Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
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Correcting some stubborn misunderstandings about antisemitism

At the event of the Dutch King opening the Amsterdam Holocaust Museum

Broadcasted live, the King of the Netherlands, with a perfect speech and speeches by representatives of the States of Israel, Austria, and Germany, has opened the Dutch National Holocaust Museum in Amsterdam.

The combined live and recorded opening ceremony in the nearby monumental Spanish-Portuguese Synagogue (repeatedly called the Jewish Synagogue) was done with great planning, much thought, and tastefully.

Israel’s president mentioned how his grandfather after he was named, Israel’s first Chief Rabbi Isaac Halevi Herzog, had come to the Netherlands immediately after the war to find lost Jewish orphans. He politely didn’t say that rescuers sometimes wanted to raise these Jews as Gentiles.

It’s the new National Holocaust Museum, but it’s located in Amsterdam. There was hardly attention for the 60% of the murdered who came from the smallest villages all over the Netherlands. It was all about Amsterdam.

Before the war, Amsterdam Jews called countryside Jews and even the Jews from smaller cities condescendingly medieneh schtampers: those who trot the province, supposedly uneducated, uncultured, and stupid. A couple of Jewish farm boys from the middle of nowhere became some of the Netherlands’ greatest rabbis. But they, too, were murdered.

Most of the Amsterdam Jews were dirt-poor. Shunned by the upwardly mobile middle-class Jews. They hired their own workers-friendly rabbi.

In the Golden Age, it wasn’t like that. The stone houses stood dispersed over the Jewish Quarter (Waterlooplein), with wooden houses leaning against them and mud houses against them. Classism is assimilation.

The museum brings the heart-rendering history of people murdered for what? I find it incorrect to say that they were murdered ‘only because they were Jewish.’ I understand the words, but they misplace the accent. They were murdered ‘only because of hatred.’ It had nothing to do with them being Jewish. It had everything to do with Antisemitism/Antisemites.

The greatest mistake is a philosophical one. Maybe it takes a proud Jew to explain. The Holocaust’s greatest downfall was not of Jews but of Europe. It’s untrue ‘the Nazi regime, assisted by Dutch civil servants, dehumanized [sic] Jews.’ They dehumanized themselves by seeing Jews as so different.

The museum brings the carnage close to the visitors. It calls up not to forget, to be alert, and to step up opposition at the slightest repetition.

Yet, outside stood 2,000 antisemites demonstrating against the Jewish state, with permission of the mayor, who walked with the King. Reporters explain it away as not hatred against Jews but love for Gazans. They were pure Anti-Zionists, and we know Anti-Zionists are Antisemites. All of them.

Besides that, every normal person understands how uncouth it is to call for the removal of all Jews from Israel at the opening of this museum.

A tiny pro-Israel counter-demonstration close to the museum was ignored by Dutch TV reporters, known for their anti-Israel reporting for decades.

Inside, it was said the recent uptick of Antisemitism was terrible. No Jewish child should be scared to walk to school. Who were they fooling? Guards with machine guns are standing in front of all Jewish schools and buildings for decades. The streets of Amsterdam are not safe for Jews for decades.

A survivor with his great-granddaughter glued on the mezuza. A professor of Jewish History who always irritates me for his lack of basic knowledge didn’t fail my judgment when he could not explain what a mezuza is for.

The King got a private tour by the main curator who had supervised the recorded, so-well-done presentations. Were the anti-Jewish Laws the Germans issued one after the other like in other occupied countries? She didn’t know. Maybe she was nervous for not talking with a king every day.

Most Dutch Gentiles are not so bad. Awareness of their anti-Jewish bias only grows slowly. But they have no idea how to stop Antisemites. Never again is there: Every day again. No, not deportations, but no safety either.

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. He's proud that his analytical short comments are removed both from left-wing and right-wing news sites. None of his content is generated by the new bore on the block, AI. * As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. Or not at all because he doesn't claim G^d talks to him. He gives him good ideas—that's all. MM 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 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 too, here: 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. 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. 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 (, 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. * His newest books you may find here:
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