Israeli ex-PM Ehud Barak tries to return to politics. Netanyahu must be very happy since he will steal votes from Blue and White, making the Likud come out the biggest again. There is no proof that Netanyahu is actually paying Barak to do this. Given the quality of thinking on the left, that won’t be necessary. (In a possible Freudian slip, Barak admitted now that while they were fighting for Israel, they were [actually] dreaming.)
The Israeli millionaire entrepreneur came in trouble when he seemed on the long list of prominent acquaintances of Jeffrey Epstein and even a business partner with him. However, when Epstein-gate erupted last week, he declared that he didn’t know that the latter was a violent unrepentant pedophile. He had nothing to do with the man, besides a business cooperation that he now asked his lawyers to dismantle.
Then the Daily Mail found old published pictures of an unidentified man with a wedding band on his finger and a security detail in tow, visiting Epstein’s $77M mansion, covering his face. The pictures were published January 18, 2016, with an update the next day. The article remarked that the mystery man visited “on Friday,” which means: January 15.
Barak declared now that indeed, that was him but that there were no girls or young women present at meetings between him and Epstein ever.
But the Mail showed many pictures of four young female beauties who had entered the same door within hours of mystery man.
He now threatened the Daily Mail with a lawsuit if they did not retract their “blood libel” insinuating that he went to a grab-the-girls party, that he would sue them for libel. He claimed that the tabloid was only interested in thwarting his chances in the Israeli elections. The paper declined. It pointed out how ridiculous the assumption that they had any interest in the outcome of elections in Israel.
Then Barak started claiming that Netanyahu was the force behind the scandal. If anything, the Mail and Netanyahu could cash some money here to sue Barak for libel, it seems. Besides that, it’s quite ridiculous, if you ask me, to blame others for where one’s own shoes brought one.
Anyway, he then claimed that he had covered his face because of the very cold New York winter weather that he as a Middle-Eastern man wasn’t used to — and not to hide any suspect or reprehensible behavior.
Aren’t we allowed to check that? Let’s do it. January in New York can be very cold. In particular, January 2016 saw temperatures of double digits below zero. What was the weather like January 15, 2016? There are websites for that.
January 15, 2016, the weather in New York was lovely. Sunny, temperatures 11 Celsius. In fact, the weather in Israel on that day was lovely too and not much different: 14.5 Celsius and sunny.
It could be that the former Israel General Staff Reconnaissance Unit fighter, because of old age, has become very sensitive to the difference between 14.5 and 11 degrees Celsius. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. I found a recent picture of him wearing what seemed a closed leather jacket during a press conference. But as alibi, I don’t think it works.
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There seem to be three themes to Barak’s election campaign. Netanyahu needs to go. He has spoiled the whole atmosphere of politics. And the public will give its mandate to me. Yet, he seems a lot more negative than the current PM, sounding jealous and like a case of the pot calling the kettle black. And, the multimillionaire armchair socialist, like Simon Peres, has always been rejected by the electorate. The only time he became PM was when PM Rabin was slain — after which he lost again.
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