Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

Falsehood is falsehood and truth is truth

Israel lies (pardon the pun) in a corner of the world where lying is more frequent than local sunburns and speaking the truth rarer than flooding in its deserts. Just the other day, I made an Arab friend who is as honest as the Dutch. (I’m a chauvinist so I can’t help saying that most of his roots were Jewish 200 years ago. But he considers himself a Palestinian and not a Jew.) But lying around here seems the default, not just for fun and profit.

However, the Jewish Tradition teaches us to stick to the truth ferociously. Our Sages in the Talmud are exemplary in their integrity. Moses in the Torah calls upon our judges to pursue the utmost justice. We are even told that the Seal of G^d is Truth. This in sharp contrast to millennia of anti-Jewish sentiment that accuses the Jews of being wicked liars. And for all these reasons, we should adhere to the purest honesty with all our might.

So, when someone falsely slanders an enemy of ours, we don’t enjoy or spread the libel. We fight it and promote the truth. The truth about Israel’s enemies is damning enough! It needs no exaggeration and no fabrication.

This all came to mind when I read what seemed a news report but turned out an opinion piece that claims that the Palestinian Authority (branded “(the) Palestinians”) “Support China’s Muslim Concentration Camps.”

I read the whole allegation and found that the headline was (of course) not telling the truth. The PA seeks rapprochement with the Chinese regime. It will not address human rights problems for the people in Hong Kong or for Muslims in China (interned in concentration camps for ethnic cleansing). That’s not a way to make new friends. It will just overlook China’s morals.

Make no mistake. The PA has a deplorable human rights record itself. And ethnic cleansing (of Jews) is at the top of its wish list. But to say it wants the Muslims of China to be secularized is absurd. The PA condones, looks away, avoids mentioning–but doesn’t “support” abusing Chinese Muslims.

And that is identical to the Chinese dictatorship ignoring the Palestinian Authority’s genocidal agenda. Neither regime pretends to award prices for ethical behavior. They’re only concerned with gaining ‘friends’ and power.

The Palestinian and Chinese dictators don’t respect freedom of the press, free elections, women’s and LGBTQ+ rights, equality for the law, due process, or any human rights. China also still oppresses Tibet. One could hardly be surprised or disappointed that their populations are suffering.

Still, the junta of the PA (not: the Palestinian People!) is anti-Zionist. Maybe, as a Zionist, I should be happy when they are falsely accused of some immorality? Reminds me of this client who receives an SMS from his lawyer: ‘Truth has prevailed.’ He texts back immediately: ‘Appeal at once.’

No, we need to be on the side of truth. It is possible that a liar lies that a bunch of liars was lying but we must stay clear of all of that. If integrity means that we’re not for sale, no revenue of lying is worth it. Period.

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 (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), 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. * NEW: To see other blog posts by him, his overspill blog you can reach by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture at the head of every post. There you may find precursors to later TOI blog posts, addition or corrections of published TOI blog posts, blog posts the TOI will not carry, and some thoughts that are too short to be a TOI blog post. Also, the TOI only allows for one blog post per blogger per 24 hours. Sometimes, he has more to say than that. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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