The Left won’t have him, the Right won’t lose him, but he’s neither
No, I’m not crazy—according to the specialists. I’m just not going with public opinion, here.
I’m not just referring to the fact that he enabled the withdrawal from Gush Katif (Gaza) or flattered Trump until he had pink ears. Look at all the facts.
First of all, he’s a capitalist. But, he’s a Jewish capitalist. For such people, care for others often overrides other arguments. Look at the corona crisis. Trump and Dutch Rutte stood for pure we-love-money-and-to-hell-with-people. People died like flies. Look at Bibi’s stance. The most profitable, in the end, is to protect people to the max. He saved thousands of lives. That’s one reason he jives with ultra-Orthodox and ultra-left-wing Deri. And he doesn’t automatically dove-tail with right-wing Orthodox Zionists.
Then, he’s a liberalist. But not like those who claim liberalism just to let the wealthy get away with grand theft and tax evasion. No, he’s for marriage equality. He’s for equal rights for the secular and religious. He often needs to flatter and throw money at the ultra-Orthodox to stay in power, but he himself is on the spectrum between secular and traditional.
What about one of his greatest talents that makes him survive politically in the volatile Israeli arena: he lies without batting an eyelash. This is not a character trait. How do I know? He’s loyal to those who are loyal to him. He doesn’t throw anyone of them under the bus. Look at Trump, how he deals with his loyalists (Pens). But, coalition wreckers, he lies back to them as they feign to him. He feints in politics like pro soccer players on the turf. Just like in sports, that’s not dishonesty. Do you know what’s dishonesty? The trials thrown at him based on could and would be’s. If he’d be a thief, he’d not be so careful with not taking, or open about receiving gifts.
You should object that he must be right-wing because he’s for making Israel more Jewish. Haaretz, AP, AFP, the BBC, everyone says that. Ever heard of Jew hatred? The time is gone that the average Jewish Israeli was naïve enough to give away Land for Peace. It was land piece by piece. We only got bloodshed for our sacrifices. See the five-meter-tall, centuries-old walls around the Armenian Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem and grasp how un-naïve we need to be. Well, now, hardly any Jew wants to part with any cm. of land. We’ve learned our lesson. We’re still generous but not with terrorists. We’re democrats and cling to life. The Loony Left, self-hating, Marxist, or Anarchist Jews are anti-Zionists, but they’re such a tiny percentage. The rest are more nationalistic than ever. Don’t blame Bibi.
But, yes, he sometimes seems to have a racist streak. Yet, it only shows with non-Jews. He’s comfortable with Trump, not with Mazen. But, he’s very comfortable with Mizrachic Jews—an important part of his base. And he’s protested racism. Unlike Trump, who’s more at ease with his working-class base than most US politicians for he doesn’t care about humans. Yet, Bibi has angered and estranged Israeli Muslims, the Druze, and the Bedouin for no reason at all. (Yet, he’s tried to help Ethiopian Jews and the Black Hebrews in Dimona.) Fortunately, or unfortunately, subtle racism is not the prerogative of the Right. He also seems more at ease with men than women. That neither is right-wing.
Yes, Antifa, the super left-wing, and all antisemites brand him super right-wing. I think that’s because he’s a proud Jew and not a self-hating one.
Only one conclusion holds: he’s a centrist. For the record. That’s why he’s taking his time to form the broadest coalition possible. And, a broad base will render him invulnerable to partisan blackmail by any coalition party.
One more thing (Inspector Columbo would say): In the last elections, Israel has not turned right at all. It’s still, in great majority, neither left nor right. Rather, because two Arab and two left-wing parties each went to the polls ununited, the so-called right gained a one-off whopping eight extra seats.
An uptick in terrorism comes to warn us to go for unity. G^d doesn’t like Jews to infight. True, the tone in politics is relatively low, lately. We could still lower the attacks from the left of the right, the right on the left, the left of the left, and the right on the right. And we could stop calling ANY Israeli politicians dangerous—because doing so, that is really dangerous.
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. *
If you don't know the Dutch, get an American peek behind the scenes here: https://youtu.be/QMPp6h6r72M *
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: https://mmvanzuiden.wordpress.com/. *
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. *
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. 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 (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), 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. *
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: https://www.amazon.com/s?i=stripbooks&rh=p_27%3AMoshe-Mordechai%2FMaurits+van+Zuiden&s=relevancerank&text=Moshe-Mordechai%2FMaurits+van+Zuiden&ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1