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

True democracy is not a dictatorship of the majority

Israel should follow the example of Holland, not of the USA

This is how Dutch society sees democracy:

The majority rules while taking minorities into account.

I learned this in school when I was about 16, years before I was allowed to vote. In the US, they can’t stop bragging about how their democracy of equality of all voters is their invention and superior to all other systems.

Well, first of all, equality’s not an American but a Jewish invention.

Secondly, how can a system be ideal if it employs piling lies on half-truths to polarize and split up society to win the majority?

Another difference between the Low Countries and the USA is that Dutch politicians are allowed to lie on condition that it doesn’t transpire. If any dishonesty comes out, they need to resign.

***

My mother’s father, a Talmud scholar murdered at Auschwitz, Louis Karel Nieweg, used to say: Communism is the best system if it wouldn’t have to be executed by people. The same trouble befalls the system of democracy.

Although the Netherlands had shown much tolerance and social sensitivity toward the weak in the 20th Century, its politics also ran into the ground.

The government of the Netherlands always was formed of numerous parties that after elections would negotiate for months to hammer out a very detailed agreement of what the government would do.

Unfortunately, that turned the Parliament into the cabinet’s rubber stamp. Especially in the last decade, opposition parties could object, coalition parties had to agree. Civil servants became used to sparsely informing the Government that also would give as little information as possible to Parliament. If you don’t tell anyone, no one can object. The flaws became painfully clear when a gigantic disgrace surfaced three years ago.

An enormous racist scandal stayed hidden for years in which the State fought decent citizens, destroying their reputation and finances, reducing tens of thousands to poverty, mostly those with a migrant background.

The duped cried out to parliamentarians. They didn’t help because they couldn’t believe the outcries. They said: Go to court. The judges rather believed the State. It took a deep digging by a couple of journalists and parliamentarians to reveal the depth and scale of the abuse.

The leading researching Parliamentarian, Pieter Omtzigt (who, surprisingly, until today still has not been decorated by the government for his work,) of the Christian coalition party, declared he had sworn to do what the Constitution demands, to check the Government, not just to support it. At the next elections, he received enough votes for five seats.

Then it was found that leading politicians, even of his own party, tried to promote him to places where he could not bother them anymore.

Still, the whole of Parliament had woken up and demanded transparency. This included the anti-immigrant parties! They never agreed that the State would fight decent hard-working people. They all demanded that the next coalition will have only agreements on main principles and that details will be determined in debates with them, representatives of the people.

The power struggle between the Government and Parliament is ongoing.

One problem that no one seems to address is that a proper separation of power between the executive and controlling branch is impossible when, like the situation is now, the leading ministers are at the same time the heads of the parliamentarian fraction that form the coalition.

***

Israeli politics too seems obsessed with majority positions. Just like Israel is inundated with cola and pizza, here too, it tries to copy the US. Bad deal.

Everybody needs a democracy in which not only the majority decides but also takes care of all the interests of every minority. It’s true, ‘if you’re not at the table, you’ll be on the menu.’ But that saying means to encourage people to represent their causes. It does not mean to say that if you’re among the ruling parties, you can trample the ones who are not.

Just what you say to a male bully: Real men protect, not attack, the weak.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), 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: https://mmvanzuiden.wordpress.com/ 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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