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

The Scroll of Bibi

It is just like the Purim story in the Scroll of Esther. I will explain.


In the summer of 2014, Israel suddenly started receiving a stream of rockets against its civilians. The government did nothing. We did not know that it was insuring international backing for a military action against the perpetrators if necessary. Finally we started bombing rocket launchers and the luxurious houses of leading Hamas terrorists. Khaled Abu Toameh reports the next morning in the Jerusalem Post that the Israeli response took Hamas by surprise. They were shooting rockets to divert local dissatisfaction with poverty – and no doubt the dictatorship of Hamas. They did not seek any escalation for themselves. Wicked people often lose all perspective. There was no way that any state could tolerate and ignore a rain of rockets on its cities. But there was more.

Israel was relatively comfortable with the hundreds of airstrikes on Gaza, although they led to more rockets, not only on Be’er Sheva, Ashkelon and Ashdod, but even to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion Airport, Haifa and Eilat. We had the Iron Dome. It was not a hundred percent protection, but miraculously, still no one in the cities died. (One Bedouin died, from a lack of shelter, one Thai greenhouse worker was killed during lunch break.) Civilian casualties in Gaza were largely prevented. However, to progress from there and begin a ground war? A cease-fire would be highly preferable – so everyone in Israel thought.

However, Hamas kept sending rockets. Their ‘preconditions for a suspension of hostilities’ were impossible to meet even half-way. We should set free all their convicted murderers, and end the blockade, which would make the Gaza Strip even more into a weapons storehouse than it is already. Still, the Israeli government bluffed that we would go in, was calling up reserves, but dragged its foot on actually starting a ground war, with its obvious toll in loss of innocent life on both sides. And then it happened.

Tunnel vision

Out of the blue, our patrolling soldiers were ambushed from a tunnel, no one knew that existed. The security cabinet decided to let the IDF enter Gaza. They were rewarded with a wonderful unity in Israel. We all enjoy this sudden precious lack of quibbling and the blanket support for our soldiers. And through the ground incursion, we found what we never could have found from the air. The Gaza Strip was tunneled under to a degree that was completely unknown at the Israeli side of the border. Dozens of tunnels reaching deep into Israel. Their beginnings were dug by Palestinian small children, appreciated by the terrorists for their small and supple bodies. One hundred and sixty died in the process, but they were quickly replaced by others, just like in ancient times when unprotected child-laborers were sent underground to dig mine shafts, and no one in charge cared if they died.

The finished Gaza tunnels were enormously sophisticated. Forget the earthen tunnels of old. These walls were from concrete. Some were so wide that cars could ride in them. One tunnels of 1.7 km long consisted of enough concrete to have built a three story hospital with it. They contained hundreds of stacked IDF uniforms. They held stockpiled weapons and foods, and tranquilizers, apparently to keep hostages calm. And then, exactly two months before the Jewish New Year, on the eve of first day of the Hebrew month of Av, the story broke.

Ambush plans revealed

Aryeh Savir, from Tazpit Press Service reported in Ynet and Maariv, that someone in the Shin Beth had revealed, that through the dozens of tunnels, on Rosh Hashanah, Hamas had planned to send hundreds of its terrorists, dressed in Israeli army uniforms, loaded with weaponry, to ambush Israeli kibbutzim, which normally have a sole fruitless guard at their gates. While slaughtering hundreds of citizens and kidnapping scores back into the tunnels during the beginning of the High Holidays, other terrorists in IDF uniforms would swarm out all over Israel, to stop first attempts to contain the bloodbath. Simultaneously, Hezbollah would have started a rocket barrage from the North, to add to the confusion and devastation. Hamas wanted the carnage of the surprise Yom Kippur War to pale before the result of their monstrous ploy. That was the secret plan.

Hamas did not want a confrontation now. They had a perfect massacre planned for in three months time. They worked on it for years. They had sacrificed all the needs of the population, just to hurt Jews. However, they could not stop themselves from shooting rockets. They could not help using one of the tunnels to surprise a few Israeli soldiers waiting at the border. They were so eager to kill and maim, that Israel discovered their plot in time. From out the air, we would never have learned any of this. We would have continued to allow concrete into the Strip for ‘building houses, schools and hospitals’ up to the Jewish New Year itself.

Meanwhile in Europe (France, Germany, the Netherlands), extremist Muslim demonstrators went to the street shouting, death to the Jews. Synagogues and Jewish leaders were physically attacked. For years, they claimed just to have been antagonistic to Israel. Finally their hatred for Jews was exposed for all to see. The national governments have promised to deal with the disgrace.

Comparisons are odious

Unfortunately, that is where the comparison stops. Different from the Purim story, entirely innocent people have been killed (the three yeshiva students, the Arab youth in Jerusalem, dozens of our finest IDF soldiers, three civilians in Israel, and scores of civilian Gazans, as human shields or by accident) and wounded. President Obama is not King Achashveirosh (Ahasuerus), and Bibi does not charm him like Esther charmed her king. Despite the story taking an incredible turn for the better for the Jews, all the wicked plotters have not been eliminated, and presently the story is far from over.

Notwithstanding these differences, we do see such an amazing turnaround in what at first seemed totally unfortunate for the Jews. Like in the Purim story, where G-d is absent, but so present through the phenomenal surprise rescue of the Jews, we may ask, what would be more plausible here again, than the hand of G-d behind these scenes?

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. He's proud that his analytical short comments are removed both from left-wing and right-wing news sites. None of his content is generated by the new bore on the block, AI. * As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. Or not at all because he doesn't claim G^d talks to him. He gives him good ideas—that's all. MM 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 2000 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 too, here: 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. 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. 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 (, 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. * His newest books you may find here:
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