“If you suppress your truth, you’re going to have pain. If you speak your truth, you’re going to have pain. Which pain will you choose?” – Dr. Gabor Mate

I want to share my thoughts on Israel and Palestine.

Please read this to the end. I have no doubt it will trigger a million people but I ask you to read it with openness and calm and empathy for humanity.

I’ve been waiting a while to post as it’s a lot to process, to learn, to understand.

And not only is it one of the most triggering topics of all time, but there is so much pain, trauma, and emotion on all sides—so I needed to get my words as right as could be.

First off…

I am a Jew.

My entire family is Jewish.

Mother’s side. Father’s side.

I grew up going to temple.

My Hebrew name is Baruch.

I grew up celebrating the high holidays with my grandparents.

I had a Bar Mitzvah ceremony.

Most of my friends in college were Jews.

I went to Israel when I was 21 for two weeks for Taglit (birthright).

I was contemplating moving to an artist Kibbutz—a cooperative living community—for six months not far from Jerusalem but decided to move to Austin to pursue music.

I can still picture the beautiful sunset over the Mediterranean on the beaches of Tel Aviv, drinking beers and hanging with new friends.

I still remember camping on a kibbutz in the Haifa forests, hanging under the moonlight, playing my song Jack ‘n Coke with a bunch of other Jews from the states, Israeli soldiers, Kibbutz members, and funnily, the author Mark Manson, who was on my trip before he got famous.

I even used to have an IDF sticker on my guitar case when I first toured around the world. Not because I loved the IDF. I just thought it was cool and that Israel was cool.

But in the past years, my worldview has been turned upside down. 

I am a Jew who supports the liberation and freedom of Palestinians.

I am a Jew who opposes the Zionist movement, government, and their actions.

I completely condemn Israel’s actions toward Palestine and disagree with their policies, military actions, and occupation of Palestine for the last 75 years.

Again, I am a Jew.

I love Israel.

I can also be pro-Palestinian.

And even though I am a pro-Palestinian Jew, I understand there are loud pro-Palestinian (and many other) people who hate Jews.

I condemn them.

The world is nuanced.

I also condemn the Zionist Jews who support and enact a settler-colonist-apartheid state on the Palestinian people, whether consciously or unconsciously.

I support all Jews who want peace on both sides and minimal casualties of war—such as one of my favorite Israeli thinkers, Yuval Noah Harari.

I support all Palestinians who want to live in peace.

All of these things can hold truth at once.

Yes, obviously, I completely condemn the atrocious attacks from Hamas on innocent Israeli civilians on Oct 7.

I mourn the 1200 people killed in Israel (Israel just confirmed a decrease in the number) and the 240+ hostages captured, 30 of them being children.

I mourn the 11,000+ people killed in Palestine, 4,000+ of them being innocent children.

2/3 of them women and minors. 4,000 children. Slaughtered in one month.

I condemn the bombing and indiscriminate murder of Palestinian civilians  by Israeli forces.

To confirm:

I am pro-Jewish people living happily and safely.

I am pro-Israeli people living happily and safely.

I am pro-Palestinian people living happily and safely.

I am against Hamas.

I am against Netanyahu and the Zionist Israeli government.

Again, all these statements can be held at the same time.

One of the most difficult things in life is to unlearn ‘truths’ you thought you believed.

I believe one of the most respectable things in life is to learn a story of a people’s suffering and shift your beliefs. To hold that new story inside of you and let it mix and work and challenge the beliefs you were raised with.

And once you learn a people’s true story—it’s your duty to share it.

Starting about 5 years ago, my absolute support and pure belief in Israel began to crack.

I started to learn from brilliant Jewish and Israeli scholars and journalists who had broken away from the storytelling that was forced upon us and the entire Western world for 75 years.

Noam Chomsky. Ilan Pappé. Norman Finkelstein. Gabor Maté. Gideon Levy. Amira Hass. The list goes on. Read their books. Watch their talks. All of them have had family members die in the holocaust. A classic Zionist response will be to discredit their truths.

And to pre-empt this, you cannot call someone “not a Jew” or “antisemitic” just because they don’t support Israel and its Zionist policies.

