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

Netanyahu’s big nationalist blunder

Over-ambitiousness defeats itself – the genie is out of the bottle

Recently, I explained that the Israeli PM lost his political marbles. I want to revisit the story because I have more to say about it but also because – differently from the surrogacy scandal – it refuses to fade from the news.

All kinds of groups of Gentiles were relatively happy to live in Israel. There is no official racism or bigotry. Popular, institutionalized and governmental prejudice is successfully fought in the courts, there are a complete democracy from equality – who would not want to live here?

Comes this new law “to secure the Jewish basis” of the Jewish State (that was secure as it was, thank you very much – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it) and pandemonium, all hell, breaks loose.

There is an Israeli saying – borrowing words from the Sages – that if you want to grab too much, you might end up with nothing, that being over-ambitious defeats itself. And this is what the Nation-State Law seems to do.

Defenders of the new law say that no rights of any of Israel’s minority are curtailed. However, to placate the Druze, Netanyahu proposes a repair bill, giving away that there is something to repair.

Giving away that there is something to repair.

The Maariv/JPost story that made me write this blog post, however, claims that the new law does no harm, harms no one, is a non-issue, a product of the press making a case out of no case, instead of reporting correctly that the new law is fine. The only issue would be emotional: some people got offended, others felt left out by it. This is – according to this author – something the press should clarify, and that’s the end of it.

That’s what we would say if in a certain country Holocaust denial would be enshrined in the law: that no one will lose any rights from it, that all the opposition is just emotional?

The author reminisces about all the different way that all the years the Druze had no problem with Israel’s Jewish character. Well, I have news for him: the genie is out of the bottle. It passed the point of no return.

It’s like slapping someone in the face. You can cry all you want that you didn’t mean to and you’re sorry but the relationship has changed forever.

Live with it.

And Israeli Jews, please protest this law as Jews, not just in solidarity with Israeli Druze, Circassia, Bedouin, Muslims, Christians and secular Gentiles. As Jews, we believe in strict political equality and don’t want to be linked to the slightest whiff of ethnic or religious hegemony, supremacy, privilege or coercion. And surely, when defending your ideas, use moderate language to characterize your opponents and their positions.

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. 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 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 1400 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: 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. * 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.
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