(The Jewish Chronicle) A new coffee table book — that seems destined to be an international best seller and Nobel prize winner — will attempt the impossible — to convince non-Jews that there’s no such thing as a typical “Jewish look”:
Black-hatted, black-coated, bearded Jews walking down the street, their backs to the camera. Who among us hasn’t seen photos of Charedi men illustrating all manner of stories about Jewish life in the UK – and sighed? It’s a stereotype, visual shorthand, that misrepresents the diverse people we are.
Lecturer and author Keith Kahn-Harris has been sighing and writing about the problem for years. Now, he has collaborated with photographer Rob Stothard and produced a book of portraits entitled What Does a Jew Look Like? that showcases Anglo-Jewry’s dazzling diversity.
“There are only about 300,000 Jews in Britain so it’s quite easy to live here and never meet a real, live one. The way we are portrayed in the media, in public, is important, it’s how impressions are formed,” he says. “So the aim of the book is simple – we want non-Jews, and even some Jews, to understand that there is no such thing as the generic Jew.”
Stothard, who isn’t Jewish, was open to the book’s thesis from the outset. Kahn-Harris first contacted him in 2018 after discovering he was the photographer of what has become picture editors’ go-to image of British Jews, a photo of two Charedi men in Stamford Hill that has now been published hundreds of times…
…So they decided to work together to produce some different images of British Jews. There was a clear division of labour. Kahn-Harris tracked down people to photograph – “some I knew, some were recommended, others I had heard of online,” he says – and when Stothard took their pictures it was generally without Kahn-Harris in the room.
“I didn’t want a box-ticking exercise, but I did have some markers,” says Kahn-Harris. “I didn’t want everyone to live in London, and I wanted to include Orthodox, non-Orthodox, LGBTQ, Zionist and non-Zionist Jews, the old and young. And I definitely didn’t want everyone to be Ashkenazi – there are a fair number of non-white people in the book.”
But he stresses that some Jewish demographics have been left out. “This is not exhaustive coverage. We’d have needed hundreds of images to achieve that…
And each picture is accompanied by the person’s own words. “I either interviewed them, or they wrote something themselves. This approach makes it difficult to see the subjects as representative of any particular way of being Jewish.”
The book will be hand-delivered, he says, to the nation’s picture editors and “people who are generally in the public eye. We are putting a list together.” Stothard was The Times Young Photographer of the Year, in 2012, and went to work for the paper and also the New York Times and New Yorker, so “we are drawing heavily on Rob’s contacts”.
“There is nothing else like this book out there,” says Stothard. “We hope it will become a reference point for editors, make them think more carefully about how they illustrate stories about Jews.”
The book already has the endorsement of one high-profile journalist. Associate editor at the Financial Times Stephen Bush, who chaired the Board of Deputies’ commission on racial inclusivity in the community, has written its foreword. In it, he admits he has been “one of those awful journalists” who has been guilty of illustrating a story about Jewish life in Britain with a picture of the Charedi community. “I’ve made all the usual journalistic excuses: the desk wanted a picture, it’s hard to illustrate abstract stories, harder still to illustrate stories about race or religion in a sensitive way.” He even “engaged in special pleading about the fact, look, I’m Jewish, so of course I know there’s more to Jewish life in Britain than living in Stamford Hill.”
But the truth remains, says Bush, that everyone deserves to have their own story told. And Charedi men merit more than being a journalistic crutch to illustrate every story about British Jews.
Yes, every Jew in the world “deserves” to have their “story” told — and listened to with all due respect and reverence.
Every Jew is a unique snowflake — and any similarities between Jews can be dismissed as purely coincidental.
That said, the Jewish editor laid his cards on the table and admitted that he chose the photos specifically so as to create that impression in the reader — “Jews could be literally anyone we meet on the street.”
And his desire to de-emphasize Ashkenazi Jews — the single-most powerful and representative group of all Jews worldwide — reveals how he’s really “cooked” this book to satisfy his agenda.
Jews — especially Ashkenazi Jews — are often devastated to find out that they don’t pass as White — that they do have distinctive physical features that set them apart — glitches in the matrix, as it were.
Jewish power relies on their ability to “pass” as White — and then shift back to being Jewish when it’s convenient and beneficial.
If we disregard all the distractions and gaslighting — such as this book — that Jews create to make us doubt the reality we see in front of our eyes — we will indeed see very clearly that the Ashkenazi Jewish cabal that is wreaking havoc on our nations do have a particular “look” about them — which shouldn’t surprise us considering how highly inbred they have been compared to their White host nations — who have historically looked at Jews as having “tainted” bloodlines.
However, since the end of World War II, this Ashkenazi cabal has been interbreeding with the White elite of all Christian nations — making it more and more difficult with each subsequent generation for the average person to easily identify who “looks Jewish.”
By their own admission they do have “tainted” bloodlines — which is why they can merely pretend to be living descendants of the Israelite people — and why they hate — and fear — any talk about racial purity among the “goyim”.