Belfast Telegraph

'I have never seen so much hatred for Jews,' says filmmaker on Derry bar's anti-Semites

Anti-Semitic tirade filmed by Jewish director in Northern Ireland bar sparks anger

A world renowned filmmaker who captured a group of men spout hatred toward Jews in a Derry bar has said he has never seen so much anti-semitism as what he did during his entire visit to Northern Ireland.

However, he said at least those in the bar were honest and did not try and hide their hatred.

Theater director, playwright, author and journalist, Tuvia Tenenbom was in Northern Ireland to research on a new book.

In a clip which has gone viral on social media the 62-year-old visits Derry's Bogside area and asks bemused locals why there are so many Palestinian flags flying in the area.

Some drinkers that respond say they "hate Jews" describing Israelis as "child murdering scum" and they were the "scourge of the Earth".

One of the group shouted: "The only thing Hitler did wrong was he didn't kill enough f***ing Jews."

Police have confirmed that they have received a complaint in relation to the video and are investigating.

Mr Tenenbom told Frank Mitchell on the U105 Phone In: "I have dealt with this type of antisemitism before... I have met with many people who are sympathetic to the Palestinian cause,"

"I don't think I ever have met people who have so much hatred for the Jews as I met in Northern Ireland and Ireland and that includes Derry.

"I have never seen people so hated of Jews.  There are anti-Semites in Germany, there are anti-semites all over the world. This kind of hatred that I found - and Derry is a small place. I have never seen so much."

The controversial figure said those in the bar were fully aware he was filming for his work as a journalist - he said he never revealed to them he was Jewish. He said those he spoke with were "totally honest" with him.

He said: "They say what it is they hate, without cover. Many other anti-semites cover by saying about Israel or the army, at least these people are honest. They know nothing about any other trouble spots in the world, which is ridiculous as there are so many.

"And not just in the bar outside it too. People were honest, 'we don't like the Jews no matter what.'"

The more I walk this land the more anti-semitism I find.

He continued: "My job is not to find antisemitism. If I find it, I report about it. My job is to find the people and see what they think about it."

"The initial idea was to write about the detail and secrets of the British DNA. I did not go out to find antisemitism but sadly the more I walk this land the more anti-semitism I find."

Asked if he thought the actions of the Israelis against the Palestinian people were behind the hatred directed towards Jews, he added: "You ask people about what they know of Chechnya, about what happens in Turkey or Syria and they know nothing about it. They don't care.

"Why? You go in Derry, everywhere you go you see Palestinian flags. You want to identify with people who suffer in the world, I have no problem with it, but identify with all those that suffer. There is suffering all over."

Those appearing in the video are at all reflective or representative of Northern Ireland society. William Humphrey

He said he liked the Irish people and he had a good time during his visit - minus the antisemitism. He acknowledged there was a connection in the history of Irish republicanism with the Palestine Liberation Organisation.

"You are very passionate people," he added.

"They talk about they are happy there are no Jews in Ireland - what has that to do with anything?"

There was wide-spread condemnation of the ugly scenes seen in the video after it went viral on social media.

Arlene Foster described it as "a disgusting comment". 

DUP MLA William Humphrey added: "I don’t believe that those appearing in the video are at all reflective or representative of Northern Ireland society.

"I work closely with our small, but hugely influential Jewish community. Indeed, I have been in touch with some of my Jewish friends, to reassure them that they are a hugely valued and respected part of our community and that they continue to have my personal support and that of my party.”

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