Barred speaker says he won’tbe­com­ing­back

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY SANDY RASHTY

A LIM­MUD or­gan­iser has stood by the de­ci­sion to pre­vent right-wing jour­nal­ist Tu­via Te­nen­bom from tak­ing his place on a panel with less than 24 hours’ no­tice.

Is­rael-bornMrTe­nen­bomwas­booked to take part in seven ses­sions at the con­fer­ence in Birm­ing­ham last week.

But he was told he was not needed for his last panel, ti­tled “Jewish night­mares, ex­as­per­a­tions and broi­guses”, af­ter his con­tro­ver­sial views sparked com­plaints from pre­vi­ous ses­sions.

Dur­ingth­e­con­fer­ence,MrTe­nen­bom — who is due to talk about his best­seller Catch The Jew at Jewish Book Week next month — had claimed that most Amer­i­can Jews were self-hat­ing and that most Ger­mans to­day were an­ti­semitic, as were Euro­peans in gen­eral.

Keith Kahn-Har­ris, who helped to de­vise the con­fer­ence, said that he made the de­ci­sion to take Mr Te­nen­bom off the panel the day be­fore the Thurs­day ses­sion, af­ter he con­sulted con­fer­ence chair Kevin Sefton.

He ini­tially claimed that the de­ci­sion was prompted by lo­gis­ti­cal con­cerns rather than be­cause of Mr Te­nen­bom’s views.

Mr K a h n -

Tu­via Te­nen­bom Har­ris — who sat on the panel with fem­i­nist Elana Sz­tok­man, Lim­mud pre­sen­ter Daniel Shine and Lim­mud co-founder Alas­tair Falk — later added: “I knew it was a de­ci­sion that [Mr Te­nen­bom] would not take very well, given the stormy re­cep­tion he re­ceived else­where.

“I don’t think it was the right panel for Tu­via. The les­son for me is: when you are run­ning a ses­sion discussing sen­si­tive is­sues, you have to be very care­ful who you in­vite.”

Mr Te­nen­bom, who founded the Jewish The­atre of New York, said the ex­pe­ri­ence had dis­suaded him from ever re­turn­ing to Lim­mud.

He said: “I think the Lim­mud or­gan­is­ers lack a cul­ture of de­bate. They are so full of them­selves — the prob­lem is the ones that call them­selves lib­er­als are pseudo-lib­er­als. “If you are really a lib­eral, you have to lis­ten to ev­ery­body. That’s what I think any­way. I doubt I would come to Lim­mud again. Peo­ple have tried to stop me talk­ing — so what’s the point in com­ing?” Jonathan Neu­mann — who sits on Lim­mud’s pro­gram­ming com­mit­tee with Mr Kahn-Har­ris — had in­vited Mr Te­nen­bom to the con­fer­ence.

He said: “Tu­via has an im­por­tant insight to share.”


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