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

The most forgotten casualties of Israel’s independence

Thank G^d, I don’t know the suffering of losing a child. I have enough empathy to understand that I don’t know of it. These parents are in a class by themselves and there is no comparison. Parents have died from broken hearts after they lost a child in a war. No one can compare. Or maybe just those who lost their best friend or partner. But I’ve been close.

Every Israeli parent who had a child in the IDF knows the 24/7 fear for the knock on the door from two senior soldiers who come to tell parents of a child gone. Also in peace time. Accidents happen always. That fear lasts for some three years, for some five, and for some longer. It’s unbearable but there’s no alternative. It heightens your prayers but you wish it on nobody.

When they leave the army you sigh a big sigh of relief and quickly forget. But it was unbearable. Also if they survived.

Soldiers often contribute so much. So many of their innocent years and mindsets go down the drain in the army. Many start to put on weight. Many start smoking cigarettes. Soldiers have rights, for instance to enough sleep. But did you know that this right is not extended to commanders? While their soldiers sleep, the best of them often need to write reports that leave them with three hours of sleep a night for weeks on end.

Yes, to die for our freedom and safety is the ultimate sacrifice. But it’s not the only one. I’m not even talking about contracting physical and/or mental wounds or permanent handicaps. Which is also not a small thing.

There is also the sacrifice of learning young that you’re just a cog in a giant machine and that what you justly want will need to wait — sometimes forever. To live in an organization where not everything works as you hoped and your voice and the voice of truth and justice may get lost.

Even those who come out well and for whom all friends get out well, also they sacrificed greatly. That should not be overlooked. We must stop pretending that the only sacrifice is the ultimate one.

That’s like saying that if your parents went through the Holocaust you did not suffer enough to complain. Those who survived the Holocaust in hiding didn’t suffer enough to complain. Those who were in concentration camps but not Auschwitz didn’t suffer enough to complain. Those who were in Auschwitz but survived didn’t suffer enough to complain. Only those who died in Auschwitz suffered enough to be worthy of being heard.

We must acknowledge all the hardships our children went through in the IDF, during wars, during smaller operation, and during quiet times. We need to hear their stories and they deserve to tell them. And that includes their parents who often went through hell even without losing them.

On top of this comes the constant threat of ideologies, terrorists and terrorist states that feel a burning idealism to disgrace and murder Jews. This besides all those Jews they actually killed, in Crusades and Intifadas.

We need to include Gentiles who stood/stand with us. From the Druze policeman murdered trying to protect Jews in a synagogue to the Bedouin IDF soldier helping to maintain peace for Israel. From the Christian who is worried for us to the Diaspora Jew whose eyes are on Israel day and night.

And we need to add the unbelievable scandal and our shock and hurt that, also 75 years after Auschwitz, Jews still need to defend our right to live.

Oh, and to those who’d say that Arab Palestinians are the most forgotten casualties of Israel’s independence, let me answer shortly the following.
A. They are not forgotten at all. True, the ones who most harp about their suffering aren’t their friends but rather enemies of the Jews. B. They suffer but not from Israel’s independence. They suffer from anti-Semitic leaders. Their victimhood is largely self-inflicted (I mean, by their brutal leaders). Those who throw in their lot with the Jews, only good befalls them.

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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