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

Hasbarah under fire

Believing everything everybody says and writes is not saintly; it’s stupidity.

I’m not literally under fire, but still, but I report from a war zone. Ready to walk to the bomb shelter when the sirens or alarm on my mobile goes off. I have 90 seconds, which is much—no need to run. I don’t go out because I don’t want to run into someone angry at Jews. Not now. War zone.

Hasbarah is the Zionist term for explaining Israel, a State so different from all others, constantly lectured, slandered, put down, and in danger. A prime example is the West lecturing us about ethics, violence, and racism as if they’re morally superior to us in thought or deed. Pure supremacy.

An important part of Hasbarah is giving truthful information that disputes stereotypes. You must know you can’t just trust everything anyone says. Bigotry is always rooted in lies. Supremacy cannot live with the facts. Anti-Zionism is not an opinion—it’s a distortion of reality and facts. Part of the Anti-Zionist lies is cutting off history, to hide how things developed.

I remember Bernie Sanders defending his Anti-Zionist stance with: “Look at all the criticism—that can’t all be made-up.” Jews tend to be smart and nice. A side effect of niceness is being naïve. We just can’t imagine some of them being as mean and evil as, unfortunately, they are. See the overhead clip. You must cure your naiveté. It’s dangerous. Not all Antisemites are mass murderers. Many are just repeating what’s told to them. But the leading Jew haters know the truth. Most of the slanderous attacks on the Jewish State are not only made up—they’re the exact opposite of reality.

If practically everyone thinks, says, and writes that women are weaker and less intelligent, then it is true? Of course not. It’s global, ancient sexism. And the very opposite of reality. Women generally are better connected to their feelings, intuition, and reality and, therefore, can be expected to be smarter—also because they have less of an ego to defend. And they live a decade longer than men, so which one now is the weaker sex?

Many compare the Chamas assault to September 11 because of the scope and surprise. Some call it the Yom Kippur War II, though it’s actually the Simchat Torah War. (Some say Bibi failed like Golda, but she ignored a warning, while he never received one from the intelligence community.) Some have compared it to Babi Yar or the Holocaust by bullets in general for its ruthlessness and bloodiness (in one day, Chamas murdered 1300+, wounded 3300+, and kidnapped 100-150, mostly civilian Jews). But I think this massacre is Israel’s George Floyd moment. Most people around the world have seen the pictures and are shocked to their core.

Not all who have an Antisemitic thought are a Hitler. But the sum of small Antisemitism keeps Jews endangered. Just as subtle sexism must stop.

I spend my days now reading the news, writing about it, and telling some of my friends how they have been brainwashed about Israel. Non-stop. A well-meaning, smart family member suggested that I temporarily relocate to the Netherlands for my safety. This, while visible Jews there are now terrified if they are going to be targeted but protected when Chamas goes to lose. He has no idea how safe I am here, and how unsafe I’d be there.

I was very happy to read that leaders of Israel’s democratic Arab political parties have disavowed this assault on Israeli civilians. I guess the average Israeli Muslim is disgusted and ashamed by the atrocities Chamas perpetrated in the name of Islam. May the dissent of their leaders boost Israeli politicians and police to stop crime bosses and honor killings in Israeli-Arab society, which this year already killed hundreds of people.

Another Anti-Jewish stereotype is that we have no friends, and everyone hates us. A life-saver comes from the much-maligned US President who is sending to Israel one or two huge warships to either stop others from joining the assault or to guarantee that Israel will win on both fronts.

A frequent lie is Palestinian leaders depicting their own people they sacrifice as suffering tremendously because of the Jews. So, they now claim that more civilians now die in Gaza than the worst mass murder of Jews in one day (1200+) since the Holocaust they perpetrated. Let it be clear that the IDF does everything to spare civilians, that Chamas uses them as human shields, that most who die from the Israeli attacks are terrorists, and that the numbers by the dictators are totally fictional.

Israel has a really strong judiciary tradition. It probably has the world’s highest lawyer density per capita. From neighbor disputes to wage battles to war crime allegations, everything is very carefully judicially reviewed.

Another valuable leg under the throne of Israeli democracy is the great diversity in Israeli news outlets. Most ‘news’ is fake, but if you compare, you get a quite objective view of what’s going on—better than elsewhere.

