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

Dust storms in Israel in a glass of water

A protest against ongoing bad science reporting

Once, I read, with much pleasure, Haaretz in English’s scientific section. Then, most of the paper went behind a pay wall, probably to ensure it is only read by people who would have no problem supporting an anti-Zionist news outlet. Science reports need to show it’s a serious paper.

It used to be that the Jerusalem Post had a serious science section that really reported scientific news. For years it’s all fake. Here’s an example.

Its headline reports an increase in dust storms in the Middle East. Now, I live in that region and find a decrease in them. What gives?

At the center of the piece is a supposedly peer-reviewed article on the Internet. Its conclusion has this jewel: “The research results show that climate change has a significant impact on the increase in dust levels …,” which is surely nonsense. Such a correlation can be postulated or made plausible but not proven. The detailed article is already nonsense.

On top of that comes the distorted JPost reporting in cooperation with a Sustainability and Climate Change section at Ben-Gurion University.

The piece opens with a incorrect picture. The caption reads: “Dusty winds are part of a dust storm in Israel,” but the IDF picture shows the backlash of firing a missile, no wind, dusty wind, or dust storm.

The problem is that most people will not have time to read more and come away with the faulty impression that dust storms increase in Israel.

It opens its discussion with: “Israelis and others living in the Middle East must have noticed increased dust storms in recent years.” Well, I didn’t.

It ‘substantiates’ its claim with a link. Click on the link and find two JPost reports of dust storms of last year, one in Israel and one in Illinois!

Sand storms in Israel are not like I knew them from Tin Tin, a thick mist of sand. Rather, the dust flies over high, dims the sun somewhat, dwindles down a bit, smells sour, and dramatically raises the temperature. They typically last one or two days and are followed by some drizzle. Most of these storms in Israel seem to come from the Sahara and not the Arabian Peninsula at all. They certainly spread seeds and can’t be all bad.

The reporter then quotes some parts of the conclusions and volunteers it “maps … where and when trends in precipitation and evaporation have changed course for the worse – and Israel is in the middle of it.” For all intents and purposes, miraculously, Israel’s rain has been increasing for years. We’re ready to sell more water to Jordan! Talking about maps, Israel doesn’t lie “in the middle of [the studied area]” but on the rim.

Time for a map from the study. The reporter includes a geographical map showing elevations and rivers in the ME. But the caption says in part: “a [sic] graphic depicts the intensity of change over the last 20 years.”

The section “What about Israel?” starts with the euphemism: “While not explicitly mentioning Israel in the published study.” And then moves on to the ME. But the reporter is ecstatic that Israel “is shown on the illustrative map (with the “West Bank” marked alongside Israel).” The West Bank is simply shown as part of Jordan—what’s so great about that? She leaves out that in two of the maps, Israel is blotted out by the text “Jordan River.”

For years already, the JPost seems to have no one who oversees what goes into it. Reporters can publish whatever they want—and they do, they do.


In the same paper, we read that AI could not keep track of all pest control and diseases threatening cacao trees. Research shows that in Asia, it’s by a fungus; in Australia, it’s by a lack of pollinating sandflies; in Africa, South, and Middle America, it’s by ants; and in West Africa, it’s also by a virus with mealybugs as vectors. In South America, new cooperations deliver fair-trade cacao from deforestation-free landscapes, named sustainable cacao. AI confuses that with pest-resistant. So, it sees problems in South America and West Africa. It’s hard to think with a chip on one’s shoulder.

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:
Related Topics
Related Posts