Tsfany immigrated to the United States from Israel in 2006. He has spent most of his professional life as an executive in the high tech industry. He is the co-founder of the Ayn Rand Center Israel. Despite this resume, there is little of his writing available online. His background is very similar to that of previous CEO and Chairman of the Board Yaron Brook. One could hope that Tsfany will take ARI in a different direction from that established by the globalist and materialist Brook. However, there is good reason to believe that Tsfany is nothing but a Brook clone who will continue ARI's downward spiral.
|Sophie and Tal: Better Americans than the Real Thing|
The evidence that Tsfany is just another shallow globalist is a children's book he just published titled Sophie. The Obleftivist running The Objective Standard (TOS) is orgasmic in his praise for this work. That alone should send up red flags for discerning readers. Parenthetically, in the aftermath of l'affaire McCaskey, TOS and ARI's principals were not on speaking terms. Now it's a lovefest between the two organizations. How, why and when this came about is a complete mystery. Apparently, both the principals and principles on this issue have changed. But, it's not for "students of Obleftivism" to reason why. It's for them to follow the ever changing alliances and feuds of the Obleftivist Establishment (OE). And, to keep writing checks. Especially, to keep writing checks.
Anyways, Sophie is destined to become a classic, but not in the way the author intends. The style is not bad. The first half of the book moves along well. The second half drags and contains too much description. The characters, plot and theme are all introduce in the book's first chapters. There isn't any reason to keep illustrating the same points for nearly one-hundred pages.
The book's theme is about as subtle as a train wreck. The narrative is told through the perspective of thirteen-year-old Leo. During the summer he meets a new, mysterious girl in town. They hit it off and become friends. The central thematic point is that Sophia is an illegal alien "refugee" from Syria. She and her mother live in poverty. Except for the odd jobs Sophia works, they have no visible means of support. Sophia is a combination of John Galt, David Copperfield and Nicholas Nickleby. The melodrama is so thick that I was surprised that Sophie didn't have a little brother named Tiny Jawaid. How shamelessly Dickensian is this work? Well, there's this,
Sophie, on the other hand, didn't buy anything for herself--she just saved as much as she could for the immigration lawyer. She was buying groceries every other day after school and also passed through the pharmacy to buy medicine. Her mother's coughing got worse and worse, and Sophie spent most of what she earned on her mother's bills. Whenever we came back from work to put our tools in the little tin shed, I could hear Mrs. Anwar's hacking cough getting louder and more frequent. (p. 79)Yes, immigration lawyer. The main plot driver is Sophie's need for $5,000 to pay a lawyer to take their case and get them a visa. Apparently, the story takes place sometime in the early 1990s. In this dark, intolerant period of American history the entire legal industry of pro bono immigration attorneys supported by various foundations didn't exist.
The characters are shallow and two-dimensional. As with Charles Dickens, Tsfany's characters are mouth pieces for a particular viewpoint or social stereotype. Fully formed and believable human beings, they are not. Sophie should have a "Supergrrl" logo on her shirt. She is, of course, better than the Americans the author, no doubt, hopes will soon be replaced by their immigrant betters. For example, "You scored the highest in the entire state, Sophie. You should be proud of yourself" (p. 126). Needless to say, Sophie knows more about the meaning of America than anyone in town. She was taught the essence of America by her grandfather in Syria, who was a university professor. Leo is a great representative of future American manhood in his role as foil and beta orbiter to Sophie.
The book's villain is equally a cartoon character. Ingrid Sanders is a composite of Jerry Falwell and Hillary Clinton. Sanders is running for mayor and takes a rather bizarre interest in some poor immigrant girl. She attempts to use Sophie for her political campaign. When Sanders' plan blows up due to Sophie not playing along, she rats out the Anwars to the INS. Sanders is a professional power luster who uses altruism to mask her true intentions. And, but of course, she's active in her church. Nevermind that many Christian churches are tirelessly working to bring in all the Sophies they can find. Again, with the subtlety of a Moslem suicide bomber, all Christians in the story are odious people.
There's no telling for how long Tsfany's elevation to CEO of ARI has been in the works. Sophie was published on 9 January 2018. I doubt that these two events are completely unrelated. Sophie seems little more than a calculated "F you" to real American Objectivists who don't want their nation's culture and borders erased - and, who don't hold their fellow Americans in contempt.
It's fair to say that Sophie will never be confused with Ayn Rand's favorite novel Calumet "K" by Samuel Merwin. As she explains,
Calumet "K" is a good example of the fact that when fiction, even light fiction, contains some element of truth about human existence, it carries philosophical implications wider than its specific theme. This novel is a remarkable historical-social-psychological document. Today, its sub-title ought to be: This was America. (The Objectivist, October 1967)Or, this was the America murdered by cultural Marxists. It's truly sad that the organization that bears her name is making common cause with the nation's destroyers. Sophie is the sort of junk trumpeted by the Obleftivist Establishment. Meanwhile, these people completely ignore Edward Cline's magnificent Sparrowhawk series on America's founding. This is just one example of their bad judgment and pettiness.
Tal Tsfany's tenure as ARI's CEO guarantees its continued irrelevance.