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

Democratic Israel is not in danger

Darkness never dispels light

Public scaremongering is only a cynical abuse of latent fears among readers and viewers for the outlets’ profits. Don’t believe it.

Democracy and equality in Israel are only in danger if Israelis are predominantly immoral, docile, and defenseless. We are not.

The new Israeli government is the most unstable we’ve ever seen. Good luck trying to topple it before it implodes and disintegrates.

If you’ve never been an activist, this is your chance to fight for what you believe in. Two caveats: do it peacefully and with a happy, hopeful heart.

Most activism should reject privileges and deprivation for all groups.

These are the cabinet plans to focus on, also when they go demissionary:

  1. Ending a ban on MKs who incite racism

There is no reason to believe Netanyahu, the Knesset, and the High Court are powerless here. But we need to object to stop them from being lazy. And to speak out effectively, we must speak with hope and trust that justice and democracy will prevail.

  1. Death penalty for terrorists

This is stupid popularism. We fight it not by talking about clemency with genocidal (anti-Semitic) mass murderers. We take our Zionist pride and say: only primitive countries still have the death penalty. Science is clear that it doesn’t deter, and that’s why our Sages already abolished it 2,000 years ago. No one comes close to what Eichmann did (whom we executed without regret); we refuse to equate anything to the Holocaust.

  1. West Bank annexation

We must insist that priority will be given to removing the dictators, tyrants, and anti-Semites who weigh down on the Muslim population in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, and Lebanon. That would solve a lot more problems than putting up new road signs in the West Bank would do.

  1. Funding for religious study

We must do better. We must also object to Netanyahu who initiated and continues to shrink child support. Money to yeshivot and kollels and their scholars should be distributed just as to universities and students; the latter also need much more money. Ex-soldiers who choose to learn in either must get free learning and money to pay for their livelihood.

  1. Reining in the judiciary as a priority

We must give loud public support for the High Court to kill any “override clause,” to show that they do so in accordance with the People’s wishes.

  1. Potential anti-LGBT discrimination

Demonstrations carried by a broad consensus in almost all layers of the Israeli public will prevent any reduction in the proud advance that Israel here has in the region. More money and attention must be paid to helping Muslim and ultra-Orthodox-Jewish enclave deal with the Queers among them. We must redouble our efforts to establish civil marriage in Israel.

  1. New Shin Bet division to focus on Arab crime

We must insist that the focus will be on the right of Muslims living in Muslim or mixed cities to live in security. We must reject calling this fighting ‘Arab crime.’ Those suited in this population should get better excess to higher education and higher-paying jobs and to education about Jewish history and the importance to reject any Antisemitism.

  1. Plans to build more Jewish cities

Empty lands in the North, East, and South must be cultivated to settle more Jews. But, at the same time, the same must happen for the Bedouin!

Unacknowledged Jewish and Bedouin settlements must be acknowledged immediately. If there is a real problem for doing so, other than a fear of precedent, genuine negotiations should be started where the settlers can move to, but as close as possible to where they would want to be.

  1. More Jews need access to Jewish learning

This must happen the classical way, pleasantly and peacefully, without coercion. Ask the city of Eilat how they did this 30 years ago.

Special attention should be given to psychological trauma from 2,000 years of persecution: how to deal with despair, fear, stress, etc.

  1. State funding for gender-segregated events

Public gatherings must have a non-binding gender-segregated option, including at demonstrations and at the Kotel.

  1. Compulsory military service for all

We must insist that youths who don’t serve in the IDF (including Muslims) do national service in their communities. If they are students at university or yeshiva, they can do so part-time spread out over more years.

  1. Conversions and the Law of Return

Instead of obsessing about ‘partly-Jewish’ Israelis, much more effort must be made to help those who want to move closer to an Orthodox conversion. Any acknowledged panel of three Rabbinic Judges must be able to convert those who so choose. Established converts should be heard on how to do this solidly but expeditiously.

  1. Fighting poverty

The way capitalism lets the average Israeli struggle financially is really unbecoming for a State that was started by Socialists. We must insist that the exploitation by the banks is muzzled. Renters must get protection so they can’t be evicted, nor need to buy a house anymore, and pay crazy mortgages. A stop must be put to institutions charging interest through a rabbinic loophole. The absurd food prices a couple of hegemonic families charge must be broken. The Ashkenazi elites must be disempowered.

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. * 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: https://youtu.be/QMPp6h6r72M * To find less-recent posts on subject XXX among his over 1600 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/. * 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 (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), 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: https://www.amazon.com/s?i=stripbooks&rh=p_27%3AMoshe-Mordechai%2FMaurits+van+Zuiden&s=relevancerank&text=Moshe-Mordechai%2FMaurits+van+Zuiden&ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1
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