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

How is it? I can’t complain!

An old Jewish Joke. Someone asks a Jew who just fled Communist Russia: How was it there? I couldn’t complain. But then, why did you leave? I just told you: I couldn’t complain. This I remembered at the following news.

Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) just released its 2019 Quality of Life Index. As usual, the news clippings from it are terrible. No indication what numbers are significant. No indication of what comes from statistics or from interviews. No indication what is judged by the interviewed or by the CBS. Comparing apples and oranges. Adding up apples and oranges.

They spent a whole year compiling this nonsense with a whole team of dedicated number crazies — I can’t correct all the nonsense in one swoop but I’ll just address some major points. Meanwhile, if you have no time to read this, also don’t read the report because in short: it’s all nonsense.


Don’t assume for a moment that this impressive fake report is on an Israeli patent or specialty. Look at the Quality of Life Index by country. How can it be that people in the US score higher than in Canada? In Saudi Arabia higher than in Israel? In Mainland China score higher than in Hong Kong?

That is mainly because the numbers combine fake national pride, snobbism, real freedom, popular naivety, and the luxury to complain.

Another reason is that they ignore differences for special groups. Jews are happier in Israel than in Saudi Arabia. Women too but in Saudi Arabia can only answer with a male in the room so how do you think they answer? The number nuts completely ignore minorities. That a million Muslims in China are persecuted falls away in the statistics. Same for Gays in Russia. Same for the millions of homeless and uninsured in the US. You won’t find their voices represented because all the answers are added up. Same for differences between Gay Jews in Tel Aviv, Orthodox Muslims in Jerusalem, and Orthodox Jews living on the West Bank. In other words: the numbers are meaningless if you don’t believe them and dangerous if you do.

The lunatic pollsters also define and decide what is positive:

The police, courts, and government are corrupt and not to be trusted? That means to them, serious corruption, to the public, a lack of naivety.

So many indignantly run to court all the time. That means to the stat boys, a lack of peace, to the population a peaceful way to settle differences.

No chance to make promotion in the job you have? That is to the snobs, frustration, but to humble people, a chance to be happy with their lot.

No access to the Internet? That means nothing to Ultra-Orthodox Jews.

Feeling discriminated against? The number mads think that that’s terrible, but since almost all people are oppressed, exploited, and discriminated in one or more ways, the higher the percentage, the higher the awareness.

Complaining about health, they take as a bad sign. But women complain much more about health and live much longer. Being numb is unhealthy.


Now, you can’t blame the media totally for bad reporting here. The CBS published their ‘findings’ in a totally messy way and without any details.

I can report one statistic that is 100% accurate to detail. They should fire all the people responsible for this chaotic falsehood and pretense.

My earlier ‘praise’ of statistician you may find here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, among other posts.

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. * 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: * To find less-recent posts on subject XXX among his over 1600 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: * 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 (, 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:
Related Topics
Related Posts