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

The Netherlands Will Disappear Under Water

The English will be followed by a Dutch translation

Because of global warming, ice at the tallest mountains and the Poles is melting, the sea level is rising steadily and it seems that in two dozen years or so, many millions of people will have to start moving. This is mainly caused by them moving to coastal areas in the last hundred years. The flooding of New Orleans (hurricane Katrina) will be child’s play in comparison. Complete coastal cities (New York) and islands in the oceans are endangered to disappear. Problem is: the seas are not bath waters – you can’t take out a plug somewhere to let some water out.

The Dutch should worry too, but no. All is well, sleep tight. “Après nous, le déluge” (“After us, the deluge”). One hides one’s head in the still dry sand and is not worried.

But this morning, it happened for the first time. The first signs of concern. Dutch TV morning news reported that “the Wadden Sea could disappear.” They were so in shock that they only could talk nonsense. Endangered are the Wadden islands, of course, not their sea. This also, because of the sinking of the ground in the North from extraction of natural gas. (Using this gas raises the seas and drops the lands – a double-edged sword, if you ask me.) This can also influence the capacity to keep the mainland dry, the newsreaders added philosophically. Hoo-ha!

Now, I hear everyone say: they’ll raise the dykes. Problem: dykes are not walls. They have a thickness. Just like pyramids, they are wider at the bottom than at the top. If you raise all dykes by one meter, you must make them so much wider at their foot that little ground remains between the dykes. Especially so, if the enlargement happens with sand: pits between the dykes. The Netherlands, blockbuster of a land? Excellent for tourism, though, for those who like snorkeling. “On your left below, that large building, that was the ….” South-Eastern Vaals as seaside resort.

But … here in Israel we are high and dry. Me thinks that in a few dozen years, Dutch and Israeli engineers will design a lock for the entrance of the Mediterranean to save Gaza and Venetia. What should we care still about The Netherlands? Far away. Pity though, for people who are still entitled to pensions from there. Or have friends or family there. Or shares. And of its beauty and history. Would the Dutch succeed to replant their culture somewhere else? I heard that a lot of space opened up lately in Syria. The tables turned, the Dutch as refugees and migrant workers.

I have no idea what the future will look like but boredom doesn’t seem on the menu.

Some people may think, because of my jokes, that the above is mainly humor. Not so.

What follows is a Dutch translation of the above.

Door het broeikaseffect smelt het ijs op de hoogste bergen en aan de polen, stijgt de zeespiegel gestaag en het lijkt er op dat over een decennium of twee vele miljoenen mensen zullen moeten gaan verhuizen. Dit wordt vooral veroorzaakt doordat de laatste honderd jaar milljoenen naar kuststreken zijn getrokken. De overstroming van New Orleans (wervelstorm Katrina) zal er niks bij zijn. Hele kuststeden (New York) en eilanden in de oceanen dreigen te verdwijnen. Probleem is: de zeeen zijn geen badwater – je kunt niet ergens de stop eruit trekken om er wat water uit te laten.

Nederlanders zouden zich toch ook zorgen kunnen maken, maar nee hoor. Gaat u maar rustig slapen. Na ons de zondvloed. Men steekt de kop in het nog droge zand en ligt er niet wakker van.

Maar vanochtend was het dan voor het eerst zo ver. De eerste tekenen van onrust. Op het Nederlandse ochtendjournaal werd gemeld dat “de waddenzee dreigt te verdwijnen.” Ze zijn zo geschrokken dat er alleen nog onzin uitkomt. Het zijn namelijk de waddeneilanden die gevaar lopen, ook door de zinkende bodem in het noorden (aardgaswinning – win-win is leuk maar het kan tot verlies leiden; nemen, NAM, genomen). Dit kan ook gevolgen hebben voor het droog houden van het vaste land, sprak de nieuwslezeres filosofisch. Je meent ‘t.

Nou hoor ik iedereen zeggen: dan verhogen ze toch de dijken. Probleem: dijken zijn geen muren – die hebben een dikte, en net als piramides zijn ze aan de voet breder dan aan de top. Als je alle dijken verhoogt, moet je ze ook breder maken. Als alle dijken een meter naar boven moeten, blijft er weinig ruimte over tussen de dijken. Vooral als de verhoging met zand gebeurt: putten tussen de dijken. Nederland, dijk van een land? Wel goed voor de toeristenindustrie, voor vakantiegangers die van snorkelen houden. “Links beneden, ziet u dit grote gebouw, dat was de ….” Vaals als badplaats.

Maar… wij zitten hier in Israel hoog en droog. Ik denk dat Nederlandse en Israelische ingenieurs over een paar decenia een sluis ontwerpen voor de ingang van de Middenlandse Zee, ook om Gaza en Venetie te redden. Maar Nederland, wat kan ons dat nou schelen? Ver weg. Wel jammer voor mensen hier die nog AOW of WUV krijgen. En er nog vrienden of familie hebben. Of aandelen. En van alle schoonheid en geschiedenis. Zouden Nederlanders er in slagen hun cultuur naar elders te verplaatsen? Het schijnt dat er recent veel ruimte vrij is gekomen in Syrie. Nederlanders als vluchtelingen en gastarbeiders. De rollen omgedraaid.

Ik weet niet wat de toekomst brenge moge, maar verveling schijnt niet op het programma te staan.

Sommige mensen denken, vanwege de grapjes, dat bovenstaande voornamelijk humor is. Niet dus.

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 (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), 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. 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 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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