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

Jews uneasier at sharing a workplace with Muslims

This nervousness might linger on longer than even the longest war

Since the Simchat Torah pogrom, Muslim Israelis behave beyond reproach despite fears expressed before. Though few openly spoke out against the pogrom, 80% have told pollsters of their disapproval. No sweets were distributed. Rather, it seems to have shamed most Israeli Muslims deeply, in contrast to many Muslims globally. Is this comparable to European shame after the Holocaust? (The pogrom was at a smaller scale than the Holocaust but also worse.) In Israel we say, Israeli Arabs got to know us.

Yet, not all Jews feel relief at the domestic quiet. A close Jewish friend of mine is in charge of a large workplace in Jerusalem where Muslims and Jews work. He is Mizrachic. Unlike me, his family has long memories of living with Muslims in Muslim society. They share a language and much culture. It gives them more understanding but also deep, unhealed hurts.

I’m not writing here to judge my friend. I’ll only describe what’s going on.

Some background. Since modern Zionism began in the mid-nineteenth century, Jews looked forward to starting a Jewish-democratic or a bi-national Muslim-Jewish State. Some Arab leaders seemed in, while most Muslims didn’t seem to care. In any case, neither option became possible for two reasons: Muslims kept murdering us (Chevron 1929 and on) and did not want any Jews around. The most shocking about the Chevron massacre was that Muslims, who were the friendliest fellow citizen for decades, suddenly could mass murder their Jewish neighbors. I’m not accusing the exceptional Muslims who saved Jews with risk to their own lives—they existed and must always be honored, but this is not our focus.

Traditional and religious Jews and Muslims in Israel are very happy to live separately and send their children to segregated schooling. Neither want their kids to intermarry, so there’s no problem there.

In healthcare, things in Israel are mixed. Patients and workers (except for cleaners: Muslims), including lab workers, nurses, and physicians, work together. Of course, and sadly, a woman and a Muslim still must do better than a man or a Jew to be taken seriously (sexism and racism are in Israel too. It’s not yet Paradise here), but many of them do. Jewish and Muslim patients also wait and room together. Inside our healthcare, there’s peace.

In times of war, most may not talk to each other, not to risk ending up in a fight, but some may bridge the gap when both sides understand that we have more in common than whatever (or whomever) divides us.

But my friend said: “I’m firing all the Muslim workers. I’ve started to hire Jews. A bit more expensive. (A Jew may pay four times as much rent in Jewish neighborhoods and could never live from the minimum wage.) I know that my Arab workers are friendly, but that’s always until something happens. I’m tired of waiting until one snaps and starts killing.”

I do understand, and I so regret. Because not leaving exceptions is racism. Even when done by someone who’s from the same minority (Mizrachic).

I suggested that Bedouin as a group can be trusted. He agreed, but only from these areas and not from those. (But I know a fantastic Ally from those areas.) And the Druze? “Sure, they all fight in the army. But I don’t want non-Jews in my workplace anymore. One exception, and we’re all dead.” I think: “Yeah, but one exception in a pogrom can save everyone.”

But I do understand. My parents, after the war, didn’t want a German car or washing machine. After the largest Jew killing in one day since the Holocaust, without the UNSC backing us up, we want to be left alone.

I have no solution. I’m just relating what’s going on. When Antisemitism stops, we’ll all live in peace. Sadly, that’s not going to be tomorrow.

I’m presently hardly leaving my house because I don’t want to run into a radicalized Muslim who wants his weapon to show his frustration about losing a war. Hundreds of thousands of citizens in the South and North had to leave their homes because Hamas and Hezbollah are more than happy to target noncombatants. Pollywood works overtime to fabricate Muslim suffering and rile up the Arab Street. May I state the obvious? The Israeli citizens are the real victims. We didn’t vote in Hamas. We did not disperse sweets when people were murdered. We don’t target civilians.

We want peace. But even when quiet is reestablished, resentment and weariness about being close to Muslims will not be over. But not from hatred. Listen to our funerals. We’re not a revengeful, hateful People. But we kind of hate being slaughtered, and so, we resist. But if Israeli Muslims become as thoughtful and careful as most German Gentiles after WWII, some vital good might come from the shame and the hurt about 10/7.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, previously a daily blog contributor to the TOI. 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. None of his content is generated by the new bore on the block, AI. * As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. Or not at all because he doesn't claim G^d talks to him. He gives him good ideas—that's all. MM doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and educations contribute to his visions. * This year, he will prioritize getting his unpublished books published rather than just blog posts. Next year, he hopes to focus on activism against human extinction. To find less-recent posts on a subject XXX among his over 2000 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 too, here: or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. However, 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 when don't deserve that. (Yet, we all make honest mistakes, which is just fine and does not justify losing support.) 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 - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight reality), 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. * Chronologically, his most influential teachers 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. This short list doesn't mean to disrespect others who taught him a lot or a little. 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. When he can, 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, for Zionism, Intersectionality, 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. Read his blog on how he attempts to bridge any tensions between those ideas or fields. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to his 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, and decades more to admit to being a genius. But his humility was his to keep. And so was his honesty. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. He hopes to bring new things and not just preach to the choir. * 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, powerful therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. 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 a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * 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. 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:
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