English Jews are experiencing a wrenching time. They struggle with anti-Jew hatred from migrants, knife attacks, vandalism to their synagogues and Jewish schools. The perfidious anti-Semitism in all its vizards once pervading the Labour Party gave it gravitas until the exorcism. It lingers in the larger society and on public display as pro-Palestinian activism.
Tenenbom wants to learn about Brexit but gets caught up in the Jewish questions. How pervasive is anti-Semitism in the United Kingdom? How are Jews responding? He takes to the streets and reports his findings in a new book.
Tenenbom chronicles his capers roaming through Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. He is more of a participant than a detached journalist. Anti-Semites, he reports, commonly disguise their positions as pro-Palestinian fulminations. Underneath it all lie traditional crude blood libels. For instance, a favorite indictment of the Jews is they purposely kill or support the killers of Palestinian Arab children.
Tuvia reports the findings in a solid, entertaining, and informative book, and best-selling e-book, titled The Taming of the Jew (Gefen Publishing, 2021/5781). His favorite theme is exposing the place of Jews living in free societies, in the age of tolerance, and how Jews respond.
Enjoy the humor and self-deprecation of Tenenbom’s writing. They are his hallmarks, but don’t give short shrift to the importance of his findings. He is genuine, remarkably sensitive to the surroundings, and insightful per Mead and Benedict, but funnier. Methods include driving the back roads, walking neighborhood streets, drinking in local pubs, eating in family restaurants, sleeping in off-beat hotels and engaging ordinary folk and influencers.
Tenenbom is relentless in questioning Christians about the Jews. He is no less relentless when talking with Jews about anti-Semitism. He presses everyone about the pro-Palestinian love affair promoted by politicians and NGOs.
Pro-Palestinian murals are eye-catching. Palestinian flags fly atop buildings. They wave at daily demonstrations and civic celebrations. Israel is the vilified and supporters denounced.
The Kingdom is Sick
Tenenbom is incredulous the anti-Semites spend time and treasure promoting the Palestinian cause when the Irish have their own Troubles, the Scots are pushing for independence from England, and Brexit. What can explain “the rift between the north and the south of Ireland, which exists to this day? Let me see if I got it: the English kill the Irish, and that’s why the Irish hate the Israelis-slash Jews?”
Tenenbom visits an Amnesty International bookstore in Newcastle and the Sinn Féin bookstore. He might have wanted information about Brexit but was absorbed and bemused by the displays of Palestinian flags and artifacts in Ireland prompting Tuvia to write, “clients are not necessarily book readers, but they love memorabilia, especially if it is directly related to Irish history and folklore. For example, colorful ‘Free Gaza’ T-shirts, or a nice selection of big Palestinian flags.”
A tourist can send a postcard home that reads, “Since 2000, over 1800 Palestinian children have been killed in Palestine by Israeli occupation forces and illegal settlers.”
They Tamed Their Jews
Tuvia has an unfortunate penchant for taking a few examples and directing his sarcasm at the entire Jewish community.
For instance, Tenenbom leaves the overall impression Jews are passive. They are ignoring the rising tide of anti-Semitism. One community leader opines that anti-Israel, former Labour Party leader Corbyn only needs more education about Israel and the Jews. An English Lord with money, power, and prestige keeps a flat in Jerusalem. He carries his passport and twenty-seven different currencies at all times and is “fully prepared to be kicked out by his countrymen at any time, any day.”
Some Jewish community leaders will not meet with Tenenbom. They do not want their comments about disconsolate environs made public.
Yet, Tenenbom ignores the uprising of Jews and others who ultimately ousted Jeremy Corbyn from Labour Party leadership. Rebels cited his collaboration with anti-Semites, infusing the Party platform with anti-Semitism, Corbyn’s anti-Zionism proclamations, and the Party’s tolerance for Holocaust denial.
In February 2019, Luciana Berger, Angela Smith, Mike Gapes, Chuka Umunnaand and others courageously quit the Party over the anti-Semitism. Corbyn’s Chief of Staff wrote with regret about those “F**king idiots. All the work I did to trigger them and they leave before I had the pleasure.” The Labour Party no longer promotes Corbyn’s views.
Despite predictions that 300,000 Jews might leave England, few are running away. Not to worry, observes a powerful Jewish English Lord. “We have police, we have security in this country. We’re living in a democracy,” he tells Tenenbom.
Tuvia’s response? “The non-Jews, the real lords of the land, have tamed their Jews just perfectly.”
Academic studies and Op-Eds like this one are no match for the way Tuvia Tenenbom peels-back the “hidden secrets” of society claiming Jews in the UK are fooling nobody but themselves. Read the book.
Also available on Amazon
Dr. Harold Goldmeier manages an investment firm, is a former Research and Teaching Fellow at Harvard University, and teacher to international university students in Tel Aviv. He served in the administrations of US governors and the Surgeon General, works as a commerce and industry consultant, writer, and public speaker.