A most malicious fable that circulates is the ‘false moral equivalence.’ I clarify those things by comparisons. You can’t call the Holocaust a conflict between the Ariens and the Jews who both disliked each other. There are the innocent, attacked, and the others, the malicious attackers. You can’t call the rape and murder of women the result of centuries of ‘tensions’ between the sexes. Are you kidding? You don’t call Black Lives in the US cheap because of ‘disharmony’ between ethnic groups. Slavery and racism are not two-way streets. Similarly, Chamas attacking, maiming, raping, hostage holding, and murdering thousands of Jews and people who hang out with them, including demented seniors and toddlers, are crimes against humanity and war crimes related to genocide. This can never be ‘a conflict between two Peoples.’ You don’t say (I hope) to a rape victim: ‘Well, where two fight, two are guilty.’ The only two reasons the 2.3 million people in Gaza are poor are because they are ruled by ruthless corrupt murderers and the blockade meant to stop Chamas from arming itself—which clearly failed. No People in the world would have been happier than Jews if the Nations around them would prosper. We tend to be so nice, but we, kind of, don’t agree with being mass murdered, even if you disagree.

There are also a lot of fabricated, physical and historical equivalences.

No, there are no two Peoples in one homeland. It’s the Jewish Homeland for thousands of years we never gave up on. Historically, Muslims are invaders, like Whites in the Americas. Israel’s Declaration of Independence already said the State will have social equality and democracy for all.

Another untrue equivalence is the claim that both groups hate each other. First, in every group, you have exceptions. Second, most Israeli Jews who hate Muslims are those from Muslim countries—for what was done to them for centuries or for what they did to them when they left for Israel. But most of the hatred is a one-way street: Muslims hating Jews and assuming it’s mutual. It’s not. Jews, as so often with Antisemitism, cannot understand why anyone would hate us so much. Jews may hate Muslims as much as women can hate men—for what they’ve done to them, not for no good reason. Yet, the way Jews, in general, have treated Muslims in Israel is exemplary. The president of one of the small islands in the Pacific Ocean that always votes for Israel in the UN once said in a TV interview: “I don’t get it. Why don’t you kill them all if they want to kill you?” Most local Muslims don’t know how lucky they are to live among Jews and not others.

Another fake equalizer is that Muslims may often be Antisemitic, but Jews are often racists. Untrue. Western and Arab Jews have intermarried so much in Israel that demographers can no longer differentiate between the two ethnic groups. Try to get that in the US between Whites and Blacks.

Jews and Muslims generally are both happy not to live together. Neither group wants to intermarry with the other. Meeting at work or at university is enough. (Judaism frowns upon Jews converting out; Islam has Muslims converting to another religion as a capital crime, literally. Your family may come and kill you.) Yet, it’s not true that Muslims are specifically bothered in their villages or neighborhoods. All the checkpoints were only proven needed to keep the Jews safe. We’re kind of tired of being massacred. But Jews are bothered most because, we must be searched for weapons at every shopping mall, or post office, or theatre, or large meeting we go to.

Palestinian activists have twisted the hatred for eight million Jews by hundreds of millions of Arabs into “Muslims are a minority living under Apartheid, genocide, and occupation.” The real ones under occupation are those poor souls who live under the Palestinian Authority and Chamas tyrants, with no democracy, no personal safety, no human rights, no free speech, no free assembly, no free press, under corruption, and in poverty.

While foreign leaders politically correctly often still harp about the Two-State Solution, nobody in Israel, Jew or Muslim, believes this area can be split up, especially not with the current level of Antisemitism. The Land is large enough for Jews to live on hilltops and Muslims in the valleys, but only when the Jew hatred is gone. Small groups of Jews and Muslims talking of peace and understanding with each other are cute but generally only attract people who are already tired of the wars and killings.

There is a reason why Anti-Israel Jews sound so much like Nazis. Same as why anti-feminist women may sound like male supremacists. Self-hating people hope they’ll be loved by the oppressors if they betray their own.

There is no conflict between the long-term interests of Jews and Muslims. Anyone who says “their interests must be balanced” doesn’t see that!!

There is racism in Israel, as in many countries in the world, but Arab Muslims here have more Allies (Jews) and organizations defending them (including the High Court) than anywhere else. Muslims are nowhere in the Middle East freer than in Israel, with full equality and human rights.

Centuries of widespread Jew-hatred among the Muslim population aborted the ideal of many early Zionists to have a bi-national State. Einstein wanted one. So many Jews. But the Arab leaders were forced to play all or nothing—and got nothing. Much like the Nazis used the Anti-Jewish sentiments at the time to win elections and energize their regime.

The nature of Islam is, as with all religions, to become a better person. When you meet Muslims, you often feel their humility. Racist and Antisemitic Churches and Mosques prove that in the hands of the wrong people, this can be twisted into supremacy, but generally, it’s true.

