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

Why the size of Jerusalem March for Pride and Tolerance disappointed organizers

Last year’s Jerusalem’s Pride March was an unexpected record-breaking 22,000 people, many of them religious heterosexuals, fed-up with and embarrassed by the unabashed bigotry and hatred of hundreds of Israeli rabbis.

This year the organizers expected 30,000 demonstrators. This seemed not too much as a demonstration in Tel Aviv against a new anti-gay law just weeks ago draw 100,000 people.

I expected to blog why it was a new record again, but I’m forced to write about something else. “Only” 20,000 people showed up. That’s still almost as much as the whopping size of last year’s March but it’s not a record and organizers admitted to having been a bit disappointed.

They say that size doesn’t matter but it does. And we should learn from mistakes not to repeat them.

First of all, there were a lot of favorable conditions.

What Helped the March’ Size

  • As mentioned above, a demonstration in Tel Aviv against a new anti-gay law just weeks ago draw 100,000 people. Every year, the Jerusalem March is the last in a row, a concluding party that draws gays and allies from all over the country. It’s more subdued and self-restrained than in less-holy cities, but Jerusalem is seen more-and-more as Israel’s Capital and so it seemed reasonable to expect a new record attendance.
  • The weather was wonderful. After weeks of sweltering heat, only interrupted by a cool day on the Fast of Tisha be’Av, G^d again showed His mercy by making Jerusalem Pride Day cloudy with an afternoon temperature of only 30 degrees Celsius. That should help.
  • Individually and collectively (with some fake media agreeing), again, many Israeli rabbis felt an urge to insult and attack anyone non-straight, uninhibited by humbleness (Avot 5 calls arrogance one of the three hallmarks of enemies of the Jews, together with only seeing the bad and being bloated) or empathy. Astonishingly, they were not stopped by any consideration that the blood of their gay congregants who suffer or commit suicide is on their hands.
  • Just before the Parade, a Hebrew intellectual newspaper refused a pro-gay ad. They were more afraid to lose “conservative” readers than avoiding the truth, even in an advertisement.
  • Even the metrosexual anchors of the archconservative Arutz 7 were allowed to report positively about the GLBTQ+ cause! This happened the day after the same station “by mistake” had posted (and quickly removed) a piece implicitly calling for the extermination of gays.

Secondly, there were some things that must have reduced the number of marchers.

What Hindered the March’ Size

  • This year, after 250 Israeli rabbis attacked homosexuals and transgenders in the most-foul words, the media reported a day before the March, that 75 Israeli and US “liberal Orthodox Rabbis and others” had sighed a counter-declaration. The intolerance of the rabbis, I believe, was the main force between the record set last year. But this counter-declaration undoes that. If it’s just a dispute between the rabbis, who needs to interfere. (On closer inspection, the list hardly contains any Orthodox rabbi and not one single Israeli Orthodox rabbi. It was just fine-print bluff, USers seeking the limelight. Israelis (any many other nationals) don’t like it when USers tell us what to do and how superior they are.) Big mistake. Instead, the truth should have been stressed that thousands of Israeli Orthodox rabbis stayed silent.
  • The Tal Aviv demonstration was clear enough. It didn’t need a repeat. Organizers should have stressed what other GLBTQ causes people also should march for in Jerusalem. I’m not attacking the organizers. Hindsight is the only perfect vision – it can teach us.
  • It’s a tactical mistake to let politicians (and I mean any politician) speak at the really. Human rights are not owned by the Left. You chase away Right-Wing allies if you do. Declarations (or silence) by candidates for the elections of Jerusalem Mayor about being for or against the March, should be countered by the organizers saying that their support or lack of it is irrelevant. Stop politicizing the issue.


  • It was still a sizable March. What was a whopping 22,000 last year cannot be a mere 20,000 this year. It was a big Parade and success.
  • Finally, the police got their act together, with 2,500 law enforcement personnel (one on every eight marchers), almost giving the demonstrators celebrity status.
  • The rabbis who defamed GLBTQs should each be charged in court. Either they are convicted or it will show that we need a law against calling innocent vulnerable people names. Win-win. This should be done before they learn how to speak from both corners of their mouths.
  • Let’s hope next year’s Parade can be more a celebration and commemoration than a protest and encouragement to the ones in the closet. With the rabbis acknowledging that Judaism only forbids homosexual intercourse to heterosexual men and asking forgiveness for their decades of confusion, cruel abuse and indifference.


Allow me, now we’re talking about GLBTQ Oppression, to comment on something related in the news.

A closeted US Neo-Nazi of 20 stabbed his 19-year old gay Jewish “friend” to death. He claimed that the victim had tried to kiss him. He is now charged with an anti-gay hate crime, facing a stiffer penalty. But this is by his own admission that makes him seem kind-of innocent. He was only defending himself against this vile pervert, no? As Neo-Nazi, he should not be believed and be charged with a hate crime of killing a Jew.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, previously a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. He's proud that his analytical short comments are removed both from left-wing and right-wing news sites. None of his content is generated by the new bore on the block, AI. * As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. Or not at all because he doesn't claim G^d talks to him. He gives him good ideas—that's all. MM doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and educations contribute to his visions. * This year, he will prioritize getting his unpublished books published rather than just blog posts. Next year, he hopes to focus on activism against human extinction. To find less-recent posts on a subject XXX among his over 2000 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe too, here: or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. However, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people when don't deserve that. (Yet, we all make honest mistakes, which is just fine and does not justify losing support.) He admits that he sometimes exaggerates 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. * Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight reality), 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), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. * Chronologically, his most influential teachers 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. This short list doesn't mean to disrespect others who taught him a lot or a little. One of his rabbis calls him Mr. Innovation [Ish haChidushim]. Yet, his originalities seem to root deeply in traditional Judaism, though they may grow in unexpected directions. In fact, he claims he's modernizing nothing. Rather, mainly basing himself on the basic Hebrew Torah text, he tries to rediscover classical Jewish thought almost lost in thousands of years of stifling Gentile domination and Jewish assimilation. (He pleads for a close reading of the Torah instead of going by rough assumptions of what it would probably mean and before fleeing to Commentaries.) This, in all aspects of life, but prominently in the areas of Free Will, Activism, Homosexuality for men, and Redemption. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. When he can, he loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. Read his blog on how he attempts to bridge any tensions between those ideas or fields. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to his parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too, and decades more to admit to being a genius. But his humility was his to keep. And so was his honesty. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. He hopes to bring new things and not just preach to the choir. * He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, powerful therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. 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 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. 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 an original peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. * His newest books you may find here:
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