An important message about my novel Dispelling the Myth, and its content, message, purpose.
Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic. Israel is a deeply flawed nation. Fundamentally, Israel is a theocracy and not a true democracy. I know firsthand of Israel's and Judaism's dark underbelly. There are many Jews and Palestinians who want to live and work side-by-side. In order for the remote possibility of peace to exist in the Middle East, the Jewish Orthodox must be dethroned and the church and state must be separated in Israel. The stronghold the religious orthodox have over Israel not only impacts, imperils and oppresses Palestinians, it greatly marginalizes and disenfranchises Jewish or Israeli citizens, that is, people who are not converted through approved Orthodox channels, or who are not born to a Jewish mother. The state allows for Secular immigration in order to boost their Jewish quotas, but such individuals who adopt Israeli citizenship will never have legal marriages under the current system. Largely, their rights are hugely minimized as citizens, which disallows the individual to truly flourish in the current society. Israel does operate as an apartheid state. Palestinians are not allowed true freedom because they will outpace Israel's population and this threatens Israel. My novel, Dispelling the Myth, treats these issues in great detail. It also tells a deeply tragic, and painful personal story of sexual violence by people who are intimately involved and deeply connected with the powerful Jewish lobby AIPAC.
I might add that my novel is based on a true story, and it exposes rabbinic predation, and religious hypocrisy. There are prominent Jewish rabbis who may have every incentive in the world to keep my book from being read, for obvious reasons. Silencing critics is what people with agendas do. I want to see Israel succeed, but I strongly believe this will be when it inhabits the true universality that lies at the heart of the Jewish story. Israel cannot be a religious state. It must be a political entity that allows for freedom of religion for all citizens.
Humanity is a shared experience. It's important for humanity to broach and discuss all of the difficult and uncomfortable subjects now. We must stop sweeping it all under the carpet. Currently, people are quick to bandwagon and activist lobbies work in overdrive to silence anyone who challenges conventional wisdom. The moment a person shares a point of view that challenges the status quo, they are blocked or cancelled. The knee-jerk reaction to disappear anyone who does not confirm one's bias severely inhibits the free exchange of ideas, resulting in the death of growth, innovation and ultimately human flourishing.
I converted to Judaism in 2003, became an Israeli citizen in 2004 and lived in Jerusalem for 13 months before returning to America. During that time I abandoned religious Judaism.