Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
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How to take the hatred of Israel’s Jewish extreme left

Their frantic warning against Pollard getting a hero’s welcome is disturbing

Normally, I would not read anything that former Israeli premier Olmert said or writes. It’s so lacking honesty and a sense of reality that I find it a waste of time. Yet, I recommend reading his latest words on Pollard if you still think that there is anything worthwhile in the fringe of the left here.

It’s pro-survival to do away with false hope.

Olmert doesn’t want Pollard to make alliyah. It shows that he thinks that Israel is really only for Jews he likes and those who think like him.

He said that Pollard is not an idealist because he did it for big money. Look who’s talking. The only Israeli PM who went to jail for theft.

He said that celebrating Pollard will anger influential Americans. This crazy attitude that Israel is not a safe haven for Jews but rather a country to appease the nations of the world. If we’d do what the world wants us to do, there will be no Jewish State left. And if we do what the UN wants, there will be no Jews left in the Middle East.

He can’t celebrate Pollard’s freedom because of the damage he did to Israel’s good name. Look who’s talking.

It is fair to say that, Lieberman, center-right, said the same thing, but that could be his anti-Americanism that he, as ex-Russian, never shed.


I remember how smug Olmert was during all his court cases. He was a slick lawyer and they would never be able to prove anything. Until he double-crossed his secretary, that is. I have never heard a sorry for all the things he went to jail for and all the court cases he wasted on Israel’s taxpayers.

Olmert’s coldness now toward Pollard is nothing new. His token request when he was PM to free Pollard was not enthusiastic. And his frosty words now are likely influenced by his wish to justify himself.

Of course, he added a jab at Netanyahu. His ongoing lack of respect for the democratically elected PM is telling.

It’s an important Jewish principle to free captives and an important Israeli one to leave no soldier behind. One must be so far removed from anything Jewish and Israeli to even question these principles. Let alone to exchange them for finding favor with the capturers. The latter betrayal can still be seen somewhat favorably when coming from Diaspora Jews (Stockholm Syndrome), but when said by Israelis, there’s simply no justification.

Let’s overlook Olmert’s lack of solidarity and gratitude. But where is his empathy with someone spending decades in solitary confinement for helping Israel, then released to a tiny apartment almost with house arrest? Olmert was like a year in a luxurious jail and still lives in the lap of luxury.

To add hurt to injury, he made money from writing a book in jail.


When some lie that Pollard’s freedom only will make the extreme right happy, remember that Jewish Members of Knesset unanimously pleaded for his release! That means that anyone who doesn’t celebrate his return to Israel is, per definition, an extremist, a fringe figure–and a liar if they portray themselves as moderate. Stop believing just anything anyone says.

Those who say that Pollard was a brazen traitor to the US, Israel’s friend, we shortly answer: Rather, the US was not behaving like Israel’s friend. In fact, US foreign policy vis-à-vis Jews and Israel has always prioritized US interests. If that was nice for Israel too, that was only a side effect. That’s not the rhetoric US politicians give the American People, but that’s how they get away with their various levels of not really standing with the Jews.

The idea that a ‘good,’ ‘solid’ US-Israel relationship can only be when Israel shows itself to be a doormat to the US is too antisemitic to even ponder.

Clinton (Democrat, “Yesh berirah“), Bush II (Republican, “Israel, I’m the best friend you ever had in the White House”), Obama (Democrat, “no U.S. administration has done more in support of Israel’s security than ours”), and Trump (Republican, “You’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money”) collectively stand for decades of not freeing Pollard.


Jewish unity is dear. Between left and right, secular and religious, the urban and the rural, the Ashkenazic and the Sephardic, young and old, etc. Conflicts between Jews have always cost us a lot. I’m convinced that over 90% of the Jewish Israelis want good relationships with all Israelis and all Jews in the Diaspora–and with all Arab non-Jews in and around Israel. But some fringe people (on the left and the right) can’t be included. Driven by hatred, lacking a sense of reality, and all their critical sense is for others.

When we talk about Jewish unity and democracy, we do not include people who hate so much that their ideal is to reject, ignore, silence, and expulse large sections of Israel’s population. This not because we hate them. Rather, because they are impossible to work with, please, appease. Their goals are opposed to unity, love, peace, and happiness for all.

Without a heavy heart, ignore them and don’t include them.

I chose the above clip despite my dislike of Caroline Glick’s customary hard-line right-wing positions. Because on antisemitism among US leaders, she’s spot-on. While the American People, in general, is great with Israel and Jews. Always distinguish between the People and the elites.

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, 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. * To find his earlier blog posts on a certain subject XXX among the over 1200 ones, go to the right-top corner of the Times of Israel page, click on the search icon, and search: "zuiden, XXX". * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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