“Paradigms power perceptions and perceptions power paradigms. Most emotions are responses to perception—what you think is true about a given situation. If your perception is false, then your emotional response to it will be false too. So check your perceptions, and beyond that check the truthfulness of your paradigms—what you believe. Just because you believe something firmly doesn’t make it true. Be willing to examine what you believe. The more you live in the truth, the more your emotions will help you see clearly.”

William P. Young, The Shack

There is no freedom in memories.

To be free we need to transcend any conditioning, any stories from the past that are less than truthful, less than loving.

History (his story) is almost always written by the victors of a conquest. It’s almost always written from the male perspective that led to the desire for conquest in the first place.

I believe it is time we examine the stories we have been raised with in light of the truth that is being revealed in the modern era. If the story doesn’t stand up to the light of truth it is time to let it fade into the shadows.

My guest this Wednesday on Voices from the North, Joey Moncarz, was raised in Florida and attended a private Jewish school for seven years. Trips to Israel happened regularly for him and his twin sister during childhood (his mother grew up in Israel and later moved with her family to New York City and then Miami, so her family was still in the Holy Land) and continue to provide enjoyable memories for Joey. Here’s the interview:

As an adult, Joey has travelled and studied extensively. When he first arrived in Israel to live, he believed the stories he’d been raised with and supported Israel’s political stance. In due course this was to change.

The justification we’ve been taught for Jews creating a nation state in Palestine was that the Romans had sent the Jews into exile 2000 years ago. However, as Joey has discovered and Professor Shlomo Sand of Tel Aviv University has scribed, the actual story may be quite different than the previously accepted one.

Professor Shlomo Sand in his book, The Invention of the Jewish People, candidly states his aim is to undercut the Jews’ claims to the land of Israel by demonstrating that they do not constitute “a people,” with a shared racial or biological past. Professor Sand wrote that in Biblical times some of the Jews of Palestine were a proselytizing race. When the Romans conquered their homeland, some Jewish leaders may have been sent into exile. That was a common Roman practice designed to minimize resistance to their rule. But they didn’t purge the place of its Jewish citizenry. That wasn’t their style. Instead Sand reports that one group of proselytizing Jews, of their own volition, headed to Eastern Europe in an attempt to convert people there to Judaism.

Another group of Palestinian Jews stayed behind. They never left! Instead, some 600 years later they were converted to Islam when Arab armies swept into the Holy Land. So, the Palestineans of today were the gentle Jews of yesterday.

Sand declares that most Jews are descended from converts whose ancestors never set foot in the Holy Land. That has come as a bit of a surprise to many Jews and as a colossal affront to Zionism, Israel’s national ideology. The modern Israeli state was founded on the belief in a “Jewish people” as a unified nation, established in biblical times, scattered by Rome, stranded in exile for 2,000 years, then returned to the Promised Land.

We all know the horrific deeds inflicted upon Jews by Nazis during the Holocaust. These actions cannot be condoned. But they can be forgiven. The atrocities of the concentration camps of Nazi occupied Europe are of the past. Can we leave them there?

Secondary school teacher Joey Moncarz, the Jew from Miami, has a Free Palestine poster on a wall in his classroom. One of his best friends is a Palestinian woman living in Tucson, Arizona. While completing teacher training in Auckland, Joey participated in monthly protests in downtown Auckland supporting the Palestinian perspective of the right to live the land they’ve occupied for millennia.

Why would a Jewish man, raised with Zionist leanings, so strongly support the aims of the Palestinians? What made him change his mind?

While an undergrad at university in Miami, his class received a visit from a blind Palestinian professor. This gentle man presented compelling arguments, some of which I’ve outlined above, for the right of his people to live with peace and freedom in the land of their forefathers. He referred to Noam Chomsky’s writings and I refer you to the YouTube clip below. In our interview Joey stated that he still didn’t accept the Palestinian perspective at that time. But those compelling arguments for the right of Palestinians to the homeland their ancestors have inhabited for at least 2000 years started a process of questioning for Joey Moncarz.

There are some who would argue that Israel’s militaristic tendencies are motivated primarily by the need for water. The following words were found at: http://tobyspeople.com/anthropik/2006/08/israels-water-wars/

Israel’s ecology varies from semi-arid to complete desert, yet it has intense water needs. These are fulfilled primarily by three sources. Lake Kinneret (a.k.a., the Sea of Galilee) provides over a third of Israel’s water. Another third comes from two aquifers—large, geographical areas of subterranean catchment where water accumulates. These aquifers lie beneath the Gaza strip and the West Bank: precisely the territories Israel seized in the 1969 war.

Under international law, the West Bank and Gaza are occupied territories, and the Geneva Conventions—which govern the appropriate use of occupied territories—forbid moving people into an occupied territory. That’s precisely what Israel’s settlement program did. Israel then proceeded to siphon the water of the West Bank away from its native Palestinian population, to the new settler population.

At present, Israelis receive five times as much water per person as Palestinians. In Gaza, the disparity is even more striking, with settlers getting seven times as much water as their Palestinian neighbors. Stated differently, on average, Israelis get 92.5 gallons per person per day, while Palestinians in the West Bank get 18.5 gallons per person per day. The minimum quantity of water recommended by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the World Health Organization for household and urban use alone is 26.4 gallons per person per day. …

Albert Einstein was asked to be the first leader of the Israeli State in 1948. He turned down the offer. I wonder if he foresaw the violence that was to come.

Nationalism is the Measles of Mankind.    Albert Einstein.

Anyone who follows my writings knows I don’t believe in coincidences. Joey’s story of how he met his Palestinian friend in Tucson is priceless. He’d help organize a showing of the documentary, The Corporation, and this soon-to-be friend was at the showing. She noticed the ‘Free Palestine’ T-shirt he was wearing and thought, I’d like to meet this guy. They hit it off immediately. In the course of their conversation she mentioned that her birthday was October 4th. He was astounded to find that this was the same day as his and he told her this. She then figured he must be a Mossad agent trying to warm up to her. His story was too unlikely. Despite the bizarre start, they are still good friends today.

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