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

My wish for 2018: A new political culture

If I could have one wish for 2018 then it would be that Israeli media stop being the mouthpiece of slandering politicians. A new political culture.

Israel has a beautiful bustling press. And we should keep that. I don’t want a limit on the freedom of the press. I’m not saying that politicians are necessarily saints, undeserving of criticism.

Only: The idea that criticism will improve things is a fallacy.

And so it is fiction that putting others down and sensationalism will bring readers or votes. It may bring in some fanatical supporters but at the same time you lose more reasonable people, sick and tired of negativity and libel.

Impossible?

Try these eight guidelines:

1. Attack policy, not politicians, people. That one is a crook and that one is a liar, that one is a thief and that one crazy. All these personal attacks amount to nothing. If their policies are wise, that’s all that counts. And if they are not, only that counts.

Besides, what light in moral darkness is anyone to attack someone else? Realize that when you point a finger at someone, typically three fingers point at yourself and one at G-d.

(If you think you must be negative about people, then reserve that for our real enemies. But also here it might be better to focus on the positive aspects: Iranians are tired of poverty and lack of freedom; people in Gaza really suffer under Chamas; most Arab Palestinians in East Jerusalem prefer to stay in Israel; most Egyptians never interacted with a Jew and all their information about Jews comes from libel, etc.)

“If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how – the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what’s said against me won’t amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference.”

– Abraham Lincoln

2. Be honest. Keep your word and never lie – except towards enemies.

There is a difference between competition (may the best win) and enemies (may they bite the dust). Don’t be so naive to keep your word opposite an enemy who will never.

But that doesn’t mean you should also play wise-guy with your friends and competition.

If you can’t get it honestly, maybe you’re not meant to have it.

3. Don’t exaggerate.

Don’t say that many will die, that democracy will come to an end, that war must break out, if you don’t get it your way. Democracy is that you may lose.

What arrogance to hold that you know better than these stupid voters who have not seen the light yet. That … is the voice of a dictator! If you want people’s votes, start by respecting their judgment. If they didn’t vote for your ideas, apparently you failed to make your case.

Also: One club did not destroy its opponent – they won heavily. It’s sports, for Heaven’s sake!

4. Be positive. Say what you want. Explain why. Explain how your ideas are helpful.

A good idea becomes clear when you share and explain it – not when you attack others’ ideas.

Smile instead of showing off your (real or fake) anger.

Sound hopeful and confident.

 

Ignore all negativity from your opponents and highlight where you think they are right.

Show why you are against some other ideas without (directly or indirectly) putting others down.

Stop stirring up strife.

Press: Build Israel’s morale! So the strike is not against the scandalous wages but for a more fair pay.

5. I would be thrilled with a law that penalizes Israeli anti-Zionist news outlets slandering Israel in English while in Hebrew they’re more reasonable and Israeli pro-Zionist news outlets sweet-talking about Israel in English while in Hebrew they’re extremist and racist. (This is how they collect sympathy and support at home to spread their lies abroad.)

6. And now I’m at it: can we also stop seeing headlines like “WATCH: man fell to his death” and similar hurtful clips.

It’s downright immoral to use people’s anxiety to score views at the expense of their emotional health.

7. And the voyeuristic reports. Reporting how famous people cry at their tragedies. What else are they supposed to do? This is not news, it’s embarrassing intrusion.

Israelis who feel a right to such garbage: Get a life of your own!

8. Finance polls that shows that any criticism of anyone and all political negativity only backfires: costs votes, readers. That’ll teach’m.

(The articles of the above hyperlinks I didn’t read; only the headlines.)

About the Author
To subscribe to his daily blog posts, click on the circle next to the blogger's picture, containing a dot with two quarter circles around it (the Feed Computer icon). * 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, 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. * He likes doing age-appropriate and age-inappropriate things and looks forward to getting to know his timeless mature out-of-the-box soul mate. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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