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

Trump’s Middle East peace policy, ‘Erratic’ or ‘Clever’?

My readers expect the truth from me and I will write only the truth and the whole truth. Too bad for those who want propaganda.

I never understand how newspapers can ask experts things like the above and not my opinion, but it happens regularly. Here’s my answer anyway.

I will use two stories to illustrate what I think Trump did here.

One day, my high school asked a Dutch chess grandmaster to come to play a simultaneous match against the students. I was a young lad who knew the rules of chess and I signed up, not inhibited by too much knowledge of the game. At my board, he stared the longest before making a move. I’m sure he had never seen anything like it. Because I didn’t know theory (chess history), every move I made must have been a long-term disastrous one. He won in twelve moves or so but, he really had to think about it.

That was Trump’s peace process. Total amateurs came up with ‘new’ moves that puzzled the specialists. The field, stuck for a century, moved. The successes were hailed, the disasters hidden. Yes, a few counties moved from a cold peace to a more-or-less warm peace with Israel, helped by big hand-outs. But Trump reopened the door to a Palestinian State on the West Bank, Gaza II, and tried to whitewash pariah Saudi Arabia.

Let’s say there’s this patient and no doctor understands what’s wrong with him. Comes team Trump saying: Operation, we’ll cut him open completely. And, low-and-behold, they find a few things his doctors hadn’t known. How did Trump know? He didn’t. He cut and cut until there was nothing to cut anymore. They sew up the guy, he survived, and they start treatments. Meanwhile, the operation scars start playing up. Let’s not talk about it.

Team Trump behaved like a bull in a china shop. ‘Ignoring convention,’ they called it. Not inhibited by too much knowledge or understanding.

Maybe one thing he did right, not being any less a con artist than the Palestinian dictators. He said: They don’t want to talk for 70 years already? Fine, ignore them. We’ll say that they’re welcome to return to the negotiation table, but until they do, let’s talk between the parties who are sick and tired of those obstructionist leaders. That was a breakthrough.

But at what cost? Emboldening the stupid who believe in a two-state solution, just when the Israeli consensus had become that such a thing was impossible on Israeli soil. Maybe in Jordan, but not here.

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 (, 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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