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

Stop the cable car project to Jerusalem’s Old City! Take the underground train!

Construction of the Jerusalem - Tel Aviv high-speed train
Construction of the Jerusalem - Tel Aviv high-speed train

Three more weeks to object against the erection of a cable car project that should see to an easier flow of tourists to and fro Jerusalem’s Old City.

Read the AP story about it at your own risk. It has, of course, the twisting of anti-Israel opinion into facts (no, it was not the 1967 Mideast War but the Six Day War), portraying the Jewish State in general as a monster lacking morality and modernity but also betrays their own total ignorance of the Jewish and Karaite religions making them just present the half-truth they’re told without any question marks.

What problems are there?

● What a terrible sight. You’d think that overhead power and phone lines and their pylons are unsightly? Try to imagine a cable car. And then the way the cars and the stations are designed. An eyesore if there ever was one. And we already have such a hideous bridge at the entrance of our city. May we pass, please?

● Local Arab population. Would you like a busy cable car route hovering over your apartment? It sort of reduces you to a prop. I wouldn’t like it. Though I don’t see it doing much harm.

● The route is planned over the local Karaite community’s burial place. Jewish Priests are not allowed to pass over a Jewish graveyard so one wanted to construct a cover over it so that it’s like they don’t pass over it. Karaite representatives have complained that such roofing would be against their religious law which is ridiculous. Karaites are Jews who reject Rabbinic Law and only go by what is literally written in the Torah. Where does Scripture say that one shouldn’t be buried under a roof? In the olden days, Jews were buried in caves. Too bad that the community is headed by politicians and not by people of integrity.

● Archeology and Judaism. Nice to see them share a bullet. Putting the foundations for the pylons and the stations into the ground is bound to disturb archeological treasures if not the dead. Every square foot here has so much history.

Sometimes things must get done no matter the down points. But here, there is no need at all – except for people who believe that seeing ugly modernity gives a warm feeling. Israel is already digging an underground train line towards the Old City as extension of the Tel-Aviv-Jerusalem high-speed train. It is being dug so deep that it will not disturb anything.

That a cable car would be less destructive and less costly than having buses or the light railway enter the Old City is a red herring. It turns out that it’s a prestige project of handful of people trying to make a name for themselves. Bad idea.

The cable car idea is thereby completely redundant and obsolete. Not the objections against it should win. It would be just ugly stubbornness to continue a good idea whose time has passed.

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. 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 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 1500 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/ 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. * 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 (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), 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.
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