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

Arab Gentiles finally get options in Knesset elections with possibly a seat at the table

Israel is, besides traditionally Jewish, a definite full democracy. All citizens have full rights and almost all obligations (Gentiles are not obligated to serve in the army but may volunteer). Yet, the only political parties with a sizeable Muslim representation were the united ‘Arab’ parties (the third-largest party in the Knesset) and some ultra-left-wing splinters. These are ‘I warn you’ and ‘I told you so’ eternal bystanders who would never take responsibility for the well being of their constituents. Backseat executives with no real power but the power of speech. This is all going to change.

NB: I don’t use ‘Arab’ as an opposite of ‘Israeli’ because both terms are wrong. The two Peoples are Muslim and Jewish. The latter has many Jews from Palestinian or Arab extraction, so it’s incorrect to reserve those terms for Gentiles in Israel. Reversely, Muslims are fully citizens, so it’s incorrect to only call Jews Israeli. Yet, when we speak of Muslims and Jews in Israel, don’t assume this is a religious divide. More and more of both nationalities are less and less religious. But culturally, they are Muslim or Jewish. Note that Mizrachic Jews culturally are Arab too. So, 80% of Israel is Arab.

This lack of integration of Muslim Israelis is not across the board. In the health field, Muslim and Jewish assistants, nurses, therapists, and medical doctors work side-by-side. Among university students, civil servants, and service personnel, yarmulkas and hijabs are both no rarity all over Israel.

Both groups are in vast majority perfectly happy to live separately in their own neighborhood or village, not to intermarry, and to send their children not to a mixed school. But, while animosity from both sides is historically understandable, most will do their best not to let that show or play out to a person in front of them but rather, to be friendly and helpful regardless.

Do not assume that every Israeli regards the above a fair description of the situation. We agree on hardly anything, including disagreeing to disagree.

Now, the leading Likud Party of PM Netanyahu is elevating its profile to entice Muslims to vote for it. This should be followed by some other right-wing parties and mainstream left-wing parties doing the same — though, don’t hold your breath. But finally, Muslim-Palestinian voters will have a choice beyond a protest vote for the opposition or a protesting refusal to vote: a vote for some active say for the specific interest of Muslim Israelis.

Of course, the Likud move is only a trick to get more votes. But still, it may be the beginning of many Muslim-Palestinian with plans and ambitions to move into Jewish-majority parties to dialogue, plead, and negotiate for their interests. It’ll help to make Israel a fully dual-nationality State.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. 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 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. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), 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), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating 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. * 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. November 13, 2018, he published his 500th blog post with the ToI. 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 a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To find his earlier blog posts on a certain subject XXX among the over 1200 ones, go to the right-top corner of the Times of Israel page, click on the search icon, and search: "zuiden, XXX". * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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