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

Car-free days for greater Tel Aviv

The Israeli public is great. After Jews living for thousands of years is the unsafe Diaspora (only a tiny minority stayed here), we love to complain and kvetch. But, when push comes to shove, the old mettle of resilience is back in a second. This we have seen especially during Israel’s wars that threatened to end in our genocide.

Well, we’ve another war for survival on our hands, to avoid the extinction of all of humankind. If we don’t reduce greenhouse gasses hugely very soon, the already unavoidable damage will only be larger. What to do?

The greater Tel Aviv area is one gigantic traffic jam many hours a day. This is an enormous waste of time, a gross point of daily irritation for many (with all the bad health effects) and produces a many-fold exhaustion of fumes. What about a car-free day once or a couple of days per week?

After we mastered it, we can export this knowledge to all large cities in the world. We’re used to doing this nationwide once a year on Yom Kippur.

It needs to be announced months ahead so that all objections can be dealt with decently and appropriately. For instance, to arrange public transportation to areas that there is none.

On the car-free day we need:

  • Free public transportation in, toward, and from the greater Tel Aviv area. This includes trains, buses, light railway, (only) group taxis.
  • The number of busses should be enlarged greatly on that day. The drivers should earn a bonus per hour for extra work and discomfort.
  • It will take car-owners and hikers time to find and get to bus stops and to transfer from one line to another, but that will still be faster than sitting in a traffic jam for over an hour per day.
  • They will learn the public transportation alternatives that there are.
  • They will learn how pleasant it is to be free to talk on the phone, arrange make-up or shave, to do homework, to read a novel, to practice your newest Hebrew words, take a nap, relax, etc.
  • They will see how much money they would save, even if they’d have to pay for public transportation.
  • They would feel good that they contributed to our survival.
  • They would be motivated to go against industries that pollute and that enlarge the greenhouse effect. I contributed, they should too!

These are the vehicles to be exempt:

  • Police, fire brigade, ambulance, Magen David Adom, physicians and judges on standby, etc.
  • Motorbikes, moped, scooter, bikes — those don’t give a traffic jam.
  • Cars that bring public transportation drivers to work and return them home.

On a lighter car-free day, maybe allow:

  • Cars with a wheelchair-bound driver. (In Israel, all buses are accessible but their life is hard enough as it is.)
  • Cars that are filled to capacity.
  • Electric cars.
  • Allow all cars at times not close to rush hour.

Huge fines (NIS 500 at least) for every time a violator is stopped by police, even if it’s twice on the same stretch of road after a few minutes. No easy deals for the rich who could afford one stiff penalty.

Those who sell their car and freeze their driver’s license should get a year free on all public transportation in Israel.

It’s war; and we’re winning!

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. 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 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 1400 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/ 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. * 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 (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), 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.
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