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

Bibi’s unfreezes building in ‘predominantly Palestinian eastern Jerusalem’ — not

When the media report the slant and not the news
The most eastern part of the most southern part of Jerusalem.
Reproduced with kind permission of the copyright holder .
NB: There are all kinds of writings and lines on this map which we'll put in place when we describe the situation on the ground (pardon the pun).
The most eastern part of the most southern part of Jerusalem. Reproduced with kind permission of the copyright holder . NB: There are all kinds of writings and lines on this map which we'll put in place when we describe the situation on the ground (pardon the pun).

None of the English media properly describe Netanyahu’s building move, which did not stop Europe and all kinds of Nations to condemn it. How ridiculous and dishonest this all is. And hate-based animosity.

I live meters away from Beit Safafa, one of the sites under discussion. An American outlet reports Netanyahu’s pre-election permission to start building thousands of new housing units. They call the grounds in question ‘predominantly Palestinian’ in ‘eastern Jerusalem.’ This is either a lie or they don’t know what is going on — have your pick.

Also the former Palestinian Post continues its disinformation campaign on the peace process. It ‘reports’ that the move would ‘make the division of Jerusalem along the 1949-1967 armistice line impossible’ while such division is impossible to begin with. It’s like saying ‘Giving meat to a lion makes it impossible for it to ever live on a vegetarian diet.’

Here are the facts before the opinion.

First of all, ‘eastern Jerusalem’ is a new spin. For decades, they used to call it ‘East Jerusalem’ as if the Jews lived in the West of the city and Arab Jerusalemites in the East. That backfired with Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’ which gives the PA an Arab Palestinian capital in ‘East Jerusalem’ and the Jews in the West. Turns out, what the PA has been calling East was not Jerusalem at all. We all knew that all along.

Second, this is not eastern but southern Jerusalem. The map is a bit complicated but eastern never becomes southern. A picture is worth a few thousand words here. Let’s make it simple and look at the above map.

The building permits concern three areas, Har Choma (here called Homa), Givat Hamatos, and Beit Safafa. You see them all indicated in blue.


Har Chomah. This ‘Wall Mountain’ used to be a blatantly green hill in the middle of no-man’s-land. When politicians decided to ‘develop’ it, almost all these trees were cut down and replaced by a sea of Jerusalem-stone-covered apartments. The southern third for Arab Palestinians — it borders on Bethlehem — and the northern two-third for Jewish occupancy.

Givat Hamatos. This ‘Plain of the Plane’ is also a deserted place south of inhabited Jerusalem. Once, en masse flown in Ethiopian Jews were housed there in trailers and caravans until a more permanent living quarter could be found. Only a few people remained and it looked a good crime scene.

Beit Jala. This is a formerly Christian Arab village, crammed in the valley between Bethlehem and Jerusalem, a bit more to the West. Muslim militants have chased away most of the Christians and on Sundays, one doesn’t hear any more church bells.

Gilo. This is the most southern city quarter of Jerusalem with 60,000 inhabitants, situated on an East-West mountain ridge. It was built up since the Six-Day War. It’s so Jewish (with a handful of Arab houses) that even the Oslo Accords let it be part of Jewish Jerusalem. Hostile media still call it ‘a settlement south of Jerusalem’ and so does the government of the Nethermost. I live there already for 25 years, right through the Second Intifada shootings from Beat Jala (never got a medal). It’s connected by the North-South Dov Yosef Road (now a mess for a light-railway path), cutting through Beit Safafa and the North-South Hebron Road between Givat Hamatos and Har Chomah (a light-railway path soon on its way there too).

Hebron Road. You could’ve guessed it, the route from Jerusalem’s Old City to Hebron (on this map called Derech Hevron). It looked deserted so the Jerusalem municipality put trees, other greens, and some stone art along it to show it’s urban, connecting Gilo on the east with the rest of Jerusalem.

Beit Safafa. A 15-centuries old village (from the time of the Byzantine occupation), it used to be predominantly Christian. The Jordan occupation split the town in two until Israel reunited it in the Six-Day war. The Muslim population is apparent from its very load calls to prayer (speakers courtesy Saudi Arabia). But a large part of its population now is Jews. There, Jews from neighboring Gilo shop, get a haircut and have their car washed.


Houses for Jews in Givat Hamatos would further encircle Beit Safaf. Look at the map. But not completely! These mapmakers have wishful-thinking-ly drawn a Palestine-Israel border and you see that Beit Jalala still connects to Bethlehem. That it would cut the ‘Arab’ area in two is simply untrue.

Further, more houses for Har Chomah and Beit Safafa will only be welcomed by all the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim inhabitants.

So, these objections by the PA, the Muslim world, Europe, and Peace Now are again much ado about nothing. They should, instead, consider the true scandal for which they happen to be responsible: the refusal to live with the Jews in peace.

It should give a welcome relief to the city that has trouble housing its offspring and the whole area that has a building stop for so many years already (trying to please the haters — in vain, of course).

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. None of his content is (partly) generated by AI. * 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: * To find less-recent posts on subject XXX among his 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, 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. * 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 (, 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:
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