I once hosted a meeting at my home. The doorbell rang and the man who stood there introduced himself as “Daled Amos.”
Okay, sure, why not?
The next gentleman who arrived introduced himself as “Elder of Zion.”
At some point Sultan Knish and Ibn Warraq also joined us; Brian of London was too far away. These pseudonyms, clearly required in these times, ensure them a place in history.
Once everyone had arrived, my living and dining rooms literally vibrated with wit and brilliance and passion. The Cognitive Warriors had assembled.
Last night was a night just like that.
Yes, Elder was happily here again but this time he was joined by my dear friends Dr. Mordechai Kedar and his charming wife, the musician and singer, Rhyna; Tuvia Tenenbom and his deceptively quiet but all-perceptive wife and collaborator, Isi; and Naomi Wolinsky and her husband Steve, my beloved shul mates and Torah study partners.
Kedar held forth. Tenenbom held forth. Every word mattered. Kedar explained that the word “peace” in Arabic is misunderstood.
“Any Muslim peace agreement with infidels is a cease fire, not a peace which leads to normalization of any kind.”
While such a cease fire might allow for a limited number of projects that benefit the Muslim, Arab country (military security, water-power, employment of Arab Muslims), it does not mean that Israel and its people will be welcomed, visited, and embraced or that Arab Muslim delegates won’t walk out when an Israeli diplomat takes the floor.
Once, after a long and friendly dinner, Kedar asked two Arab Muslim diplomats for any other reason that a “cold peace” could not lead to a real and enduring peace.
Their answer was heartbreaking. Essentially, they said—they could not afford to treat Israel any better than one Arab country treats another!
Kedar also explained:
“Today, Israel is almost on the back burner. The real fight is now between two streams of Sunni Islam. One (Wahabi-style Islam) supports the government or the monarchy no matter what. The other (Muslim Brotherhood-style Islam) supports opposing any government which is not enforcing Sharia Law. And both streams oppose Shiia Islam.”
And there is the matter of Qutar and Iran….oh, the words flew hotly and thickly.
Tenenbom, a most colorful character, but no clown, a divine and outrageous truth-teller, has a new book coming out shortly. It is titled: Hello, Refugees! It reveals the horrifying and hidden reality of the refugee camps in Germany—the very camps for which Chancellor Merkel takes so much pride, perhaps as cover for the rising anti-Semitism in Germany and everywhere else. And for Germany’s long-time racism.
On July 25th, in NYC, Tenebom will be debating Peter Beinart at the Jewish Theater. I’m planning to attend what is bound to be a spectacle-for-the-ages.
Isi Tenenbom had the most interesting tale which she shared. Once, when she was covering a world conference in Jordan for the German media, she asked the Arab diplomats, all of whom exited when the Israeli diplomat got up to speak, why they did so.
“As a woman, they did not take me seriously, they thought that I really did not, could not, understand. Women are all helpless little girls. Thus, they told me the truth.”
“We cannot stay and listen to an Israeli diplomat speak. Israel is not on our maps. It is not in school books. Israel does not exist. How, then, can we stay and hear someone from a non-existent Israel speak?”
The other Tenenbom, Tuvia, penned a bestselling book with the title “I Sleep In Hitler’s Room.” Apparently, there is a bed in a hotel room, somewhere deep in the heart of Germany, in which Hitler actually once slept. Tuvia-the-comic took off on a fantasy in which Jew after Jew comes to sleep in the dead Hitler’s room. A grim and pointless comeuppance, but unexpectedly funny.
Kedar and I talked about a tribal culture in which anything one says is as true as anything else that can be said. Lies—really Big Lies—if they increase one’s honor and the honor of one’s people are, by definition, true. One must truly comprehend this about the East if one is to understand anything.
Thus, when debating a pro-Palestinian UN employee about “Palestine,” one must ask the usual and always unanswered questions about what the names of the Palestinian King and capital city were 100 years ago; what kind of currency was used 100 years ago, etc.
Then, one can really be mischievous by pointing out that the Jews were the only indigenous people in Israel for thousands of years in a sovereign Judea and Shomron; and that when our ancestors were obeying the law, (or at least had a law to disobey!), their ancestors were drinking alcohol and worshipping idols—hardly an Islamic thing to do.
“Or, in a debate, one can ask: When did the Palestinians first emerge as a people? One’s opponents might answer: Ten thousand years ago. Then, one must say: No. It was thirty thousand years ago! How can this be rejected since it increases the honor of the Palestinian Lie. One can also insist that Palestinians were there even before the dinosaurs….”
Jews have to laugh at the insane and diabolical Big Lies that we are forced to confront.
We lingered, how we lingered late into the evening…
By: Phyllis Chesler