Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

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, 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 lehavdiel 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, GLBTQAI, 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 quit 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 500st 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. * NEW: To see other blog posts by him, his overspill blog you can reach by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture at the head of every post. There you may find precursors to later TOI blog posts, addition or corrections of published TOI blog posts, blog posts the TOI will not carry and some thoughts that are too short to be a TOI blog post. Also, the TOI only allows for one blog post per blogger per 24 hours. Sometimes, he has more to say than that. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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