I was at the now weekly demonstration in Jerusalem against the judicial coup the coalition is trying to force upon us. Luckily, two-thirds of Israelis are against it, so even if they manage to push through these new backward laws, they cannot be enforced. You can’t lock up 67% of the population.
No to the Compromise
Rejecting a compromise sounds unreasonable, but I’ll explain it. The President has issued such a proposal. I didn’t read it before rejecting it. Why? Because the present situation is already a compromise. The coalition or the Knesset wants something, and the Supreme Court must agree.
Don’t think I hold this Court so high. But it’s the best we have. They’re often unwise and idiotic, but not always. That they seem often from left-wing to the loony left could be part of a predilection for saving minorities from the silent majority that is neither.
I can’t forget that this very High Court caused the mess we’re now in. That allowed right-wing terrorists and haters of women, homos, and Arabs to stand in elections, sit in the Knesset, and enter the government. And now, the People can clean up their mess. Thank you but no thank you.
Rabbi Kahane, they expelled from the Knesset while he was much more for Jews than against Arabs. (Some USers disagree without delivering proofs.) But his self-proclaimed followers are clearly first against Arabs and then for Jews. But they are kosher? I don’t know who are crazy, but it’s not me.
In almost everything, the status quo is not ideal, but it’s not so bad either.
Credit Where Credit is Due
And just like I’m not demonstrating against the judicial coup because I love the High Court so much, I’m also not doing so from hatred for Bibi. I’m obligated, as a religious Jew, to be an anti-Capitalist, and therefore, I won’t vote for him. But I give Netanyahu a lot of credit for prioritizing life over the economy at the start of the COVID pandemic. Trump helped kill over a million people by doing the reverse. Bibi saved tens of thousands! I’m also not sold on that his past conduct has been criminal. Yes, he lied. All politicians lie. And Deri, like so many Mizrachics, does not know how to navigate the Ashkenazic rules. But, consistently, he’s done so much good for the Israeli poor, both Jews and Muslims, that I frankly don’t care if he did illegal things in taxes. Bibi played by the book and is worth 50M.
The People Will Win
What I try to convey by participating as the only chareidic demonstrator with my smile and sign is that we don’t need to worry or be angry under reservation of us protesting incessantly. I also had a lot to sing: lenatzayach (we will win), mishenichnas adar (when the month of Adar enters, enlarge the happiness), machar (tomorrow, there will be peace), etc.
This time I was interviewed by Haaretz, the Chaifa broadcasters, and almost Channel 12—the young, idealistic journalist wanted to have me but her boss not. Press organizations often look for people who confirm stereotypes and are extreme and hate-filled, to rile up the viewers.
I was photographed at least 400 times, sometimes for my sign, sometimes for my smile, and sometimes for my general good looks, I guess. Many times, I stopped to give people a chance to take a picture (Generation Z needs half a second, Generation X needs half a minute), and several times, six people lined up as kind of a firing squad to eternalize me. At least 1,000 times, people gave me a thumbs up.
It was hot, this time. The abundance of flags threw a much-welcome shadow. Also, it was busier than the week before, people came earlier, the mood was more positive, there were fewer youths and rainbow flags and more elderly and blue-and-white flags, and Dan Meridor (someone known for his integrity) spoke of the betrayal of what once was the Likud.
After four-and-a-half hours, the crowd started a march to the Knesset. I didn’t. I had to pray the afternoon prayers. We need to trust in Him too.
I long for a Jerusalem police force that doesn’t just stop and detour traffic but also thinks of how to do that without the whole city getting gridlocked.
Hope to see you next week.
© Alan Meerkin, with permission
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