Israel’s enemies attack Israeli soldiers and civilians (a celebrated war crime) and their own population (dictatorships must act like this). However, Israel could never behave like that. The Jewish State is a parliamentarian democracy, with free assembly and a free press.
Outside of an active warzone, the State of Israel may commit two kinds of attacks:
The terrorists of Chezbollah gets new weapons from Iran in the middle of the night. Suddenly a rocket coming out of nowhere finishes off the whole shipment.
The junta in Gaza is getting the newest rockets from North-Korea. Suddenly, still in Ethiopia, the whole transport goes up in flames.
Prevention is the best medicine.
The junta in Gaza again fired a rocket into Israel. Israel strikes after that.
NO, THIS IS NOT: STRIKING BACK, RETALIATION, REVENGE!!
I know, even Zionist outlets term them “retaliatory.” Just like women themselves may fail to notice when they’re treated as if second class. They then need a Tootsie to point out the internalized sexism. Maybe therefore, converts and newly religious (me) to Judaism may be extra fit to point out a lack of pride in Jews.
How did Jews ever get the stigma to be revengers?
Couple of answers:
- Guilt feelings in Gentiles. They know to what extent they don’t completely love Jews yet – not even plain hatred – “just” indifference. Their bad conscience connects with the myth of Jewish Power, instilling in them a fear that one day we’ll take revenge. In fact, many religious Monotheists, including Jews, believe that in the End of Days, G‑d will settle scores.
- Christian anti-Judaists (replacement theologians who believe that the Church has taken the Synagogue ‘s place, that Christians are now the apple of G‑d’s eye) point out that the “Old Testament” shows a revengeful G‑d, while their “New Testament” shows their supposedly superior concept of a loving G-d. I have a couple of things to say about that.
For starters, we Jews have felt pretty little of this Christian love towards us.
Further, G‑d wants to be served from our Free Will – not through coercion – and for our own good – not because G‑d would need us – G‑d doesn’t. When reason fails us to choose good, the awesome face of G‑d may come to our rescue. How so?
When temptation or confusion entices us to do something stupid, a holy fear of G‑d may help us to refrain. We may be tempted, though we know it would not be for anyone’s long-term good, but we still may not dare to.
An overly sweet G‑d is not enough deterrent against human wickedness. As we Jews have first-hand experienced best during the Holocaust. Christian Theology after Auschwitz should teach that the “Old Testament,” the Torah, does not have had its day. It is alive and well.
Its perfection is that it doesn’t try to be perfectly elevated. It’s not a guide for angels. Rather, it is – in close cooperation with the Oral Law (Mishnah, Talmud, Rabbis and Commentators) – down-to-earth enough to direct humans.
So, Judaism is not overly sweet. From that doesn’t follow that we are vindictive.
Therefore, no more “retaliatory strikes” – only “deterrent strikes.” This should be 101 in hasbarah. And preferably no needs for any strikes at all anymore, of course.
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: https://youtu.be/QMPp6h6r72M *
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: 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