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

The quick unity against this war empowers a global majority against all wrongs

The parallel attack on Russia’s super-rich also opens the door to holding billionaires accountable (pardon the pun), everywhere.

Today, 21 days ago, the war in Ukraine started. Now, it shows very clearly how humanity made two giant steps forward toward a better future.

As so often in international politics (the Berlin Wall fell without anyone seeing it coming, even the day before), Russia’s attempt to annex Ukraine in a blitz war came as sudden as the corona pandemic. But, the European and global reaction was swift and easy.

Governments traditionally neutral (Switzerland), only considering the rich (the Netherlands), isolationist (USA), left-wing, and right-wing, came up and stood shoulder-to-shoulder with their populations against the attack.

No to aggression, no to war, no to bloodshed, no to occupation, no to annexation, no to threats, no to lies, no to war crimes, etc.

The only option the Allies would allow Russia is: diplomacy.

The Russian nuclear arsenal prevented the world from invading Russia, but not the General Assembly of the United Nations from condemning it by overwhelming majority instantly. And the Allies do everything to get the Russian super-rich, military, intellectuals, and masses to dethrone Putin. In the Allied countries, it was crystal-clear, almost without saying, that no one was against the Russian nation, only against the dictatorial regime.

Really New

This development is a huge shift toward hope that the world will unite quickly and rid us from all tyrants, resulting in worldwide democracy, an end to hunger, success in saving us from climate extinction, etc.

1. Most importantly, this explosion of global solidarity did not build up after endless frustration with despots. The second everyone saw clearly the injustice, almost universal unity against it was a fact. Suddenly, countries and people who never seemed to care cared.

This reminds me of the reaction to the clip of the murder of George Floyd. Immediately, despite corona, demonstrations erupted around the world.

There were no protests against George Floyd—or Ukraine! Unity will win.

We, the World, almost all Whites and non-Whites are sick of racism! Some ingrained and institutionalized racism proves stubborn, but we’re so fed up with it that we may even exaggerate how to end it (cancel culture).

You’d think there is so much fake news going around. The Internet, media, and social media are drenched with chauvinistic, nationalistic, and other false sentiments that divide and set us up against each other. There are so many good but naïve people believing nonsense. So, true evil won’t get recognized. Wrong. A critical mass can tell the difference without a doubt.

We must learn from this. When people see evil clearly, unity is ensured.

2. Meanwhile, the super-rich, so often behind the scenes instigating and advantage taking of wars, suddenly were visible as enablers. This changed everything. No more smiling when they would give a few billion to charity. We expect them to wield the power they hold for goodness and peace.

Let’s apply, harness, and consolidate the two new openings now emerging.

Violence

It was heartening and heartwarming that the Ukrainian peoples, so tainted by antisemitic history, elected with 73% of the vote a Jew for president and now unite behind him. He’s doing a grand job priding Jews all over.

I still think Ukraine should have resisted peacefully until the Free World forced Russia out via sanctions. But, now that it chose military resistance, the Allies not just cheaply voice sympathy for Ukraine, send humanitarian assistance, start diplomacy, and warmly open their arms to all refugees, but they also supply weapons liberally and train the victim’s military.

Countries that refuse to isolate the Russian regime and its accomplices should be included in the worldwide ban, even if it’s my beloved Israel.

Already, thousands have died. The cold and hunger are unbearable to many. Countless needed to flee already. Among them, as many children as perished in the Holocaust. We need the hostilities to stop quickly.

The saying goes: War only knows losers. That’s not fully true. The Sages say it clearer. Peace is preferable because in wars, so many innocent die.

There never was a better time than now to (re)commit to being an activist.

Fast Day

Today, Jews over the age of bar/bat mitzwah who can do it fast until dark. Why? Several ideas are mentioned.

● The original Fast of Queen Esther lasted three days (Esther 4:15-17). It showed us as ready and worthy for redemption from a threat of genocide.

● The special prayer in our prayerbook lets us beseech G^d, based on Isaiah 65:24, for help with our (often denied state of great) emergency.

The Rabbis teach that we fast to make us cry because there is no repentance without tears and no redemption without repentance.

● Some have suggested connecting our fast this year to the war in Ukraine.

● Some have suggested connecting the Fast of Esther this year to the just plight of women as today is International Women’s and Agunah Day.

● Let us combine the above and suggest that we fast to repent. But repent for what? Well, it’s so easy to go through life and accept what’s wrong in the world as a given, inevitable, a law of nature or history, basically ignoring it. It’s bad, but what can we do? Well, fast days come to tell us: You, collectively, can set the world right, right now! You can, you must.

Just like this global solidarity came instantaneously and unannounced, so can global redemption (the Messiah) come right now. Repent, make it so!

The Sages teach the Redeemer may come because we deserve or because we can’t do it without him. May it be the first scenario! The fact that G^d hasn’t yet sent the Messiah proves that He still believes in us! Let’s do it!

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. 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 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 1500 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/ 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. * 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 (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), 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.
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