Here follow and are explained some of the issues that so complicate the problems with African asylum seekers in Israel. Clarity on each point counts. What will pass the revue: Jews’ hatred, a State of Jewish immigrants, ethnic cleansing, Jews’ uniqueness, Gentiles in Israel, nationalism and militarism, Zionist Arab Israelis, conversion, medical refugees from Gaza and Syria, aware, unaware, illegal and anti-racism, Jewish-Muslim tension inside Israel’s Arab majority, protecting the socially weak, illegal versus foreign workers, and Capitalist greed.
No matter what we do, the Jews and Israel will be condemned, by a small number of rabid Jews haters and by the many naive people who believe their unfounded accusations. Yet, we must do our best, if only for our own moral stature. And not doing enough looks terrible on Israel and gives an opening to anti-Zionists to bud in and make trouble for us.
More than half of the Jews in Israel are immigrants or their offspring. Israel has no trouble absorbing migrants, if … they are Jews.
There are many important cultures and languages. Losing any of them is a loss to all of Mankind – and when done deliberately it constitutes ethnic cleansing. Yet, all people can become Catholic, all of us can make and enjoy pizza and all nations can learn Latin, so specific Peoples do not need to survive. The more intermarriage between Gentiles the marry-er, I would say.
Yet, Jews are a People – the only People – grounded on a mission. We are the only Nation with a raison d’être. Only Jews can practice, learn and understand all of Judaism, and so the Jewish Nation must live on – as the only Nation. This is also for the good of all people, as Jews have as assignment to proliferate our holy moral Lore, which is meant for and important for all of Humanity, not just the Jews.
Israel is not only a State for Jews. We have many Gentiles here and it is patently untrue that we can’t handle that. However, we tend to live separately in our own neighborhoods. We may work together, shop together, sport together, but we try to live, celebrate and marry among ourselves – for good reasons (some secular Jews disagree)! When one appreciates the sacred task of the Jews, one can see that this partition is not racism or ethnic arrogance at all. (On top of that: Gentiles can convert to Judaism if they want to and are able to join in the holy work.)
Unfortunately, the secular State of Israel was seriously lacking (religious) ideals and substituted them with nationalism (and militarism). This may be nice when playing at international sporting events, but for the rest it smacks of superiority, unbecoming of Jews – who need to be humble in order to teach everyone. Yet, there are Zionist Arab Israelis.
There is a clear lack of racism in the medical sector: any patient gets the best care (including medical refugees from Gaza and Syria who may hate Jews); anyone can be a nurse, physiotherapist or physician. This shows our real anti-racist mindset. Yet, there is still much aware and unaware racism in Israel – like in any (semi-) Western country – but no legal racism. There are many Jewish White Israeli activists against racism.
Most Jews in Israel are Arab and not White Western. So Muslim and Jewish Arabs together hold the vast majority in the State. Jews from Arab countries are often less friendly towards Muslim Arabs, though they both have been subjected to racism. This is not racism but rather from resentment because they remember how they were treated when they lived there and needed or wanted to migrate to Israel. And sometimes Nationalism gets mixed in – the greedy: This is OUR land.
When we reject asylum seekers, we are humanly and religiously obligated to be as pleasant as possible. Yet, if we are, we attract instead of deter. As Hebrew Scripture reminds us all the time, to protect the socially weak and disenfranchised.
Many modern societies profit from work from “illegal workers” and legalize them eventually. We’re importing foreign workers all the time. Is there a racist streak in wanting to get rid of the black “illegal” faces? Israel does demand of migrant workers that their stay will be limited.
One cannot withhold work and food from possible illegals and then blame them for stealing and living in parks. Why can’t we feed and house them until their status is determined? The answer: Capitalist greed. The same reason why they are only tolerated in poor neighborhoods.
Conclusion: Israel is not a racist State but especially as the Nation State of the Jews, it should be more pleasant and generous towards Gentile immigrants, even when they are found not eligible for legalization. And we could become less panicky about losing the Jewish majority.
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, an almost daily blog contributor to the Times of Israel, and previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. 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. *
As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. He doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit about what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and education contribute to his visions. *
If you don't know the Dutch, get an American peek behind the scenes here: https://youtu.be/QMPp6h6r72M *
To find less-recent posts on subject XXX among his over 1600 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, here: https://mmvanzuiden.wordpress.com/. *
Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. Yet, 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 who don't deserve that. 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), 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. *
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. *
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. 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, anti-elitism, anti-bigotry and supremacy, for Zionism, Intersectionality, and 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. *
He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), born in 1953 to 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. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. *
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, empowering therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids non-violently. 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 being a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. He lives with his library in Jerusalem. Feel free to contact him. *
His writing has been made possible by a (second-generation) Holocaust survivors' allowance 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: https://www.amazon.com/s?i=stripbooks&rh=p_27%3AMoshe-Mordechai%2FMaurits+van+Zuiden&s=relevancerank&text=Moshe-Mordechai%2FMaurits+van+Zuiden&ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1