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

How to end religious domination in Israeli politics

The Dutch, a few decades ago, did the impossible. A government was formed from the left and the right, the socialist and the capitalist, excluding the (Christian) religious parties. Until then, the latter had full control. Whatever government would be formed, they were in it. But with this move across the aisle, their hegemony was broken. (Eventually, they rejoined the political conversation and now regularly are part of coalitions but not anymore with special veto power.) Also, presently, in Hungary, strange bedfellows joined each other. How was this done?

I don’t know but it’s clear to me how to do this in Israel. It’s not difficult.

Until now, the system in Israel was that religious and secular parties would form a government that would respect and maintain the religious status quo. All the rest was open to negotiations. That’s how Israelis de facto lived under a continuous religious dictatorship. Because we all got used to the default situation, not many people objected.

What needs to happen next is the opposite. The right and the left should form a coalition that would respect and maintain the financial and security status quo (delaying the minimum wage going to $ 10, delaying annexation, delaying Trump’s Peace Plan, delaying another Gaza War). All the rest then would be open to give and take. That’s how the left and the right can sit in one coalition.

There would be no great change from the present wealth and safety policies but concerning ethical issues, anything would go that has consensus between the secular left and the secular right.

A few examples: An absolute majority of all Israelis want to institute ‘Gay marriage.’ It’s high time it can. Religious coercion is not part of Judaism at all. It’s high time the state rabbis lose their worldly power.

Then the religious on equal footing will need to join the conversation and explain what we like about Judaism. They will systematically learn from the secular (how to be a Mentch) and the other way around (how to be a Jew). That’ll heal a major rift in our People, more Jews will start to take Judaism more seriously, and less of our youths will need turn to secularism.

When left and right will build a coalition, all the extreme parties on the left and on the right will not take part. Also from the more moderate parties, some more extremist people will bolt. But from the extremist parties, some more moderate people will join the new government.

Last but not least, one should ask why the left would be interested to sit in a broad ‘unity’ secular government that plans (in its view) no improvements in the economic and security situation. I tell you. When the voters see how well the left got rid of religious domination, many more votes will go to the left in next elections. And then they’ll have more power to implement economic and security reforms.

When I first explained that the elections didn’t show a victory for the Likud but rather meant that the electorate wanted a broad center coalition, not many talked about that yet. Since, I have claimed that there will be such a coalition with or without Bibi at the helm, depending if he agrees to one before the elections or only after them. (Do his political opponents already believe their own wishful slander that Bibi is guilty before even a hearing before potential court cases?) But whatever the case will be, it’s not that a center government is one of the options. It’s the only alternative. The voters will have said it twice and are ready to say it three times in a row. Finally, voters are winning, not parties.

About the Author
The author is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (DES - Diethylstilbestrol), 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 vegan for 8 years now. 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 lehavdiel 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, GLBTQAI, 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 quit 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 500st blog post with the ToI. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. To see other blog posts by him, a second blog - under construction - can be found by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture.
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