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

Ever seen a happy racist?

Never, because racism is rooted in hatred. This hatred is sometimes disguised as seriousness but the racist cannot go so far as to be happy.

This truism came to mind when I saw a racist talk by a rabbi who takes himself very serious, reasons cleverly but has too little insight or wisdom in the matter.

(Normally, rightwing Jewish racists don’t talk as “finely” and distinguished as this rabbi. Generally, they blatantly and roundly call all Arabs dogs or animals. It’s been my honor and pleasure to argue them into a corner. My approach goes like this. Your anger gives away that you believe in them having free will. You wouldn’t be angry at a mean dog. So, if they have volition, like you and me, they can’t be inherently evil. If they were, they would be innocent of anything. You need to stop being a racist because this is soiling rightwing thought. And that you don’t want to do.)

This online racism comes now leaders of the Jewish communities in Europe have been begging Israeli politicians to stop talking with far-right European politicians. They just use Jewish friends as their kosher mark to keep up the pretense that they would be decent and not xenophobic.

It is total nonsense to think that because Israel is fighting against Islamic hatred of Jews, Muslims must be the enemy, and far-right is the enemy of Muslims so the far-right must be our friends. This is just a new form of the well-tried trick of playing Arab Palestinians and Israeli Jews against each other. Divide and conquer. The weapon produces win big time.

In Europe, there are now even a few Jews who hold that the far-right is pro-Jews. It shows their anxiety. Desperation is a poor guide to life.

* * *

It is good and well to reject racism, be incensed about it but it can help many people if you can formulate why. “This is not nice” is a beginning but perhaps not powerful enough. And being able to reason against white supremacy also leaves you free to continue to be happy and loving – which will attract more people than you responding with hate speech.

The basic mistake in this rabbi’s white-supremacy talk is the following. He says: Jews must be a separate people and so must all other peoples be protected against assimilation.

(He doesn’t talk biological racism; his point is cultural supremacy – and then he confuses cultures (Western/non-Western) and worldviews (Post-modernist Christianity and Islam) which in Judaism are one.)

Then he violates what he himself and the Torah say, that Jews must be a special case. Jews are the only nation founded on a mission. We must spread G^d’s Word. Without that, Jews could/can assimilate. But Italians have no obligation to spread pasta and pizza. They can mix with snail eaters (the French) and beer drinkers (the Germans). (Sorry for the stereotypes, but allow us to use prejudices to actually get rid of them.)

What other arguments can we present against his mistake?

The whole of Orthodox Judaism is drenched in anti-racism, starting with our Bible, opening with the well-known story that we are all from one stock, all stem from one pair of founding people, Adam and Eve. Further, each person should be judged for who they are, not where they come from. And cultural supremacy goes out of the window too with the principle, adopted by the rabbis, to embrace truth wherever you find it.

Also, when cultures mix, they enrich each other. Same with gene pools. The idea of racial or cultural purity is bogus. Produce from monoculture and inbreeding actually is biologically weaker. Isolationists who fear fair dialogue with other belief systems and worldviews really look feeble too.

Besides, the rabbis teach us that one rationale for the Jewish dispersion was so that the Jews could pick up Gentile converts with beautiful character traits that were underrepresented among us.

Let’s admit that not all traditions may be equally good. But generally, each ancient set of customs has filth in it and should start cleaning it up. No reason to point fingers at others when your own background is not cleaned yet. (Look at how Judaism still treats homosexuals – as pariahs.)

Last but not least, the free marketplace of ideas. Some philosophies of life are worse than others. Not to hurt people is better than to hurt. Being humble is better than arrogant. Instead of condemning others, show that you have a better idea. Fulminating for white supremacy will not win out. Nor will the hateful, serious or sour face that goes with it.

Racists are all natural losers and we are all invited to give them checkmate and welcome them warmly into the anti-bigotry circles.

Be anti-racist, be happy.

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