Two months ago, I had the unexpected pleasure of spending the afternoon with author/journalist Tuvia Tenenbom. Upon learning about his best-selling book, Catch the Jew!, I ventured to a local bookstore to purchase a copy and begin reading.
An insightful and often comical commentary of Tuvia’s seven-month trip to Israel in 2013, readers will follow this “Master Spy” into the cities few risk going in search of the truth about Israel.
Unafraid of the dangers, Tuvia adopts multiple identities to accomplish his mission — Tobi (the German Aryan), Abu Ali (the Muslim), and Tuvia (the Jew) — and finds himself breaking bread with people like Jibril Rajoub (former leader of the Palestinian Preventative Security Force), Amos Oz (author), Gideon Levy (Israeli journalist for Haaretz), Knesset members, human rights activities, NGO organizations, ex-Jews, and bedouins! As he listens to both sides of the Arab-Jew conflict and other political topics, Tuvia challenges beliefs and questions the statistics. Unapologetic in his observations, he isn’t shy to expose Palestinian propaganda, crazy Rabbinic customs, ridiculous oxymoronic beliefs, and Europe’s not-so-secret ploy to promote antisemitism. While many journalists strive to capitalize on the suffering of others for the sake of their story, Tuvia’s kind heart shines through the pages as he really looks at the people in front of him and hears what they have to say.
Catch the Jew! was an enlightening and refreshing book because it wasn’t about hearing one voice or opinion but many, with a commentator who didn’t just accept what he was told but nit-picked the answers for possible holes. Though I was not too fond of some of the cruder parts of his writing, I appreciated Tuvia’s use of humor to make this an entertaining and often satirical read. I am in awe of all he accomplished and the places he managed to infiltrate despite being an Israeli-born Jew! He broke all the barriers to create a book that hopefully opens readers’ eyes and removes systemic hatred toward Israel! In a time where information is at our fingertips, it’s vital to check our sources and not blindly believe everything we read or hear — especially on mainstream media. Thank you, Tuvia, for risking your life to discover the truth of culture, belief, and propaganda.
Whether you support Israel or are unsure of the politics surrounding the world’s most controversial country, I highly recommend reading Catch the Jew!, and learning the facts few want to reveal!