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

The Israeli Left and Right as a dysfunctional couple

“Don’t tell me what to think or do. You’re completely out of touch with reality.” That’s what both the Left and the Right seem to say to each other.

Their vision of the other also —  they think — absolved them from listening to the other side. And moreover from becoming more moderate and together living in harmony and peace — שלום.

“I’m right and I know it and you are so wrong and you don’t even know it.”

You know how people exaggerate, in opinion, in emotion and in volume, when they think that no one sees or hears them? Most Israeli politicians sound like that. Fodder for the other side and daily bread for journalists.

My favorite book on “How to make a good relationship even better” has in the section on discord a sentence like “Crazy as it may sound, your partner could be right.” Lovely!

In a good couple, there doesn’t need to be agreement on everything. But the sides listen to one another and eventually balance each other. This isn’t a matter of compromising. Rather, of becoming less extreme.

  • Women should not be banned from politics. Women and men are not the same.
  • Muslims living on the West Bank are not the enemy. They can’t yet be trusted as all for nonviolence towards Jews and democracy.
  • Netanyahu is innocent until proven guilty. We need to plan and commit to what to do if he would be found guilty.
  • Freedom of the opinion and the press are paramount to democracy. Anti-Zionists don’t deserve a space in the Knesset or publishing.
  • Donald Trump’s team so far has made many symbolic gestures towards Israel (except about Jonathan Pollard). Trump is not to be trusted, a shameless bigot, con artist and lover of dictators.
  • There should be a complete separation between religion and state. Judaism should color all of Israel’s public life.

The first Israeli peace process should be between all Jews. Then the creation of peace with the other nations will unfold organically.

The survival of (especially Ashkenazic) Jews often depended on how well we could find (and correct) fault. But for internal harmony, we need to start listening to the good and excellent in our opponents’ opinions.

About the Author
The author is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (DES - Diethylstilbestrol), 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 vegan for 8 years now. 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. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. To see other blog posts by him, a second blog - under construction - can be found by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture.
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