The state of Israel is not Judaism.

Jewish people, of all types and beliefs, are Judaism.

Critiquing Netanyahu or the IDF or the Israeli Apartheid Colonial-Settler state does not make you less of a Jew.

Yes, Antisemitism is rising (along with Islamophobia at the same time).   

Antisemitism is a horrific disease of humanity.

But antisemitism does not rise with the narrative many people would have you believe…

Here are two questions to think about:

Do you think support of Netayahu’s insane bombing on 10,000+ innocent Palestinians, blowing up thousands of Arab children, while the surviving family members watch their children or brothers or sisters die in front of them… increases antisemitism around the world or reduces it?

Do you think Jews calling for peace, protesting and standing hand-in-hand with Arabs and Palestinians and demanding a humanitarian ceasefire against bombing Palestinian civilians…  increases antisemitism around the world or reduces it?

It’s quite simple.

The violent actions of the Israeli government is what *actually* increases antisemitism in the world.

The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians only aggravates antisemitic people.

If Netanyahu were *actually* to enact a humanitarian ceasefire, create conditions for civilians to respond safely to this war, stop the settlements, and encourage a peace process with the Palestinians, well… antisemitism would decrease.

If Netanyahu continues his campaign to crush and kill Gazans, increase illegal settlements in the West Bank, and dehumanize Palestinians…

Well, antisemitism will continue to increase.

I choose the option that makes most sense for humanity.

I choose an option that actually provides even a sliver of hope for peace—for Jews AND Arabs.

I demand a humanitarian ceasefire.

I demand a stop to the bombing of Palestinian citizens.  

I demand a stop to the continued settlements of the West Bank and the razing of the Gaza strip.

Yes, of course, I demand the Israeli hostages be returned.  

But it’s utter insanity when I see people I know to turn a blind eye to thousands of innocent Palestinian children having their bodies exploded and burnt to bits…  

That’s not a “humane” negotiation tactic.

It’s a war crime.

It’s support of genocide.

It’s essentially saying “Ok, just commit horrific war crimes to get the hostages back. That’s how it goes…”

Yes, war is tough and brutal and insane.

But we don’t commit war crimes to get our hostages back from other countries.

Here’s another thought experiment from a common argument.

Many people say: “We want our hostages back. And we won’t stop bombing Gaza until we get them back.”


  1. If that common argument is that Hamas hides in tunnels, in hospitals, in schools, and uses the civilian population of Gaza as human shields…
  2. The response is that we are bombing the hell out of tunnels, hospitals, schools, and the civilian populations of Gaza…
  3. So by that same argument—wouldn’t the Israeli government potentially be bombing our hostages?  
  4. Isn’t there a good chance that the Israeli military has already killed some of their own hostages through these indiscriminate and constant bombings?

I understand this is not easy to read.

I remember when Palestinian (and Jewish friends) first started educating me about this years ago, I thought it was Anti-Jewish or completely fabricated. But then I did the smart and challenging thing…

I researched. I learned. I read the books of scholars.

I challenged my childhood viewpoints.

And I let truth take over my biases.

And of course… the situation is complex and there has been war and pain and attacks on each side, but you can’t even begin to sit at the table and debate or discuss until you actually start from a basis of truth and actual historical understanding. And that involves understanding the true Palestinian perspective as well. Not just the Israeli perspective.

From the Nakba, and before, and beyond.

One final point — there is endless contention on the phrase — “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” Most activists use this as a term to liberate Palestinians from Zionist apartheid so they can live in freedom. NOT a plea for killing Jews.

But yes, there are terrible people out there, and just because SOME people use this phrase to mean killing Jews, does not mean that it always means that.

Also, Israel’s Likud party, led by Netanyahu, embraced pretty much the same slogan in its original platform… “between the Sea and the Jordan there will only be Israeli sovereignty.” Which is literally just the inverse phrase and could be interpreted in all these same ways.

This is how the complicated world works. But it’s not a blanket statement for killing Jews, at all.

I went to a Palestinian peace protest this week and one of my favorite quotes from a Palestinian activist speech was:

“Our freedom does not mean another people’s dispossession.”

