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

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, 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.
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