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

‘Rich’ Jewish schools in Amsterdam under attack

The editor-in-chief of the Dutch Jewish weekly, the NIW, presented a story that the only two Jewish schools in Amsterdam (and the Netherlands) had lost their city subsidy (which used to be a third of what they asked for).

They cause is not demonic. The councilwoman for education had decided to withdraw the city subsidy from schools whose tuitions are too high. Those obviously want to be White schools, keeping the less privileged out, so they can pay for their own schools. Let them feel how wrong they are.

Though legal experts doubt if she could do that, the motive is really great.

Among those high-tuition schools are the only two Jewish ones. But now listen to why the Jewish parents are requested to pay so much:

1. The schools accept every Jewish child. If they, in fact, would need special education, they supply it anyway because there are no special education schools where Jewish children are protected and receive specifically Jewish education. Other schools just get rid of such expensive students.

2. The number of new-immigrant families that send their children to the Jewish schools is almost 50% This is three times more than the average Dutch school. If there ever were non-White schools in the Netherlands, they would be these schools.

3. The schools need to give more education. On top of the ‘normal’ Dutch subjects, the students are also taught Jewish stuff–lots of it, Jewish history, religion, identity, Hebrew, Israel, anti-Semitism, differences and similarities with Islam and Christianity, etc.

4. The tuition is voluntary. A number of parents will not or is not able to pay. So the others need to pay more. So, the voluntary tuition makes them the most accessible schools one could think of.

5. The school must pay for security. Not like in Austria that takes care of all protection of its Jewish citizens and recently tripled that budget.

But! This last point is taken into the councilwoman’s calculations. Money for security she deducted from what parents pay for these Jewish schools.

The excellent JTA correspondent in the Low Countries normally gets things more than right about Jewish local news but not here. He titled his article: “Amsterdam Jewish schools lose city’s subsidy because of excess parent contributions, including for security”. News outlets parading as serious but without real editors (just a bunch of writers laying their own eggs), like the Jerusalem Post and Arutz 7, immediately published the faulty JTA story.

What stands in that story is the chutzpa that Dutch Jews should pay for their own protection. Just like they had to pay for the construction of their concentration camp Westerbork (before the Nazi-German invasion!).

So, what went wrong in the subsidy refusal? I suggest it’s the generic anti-Semitism complaint: Why do Jews always need to do things differently?

There are actually three answers to that rhetorical question.

1. Jews stubbornly keeping their tradition, even if it costs them dearly.

2. Jews standing for fine things in the Tradition, that might not be so fine in the surrounding culture, like nullifying class and ethnic differences.

3. Sometimes Jews need to do things differently because of anti-Semitism or to ensure Jewish continuity (encourage marrying in, not out).

With regards to blaming Jews for protecting themselves, the old saying goes: First you’re kicked and then you’re blamed for bleeding.

Jews cannot and will not always behave as Gentiles and that can give irritation. Those Jews always needing special attention. The Dutch news report headlined: “Everyone the same.” Still, in a world without subtle anti-Semitism, Gentiles would be honored to think about what Jews need.

And, like all real grownups pride themselves in being protective of kids (and won’t spread the feeling that they are superior to them and would only take them seriously is they would become like them), and every real man prides himself in being protective of women, and all real straights pride themselves in being protective of GLBTQAI+, and all real Whites pride themselves in standing with People of Color, so too, all real Gentiles pride themselves in making sure that Jews around them feel and are safe.

It is possible that subconsciously the old classical anti-Semitic prejudice played a role too that all Jews are rich. (If that’s true, please, show me the dough.) Like the Dutch Socialist finance minister after WW II said to Jewish survivors asking assistance to retrieve the moneys the Nazis had stolen from them: You don’t suppose that I as a socialist am going to help Jews?

So, I’m sure that they’ll work it out. The Jewish schools in Amsterdam should get three times more money than they received in the past. A little subcutaneous irritation against the Jews is good. It shows how much work Europe as a whole still needs to do to become good allies to Jews. There are already countries on the right path for decades: Germany, Austria, Italy, Bulgaria–England is cautiously joining. It can and must be done.

Amsterdam (and Hilversum) saw the first popular uprising against anti-Semitism in world history, in 1941, the February strike, against the first Nazi-German razzia on Jews. For that, Amsterdam received after WW II as a motto for its coat of arms: “Valiant, Steadfast, Compassionate”. The municipality of Amsterdam will show its compassion, no doubt about it.

That would fit a recent Dutch trend to improve its standing with the Jews.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), 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 strict vegan since 2008. 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, lehavdil 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 (statistics), 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, LGBTQIA, 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 quite 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 500th blog post with the ToI. 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 a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * NEW: To see other blog posts by him, his overspill blog you can reach by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture at the head of every post. There you may find precursors to later TOI blog posts, addition or corrections of published TOI blog posts, blog posts the TOI will not carry, and some thoughts that are too short to be a TOI blog post. Also, the TOI only allows for one blog post per blogger per 24 hours. Sometimes, he has more to say than that. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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