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

‘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, previously a daily blog contributor to the TOI. 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. None of his content is generated by the new bore on the block, AI. * As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. Or not at all because he doesn't claim G^d talks to him. He gives him good ideas—that's all. MM 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 2000 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 too, 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. 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. 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. * His newest books you may find here:
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