Tuvia Tenenbom: In the Land of the Free, the Brave Are Quiet (EXCERPT)
The following is an excerpt from theater director, author and journalist Tuvia Tenenbom’s newly released book, The Lies They Tell, an account of the Americans he encountered on a cross-country trip to meet with people from all walks of life: from ghettos to gated communities, from churches to Indian reservations, talking to skinheads and senators, soldiers and intellectuals — to get to the bottom of how they think, and why. In the passage below, he describes a New York experience.
I’m in New York, I am invited to countless parties and events, but say no to all – except one. US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power is to speak at the Roosevelt Hotel as part of a conference organized by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz and an American Jewish organization, New Israel Fund (NIF), both avowed progressive liberal institutions.
I enjoyed listening to Samantha months ago in New York, at Abe Foxman’s tribute at the Waldorf-Astoria, and I’d like to hear her again. I go to the conference. I’m not alone. About one thousand people, almost all of them liberal American Jews, are in attendance.
I’m a little early for Samantha’s speech and so I stand outside and smoke. Near me is a top NIF official and we talk a bit. She tells me that about 70 percent of American Jews hold the same views as NIF, and she also tells me that there are fifty speakers at this conference, forty-nine of whom are liberals and one of whom is conservative.
What happened to the liberals? They are progressing, it seems, to the Stone Age. Be that as it may, it does arouse my attention and I go up to hear some of the forty-niners.
What a show! Here I hear a lady, by the name of Suhad Babaa, who talks of “Palestinian boys killed in broad daylight by Israeli soldiers” as an example of the brutal and lawless Jews. The audience, liberal American Jews, applaud. Don’t ask me to explain.
Amira Hass, a Haaretz columnist, tells these American Jews: “Anybody who intends to emigrate to Israel is about to commit a crime.” The Jewish state, if you didn’t know, is a criminal state.
The Jews applaud.
Bridget Todd, a black lady who is associated with Black Lives Matter, shares the stage with Amira. What is she doing here? I can’t tell, but it’s definitely an effective visual tool to illustrate to Americans what the Jews are doing worldwide: murdering non-whites.
What else do I see here? Roger Waters is sitting in the front row of the main hall, being glorified by a Haaretz fellow who tells him how pleased he is to see such an important man at this conference. Roger, co-founder of the old favorite English rock band Pink Floyd, is still in the music business. But besides music, he has some other things on his mind, such as comparing Israel to Nazi Germany and engaging in endless activism against Israel.
The Jews here love him for that. And they applaud at the mere mention of his name.
This conference is called HaaretzQ, where the “Q” stands for question, but nobody is questioning anything. Everybody here has the answers, all the answers. And they talk. The forty-niners say, for example, that Jewish Voice for Peace, whose activists I met while in DC and by whom I was told that I’m a fat, filthy Jew, is an exemplary organization.
All in all, it is bizarre to watch. Every time someone says that the Jews are horrible, are criminals and thieves, one thousand American Jews applaud.
When I met Abe Foxman, over six months ago, he talked to me about the Jews who wouldn’t produce shows or films about Israel and other Jewish issues. But this belongs in the past. Today’s American Jewish liberals speak loud and clear about Israel and the Jews: they would love both to disappear. What’s “liberal” in this? I have no idea. I think it’s the opposite of anything liberal.
An Austrian Jew, now living in New York and active in liberal causes, tells me that he’s enjoying every moment of being here. What’s here to enjoy? Every speaker says that the Jews are horrible, and you are enjoying it? I ask him. “I’m a masochist,” he replies.
If I am to believe what the people here say, then the Jewish state is made of ruthless killers and sadistic butchers. Yes, as simple as that: Jews are sadistic butchers. Period.
I’m not going to pass judgment but if this is true, Adolf Hitler was right and it’s too bad that he didn’t finish the job.
Samantha: What exactly are you doing here?
When an administration joins in the self-destruction of its citizens – be it the self-killing of the black, the self-hatred of the Jew or the self-rape of the Native American – it automatically becomes an accomplice to their annihilation.
Hello, Samantha, do you hear me?
The America I find is not the America I wished to find. It is racist, it is hateful and its citizens are bound to destroy themselves. Be they blacks and some Spanish who have nothing better to do with their time than shoot each other in the head; be they Jews who are possessed by a terrifyingly psychotic illness of self-hate; be they Indians who have given up any semblance of spirituality in exchange for acres and casinos; or be they all the others: whites, the rest of the Spanish, Muslims, Mormons and others who live in fear of one another.
What about diversity?
Yes, American society is diverse, but this does not mean that Americans are not segregated; they are. The “melting pot” of America has been quite successful in forcing individuals to forsake their ancestors’ cultures, but it has given them nothing worthwhile in return. Through the process of forcibly dumping its citizens into a giant boiling pot of diversity and shaming them if they are not proud of it, America’s democracy succeeded in instilling fear in the minds of its citizens and effectively created a stench of segregation that reaches the highest heavens.
One side effect of this process, which only outstanding psychologists will be able to explain, is the high degree of patriotism found within this country’s borders. These American patriots, by a strange psychological coincidence, convince themselves that they are the only true guardians of culture and morality and therefore it is their duty to invade and bombard foreign countries that do not abide by their sense of morality and ethics. Knowingly or not, they rush to commit and undertake every failed deed ever committed by the Europeans.
A telling effect of the forced melting pot is the majority of Americans who are afraid to share their political and religious views with strangers. In the Land of the Free, the Brave are quiet.
There is a component of the melting pot that often bewilders me: people who passionately argue that America is not a “melting pot” but a “mosaic” of cultures or, as others prefer to call it, a “multicultural” society. Those people have, however, been so thoroughly melted that for the life of them they can’t identify a single part of their mosaic or one unique culture of the “multi” – no matter how many times you ask them.
I’m no authority on climate change, as I have said, but from a social perspective America is definitely getting warmer, melting in the blazing fires of its own making.
Sometimes, I must admit, as I drove around meeting people I had this feeling that America is one huge Ponky Shmonk, a kindergarten otherwise known as the USA. Like misbehaving little kids, Americans are ever worried that somebody out there will “out” them one day and tell everybody what they really think. But the problem is that Americans are not children; they have huge bombs and sometimes they like to drop them. America is also one of the strongest economies in the world, and at times the strongest of them all, but can humanity rely on this country?
The Lies They Tell was published by Gefen Publishing.