For a moment, let’s step away from loving women. To love is so often misunderstood. “I love fish,” said the man, and he ate it.
Respecting women is harder to misunderstand. Yesterday, my lovely daughter in her early 20s told me a horrible story. With her permission, I share here what I understood and remember of it.
She has a steady relationship and hardly ever walks the street alone anymore. Yesterday, she happened to be on her own outside in Tel Aviv, and she found herself bothered by men non-stop. She had forgotten that this is the default situation for a female alone in the public domain.
Yes, she is considered stunning in the eyes of many Israelis, but she’s not public property. No, it is not nice to be addressed with a smile by men (only men) who pretend to be interested in you and nice but they are not. They are just catering to their own hunger (“I love women.”)
There are so many infuriating aspects to this:
● This is considered normal.
● This is considered nice or at least innocent.
● It seems that this will never be outlawed.
● This teaches males and females that women are here to please men.
This micro-aggression is as poisonous as calling “dirty Jew.” What at all is it? It’s not genocide. No, it isn’t, but it’s the necessary basis for it.
Toying with females can be so ‘normal’ that no one notices when some men treat their wives so much as their possession that they may kill them.
And women are trained from the cradle that a compliment is nice but that their basic, stand-alone value is zero, so that many can’t resist abusers.
On a lighter note, but hardly, male and female MKs were coerced to vote against more safety measures for endangered women. ‘Party discipline.’
Coalition MKs voted against the protective measures and left the plenum hall crying. A clear example of a lack of democracy. Democracy is not ‘The majority rules.’ As I learned in the Netherlands in school when I was 10: ‘Democracy is the majority rules taking all minorities into account.’ And herein, the High Court can’t intervene. It can strike down laws that abuse minorities but can’t enforce pro-minority laws that are voted down.
Unprovoked, a taxi driver told my daughter yesterday that a female MK should be raped for her opinion. My daughter was shocked, of course, and replied that no one should be raped. To which he said: Tell your father—I’m sure he agrees with me. Just a taxi ride that she had to pay for.
After what my daughter told me and this disastrous vote, I couldn’t sleep. If enough women told men in their lives how sexism ruins their lives daily, things would finally change. Not to blame women who don’t speak up. Ideally, we men should tell all men until something changes. Post-war Germany shows that when the number of bigots falls to 20%, they can be cornered and rendered powerless.
I think LGBTQ+ organizations in Israel must voice solidarity with women, condemn sexism, and the Knesset’s terrible rejection to protect women against murder. Many Gay and Trans people have been chronically abused and seem intimidated. The bullying must stop, but also of ‘random’ women. An alliance could be really fruitful. Lesbians, Trans women, Trans men, and bi-genders could lead the forming of such a coalition.
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