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

Analysis: The end of Netanyahu’s reign is near

No, it’s not this, that or the other police investigation searching for corruption of Israel’s longest-sitting PM. The opposition is dreaming of this success because they see no other way to get rid of this political master.

Bibi is on his way out but not by being cornered by opponents, not from being dumped by allies and not through the long arm of the law. Rather, the end of his political career is of his own making. He made himself into a great leader and now he’s making himself disappear. What happened?

I don’t know what happened but I can tell you that he has lost what made him powerful.

His Way to Success

At the beginning of being a PM, he didn’t get it yet. He thought: political power is: not to be so naive and nice to let villains wipe the floor with you. He was right. You lie to everyone and you always win. He was wrong. You have to lie to your enemies (and friends who become your back-stabbing enemies) but not to your political allies.

After making everyone hate him, he was quickly dismissed. But he learned his lesson. He understood that you need allies and you need to treat them well – until they betray you and then you can do with them whatever you like. He returned and from then on, it’s been impossible to get rid of him.

His main principle has been to be pragmatic. If you have no majority for what you want, don’t even try. If you can’t convince a majority of the good of your plans, it’s not going to happen. If you can’t fight them, join them. If you want to remain the leader, do and say what is popular. Listen to the polls and you know what to do and say to stay in power.

He had a small trick on the side. When forming a cabinet, he would give his coalition partners (rivals at the elections) the ministries they wanted most. You want to finally make Israel’s foreign policy the way you like it, go ahead and be FM. You want to make the army into what your party has dreamt of for years, go ahead and be Minister of Defense. Etc. Knowing well that complaining as opposition is completely different from being in charge and making changes. Their inabilities eagerly dug their own political graves, especially for their parties and voters.

His Decline

The first big mistake by Netanyahu that I remember was the abandoning of Gaza. Supposed bully Ariel Sharon had been secretly forced by US President Bush jr. (“Israel, I’m the best ally you ever had”) to evacuate Gush Katif. Bibi voted in favor and as soon as the plan was (narrowly) saved, he resigned “for reason of conscience.” I noticed and remember.

Many years later, I saw a next faux pas. He wouldn’t let go of harassing the Bedouin. If he just did as they wanted, all Bedouin would vote for him and the Likud for generations to come. No, they had to be put in their (?) place and no matter how paternalistic or unreasonable, he’d show them. He squandered their support for no reason at all.

Next come the gays. Two years in a row, he abandoned them last minute in the Knesset. Just to placate his Charedi allies. But the fast majority of the People are already with the gays. If 5% of the population is not-straight, then everyone has at least a 33% chance that a very close family member is non-straight. How could he sweet-talk them and still drop them? What happened to his political sharpness and intuition?

Now the Nationality Law. It’s the tombstone on his political grave. He may have figured that the Arabs won’t vote for him anyway. That’s a bit quick. As I mentioned before, 60% of the Israeli public wants equality for all. Plus, he forgot the Druze. (And the discussion will continue for some time.) Now, by an unfortunate combination of events for Bibi, both the Druze and the gays say: we demand equality. He’s out.

He overplayed his hand. He abandoned segments of the population that he didn’t need to lose. And it’s with voters as with money. No matter how much/many you have, if you squander enough, you end up without.

We have much to be grateful for in Bibi’s rule but that won’t save his career. Churchill lost the elections after the War. It’s nice that Israel is less isolated but it won’t bring him votes. It’s nice that Oslo is stopped but it will not give him success at the polls.

Come Back?

Can he still come back from these mistakes? Sure, he can. But will he? He only needs to say: I was wrong on Gush Katif – I’m going to expedite compensation to those uprooted. That’s the least I can do. I was wrong to harass the Bedouin – I’m going to compensate all those uprooted and install self-governance. We’re going to take out of the Nation-State Law immediately anything that smells of having second-rate nationals, including reducing the status of Arabic. I’m going to give gays exactly as they want. If the Charedi parties drop me, that will be their last time ever that they’d be in any government. I’m going to be a winner again. He can. But will he?

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, previously a daily blog contributor to the TOI. 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. None of his content is generated by the new bore on the block, AI. * As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. Or not at all because he doesn't claim G^d talks to him. He gives him good ideas—that's all. MM doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and educations contribute to his visions. * This year, he will prioritize getting his unpublished books published rather than just blog posts. Next year, he hopes to focus on activism against human extinction. To find less-recent posts on a subject XXX among his over 2000 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 too, here: or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. However, 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 when don't deserve that. (Yet, we all make honest mistakes, which is just fine and does not justify losing support.) 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 - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight reality), 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. * Chronologically, his most influential teachers 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. This short list doesn't mean to disrespect others who taught him a lot or a little. One of his rabbis calls him Mr. Innovation [Ish haChidushim]. Yet, his originalities seem to root deeply in traditional Judaism, though they may grow in unexpected directions. In fact, he claims he's modernizing nothing. Rather, mainly basing himself on the basic Hebrew Torah text, he tries to rediscover classical Jewish thought almost lost in thousands of years of stifling Gentile domination and Jewish assimilation. (He pleads for a close reading of the Torah instead of going by rough assumptions of what it would probably mean and before fleeing to Commentaries.) This, in all aspects of life, but prominently in the areas of Free Will, Activism, Homosexuality for men, and Redemption. * 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. When he can, 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, for Zionism, Intersectionality, 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. Read his blog on how he attempts to bridge any tensions between those ideas or fields. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to his 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, and decades more to admit to being a genius. But his humility was his to keep. And so was his honesty. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. He hopes to bring new things and not just preach to the choir. * 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, powerful therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. 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 a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors 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. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. * His newest books you may find here:
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