A journalist hits the pavement to investigate anti-Semitism in the UK and Ireland

British Jews went through a wrenching time recently.  They struggled with anti-Semitism pervading the Labor Party.  Liberal Jews wavered for a time before deciding they could no longer be one of them.

Tuvia Tenenbom wanted to learn how pervasive anti-Semitism is in the United Kingdom and Ireland.  How are Jews responding?  He took to the streets and reports his findings in a new book.  

Tenenbom chronicles his capers through the U.K. and Ireland.  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 that they purposely kill or support the killers of Palestinian children.

He reports everything in a solid, self-published ebook, a bestseller titled The Taming of the Jew.  His favorite theme is exposing the place of Jews living in the U.K. and Ireland, in the age of tolerance.

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 his surroundings, and insightful, per Mead and Benedict, but funnier.  His 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 everywhere.  Palestinian flags fly atop buildings and wave at daily demonstrations.  Israel is 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 the Amnesty International bookstore in Scotland and the Sinn Féin bookstore in Ireland.  They sell Palestinian flags and artifacts.  Tenenbom writes, "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

One failing of Tenenbom is his penchant for taking a few examples and directing his sarcasm at the entire Jewish community.

For instance, Tenenbom leaves the overall impression that Jews are passive.  They ignore the rising tide of anti-Semitism.  One community leader opines that anti-Israel former Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn only needs more education about Israel and the Jews.  There is the English lord with money, power, and prestige.  The lord 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 fear his disarming style and his penetrating questioning.  Most of all, they do not want their comments about disconsolate environs to be public.

Yet Tenenbom ignores the uprising of Jews and others who ultimately ousted Jeremy Corbyn from Labor Party leadership.  Rebels cite his collaboration with anti-Semites, infusing the party platform with anti-Semitism, his 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 anti-Semitism.  Corbyn's chief of staff wrote: "F------ idiots.  All the work I did to trigger them and they leave before I had the pleasure."  The Labor 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 are no match for the way Tuvia Tenenbom peels back the "hidden secrets" of society, claiming that Jews in the U.K. are fooling nobody but themselves.

Dr. Goldmeier is a manager of an investment firm, a former research and teaching fellow at Harvard University, and a teacher to international university students in Tel Aviv.  He served in the administrations of U.S. governors and the surgeon general.  Goldmeier a commerce and industry consultant, writer, and public speaker.

Image: Nerivill via Pixabay, Pixabay License.

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