Which is the way it should be.

Anyways, I have no doubt I am going to be attacked — from family, from friends, from strangers.

But in regards to Gabor Maté’s quote above, I think it is more painful to keep these views private than to stand for what’s right and share truths with the world.

If I can even spark the tiniest sliver of change in a single Jewish friend — so that maybe they start to unpack the story of Zionist Israel, and learn about the atrocities that are really going on — then this post and whatever comes from it will have been worth it.



Happy New Year! Another year, another slew of books.

Per my yearly tradition, I like to share a recap of all the books I read over the previous year.

In 2022, I read 45 books and as always, I try to span a diversity of authors in background, gender, genre, and identity. I hit a bit less books than the previous year because I read a few mega 600-900+ pagers.

I’ll share my Top 4 Fiction and Top 4 Non-Fiction. Below that, you can see a list of all the books I read each month.

Since I was originally planning to go to Japan in December, I spent the year reading more Japanese authors. Also, I spent more time digging deeper into multiple books from the same author such as Haruki Murakami, Neil Gaiman, and Thich Nhat Hanh. Also also, I read some incredible Latina/Chicana and Indigenous local Denver writers like Kali Fajardo-Anstine and David Heska Wanbli Weiden. I highly suggest their books!

Read on…



Piranesi – Susanna Clarke

The Overstory — Richard Powers

The Sandman (Vol. 1-8) – Neil Gaiman

Norwegian Wood — Haruki Murakami


The Soul’s Code: In Search of Character and Calling — James Hillman

Srimad Bhagavad Gita – Baba Hari Dass

American Veda – Philip Goldberg

Recapture the Rapture: Rethinking God, Sex and Death in a World That’s Lost its Mind — Jamie Wheal




The Soul’s Code: In Search of Character and Calling — James Hillman

The Monkey Grammarian – Octavio Paz

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing – Al Ries and Jack Trout



Peace is Every Step – Thich Nhat Hanh

Snow Country – Yasunari Kawabata

A Swim in the Point in the Rain — George Saunders

Positioning — Al Ries and Jack Trout

Srimad Bhagavad Gita # 2 (Books 7 – 12) – Baba Hari Dass



The Sandman (Vol. 1-3) — Neil Gaiman

The Memory Police – Yoko Ogawa

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running — Haruki Murakami

American Veda – Philip Goldberg

Selected Poems – E.E. Cummings



The Go-Giver — Bob Burg

The Year of the Flood — Margaret Atwood

Srimad Bhagabad Gita #3 (Books 13-18) – Baba Hari Dass


Sailing Alone Around The Room — Billy Collins

Confessions of an Advertising Man — David Ogilvy

Silence Speaks — Baba Hari Dass



The Sandman (Vol. 3-6) – Neil Gaiman

How To Eat — Thich Nhat Hanh

1Q84 — Haruki Murakami



Sabrina and Corina – Kali Fajardo-Anstine

Raja Yoga and Other Lectures — Swami Vivekananda

How To Love — Thich Nhat Hanh

My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies — Resmaa Menakem

The Housekeeper and the Professor – Yoko Ogawa



Winter Counts – David Heska Wanbli Weiden

Piranesi – Susanna Clarke

Hit Refresh – Satya Nadella



Path Unfolds – Baba Hari Dass

Circe — Madeline Miller



How To Focus — Thich Nhat Hanh

The Dawn of Everything – David Graeber and David Wengrow

The Tao of Jeet Kun Do — Bruce Lee

The Overstory — Richard Powers



The Bloody Chamber – Angela Carter

The Expectation Effect — David Robson

Norwegian Wood — Haruki Murakami

Recapture the Rapture — Jamie Wheal



Permission Marketing — Seth Godin

Story Genius – Lisa Cron

The Heart Aroused – Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America – David Whyte

Cleopatra and Frankenstein — Coco Mellors

Now… on to 2023!

Kicking off the year with a book about the history of the Shaolin Monastery, Neil Gaiman’s “Anansi Boys” and “The Life Divine” by Sri Aurobindo. May your new year be full of books.


