Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

A Zionist flag parade in Muslim Jerusalem resembles a feminist meet at the Kotel

Provocations and posturing should be outlawed

In Radical Democracy and also in my recent writing on Atheism, I plead for slaughtering the Idol of Freedom. Freedom when abused is not the highest good justifying everything else. Yes, that means that I might advocate unpopular positions. I hate restating the obvious anyway.

I’m against all massive public displays of hatred, intolerance, we-are-the boss-here, and we-are-right. The Jerusalem Gay Parade has no nudity, and doesn’t transverse Meah Shearim, and rightly so. But, it’s OK to have a modest version in Jerusalem and Mitzpeh Rimon. A Zionist march is lovely but not at the Damascus Gate.

In the case of the Western Wall, we could say that the Ultra-Orthodox are the aggressors against non-Orthodox gatherings. Yet, the latest fight was with American invaders who tend to feel entitled to boss the whole world.

Even if you would be right (but you are not) that the sex of homosexuals is evil and a threat to family life, how low must one sink to disturb a funeral of a random gay man with a picket line shouting hate speech in the name of a religion that claims to stand for love?

The whole outlook on who is entitled to what is almost foreign to Judaism. The Greek worldview wants people to compete (Olympics). Judaism teaches we should only compete against our old selves. We can all be winners when we try to be better tomorrow. And, to live by our obligations, not our rights. The latter form fosters spoiled brats.

Does that mean that we should never upset the establishment? No. In desperate situations, provocations might be called for. Once, Israeli undertakers went on strike. Not immediately burying Jews is a gross violation of Jewish Law and ethics. But, these highly ethical workers had exhausted all other ways. They were not paid their salaries for half a year. They need to eat and pay rent. The rabbis approved their action. They got paid within days. Life goes even before the rights of the dead.

However, in Israel, we have democracy. Participate before you ‘decide’ that all options are exhausted. Oh, you lost? Be a good sport. Don’t start provoking fellow Jews in the name of holiness. Jews hating each other is what keeps the whole world from reaching Redemption. The ‘other’ Jews are not the enemy. Jews fighting each other is the enemy.

Sometimes we can’t get it our way (yet). Be an activist, outspoken. But don’t start a fight (and then claim you’re the victim, which you might be). And don’t use innocent children as human shields in your grownup fight.

I want a democratic Kotel. Nobody agrees. Even when we’re right, we need to be modest. We can’t enrage a majority just because we’re right.

My parents’ driving instructor taught that it doesn’t pay to cause a collision just because one is ‘in the right.’ You want on your tombstone: “But I had the right of way!”?

To fight over who is right is an efficient way to get to divorce. Especially when the ones really right insist on fighting it out.

Right doesn’t make might.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, an almost daily blog contributor to the Times of Israel, and previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. He's proud that his analytical short comments are removed both from left-wing and right-wing news sites. * As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. He doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit about what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and education contribute to his visions. * To find less-recent posts on subject XXX among his over 1600 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe, here: * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. Yet, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people who don't deserve that. He admits that he sometimes exaggerates to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA+, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust, and Jewish Liberation), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. He loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, anti-elitism, anti-bigotry and supremacy, for Zionism, Intersectionality, and non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. * He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, empowering therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids non-violently. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's being a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. He lives with his library in Jerusalem. Feel free to contact him. * His writing has been made possible by a (second-generation) Holocaust survivors' allowance from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having an original peek outside of your cultural bubble.
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