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

How to follow the news in Israel and stay calm and happy

  1. Don’t watch TV. Especially not Israeli and US news. These reporters are forced to talk in an unnatural and dramatic way that should rile the viewers into fear to keep them hooked and glued to the screen. (This is not a must. In the Netherlands, where calmness is a cultural value, newsreaders and reporters sound relaxed and reassuring – you don’t need to understand the language to get the tone.) If anything, view recordings of news shows so that you can skip what is annoying or boring.
  2. Do not listen to the radio. The best current affair program and reality show is what you see around you right now. It also does not need hardware and uses no electricity. But, best of all, try to seek silence. True, you may hear your inner voices, but someone should listen to them from time to time.
  3. Do not click on links that read: WATCH: People being killed. LIFE: He shot six people. RELEASED: security coverage from the drowning. How sadistic, insensitive or desensitized must one be or become by watching these terrible pictures. Hearing people scream, bullets fly, etc. Do you really need these tasteless disasters etched onto your retina, engraved into your memory? Will this help awaken your empathy or does it rather dull you and make you indifferent?
  4. Don’t read so much newspaper or internet news that you can’t keep up with its negativity. Ask yourself how every particular report may be biased, to spot where you are manipulated into powerlessness and where into anger. In capitalist democracy the media are supported because they discourage people so that they become and stay depressed, powerless and passive and won’t get too excited about injustice. We can get livid but should not turn activists. Other programs to help create inert consumerism and passivity are sports, sitcoms, shows and entertainment (time killing).
  5. Have a blog so that you can fire back. The lies and dishonesty in the news can be so overwhelming that we should quite submissiveness and at least give our honest opinion from time to time. Try to write the facts or opinions that you miss. Don’t just write because you need it but also to help your readers. Make short sentences and short paragraphs. Write fluently and uncritically. After that, edit many times and ruthlessly.
  6. Organize. Don’t stay isolated. Team up around a goal to your heart. Become friends, not just fellow activist.
  7. Sing. Dance. Smile.

(Tomorrow a post on how to save the planet and your good life.)

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 (, 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 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. 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.