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

Stinking demonstrators in Jerusalem

1933 Germany. Jew tells the civil servant: I want to change my name. Well, say the public servant, that is possible but not easy. But I really want it. You need to have very serious reasons – otherwise it will not happen. I have the reason – a terrible name. OK, tell me, what is your name? Adolf Schtinkfuss (stink-foot)! O, I see, says the official; and what would you like your new name to be? Moritz Schtinkfuss.

This joke came to mind when I got into a Jerusalem bus tonight. The stink was unbearable. I tried finding out what this could be. Did someone throw up? Had someone lost some bowel movement? It smelled more like stinking feet, but they were all two meters away from my nose (I’m 6′ 5″ — I was standing in the packed bus). What could this be? I didn’t want to embarrass anyone but my curiosity got the better of me. What is this smell, I asked cautiously.

Everyone started to explain it to me, “don’t ask”-style. There were demonstrations and the police had employed a water cannon with stinking water. The bus had gotten a gulf and so did passengers at the bus stop. This was five hours before, but the smell was still there.

Later I heard that overzealous police had sprayed on many people not connected geographically to the demonstration at all. One person threw up from the smell in the street. But in my bus it was a bit more bearable.

O, I suggested, this is just like the smell of very fine French cheese. It’s not so bad if we think that we just got for free some exquisite French culinary perfume. Some people laughed. Only the bus driver volunteered that he already had a headache from the whole story.

In Jerusalem, they don’t know yet how it used to be in Amsterdam, 40 years ago. Three (legalized) demonstrations a day. Traffic jammed all day long, every day. Want to get somewhere, take public transportation or the bike. It’s part of democracy. Freedom of expression, a free press, freedom of congregation, demonstration. Yes, it disturbs, but that’s the whole purpose. Without it, you have dictatorship and that really disturbs.

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 (, 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 lehavdiel 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, GLBTQAI, 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 quit 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 500st 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.