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

Understanding abusers doesn’t justify abusiveness

I’d like to take an opportunity to expand on the principles (rather than the actual facts) of the ex-MK accused of being dangerous to women and girls.

The politician claims libel. But, in his court filings, he says: “What I wrote was wrong. I take responsibility for it. But I am not some dangerous monster who is out there hurting women and I won’t be engaging in any ‘friendly’ communication with any women other than my wife.”

Yet, as I mentioned yesterday, no one says sex offenders must look like monsters. The law doesn’t demand proof the accused was sub-human.

To go a little into the particulars of this case, in his court papers, he sounds as if saying: “I was hurting and I meant no harm. If she doesn’t understand that, she’s malicious.” (I’m not saying that he sexually intimidated her.}

Yet, Israeli law is the most advanced of the world on this subject. Guilty is when someone merely feels frightened. Which is a correct sensitivity of the law. What right has anyone to scare others?!

What is consistent with most abusers here (but I’m not saying he actually abused her), is that he shows no regard for what she feels. It’s like saying (no, he didn’t say this — it’s an exaggeration to clarify my point): “I raped you but I meant no harm; but you are angry with me and want to curtail me so you are the wicked harmful one here.” What stands out is his total disregard for the victims. Why doesn’t 10% of his empathy go to them? Of course, it’s pure sexism to not see a woman’s side of things and to think, as a man, that women are just here to serve men and make them feel good.

I showed before that generally, abusers victimize while feeling the victim. This must be their childhood victimhood that made them callous, self-centered, and life-long victims. They rather harm than being vulnerable and risk ever getting hurt again. Chronic abusers frequently are also con artists, but when they claim that they are the victim, they often mean it.

Nobody is born an abuser. Abusers are made. Which doesn’t mean that they have no responsibility to prevent handing down their pain. We can understand abusers but we cannot justify their violation of others. When we equate history with cause, we just did away with free will. When you were vulnerable and defenseless, you were taught what is sexual abuse. But now you are big and independent, you must be with the good guys.

Equating understanding with pardoning erases all culpability. It means too: we all can just do what we feel like and disregard all effects on others.

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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