Catch the Jew! recounts the adventures of gonzo journalist Tuvia Tenenbom, who wanders around Israel and the Palestinian Authority for seven months in search of the untold truths in today's Holy Land. With holy chutzpah, Tenenbom boldly goes where no Jew has gone before, at times risking his life as he assumes the identities of Tobi the German and even Abu Ali in order to probe into the many stories in this strange land and poke holes in all of them.
From the self-hating leftists in Tel Aviv to the self-promoting PLO execs in Ramallah, from the black-clad Haredim of Bet Shemesh to the glowing foreign human-rights activists in Beit Hanina, from Jewish settlers and the Christians who come from abroad to toil with them to ardent Jerusalem monks and Bedouins in surprisingly glorious shacks, Tenenbom takes on the people of the land, getting to know them and disarming them as he breaks bread and mingles with anyone and everyone.
Does Palestinian wife number one hate the Jews more than she hates wife number two? Who finances cash-rich NGOs pursuing a Judenrein Israel? Who sets Palestinian olive groves on fire and why? What is the emotional gravity that pulls idealistic human-rights activists from other countries to Israel and only to Israel? Who are the flaming feminists who sacrifice their lives for the rights of polygamists? Whose land is this, anyway?
By turns poignant, enraging, and laugh-out-loud funny, this unique travelogue lays bare the intensity of this turbulent land in an unprecedented, eye-opening education, person by person, city by city, and meal by meal. You will never look at Israel the same way again.
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Difficult to read
I thought the author's opinions of the people he meets very insulting. He writes in a very condescending tone. I acknowledged this is supposed to be somewhat satirical but I found the writing quite tedious. The author seems to believe he's a lot more witty and clever than he actually is!
It seemed like the author considers the problems of the Middle East one big joke and didn't seem to be able to take anyone seriously. I found his musings about his surroundings very juvenile with little understanding of the nuances of the characters, history and passion of the people and places he encounters.
I couldn't even get through half of it!
A waste of my book credit!
A more truthful and honest take on the Israeli-Arab fighting
- Aaron Margulies "Ani Rotseh Likroh"