On the one hand, some oppressions weigh heavier than others. On the other hand, you can’t diminish oppressions that you think are less heavy.
After WW II, my mother, who lost most of her family, friends, and fellow Jewish community members, spoke with a non-Jewish woman. The latter assured her they had ‘suffered terribly too.’ ‘How,’ my mother asked friendly. She said: ‘Toward the end of the War, there was an exchange of fire close-by. Several bullets went through my linen cabinet. There was not one piece of clothing left without bullet holes.’ My mother could have asked: ‘How does that compare to the genocide I went through? But, she understood, it doesn’t work like that. My mother mildly added when she told this story: ‘Everyone feels their own hurt the most.’
Feminism seems to have begun by non-blue-collar women. Working-class men don’t silently think that women are less worthy yet sweet-talk about them. They say their prejudices openly, and if you think differently, you’re welcome to have your say. So, they were ‘the sexists’ for early feminists who were not so class-aware. They failed to see that underlying sexism is exploitation and men who do manual labor are fellow oppressed. They didn’t recognize that ‘educated’ men had learned to hide their disdain. They didn’t know that women often run the working-class families. Left-wing feminist Hillary Clinton called them deplorables; self-declared multi-millionaire Donald Trump handily called them My Forgotten People.
A guy told me last week: When I told my father I was Gay, he said: OK, no problem. But when he told his father that he had become a Vegan, the world was too small. Even now, after years, he refuses to accept this. From this, we could conclude that his father understood that being Gay is not a choice. But still, you can’t give up being Vegan either, just because others dislike it. And animosity and irritation of carnivores are often palpable.
A small but loud minority of non-religious Jews really hate the religious wholeheartedly. True, it’s mostly built on the misunderstanding that the religious must hate them. They often don’t have one religious friend. Their opinions about ‘the religious’ are often the same things as Antisemites say. Yet, such hatred nurtures Gentile Antisemites and can be threatening.
On the other hand, in a White crowd, if you don’t let non-Whites speak first, you fortify racism. That doesn’t mean that Whites are not oppressed and underprivileged in zillions of ways (except as Whites). But it’s the turn of Whites, Gentiles, Men, Straights, Cis-gender, Wealthy, majority people to feel uncomfortable. It won’t kill you. Not as an ideal end-state to strive for, but as your contribution to the uprooting of all oppressions.
It is a known strategy by the powers that be to play oppressed groups against each other, like Blacks and Jews. While they waste their energy on fighting each other, the Owning Class can maintain its billions unopposed.
And by pouring Christian Antisemitism into Africa and the Working Class, Jews stay dependent on oppressive regimes and the billionaires. They then can hold them hostage and use them as their shield and scapegoat.
Only two ways can end all privilege: to know history and use our brains.
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