Happy New Year! Hello, 2022. Goodbye, 2021.

Per my normal tradition, I like to share a recap of all the books I read over the year. In 2021, I read 52 books and as always, I try to span a diversity of authors in background, gender, genre, and identity.

I’ll share my Top 5 Fiction and Top 5 Non-Fiction (with a bonus Top 3 Poetry collections). Below that, you can see a list of all the books I read each month.

Since I worked heavily on the dialogue in my novel this year, I wanted to re-read a bunch of my favorite Hemingway books and I kicked the year off and ended 2021 with two of my faves…

Top 5 Fiction:

Normal People – Sally Rooney

A Farewell to Arms – Ernest Hemingway

Blood Meridian – Cormac McCarthy

Agua Viva – Clarice Lispector

Like Water for Chocolate – Laura Esquivel

Top 5 Non-Fiction

Arthur Rimbaud: A Biography – Enid Starkie

The Bitcoin Standard – Saifedean Ammous

The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative – Thomas King

Bhagavad Gita: Books 1-6 – Baba Hari Dass

The Dream and the Underworld — James Hillman

Poetry Shoutout

Post Colonial Love Poem – Natalie Diaz

To Bless the Space Between Us – John O’ Donohue

Night Sky with Exit Wounds – Ocean Vuong

The 52 Books I Read This Year:

Jan 2021

The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway

Wilding – Isabella Tree

The Vanishing Half – Brit Bennett

The ABCs of Socialism – Jacobin

Agua Viva – Clarice Lispector

Feb 2021

The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories – Ernest Hemingway

The Spirit Level – Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett

March 2021

Mama Day – Gloria Naylor

The Little Book of Common Sense Investing – John C. Bogle

The Bitcoin Standard – Saifedean Ammous

April 2021

Blood Meridian – Cormac McCarthy

The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative – Thomas King

May 2021

The (Mis)behavior of Markets – Benoit Mandlebrot

Women Who Run With the Wolves – Clarissa Pinkola Estes

The Vegetarian – Han Kang

The Obesity Code – Jason Fung

Station Eleven – Emily St John Mandel

June 2021

The Ascent of Money – Niall Ferguson

The Leftovers – Tom Perrota

Arthur Rimbaud: A Biography – Enid Starkie

July 2021

Illuminations – Arthur Rimbaud

The House on Mango Street – Sandra Cisneros

Nighty Sky with Exit Wounds – Ocean Vuong

Sacred Economics – Charles Eisenstein

August 2021

Six Memos for the Next Millennium – Italo Calvino

The Mastery of Love – Don Miguel Ruiz

Queen City – Karl Christian Krumpholz

Like Water for Chocolate – Laura Esquivel

Sept 2021

Gold, Fame, Citrus – Claire Vaye Watkins

The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman

Who Not How – Dan Sullivan

Srimad Bhagavad Gita: Books 1-6– Baba Hari Dass

All the Birds in the Sky – Charlie Jane Anders

Oct 2021

Normal People – Sally Rooney

The Art of Time in Fiction – Joan Silber

The Dream and the Underworld – James Hillman

The Widower’s Notebook – Jonathon Santlofer

The Art of Subtext in Fiction – Charles Baxter

The Year of Magical Thinking – Joan Didion

Nov 2021

Pan and the Nightmare – James Hillman

Pretty Monsters – Kelly Link

The Ethical Slut – Janet Hardy and Dossie Easton

How To Walk – Thich Nhat Hanh

Algorithms to Live By – Brian Christians and Tom Griffiths

His Life and His Path: Rumi — Osman Behcet

The City We Became – N.K. Jemisin

Dec 2021

Conversations With Friends – Sally Rooney

Postcolonial Love Poem – Natalie Diaz

Attached – Amir Levine MD and Rachel SF Heller

Save The Cat – Blake Snyder

To Bless the Space Between Us – John O’ Donohue

A Farewell to Arms – Ernest Hemingway

Onward to 2022…

Kicking the year off with “The Soul’s Code: In Search of Character and Calling” by James Hillman and “A Swim in a Pond in the Rain” by George Saunders. See you in a year!