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The New Anti-Semitism P: The Current Crisis and What We Must Do About It Paperback – 28 Dec 2004
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"a prophetic, and necessary, warning to us all."
You can't say she didn t warn us.
In 2003, the liberal feminist Phyllis Chesler published The New Antisemitism. It was partly a reaction to the events of 9/11, partly a protest against the left s anti-Israel posture posture amidst the terror of the second intifada. But it was also the culmination of a lifetime of struggle as Chesler was forced, again and again, to confront the unique bigotry that had been embraced by those she had regarded as comrades in the push for women s rights.
Chesler, a Breitbart News contributor, is re-releasing The New Antisemitism a decade later, as a third intifada looms, and as the hatred of Jews that motivates radical critics of Israel no longer feels the same need to hide behind the "anti-Zionist" label. Since 2003, Israel built its security barrier and withdrew from Gaza, only to be targeted by Hamas rockets and tunnels; Iran has made dramatic advances in its quest to become a nuclear power; and the Palestinians have refused to come to terms.
What has remained constant throughout is the refusal of Western elites to defend their own principles against the Islamist threat in general, particularly in the Israeli-Palestinian case. In their effort to accommodate the other, they are prepared to sacrifice Israel, and so enable a bloodthirsty form of Jew-hatred that is supported by Palestinian officials and found gruesome expression in Tuesday s terror attack on rabbis praying in a West Jerusalem synagogue.
I asked Chesler if she blamed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for the attack, as Israel s Benjamin Netanyahu has done.
Abbas and the Palestinian state-run media both in the West Bank and Gaza are wholly responsible for the ceaseless incitement which is meant to justify and lead to the genocidal slaughter of Jews, she said, noting that much of The New Antisemitism is devoted to exposing that propaganda. I hope and pray that the world is more receptive to this analysis than it almost was fifteen years ago when I first began working on this."
Does President Barack Obama as some have alleged share the blame?
President Obama is certainly culpable in his purposeful and yet oddly detached 'even-handedness, she replied. "In his speech condemning [Tuesday s] atrocity, by stating that there have been Palestinian deaths and Israeli deaths, that 'most Palestinians and most Israelis want peace ' he fails to tell the truth.
"The highly indoctrinated Palestinians, who live under the rule of barbaric tyrants, do not want peace with infidels, certainly not with infidel Jews, definitely not with Jewish Israel Palestinians on the West Bank and in Gaza were celebrating the heroic martyrdom of the two murderers, cousins, who worked in a nearby grocery store in Har Nof. Only people incited and indoctrinated could enter a synagogue and start hacking as well as shooting people to death.
Chesler is a keen observer of propaganda and its power in the Middle East. She has seen far more deeply than most into the contemporary realities of life in the Islamic world, having once been married to--and trapped by--a Muslim man in pre-Soviet, pre-Taliban Afghanistan. Yet her most poignant insights, perhaps, in The New Antisemitism are her stories of antisemitism on the American and European left, as the oldest hatred enjoyed a new renaissance in a new guise.
These kedoshim [saints] who were murdered while at prayer...were murdered because they were Jews, religious Jews, she says. [Palestinians] are allowed to do so by a world that has been completely brainwashed by Big Lies which in turn have been funded for more than sixty years. The war of ideas, what Richard Landes and I call cognitive warfare is the hottest war we face.
Chesler s book is a compelling and highly readable chronicle of a journey through the hypocrisy of the left as its irrational hostility to Israel has grown. She still considers herself part of that broad political alignment, particularly feminism, though she is frustrated and wounded by her colleagues blind anti-Israel and, in many cases, antisemitic prejudice.
What some feminists have done is to misapply feminist concepts in the service of demonizing Israel, she notes, pointing out an example of a feminist who likened the Israelis to pimps and johns, describing Palestinians as the world s exploited prostitutes. ( I could not make this up and it gives me no joy to share this information with you), Chelser adds.
What frustrates her most deeply is the futility of the left s anti-Israel obsession--since, Chesler says, what happens to Israel and the Jews will soon happen to Christians, secularists, and the West in general at the hands of an Islamist fundamentalism that has no interest in dialogue, much less feminism.
