Socrates in the Holy Land: Speaking Truth to Power, With Chutzpah

Lying is a virtue. That is a concept that the major forces of anti-Semitism in the world – Leftists and Jihadists – share. A leading Sandinista official once described the Marxist-Leninist doctrine of Revolutionary Truth as “What is true is what serves the ends of the revolution.” The Jihadist doctrine of Taqiyya is no different.

This is the enemy Tuvia Tenenbom confronts in Catch The Jew!, his on-the-ground exposé of anti-Semitic European NGOs operating in Israel, and their willful executioners in the Jewish state.

The fault line between intellectuals and intelligent people is as wide as people’s capacity for self-delusion. Imagine people claiming to be biblical scholars who know not even the most basic tenets of biblical religion. Imagine a mission from a medical organization with people who have no medical training. Imagine going to a Holocaust museum and having, as a tour guide, a self proclaimed “ex-Jew” who makes excuses for the Holocaust. All of this was discovered by Tuvia in his 6-month unguided schlep through Israel and Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank,” the so-called “Occupied Territories”).

As Tuvia writes to one of his critics:

On almost any given day NGO activists escort journalists to Palestinian cities and towns, where they witness the Palestinian poverty stories as reported by their colleagues in the media … But I took an extra step: I kept on walking, to places where no activist wanted me to go. What did I see? Shack-living Bedouins driving expensive Mercedes while communicating on their newest iPhones; “homeless” Palestinians who in reality live in gated communities; Europeans teaching Arabs how best to fight Jews; self-hating Jews, financed by moneys from abroad, instigating Arabs against Jews; Jews who run out of fear of being shot – and many, many other facts that left me speechless. For example: Would you believe that an abode which looks like a shack is actually a palace inside, its exterior well hiding the nicest of furniture and most expensive of technology? Did you know that European governments, and some American Jewish foundations, pay Arabs to settle illegally next to Israeli Army bases? Did you know that the EU sponsors tours to Yad Vashem in order to convince young tourists that the Holocaust didn’t really happen the way the Jews say it did? Did you know that the Red Cross, the guardian of the Geneva Conventions, claims that Israel is the only country not abiding by international humanitarian laws? Did you know that Doctors Without Borders is very busy inventing diseases, just so that they could blame Israel of causing them? Did you know that some big American Jewish organizations are footing the bills for anti-Israel propaganda? Did you know that European countries invest millions upon millions every year to destabilize Israel? Did you know that “peace activists” encourage Arab kids to throw stones at Jewish girls? Did you know that journalists make up stories about events they have never seen and places they have never visited?

Using the Socratic method, Tuvia can draw out the truth from even the most audacious liars.

And there is no bigger lie than the disinformation regarding Israeli “repression” of the Palestinians, their rights, and their living conditions. Therefore, this review will heavily focus on Tuvia’s debunking of this slander.

At one of the European Union-funded “universities,” the following exchange took place:

I got to the office nearby to figure out what kind of university this really is, with two students to a class. A man sits by his desk and gladly answers my questions. “The Occupation,” he says, talking of the Israelis, “is throwing Muslim residents out of their houses in east Jerusalem and putting Jews in instead.”

When? Now?

“All the time!”

How many houses?

“Many!”

How many?

“Everywhere.”

How many?

“Thirty!”

Thirty?

“Thirty.”

How long have they, the occupiers, been around here? I mean, if we count from 1967, then –

“No, from 1948!”

He’s talking about the establishment of the State of Israel.

Okay, 1948. Thirty houses since 1948: that’s less than half a house per year –

“We cannot fix our own houses here, they won’t let us!”

This place looks quite nice, and quite fixed.

“Look up! You see the paint coming off?” I see. That’s the size of a half a page. Can’t you paint it over?

“No! The Occupiers won’t let us!”

And consider this conversation with a Red Cross official on the way to Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem:

“They [Israel] will demolish your house if you cannot prove ownership, but to prove ownership is very hard because the original papers might have been filed with the Ottomans, with the British or even with the Israelis, but the papers are somewhere in some safe. If you cannot prove ownership for the past thirty years, they will force you out. This is not all: if you add a balcony to your house they will evict you and demolish your house.”

This is really bad. How many homes have been demolished in Sheikh Jarrah so far?

He tries to add them all up in his mind and by the end of the process he comes up with the exact sum: zero.

With all the billions of donors of NGO money flowing into the Judea and Samaria, the economy of these areas are anything but poor. With all of the beautiful houses and top-of-the-line German automobiles in the Arab sections of Hebron, the media is forced to focus on the 3% of the city that is poor in order to create a sob story. What is not mentioned is that the poor section of the city is the only place where the Jews are allowed to live. But the Left looks at even this as a Jewish, anti-Palestinian conspiracy, as Tuvia recounts:

I board a “Special,” a taxi for more than one party, into Jerusalem, sitting next to an intellectual looking lady.

