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

Dutch philosopher Hans Achterhuis is an idiot

The Dutch are so frank that others often misinterpret it as rude

Een Nederlandse vertaling men kan here vinden (site of Dutch translation).

We might each be free, either to sigh hopelessly and feel bad that Jews-hatred seems indestructible, or to be grateful for yet another opportunity to widely spread some sound antidotal ideas against the oldest hatred.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying anything negative about people with a low IQ. But the emeritus professor has been so stupid to talk about Jews and Israel while he knows nothing about them. And the result is shocking. His clarification of his words shows that he doesn’t know 101 about us.

Although he sounds like an anti-Semite, even more so in his clarifications, I would say that you can’t call an ignoramus a racist. He lacks any common sense here. If some opinion or idea isn’t serious enough, you can’t trash it. If it’s trash a priori, there is nothing to trash. If it’s bad enough, it’s nil.

His statements on Jews and Israel resemble this: “As long as dinosaurs were around, smaller animals were in constant danger. As long as tall people exist, small people will live in fear.” This is such nonsense that you don’t know where to start dismantling it. Same as with his words on Jews.

I reword this famous Dutch thinker, born in 1942 into a Christian family: “Idealistic people, motivated by truly moral beliefs and principles from secular or religious movements, can do terrible damage when they get political power. Look at the Jews in the West Bank. They do things Jews in Europe never did. This resembles Christians who were persecuted 2,000 years ago, but once their religion became a state religion, they started oppressing others terribly.” Let me give a quick list of what’s wrong here:

  • Does he have any clue what happens in the West Bank? Any Jew who is violent there, violates the law, goes against Israeli law.
  • Does he even know in what kind of an evil neighborhood lies Israel, and how moral and sweet most Jews, the IDF, are, against all odds?
  • Does he even know that Israel is a democratic secular state with an almost complete separation between religion and state, better than the Netherlands? Here workers get vacation days on their (In the Netherlands, non-Jewish entitlement is still going strong.)
  • Does he not at least know that Jews are a People with a rich culture, part of which are a lifestyle and religion called Judaism? Maybe high time that he himself separates between our nation and our religion? (Doesn’t he realize that it’s a wicked chutzpah for a Gentile to begin explaining Judaism, as he has done, reminiscent of replacement theology, religious misappropriation, and cultural genocide? Ask us!)
  • Dozens of peoples acquired national independence after WWII. Doesn’t he know it’s problematic to cherry-pick (on) the Jews?
  • Does he even know that anti-Semitism is alive and well, both in the Netherlands and in global politics, leaving Israel more vulnerable than powerful? (And, ‘Jewish power’ is a dog whistle of Jews-haters. Haaretz, the Dutch TV news, and the national press lie about Israel.)
  • How does a European dare to normalize the Jews? Doesn’t he know that Jews are exceptions to almost all laws of history? Does he feel no shame, caution, or humility from the fiasco of the Dutch vis-√†-vis the Jews in WWII, that could stop him from talking flippantly about Jews? (No need to kiss our feet but why not show a little respect?)
  • How does he dare to equate millennia of Christian state terrorism with a few criminal acts in Israel? This is the purest form of anti-Semitism, trivializing Europe’s bloody past, and besmirching Zionism.
  • Doesn’t he see that you commit evil when you ponder ‘the good’ about having kept Jews (Blacks, children, women, etc.) powerless?
  • He says that many Jews inside and outside of Israel agree with him. If many women agree with your sexist statements they’re still sexist.
  • He says he’s kosher because his favorite author is Hannah Arendt. He doesn’t know many see her as an anti-Jewish fraud? Doesn’t he know Jews-haters often say: “Some of my best friends are Jewish”?
  • So, he’s not in favor of Jews-hatred. But doesn’t he know that the real big power of anti-Semitism comes from the many useful idiots who cannot distinguish between Jews and the libels about them?

If I were his friend, I’d demand an apology. But I don’t know him. It is clear to me that he has crafted a theory and uses Jews merely as an illustration. My request: leave us out of it. I just feel used, a mere prop in his theory.

More seriously is that this has caused a storm among Dutch Jews, but the regular newspapers are not interested. It seems little has improved or was learned from the war-time betrayal. The Jews are still on their own there.


Happy Israeli Independence Day, for Muslim readers: Ramadan kareem!

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to two Dutch 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 strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * 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. * 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 (statistics), 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, LGBTQIA, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many 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 quite 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 500th blog post with the ToI. 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 a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To find his earlier blog posts on a certain subject XXX, among his over 1200 ones, go to the right-top corner of the Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". His second daily active less tame blog, to which one may subscribe, one may find here: or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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