The American and European Left have made a marriage in hell with their Islamic terrorist counterparts," she writes. "The same Left that still has never expressed any guilt over its devotion to communist dictators, who murdered 100 million of their own people in the service of a Great Idea, has now finally, fatefully joined the world jihadic chorus in calling for the end to racist Zionism and to the Jewish apartheid state.
What the left and the jihadists share, she says, is self-criticism expressed as rage, a rebellion against some authorities but worship of others.
In seeking to criticise--and yet safe--a tattered internationalism, Chesler embraces her tribal identity as a Jew and an American. Her book contains foreign policy facts, but is also written in a personal tone, drawing on encounters with old friends (and new adversaries).
Even 11 years later, though a bit dated by events, Chesler s book remains a prophetic, and necessary, warning to us all.
When I began reading Professor Phyllis Chesler's updated book "The New Anti-Semitism," I seemed to hear a collective sigh saying "this hasn't come a minute too soon." And thanks to the excellent research and prophetic analysis of the acclaimed author, lecturer and activist, the reader is afforded the necessary context and perspective with which to understand the invidious phenomenon of contemporary Jew hatred.
Originally written over a decade ago, Chesler's premise was and still is that classical anti-Semitism as espoused by such nihilists and evil madmen as Hitler and the scores that preceded him has now been deemed to be "politically correct" by the trendy denizens of Western academia and the "intellectual" crowd.
Chesler was among the first to have seen and denounced the suicidal alliance between Western intelligentsia and fundamental Islam. The anti-Semite needed a new and more acceptable veneer and the tiny place on the globe known as Israel could serve as the perfect cover. So Zionism does not equal racism, but anti-Zionism does. In fact, it is part of what makes the new anti-Semitism "new."
The al Aqsa intifada and the traumatic events of 9/11 served as the impetus for Dr. Chesler, as she drew a correlation between the kind of terrorism that had become endemic to the state of Israel and the Jihadic terrorism that was let loose upon the world. "War and a new kind of anti-Semitism had been declared," she writes.
In the decades prior to 9/11 and the advent of al Qaeda, Chesler was acutely aware of the festering increasingly ubiquitous anti-Semitism and details major events that she personally encountered during her years as part of the vanguard of the second wave feminist movement. The reader can palpably feel the resentment she encountered from those who championed the "politically correct" cause against Israel, now known as liberalism.
Always sensing a strong undercurrent of such bigotry in the various human rights movements that had cometo define her raison d'etre, Chesler is most disheartened when women's conferences and forums such as Copenhagen are hijacked by Jew hating agendas. She justifiably laments the fact that some important conferences are cancelled because of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel bias. "Women, you see, cannot be accused of racism - unless, of course, they are Jewish women," she sardonically writes.
Because Chesler is keenly aware that anti-Semitism may start with the Jews but never ends with the Jews, she makes the logical connection between the opprobrium that is harbored for both America and Israel by those who assign the blame for all forms of human oppression to colonialism, capitalism, and imperialism. "The Palestinian uprising has increasingly been seen as the uprising of all oppressed peoples against their colonial oppressors, that is, Jews, Zionists and Americans," she observes.
And, she notes, few understand that it is Muslim history that is replete with imperialism, colonialism, conversion by the sword, gender and religious apartheid, and slavery. Only the post enlightenment Judeo-Christian West is cast as the mighty sinners.
Chesler's meticulous research is evident as she explores the genesis of post 9/11 Islamic terrorism specifically directed against the West and its global interests in her compelling, easy to read and free flowing style, .
Israel is now viewed as "the little Satan" by the retinue of pro-Palestinian apologists and their Western lackeys and Chesler takes the Big Lies and bold propaganda to task by exposing their motives. Case in point: The unfortunate Mohammed Dura incident and the use of "fauxtography" are given more than an ample dose of sunlight as she reveals how one of the most egregious anti-Israel hoaxes was sold to the public.