We talk.

She is from Bethlehem, and she works for an environment-conscious Non-Governmental Organization.

How many NGOs are there in this land? I ask her.

“Thousands. In Bethlehem alone we have about one hundred.”

Her name is Nur, and she’s indeed an intellectual. She has studied much and she practices what she knows. She’s paid well, she says, and lives very comfortably, thanks to the Americans, Germans, and the rest of the EU, who are paying her salary.

“In Palestine the economy is NGO. Palestine is an NGO country. We call it ‘NGO Palestine.’ Who pays our government leaders? NGOs. Almost nothing is manufactured here, nothing grows here or is produced here except for NGOs. That’s it.”

Are you happy about it?

“In the short run, yes. But in the long run, this will kill us. One day the NGOs will go and we’ll have nothing. It’s not healthy for a country to live on handouts. We have a weak government, and one day we’ll pay for it. This is not real.”

Do you know of other countries that live like this?

“Only Palestine.”

The Western world cares only about you?

“No. The Jew tells them to do this!”

What?

“They throw all their money here into Palestine because they know that if they didn’t give the money to the Palestinians the Jews would have to do it, because Israel is an occupying power and occupiers must pay the people they occupy.”

Is that so? I mean, the Europeans and the Americans want to save the Jews money?

“Why else would they do it?”

When I saw Tuvia speak at NYU on June 9th, 2015, he demanded to know – “What happened to the Left?” But, I feel, it is the wrong question to ask. The real question should be: What is wrong with the Left? Why are their senses of right and wrong so easily manipulated?

The Left once recognized Israel for what it is, a democracy and a safe haven for Jews fleeing persecution. But after the 1967 war, the Soviet Union made the delegitimization of Israel a priority. The Left quickly followed the Party Line. In Germany, the communist Revolutionary Cells terrorist organization would team up with Palestinian terrorists to attack Jews, even helping them to commit the Munich Olympics Massacre. In England, Israeli representatives were banned by student groups because the UN had declared that Zionism is racism, a resolution organized and orchestrated by the Soviet Union. And during the Yom Kippur War, Israel was almost destroyed because so many of the Left-leaning European democracies refused to let United States aircraft, on a mission to send desperately needed supplies to Israel, land for refueling after crossing the atlantic.

It worked. Hatred of Israel and anti-semitism in Europe is now spreading beyond the Left. It is becoming mainstream in Europe.

But there is something else going on – something that Tuvia was able to pry out of PA official (and lifelong terrorist) Jibril Rajoub, when questioning him:

Why is there so much NGO money here? Is it because they love the Palestinians so much? Is it because they hate the Israelis very much?… Why would a country like Norway even care what’s going on here?

Jibril is surprised by my surprise. It is obvious, he argues, why Europe is getting involved; Europe want to protect itself and its citizens. What, don’t I read the news? He elaborates: “How many terror attacks happened in Europe, even in Germany, as a result of this conflict? How many? How many planes were hijacked? How many people were killed? Excuse me!” It is because of Europe’s involvement in the Middle East, he teaches me, that “blood shedding is no longer used to assure my national aspirations.”

In short: Palestinians now know that the world is not against them and so they don’t blow up planes in mid-flight.

To make sure I got him right, I ask him whether he just told me that terror would engulf Europe if it did not give money to the NGOs supporting Palestinians.

He realizes that he might have gone too far and he tries to correct himself:

“I think.” he switches mode, “that they are sympathizing with the suffering of Palestinians.”

An agreement like this goes back to the 1970s, when there were Palestinians committing terrorist attacks against European targets (remember The Terror Network?). The agreement was that the Europeans would look the other way when Palestinian terrorists targeted Jews in Europe, so long as they didn’t kill “their own” citizens. Aldo Moro wrote about it while he was being held by the Red Brigades: “Liberty (with expatriation) was conceded to Palestinians, to avoid grave risks of reprisals. Not once, but many times, detained Palestinians were released by various mechanisms. The principle was accepted… The necessity of straining formal legality was recognized…”

Now, apparently, a new dimension is added to this agreement. Now the Europeans pay the Palestinians not to blow them up, as well as paying for their propaganda. This is a confirmation that the Europeans are, yet again, willing to sacrifice Jews in the name of appeasement.

This is why there must be a Jewish state, and why it must have unequaled military strength – and the support of the United States.

Tuvia Tenenbom is a modern-day Socrates – and these are his dialogues. Catch The Jew! should be read and regarded as the indispensable, revealing inquiry that it is.


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