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

Could Israel get a secular Israeli government and what would we gain?

It happened in the Netherlands. After decades of post-WW II administrations with always the Christian parties holding them hostage, the left and the right suddenly united, leaving the religious fundamentalists outside the coalition, reaching societal goals decades overdue. Could that happen in the Holy Land?

Then economics (the regular interpretations of left vs right) would need to take more of a backseat. Also security considerations (the regular Israeli top priority) would no longer come first.

Could we have a secular Israeli government? It’s done in the US–a very religious population having a secular state–why not in Israel? Most Israelis already define themselves as more democratic than religious.

What would be there to gain? Civil and gay marriage (and adoption). Easier state-acknowledged conversions (half a million Russian Jews). Breaking the monopoly on kashrut and doing away with the chief rabbis and neighborhood rabbis as paid by the state. Let congregations pay their rabbis with some state subsidy (tax deduction for synagogue fees).

Yeshiva students would be equaled to university students. Kollel learners and foreign workers should finally get paid the minimum wage, not just pocket money. And–paradoxically–when poverty disappears, the rich will get even richer. The economy would be greened, army or national service will be mandatory on everyone–everyone, you read that right.

Which parties would be ready to separate between synagogue and state and which not? Shas and the Charedi parties obviously are not buying and neither are the United Right and Arab parties–though most of them could support socialist agenda points that might be hard on the Likud.

Gay marriage may be the canary in the coal mine to identify which politicians and parties are ready to separate between private convictions and state policy. Meretz, Labor, Blue and White, Likud, New Right and Identity each have no trouble with gay marriage. That would be an interesting and powerful coalition! In the latest poll, that would be 80 out of 120 Knesset seats. Who could head such a giant? How about Bibi?

Unrealistic? We’ve seen Netanyahu think outside of the box before, making quick unexpected moves! Never say never.

About the Author
The author is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (DES - Diethylstilbestrol), born in 1953 to two Dutch Holocaust 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 vegan for 8 years now. * 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 and Rav Zev Leff. * 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, 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. Many people can't understand or like him because he has such a wide vision that he never fits any specialist's box. But that exactly what others 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. * He likes doing age-appropriate and age-inappropriate things and looks forward to getting to know his timeless mature out-of-the-box soul mate. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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