Germany shows the way. They too still have 20% rabid Antisemites, but they won’t give them any political or moral power. There will be no peace in the Middle East or anywhere else as long as the cause is not eradicated: Antisemitism. As soon as that is handled, everyone can profit from the great Allies Jews are—the least-selfish People on Earth. I want German liberals to teach the Muslim world to honor, and respect, and love Jews, and to give up murder as an expression of anger. Crying is not anti-Islam. I don’t want the Arab world to go through the same defeats as Germans had to go through twice to learn general humility and respect for Jews. Nor do I want the Jews to go through another Holocaust so that Arabs can learn.

Israeli Jews are portrayed as trigger-happy baby killers. In truth, we have the most moral army in the world. Two principles in armed conflict guide it. 1. When someone holds a rock to throw and kill, you may kill him first; but, as soon as the rock left his hand, you can’t shoot him. The rock he threw can still harm, but he can’t. Until he reaches for new munition—then you can kill him. 2. The Sages teach us: ‘When someone sets out to kill you, you kill him first.’ The Christian idea of turning the other cheek was always a dead letter (pardon the pun). It’s not noble to forgo your life.

A prominent false narrative is that the Jews are the world’s exploiters. It works as follows. The rich promise the Jews protection against widespread Jew-hatred. With nowhere else to go, some very responsible Jews accept. Then the rich parade them as their executives, they give the impression the Jews are powerful and the ones who enrich themselves. Some Jews even believe this, though 80% of them work for a living. This ‘protection’ is always temporary. When the public threatens revolt, the rich spread fresh Antisemitism to make the people cool their anger on the Jews. Once that is done, they stay out of eyesight. Meanwhile, the Left is complicit because it doesn’t make it safe for Jews. On the contrary: they unite all other groups against the Jews, which keeps the Jews hostages of the rich. This is nationally. Internationally, Israel is the Jew under the nations. It must also rely on dictators because democracies’ support is too feeble. Often, US presidents praise Israel in public but blackmail it behind closed doors.

A Marxist idea that long has become mainstream is that people will rise up against their oppressors when they are desperate. Also right-wing antagonists of Jews will reason that desperation drives good people to murder Jews. The facts paint a different picture. Often, radicalization, especially among the well-to-do, bored youngsters, makes them seek the front page by going after the Oldest People in the world.

The left often has betrayed the Jews, leaving them no survival choice but to huddle with the right, after which the left blames its victims for that. By portraying the Jews as the powerful, real exploiters, leaders of oppressed groups have united them around a common hatred against the Jews. The powers-to-be handily keep the Jews hostage. Only the left can liberate them by making it safe for Jews. Trust must be won and might take time.

One of the Anti-Jewish myths is that Jews are cruel. Not me. Some 1,500 terrorists lost their lives after invading Israel. You will find that each corps is immediately covered with a sheet. We still understand they were humans, created in G^d’s Image. I mourn not the lives lost—I mourn their lives lost to hatred, wasted for evil of the worst kind. That’s the worst loss.

Jews are the most-peace-loving People in the world. We greet each other with ‘Shalom.’ But we don’t seek the peace of the grave. We’re also famous for saying Lechaim—To life! All our neighbors, from Syria to Jordan to Lebanon could live prosperously and democratically, but their autocratic regimes and terrorists have had other priorities, for 120 years already.

Today, many of the elderly may have decided to stay inside their homes. They don’t want to run into a lone or a pack of terrorists frustrated at the IDF overpowering Chamas. As long as they stay inside, there is no need to update their COVID protection. Just like a flu vaccination was unneeded when we stayed home waiting for the coronavirus vaccinations to appear.

Lastly, a piece of advice to the newly formed War Management Cabinet. The war will cost us a fortune, if not already. The Bank Hapoalim guesses at least NIS 27 billion ($6.8 billion). Give the money not yet spent to Egypt for going from door to door in Gaza, ordering civilians out, jailing or killing terrorists, looking for the captives to send them to Israel, destroying all terrorist infrastructure, ending the Chamas occupation, and annexing the Strip, preparing it for free elections and a measure of independence, while Egyptian police, soldiers, and marines patrol the streets and the coastline.

And this is how you answer Antisemitic questions: You don’t confirm or deny them, but you give the honest statements everyone should hear:

Only when interviewing a concert survivor did the journalist turn human:

About the Author
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. None of his content is (partly) generated by AI. * 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 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, 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
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