"Thanks to you I will increase my donation to the New Israel Fund" This is what Labour peer Lord Mendelsohn said to Tuvia Tenenbom at the Finchley Synagogue, 5 March, 2016. He is probably still reeling from Tuvia's response!
Controversial Israeli writer Tuvia Tenenbom launched a 10-minute tirade against Labour peer Lord Mendelsohn during an address to Finchley Synagogue on Shabbat.
Mr Tenenbom, who was disinvited from a Limmud panel last December, accused Lord Mendelsohn through his association with the New Israel Fund of being a self-hating Jew, comparable to the Jews who collaborated with the Nazis and helped fund the rise of Adolf Hitler.
The Israeli-born writer had been invited to speak to the community about his book, ‘Catch the Jew!’
Lord Mendelsohn said of the incident: “I read Mr Tenenbom’s book, which addressed some well-known issues with the style you would expect of a strident polemic. What his verbal assault showed was that it was written by someone with a hate-filled, ugly and deeply prejudiced political personality. On balance it is probably better for him to stick to writing.”
He added: “It wasn’t what I had expected to happen between adon olam and a herring at Kiddush”.
Lord Mendelsohn is the President of the Commonwealth Jewish Council, Co-President of Norwood and a former Chairman of Kinloss Community Centre and Finchley Synagogue. He is a former member of the board of trustees of the New Israel Fund in Britain.
This replaces an earlier version of the story.
In response, Mr Tenenbom said:
"The depiction of the event at the synagogue lacks content. During my speech I gave numerous examples of findings made by New Israel Fund to various anti-Israel groups and people and I argued that by doing so the NIF has positioned itself as an organization made up of sworn, self-hating Jews, who deliberately undermine Israel’s cause by spreading unsubstantiated propaganda against Israel and her Jewish supporters in the Diaspora. To this, Lord Mendelsohn told me that I had reminded him he had not yet made his annual contribution to the NIF, but that now – thanks to
me - he will increase it.
"In reply, I said that his reaction to my comments about the New Israel Fund was itself an example of the Jewish self-hatred that I write about in my book, Catch the Jew! For him to brag about donating more to the NIF, and this after I had pointed out the rabid self-hate causes it supports with endless flow of cash, was nothing short than a living
proof to the uncritical, irrational, fundamentalist worldview that people like
this Lord suffer from."
In Catch the Jew! Tuvia Tenenbom uses humor and charm to explore life in Israel and Palestine. In the course of his research he uncovers an international agenda to find fault with Jews and Israel. These people have one goal; to Catch the Jew doing something wrong! To buy "Catch the Jew!" on Amzon.com click here.