our family upbringing, our schooling and the rest of our cultural conditioning are reinforced by the narrative that is being constantly regurgitated by the mainstream media, Hollywood and our political representatives. Most of all, we just get used to things, being human and therefore very adaptable.
 
I had the same experience when I arrived in Israel about six months later. There were little indications, like the typical pushing and shoving to board the Egged buses (the public transportation system), even when there were only half a dozen people trying to board a bus that was more than half empty. And then working on a kibbutz, where the romantic notion of participating in the great experiment of agrarian socialism revealed itself as a convenient cover story for exploiting the labor of idealistic young Westerners. But overall I was blind to what was really going on, and most of all, ignorant of what had happened there, and why. All this changed in about 2003, when, for whatever reasons, the blindfold just fell off, and I realized the enormity of the crime that had been committed, and the fact that the slow, inexorable genocide of the native population was still ongoing, even accelerating, and the danger this represented for all of us.
 
In the course of time I had become a student and practitioner of Tibetan buddhism, after exploring the various wisdom traditions that are available. These systems of understanding and guidance are all in agreement on the basics, and they are also at the very root of all of the theistic religious traditions, including the triad of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the so-called Children of Abraham. No matter how twisted and perverted these may have become in their various manifestions, at the bottom is the same fundamental injunction to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Taken out of its particular sectarian clothes, this basic principle - the Golden Rule - is the same everywhere, and derives from the simple but profound observation that we are all one family, that we are inextricably interconnected, and therefore, and most of all, what goes around comes around. It's really quite pragmatic and not at all mystical or esoteric.
 
Realizing all of this it seemed glaringly apparent that the only way to bring about some restoration of sanity and stability in the Middle East, the crucible of contemporary international relations, would be the establishment of a new political configuration in "the Holy Land." Coincidentally, but not surprisingly, such a polity would nicely conform to what is nowadays universally considered the gold standard for a modern nation - a multiethnic, pluralistic, secular democratic state. The only opposing argument that has been advanced, and that continues to prevent such a felicitous outcome, is the notion that "the Jews" need a nation-state of their own, that God gave them Eretz Yisroel, and that all other considerations are moot. The Palestinians - victims of this wholly fascist ideology (based, as usual, on mytho-historical nonsense) and the subsequent ministrations of the self-proclaimed "master race," combined with the exigencies of American dominated geopolitics (neo-colonialist Empire building cum Cowboy Capitalism), as well as incompetent and self-serving leadership - bought into the corresponding notion that they should also have a "State" of their own. Many of them are having second thoughts about this as we speak, particularly as they come to understand that the "peace process," which includes advocating the two state solution, is and always has been just a fig leaf for further ethnic cleansing and genocide. 
 
That is the background that led me to take the only course available - a kind of moral and spiritual imperative, so to speak - to devote myself to helping to bring about One Democratic State between the river and the sea, aka the One State Solution. After all, it's really a no-brainer. And if we don't accomplish this in the near future, heaven help us all.
 
A crazy gringo in Patzcuaro
Michoacan, Mexico


Only connect!
~ E. M. Forster, Howard's End, Ch. 22