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

Thinking about the enemy

I’m not turning into a self-hating Jew who doesn’t care about Jews and only about everyone else. Those people whose heart bleeds for terrorists, no matter how sacsenior, but hate “settlers,” no matter how young, without ever having met one.

No, I’m not suddenly naive (Jews sometimes flip between paranoid and naive), assuming that all people are automatically as peace-loving as most Jews. A White person, who is scared of anyone from the world’s majority, until they smile and then they must be our truest friends. More wishful than thinking.

NB: I’m not going to try convince the average reader indoctrinated that Jews are the murderers here. Come and visit to see for yourself the truth that Israel is forced to kill to protect itself.

Jews must feel for non-Jews but not more than for themselves.

Having established that, I want to suggest a thought experiment.

  • Can we imagine what life is like for Arab Palestinian children, girls, boys, teenagers, young adult women, young adult men, workers, pensioners?
  • I’m not asking empathy for terrorist leaders. They get enough attention as it is – at the expense of the ordinary Arab Palestinians. (Same for the so-called friends of the Palestinians – most of them just hate Zionists and are no friends of anyone. They don’t help them. They only stoke the fires of conflict. Case in point, the picture distributed by Peace Now and the Joint List that made it into the paper Jerusalem Post of their demonstration outside the US Jerusalem embassy: one of the activists is holding his Hebrew protest board upside down – a looser, not of this region at all.)
  • Rather, how do you think life is for ordinary Gazans, Arab Palestinian inhabitants of the liberated West Bank, inhabitants of refugee camps in Egypt, Jordan, the Lebanon, where they are second-rate citizens, abandoned by their Arab brethren (who just pretend support) and artificially kept in place there by the UN – a buffer zone to not let Israel ever live in peace. Pawns in the hands of their own indifferent or even murderous leaders.
  • How do Arab Palestinian women with a more modern mindset feel? Or even traditional girls and teenagers? Forced to put their fate in the hand of a husband to do his will and hope for love – without chance ever to escape?
  • What is life like for homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, trans and queer Arab Palestinian? They must choose between utter silence and loneliness and the risk of being discovered and murdered. Safe sex there, is no sex – condoms do not help against hatred for minorities.
  • What is it like to be taught from kindergarten that your life is worthless unless you sacrifice it for the supposed ideals of the People? (And when they do, are the brave or just brainwashed?)
  • Can we imagine living in a country without a free press, without freedom of speech and expression, without freedom of assembly, without free and confidential elections, without free partner choice?
  • What does it feel like if there is no money for constant electricity, clean water, simple health care, while the regime receives literally more than one billion US dollar in aid per year?
  • How does one live under a regime that preaches death to its own population, that destructs anything that would improve health and wealth of the regular people? That only invests in their foreign bank accounts and in a useless war machine? That has as its only policy and goal the genocide of the Jewish People?

I don’t think that we need to think long to realize that they’re not to be envied. Being the mere playthings of corrupt leaders and narrow-minded ideologists, of ruthless politicians and of history.

But we must believe that they’re as entitled (by democratic principle or Divine Law) as anyone and as lovable as everyone and so we must take a long hard look at their bitter lot.

Yes, it’s in a way self-inflicted, but much of that is in history. The current generation is not guilty of the refusal of their past leaders to tolerate Jews around.

True, their current anti-Semitism kind of makes them guilty by extension, but how much chance did they really have not to end up hating Jews, being raised in that norm?

No, I’m not making the mistake of feeling so much for them that I will allow them to make their leaders happy by murdering us.

Their pathetic situation does not mean that we’ll grant them to hate Jews and dream of murdering and hurting us.

But then what are we supposed to do with any empathy that we may feel for them?

I suggest that we use such compassion:

1. To distinguish between the power-hungry terrorist Arab Palestinian politicians and the largely powerless Arab Palestinian masses.

2. To condemn all hatred of Jews but also to believe that ordinary Arab Palestinians must be trained to fight and uproot anti-Semitism.

3. We must believe in Free Will. That implies that every person must be regarded as an individual who has the capacity to be a positive exception to any social rule. So, no to collective punishment or condemnation!

None of them are inherently evil (because that would make murder by them as morally neutral as piranhas having breakfast) and from that follows that from each of them we must expect to behave with total respect towards Jews.

Yet, it is national suicide to see them as already close, warm and dependable friends and allies under all conditions before they have abandoned Jew-hatred. But meanwhile regarding them as subhuman wicked creatures does not help either.

4. Hatred destroys the health and sanity of the hater. We must stop hating them, first of all for our own sake. Most Ashkenazi Jews seem to fear Arabs, but don’t hate them. But some of our youths and many Oriental Jews might hate them. I don’t blame them as I understand from where their hatred comes, but Jews must believe in most Arab Palestinians, though not trust them yet. Trust must be won and deserved.

5. Our Jewish mission to be a light unto the nations must prevent us from hating Arab Palestinians. Rather, we must feel for them, hold them to the same high standards as everyone else (or we are the real racists) and demand that they stop hating Jews. And we must expect of all our Gentile friends and allies that they insist that all of the Muslim world and all of Europe acknowledge their bloody pasts, repent and end all Jew-hatred.

6. One more thing our future friends need to learn before we can be proper friends. No matter how angry we get, murder is a no-no. Killing for fun relatively few do, but killing for revenge and tacit approval of (attempts at) revenge killings is still rampant. That needs to go.

Paradise on Earth for everyone is around the corner, but that doesn’t help if we keep our feet on the brakes. We don’t blame the Jews for anti-Semitism, we don’t blame the victim, but that doesn’t mean that there is nothing Jews can do to help the world finally stop this bigotry.

About the Author
The author is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (DES - Diethylstilbestrol), 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. * 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.
Related Topics
Related Posts