Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
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The nature of Jews’ oppression is economic, a part of working-class oppression

A class heritage and identity that should be understood, known, and celebrated

Most Jews in North America work for a living. Most Jews in Israel are working-class. And Mizrachic: Jews from Arab or Southern-European roots and cultures. The stereotypical rich owning-class Ashkenazic Jew is just that: a caricature based on the prejudice that Jews own the world’s power and money. So, I’m not just protesting that bigotry says that all Ashkenazic Jews are rich. I’m saying more. That the myth is that (almost) all Jews are Ashkenazic and rich, which most of us are neither.

If you grew up in a working-class home, and your parents worked like crazy to let you study and turn middle-class, you’re still working-class, capable to cooperate, take responsibility, feel solidarity and generosity.

You won’t find much about all of this on the Internet. I suppose that is because of the prejudice that most Jews are well-off. Even many Jews believe that. And certainly the advertisers at Jewish newspapers or sites.

If only everyone had the class awareness of the British. But US workers often don’t identify as working-class. A doorman at the Hilton may see himself as owning-class because he’s always among the wealthiest.

Jews even form one of the vulnerable parts of the working class. This is so because a hallmark of the oppression of Jews is a lack of solidarity. When people ‘need’ to be fired, Jews are often the first to be ‘let go.’

A general mechanism to keep anti-Semitism alive is making a small percentage of Jews stand out as the money guys. When things are well economically for the super-rich, these Jews are manipulated into doing these rulers’ biddings. Then, recognizable Jews seem in control of the finances of the city or state. They become more hated by the people most exploited. And when ‘the economy crashes,’ many workers don’t even have enough to eat, and the populous gets into a mode of revenge, then ‘suddenly,’ anti-Jewish texts ’emerge’ (directed by the ruling class), blaming it all on ‘the Jews.’ Mobs cooling their anger on the Jews make the real exploiters escape the fury and will fill the perpetrators with shame, which will paralyze them, ready to settle and obey again.

Your logical question should be immediately, why do Jews let themselves be used for that; to be agents of the true oppressors?

The answer is simple. It’s the same reason that often made women exploited at home. They could not live safely unmarried lives. So, they had to team up with a guy. Almost all guys were privileged jerks who’d exploit them. In the olden days, before feminism. Has much changed?

Jews were suffering under widespread hatred and there was no solidarity by the other workers and their representatives. The higher in society, the thicker the Jew-hatred, but make no mistake: this lack of solidarity from Gentiles with Jews is in every class, crook, and cranny.

Lack of solidarity with and a lot of shame for Jews persist and dominate in almost all communities. Jealousy, yet another tell-tale sign of Jew-hatred, is only the tip of the anti-Semitic iceberg. Most of the oppression is disgust and hatred. Not always blatant hatred. Often as indifference.

So, the individually economically powerful say to a limited group of Jews: “Want safety? Come work for us. We’ll protect you.” Such, they keep the Jews hostage. But, those who enable that are workers without solidarity with Jews. Once the workers show solidarity with the Jews, all Jews can escape their hostage-takers and won’t huddle with the extra-privileged.

Just like the White US working-class workers must embrace the Blacks, Asians, Native-Americans, so that they can’t be pitted against each other in a clever plot to divide and conquer, as Trump showed so well.

The situation of the Jewish State among the Nations is very similar. Many countries lack solidarity with Israel, as we can see repeatedly in the United Nations. Even truly allied States and heads of State will talk to and about Israel arrogantly, as if they are morally superior and if they own ‘Palestine.’ And they will drop the Jews in the blink of an eye whenever it suits them. But, when Israeli leaders seek cooperation with reactionary regimes, they are portrayed as immoral. While they have no one else to defend them — at least for the time being. It’s the lack of real solidarity by the rich in the powerful countries that drives Israel into the arms of dictators. And even into selling weapons to the most oppressive regimes. (Others do that too but guess who gets blamed most.) BTW: Most international and even local news about Israel goes through the filters of antisemitic control rooms. You may suspect dishonest reporting when the situation in Israel refers to bad morality, murder, money-grabbing, heartlessness, lack of solidarity, and other anti-Jewish themes.

You should object that among Jews, though a minority, still many are better at learning and earning money. Is that Jewish DNA?

Well, much of what we inherit from our parents is not in the genes. Rather, these are feelings, words, stories, mindsets, motives, beliefs, and culture. And part of the Jewish lore has become the fight for survival while trusting no one — not expecting or relying on lasting solidarity.

Therefore, Jews often just learn, work, and walk harder. And not only for their individual survival and that of their family. Often, they have in mind to bring safety to their community and to Jews in general. Often, they also care about unfortunate non-Jews. Let’s look forward to the time that Gentiles will feel as responsible for the fate and well-being of the Jews as many Jews feel for them.

The few token rich Jews around are still isolated from the rich Gentiles. Until the creation of the Jewish State, no Jews were really powerful. Even the legendary Rothschilds stood alone, isolated and hated by the other rich. (Not that that is an exception. The super-exploiters have no solidarity for each other anyway.) Jews never had any power in the last 2,000 years. The best we could do was to be in bed with our oppressors.

So, when Gentiles will constantly exhibit solidarity with the Jews, Jews will let go of prioritizing (or even identifying) with the powerful they served so loyally. Any individual Jew who still clings to the hostage holders will easily be liberated back into We the People s/he’s part of.

So, Jew-hatred is, like all oppressions, part of working-class oppression. The working class needs to re-adopt the Jews. That can end the oppression of Jews swiftly, and also free many Jews from their timidity so that they can help speed up the end of classism (class-oppression) and the demise of all oppressions (subjugation of the socially weak).

The misconception that Jews are all white-color workers and aristocrats is nothing new. It says already in the Bible that the Egyptians tried to break the Jews by putting slave labor on them. It failed to break them. The Nazis put over the entrance of the Auschwitz death camp “Arbeit macht frei,” “Work liberates.” This was a cynical reference to their plot to work the Jews, who supposedly never really had worked, to death. When that, even without proper food or medical care, didn’t work well enough, they switched to gassing. (The attempt to industrially destroy and exterminate the Jewish People is most horrifying to anyone. But let’s not forget the over a million Jews, murdered as part of the Holocaust by the bullet, shot, one by one, by their murders.)

Most Jews are working-class. Many Jews are very ambitious and loyal. Jews are exploited and oppressed by using these good qualities against them. Most Jews feel for the socially weak anyway, even when no solidarity is returned to them. Let all workers, left-wing politicians and activists understand this, and celebrate and welcome-back the whole of the Jewish People into their ranks. The working-class is the natural home of the Jews. Also the Jews who are so proud of ‘having made it,’ should be welcomed back to humbly retake their place in the working class. And the rest are fables from the rich to maintain class oppression.

Most Jews are working-class but most Jews are also non-Caucasian, women, and members of every oppressed group. Also those groups, each and every one of them, are based on keeping and safeguarding the economic exploitation of the majority of the population. Within those sub-groups, alliance building between Jews and Gentiles is also vital.

Embrace the Jews more so their embrace of you can be more effective.

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, lehavdil 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, LGBTQIA, 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 quite 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 500th 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. * To find his earlier blog posts on a certain subject XXX, among his over 1200 ones, go to the right-top corner of the Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". His second daily active less tame blog, to which one may subscribe, one may find here: or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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