While reading this book, one digests a seemingly endless litany of horrifying anti-Israel and anti-Jewish events at university campuses that took place in the first decade of the new century and then, shockingly, reads on to realize how much worse they are today. The BDS movement and physical and verbal violence against pro-Israel Jewish students have gained a dangerous degree of momentum, power and economic viability in many institutions of higher learning.
Chesler cites the palpable but surreal bellicosity that has become an endemic part of campus life for Jews who wish to express pro-Israel sentiments. Physical attacks, heckling of speakers, academic boycotts, incendiary street theater predicated on distortions, the lies being promulgated at the annual Jew roasting, better known as "Israel apartheid week" and the infinite amount of Orwellian rhetoric being circulated in every facet of academic life are just a few. "The New McCarthyism on campus consists of the anti-Israeli and pro-Palestinian point of view. No other view will be tolerated," she writes.
Chesler is under no illusions and does not attempt to sugarcoat the obvious. European anti-Semitism is at pre-World War II levels, she asserts, and the flames of destruction are being consistently fanned not only by the "usual suspects" but by the formidable fourth estate. The European media "have continuously held Israel accountable for Palestinian terrorism, and justified human homicide bombing as a function of Palestinian 'despair'."
This book is easy to read yet it is filled with a voluminous amount of facts drawn from concrete and verifiable data. What causes the words to leap off the pages, however, and to embed themselves in our collective psyches are the nuanced and urbane analyses proffered both by Chesler and by an extensive array of experts. Frightening as it may be, they provide us with the kind of perspective we need to tackle anti-Semitic diatribes.
Professor. Chesler cautions us to grant this matter the gravitas it deserves and not to dismiss it out of hand. In the expanded last chapters of the book she prodigiously confronts the Big Lies and blood libels as she challenges the sheer mendacity of pseudo and lethal Palestinian narratives in ways that are both comprehensible and thought-provoking.
On an uplifting note she provides us with ways in which each of us can support Israel and Judaism, through economic empowerment against boycotts of Israeli products and through development of community and college based pro-Israel programs connecting with individual Israelis to make them part of our families.
Chesler has stumbled upon what may be the most important component in staying afloat as a people as we navigate the turbulent tide of anti-Semitism. She writes: "Dare I say it? I must. I implore Jews to stop fighting with each other. Even if we disagree, we must try to do so respectfully, soulfully....We are an eternal people engaged in an eternal struggle with evil."
Definitely words to heed.--Fern Sidman"www.israelnationalnews.com" (11/26/2014)
"The new anti-Semitism is the marriage of the evilfar-right to the slaveringfar-left. It is ugly and it is increasingly ubiquitous." "An additionalreason you should read Chesler's book is her writing. While much of the book provides historical accounts of the old and the new anti-Semitisms, all of these reflections come in Chesler's inimitable style: conversational, dramatic, engaging." "For those who finally realize they are not getting the full story from the mainstream media, Chesleroffers a panoply of web sites to visit for accurate information." "This bookis not just a road map, it is a survival tool." --Lori Lowenthal Marcus"The Jewish Press" (01/11/2015)
The author takes to task those who spout anti-Semitism. She calls out the radical racists. She castigates the media. She skewers academics who deride Israel and do not entertain the idea that Israel is defending itself.
And then Phyllis Chesler gives her read-ers tools with which they, too, can combat anti-Semitism. She provides a list of suggested reading, internet resources, and even films.
This is a book well worth reading and taking to heart.
