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

Do not forget to mention the light amidst the darkness on October 7

It doesn’t take away the darkness, but it does influence our conclusions

The Chamas massacre on October 7 was smaller in scope than the Holocaust but worse in many other aspects: meticulous preparation, committed with joy, glee, and pride, sadistically, mass rapes, disfiguration of victims (cut off head, genitals), each of them war crimes.

Amidst all this shocking barbarism, there are other aspects.


Rightly so, much has been spoken about Israeli Jews crossing ideological divides since October 7. The unity. The generosity. You can safely ask total strangers on the bus: How do you contribute to the war effort?

I’ve pointed out that the massacre seems to have woken up Muslim Israelis to realize they belong within democratic Israel, not with the terrorists and their oppression of ‘Palestinians’ or slaughter of Israelis.

Chamas murdered many Israeli Muslims knowingly. Reversely, many Muslims (Bedouins) defended Jews against Chamas or rushed them to safety as if their own children on October 7.

Many Jews from all over the world, Israelis living or being abroad, and Jews living in the Diaspora for generations, surely not all ‘salon-Zionists,’ understood Israel is the place to be and rushed to return home. ElAl flew plane-loads-full one-way while other companies started avoiding the Jewish State.

Most of Them Did Not Murder

Most journalists are digi-phobes. Anything with numbers scares them. They’re good at language. Let’s go over some light, ignored numbers.

The first genocidal wave from Chamas was about 3000 murderers. They killed some 1200 people. Some killed at least a dozen with their machine guns. So, simple math, most infiltrators killed nobody.

Some of the terrorists who killed nobody, no doubt, were killed before they could murder. Some were too busy raping (a war crime), or setting houses on fire (a war crime), or looting (a war crime), or driving a pickup truck from which the terrorists were shooting (mass murderers no less).

Even indoctrination from the cradle that glorified martyrdom and mass murder only succeeded in turning some humans into killing machines.

Those who did not kill are still guilty. When a group robs a bank, not only the ones who carry the loot are guilty.

Most Victims Survived

I have read reports of villages that we decimated. That means the dot goes one or more places to the left so that instead of 100.0%, 10.00% or even just 1.000% survives. That means 90% or 99% murdered. But the journalist described a 700-inhabitant village with 69 murdered. That isn’t 90% slain but 10%. Bad enough, but it’s not decimating. It seems that 90% survived. Maybe at the music festival less. There were thrice as many wounded, so that leaves 60% physically unhurt. Not to trivialize their trauma!

The hurt multiples a lot when considered the hurt of the families and friends of those murdered, maimed, raped, traumatized, and displaced.

It is not politically correct to say but true anyway, I think: When loved ones die, you cry, trying to grapple with the loss. It is clearly sad to almost all humans. But more so to Jews. Unparalleled seems our clinging to life, our understanding of how dear life is. Maybe the more traditional-religious Jews have a somewhat easier time with it, but still, death is beyond our mindset. Also, needing to kill to protect life is very uneasy with us. I know that’s not unique to us. Huge is the number of US veterans with PTSD.

In our upset about yet another pogrom, let us not forget those who were saved. If people ask, “Where was G^d,” you can answer: “He was busy saving lives while humans went on a rampage.” Every survivor a miracle.

We Were Not Furious

Once the IDF and reserves were finally in place, we didn’t rush into Gaza to ‘teach them a lesson.’ For some ten days, the troops were encamped at the border with Gaza. The soldiers exercised how they were trained while the army top and the government set up plans to root out Chamas. No blind revenge, no kneejerk reflex.

Our funerals are so dignified. No anger, no screaming, blaming, or ‘we’ll get you.’ Honoring the fallen, grateful for the time we had them with us.

The old wisdom gained in Vietnam was that you can’t win from guerillas because they are indistinguishable from the population. The Jewish way has always been: “If there is no way, we’ll find one.” Solution: Order civilians to move; those who refuse are all terrorists. Brilliant!


Decades of nitpicking to define differences between Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism fell away. ‘Anti-Zionists,’ claiming for decennia to have nothing against Jews but felt for ‘the Palestinians,’ suddenly had no trouble saying they hated Jews and wanted them all killed.

Reversely, people silent and passive for decades about the War of Survival Israel was fighting for 120+ years, suddenly burst forth in support of the Jewish State. Regular Dutch voters, revolted by Chamas marches, also Muslims sick of the Chamas massacre, gave the most anti-Islam politician 10 extra seats (out of 150) in Parliament, raising it to the largest party.

The Mistakes Had to Accumulate

A whole pile of mistakes enabled the pogrom on October 7. It wasn’t a single mistake by one person that proved fatal.

For decades, we were betting on the wrong horses. Terrorists cannot be trusted. Not to rule fairly over Muslims, nor to stop murdering Jews. No money, and no employment, and no punishment, and no deterrence really help because, at night, they still dream of killing all the Jews.

Many warning signs, small and large, domestic and foreign, were missed.

That, too, is fortunate. It means we’re not as vulnerable as we feel. We had to make so many mistakes for such a long time before we were mass murdered. This doesn’t mean that those who made fatal mistakes at the last moment can claim innocence. Jewish Law is very clear. When eight people sit on a bench, a ninth sits down on it too, and the bench collapses under the weight, only the last one pays for the damage done. Our secular Supreme Court has judged similarly. You can’t blame causality going back all the way to Adam and Eve to prove you’re innocent.

No Resistance in Vain

Small IDF outposts fought to their (almost) last man or woman. They were greatly surprised and overrun. But many soldiers died in an impossible but heroic firefight. Yet, they, too, saved lives. As long as they managed to engage with the terrorists, those were unable to murder civilians.

Remember the kidnapping of Nachshon Wachsman? The whole country, from deeply religious to secular, prayed fervently for his safe return. It was not to be. His mother reminded us: ‘No prayer for good is in vain. Those prayers will help somewhere else.’ Who knows? Maybe on October 7, when we were again united as much as then, our prayers did save some.

In the ensuing battle in Gaza, so far, 140+ IDF soldiers and hostages died, some 10% from ‘friendly fire.’ There is no such thing as a war without mistakes. Still, they, too, were killed by Chamas, not by the IDF defending 10M Israelis, fighting genocide. We don’t blame the victim. Identically, innocent Gazans died by Chamas, no matter who fired the bullets, rockets, or dropped the bombs because the IDF doesn’t target civilians.

Small Things Can Show a Lot

Killing animals is (still) not a war crime. The infiltrating terrorists had fun killing many of the pets.

Look at how the IDF soldiers behaved. They saved zoo animals, cats, dogs, exotic birds, etc. in Gaza. They didn’t have to. It shows their mentality.

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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