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

There’s nothing new about everything being new under the Knesset ceiling

Click here to see the Knesset session with English simultaneous translation.

In Israel, everything is always upside-down. So, the victory speech of the new PM and the Maiden speech of the new leader of the opposition were held before the vote. A vote no one could know for sure how it would go.

Of course, it all didn’t matter. Members of Knesset had to wave flags, hold up placards with their opinions, shout their disapproval, or clap from approval — all of which is forbidden by Knesset decorum rules. Numerous delegates were removed. But everyone knew it was a big show. Except for the head of the Knesset who twice re-removed Members expelled who stealthily re-entered. At a later date, they will each be punished.

Now, I listened to the speech of the supposedly incoming PM. He will fight for the interests of all Israelis, including those whose representatives will be in the opposition. After that, the supposedly outgoing PM spoke explaining that he represents the majority of Israel’s voters. How can this be true at the same time?

I was thinking back at my second job ever, kitchen assistant in a retirement home. Doling out the plates was an important moment. One day, each of the meat-eaters would get 3 thin slices of roast beef. No, the chef cook told me, don’t pile them up. Spread them out in a hand fan shape. It will seem more. Isn’t that dishonest? No, it’s a matter of elegantly presenting.

That’s what the speakers did. Saying ‘We will also represent the ultra-Orthodox’ is a nice principle. Yet, in the elections, they did not vote for such a coalition. And this coalition will try to effectuate stuff most ultra-Orthodox abhor. It’s still nice to say you don’t see yourself as their enemy in return. It’s not lying; it’s a matter of elegantly presenting.

Clearly, the supposedly upcoming PM tricked his voters. They chose him thinking it was a vote for a coalition between the right and the secular. Instead, they get a broad coalition that’s not right-wing. This trick can be done only once. Next elections, most right-wing voters will punish any right-winger who joined this coalition. But for now, they have a field day.

That’s another Israeli unwritten law. Here, everything is always in flux. So, long-term planning is a waste of time. It’s best to just take care of the problems just in front of you. Later will come later — if it does at all.

(Lapid, alternate PM, did not hold his speech. I never caught him saying a truth. Neither when he ‘explained’ that he was too ashamed to speak in the turmoil. Rather, he didn’t hold his prepared speech because it started that a new era of peace that had arrived. And the pandemonium in the Knesset made clear that era hasn’t arrived yet — not even in the Knesset.)

It was good to see the main speakers not lying. It was only a matter of elegant presentation. No one can know if this coalition will last an hour or four years. But, as long as it lasts, it will keep Israelis glued to the news.

Netanyahu: 59, Bennett 60, one person abstained.

Among the 27 ministers, I counted these minorities: 1 wheelchair-bound woman, 18 men, 16 Caucasians, 5 men with yarmulkas, 2 Muslims, 1 Ethiopian Jew, and 1 openly Gay man. It reminded me of how much more diverse the cabinet of US President Biden is compared to his predecessor, though it did have far fewer Jews than Bennett’s team has.

A feast among the large anti-Netanyahu blog has burst forth. The left has not felt any hope ever since PM Rabin was assassinated. Also, it’s good to celebrate now, since the new coalition will not meet any period of grace.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He makes his readers laugh, and be mad, and think he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. * 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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