Tuvia Tenenbom: What Do Americans Really Think of Israel?

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This video encapsulates meaningful dialogue on Tuvia Tenebom’s book, What do Americans Really think of Israel, which expounds on some ideas that while the American government is usually on good terms with Israel, not all American citizens are quite so enthusiastic about supporting Israel. Whether Americans will be so open in sharing their true feelings about Israel out of fear of being called racist or anti-Semitic is hard to quantify given it is based on truthful self-reporting.

Tuvia, who was born into Orthodox Judaism and has since drifted from being the most observant, and his wife traveled around America for several months prior to the 2016 presidential campaign collecting first-hand testimony and experiences to base the literary work on.

“I liked the idea of doing a book about America,” Tuvia told the Jewish Standard. “I wrote a book about Germany that was very critical about Germany. I wrote a book about Israel and I found a lot of anti-semitism. I needed a change. I came here, to this country, to the goldene medina, with $400 to my name, and I got the chance to form myself from nothing. I wanted to say thank you to America. I wanted the chance to travel around America, and write a praise-and-glory book about it.”

Yet, Tuvia’s travels left him quite disappointed in the land of the Stars and Stripes.

“I found that America is different from the one I expected,” Tuvia revealed. “I found an America that, sadly, is deeply racist. I found an America with too many weak parts. I found an America that doesn’t care. I found that people in America were fearful. I was looking for the home of the brave, and I couldn’t find it.”

Tuvia further expressed his dismay and disappointment that liberals did not like the Jewish people because of hatred of Israel, conservatives did not like Jews simply for no other reason than being Jewish, a self-identified correlation between those who supported climate change also not supporting the Jewish state, anti-semitism on American college campuses, and has recorded Jewish people speaking badly about their own people and homeland.

“I came out feeling that America has no right to invade any other country and preach democracy, when the society that we built here is heartless and racist, and we are all deplorable...all of us,” Tuvia expressed. “We don’t care for the poor among us, the sick among us, the downtrodden among us. We just don’t...care.”

Granted this is one person’s opinion, but as are we all, Tuvia is granted his opinion of the United States based on the testimonies and experiences he personally encountered visiting this nation. He also has the freedom of speech to articulate his findings whether one agrees with those findings or not.

“My job is to tell people what I saw, and to give voice to reality,” Tuvia stated. “To give voice to the facts. I am not siding with the whites or the blacks or the browns or the yellows. Not with the rich or the poor, with the Democrats or the Republicans. It is my job to be a tape recorder. It is my job to interview you, and whatever you say, to put it in. It is not my job to make it clean. I want you to know, to find out, to know what reality is. If you can see the world clearly, maybe you can do something about it. Maybe you can change the world. One person can change the world.”

Written by Erin Parfet

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