“In this passionate and powerful book, Chesler shows how the international struggle for human rights was hijacked by Jew and Israel haters. She exposes how politically correct western intellectuals and many human rights activists have betrayed both the truth and the Jews. The book is sensitive and authoritative and constitutes essential reading. Anyone who wants to understand the connection between anti–Semitism, Islamic terrorism, the role of propaganda, and appeasement must read this book.” –Natan Sharansky, author, Fear No Evil; Israeli Minister for Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs “A passionate and beautifully written book by a card–carrying radical feminist who is also a religious Jew and a committed Zionist. She demonstrates, by equal portions of hot emotion and cool logic, that she is not the one guilty of inconsistency with her radical principles. It is the new "politically correct" anti–Semites, including many feminists, who have some explaining to do. This book will make you weep. It will also make you angry and frightened."–Alan Dershowitz, professor, Harvard Law School; author, The Case for Israel "Absolutely amazing, troubling, fierce. An indispensable guide to the apocalyptic sandstorms our world now faces. A new and virulent anti–Semitism, blessed by western intellectuals, is changing global assumptions about history and justice and threatening all hopes for peace on our troubled planet. I am stunned by the book; it’s brilliant, and must be read and debated. Our lives may depend on it." –Erica Jong, poet and novelist, Fear of Flying and Sappho’s LeapSee all Product description
Top customer reviews
It is cloaked in the language of political correctness, and academic language, but the end goal is the same, genocide of Jews.
On university campuses, in the media, in the halls of the United Nations, in European and Third World governments, prejudice runs strong.
Phyllis Chesler, well-known feminist author, in the 21-st century equivalent of Zola?s J?Accuse, dissects this revolting and frightening phenomenon.
She points out that the leaders of today?s Nuremberg rallies are supposedly ?enlightened? and ?progressive? leftwing academics, as Israel is pilloried, without the slightest compassion for the men, women and children of that tiny, poor country, condemned by a coterie of malignant narcissists for destruction.
Of course the Israel-haters deny hotly that they are anti-Semites: The first thing students learn today in the ?humanities? departments on university campuses across the world is that anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are different. Many Jewish-born ultra-leftists lead the ?burn Israel? movement. In fact it could be argued that the new anti-Semitism was founded by malignant high priest of Marxist academia, Noam Chomsky together with his partner in hate, Arab propagandist Edward Said. Indeed the Jewish-born Israel-haters are often the most callous and vicious, hoping that expunging 5 million Israeli men, women and children from the face of the earth, will make themselves more universal and progressive in the world today. It is only the 'backward Israelis' who get in the way of the place of Diaspora Jewish Marxists as leaders of the 'progressive vanguard' once more. So innocents must die in their millions!
But Chesler debunks the frightful lie that tries to disguise the new anti-Semitism, as ?progressive anti-Zionism?. After all is it not anti-Semitism to deny Jews the right to live in Israel? Is a Jewish child in Israel, gunned down in her bed, by Palestinian goons in 2002, any different to a Jewish child in Poland, gunned down in her bed by Nazi goons in 1942?
Martin Luther King pointed out the truth when he said 37 years ago: ?Anti-Semitism, the hatred of the Jewish people, has been and remains a blot on the soul of mankind. In this we are in full agreement. So know also this: anti-Zionist is inherently anti-Semitic, and ever will be so?.
Chesler dissects this new anti-Semitism, in this work that will make you both angry and frightened. While the Left have certainly been the vanguard of this new cancer, it has not been confined to the left alone. Neo-Nazi hate-mongers like Pat Buchanan, Lyndon La Rouche, David Duke and Robert Novak, in the USA and the groups like the German NPD, in Europe, have also jumped on the bandwagon of the new anti-Semitism, finding that anti-Zionism, is the most effective way to vent their malice.
And the new anti-Semitism has resulted in attacks on Jews, not only in Israel, but also all around the world, as Jews are attacked in the streets and synagogues burned, with university campuses being the most vicious breeding grounds of hate of them all.
There is no logic in the intensity of the hate of the new anti-Semites, as Israel is condemned for every action taken to defend her, by the same ones who are so silent in the face of massacres of Israeli women and children, by Palestinian killers.
The latter being seen as the victims and the former as the aggressors in this macabre Orwellian theater.
Indeed, as we saw with the rise of Hitler, when the world loses it?s moral compass, there is no limit to what they will stoop to, and no amount of politically correct jargon, and Marxist obfuscation can hide this from us a
Despite the contentious nature of this subject I would highly recommend that this book be read irrespective of the individual's political or religious views.
The book makes an extremely strong case as to how the state of Israel has now become what it calls the "Jew of the World". This statement is clarified with many, many examples that illustrate how Israel has allegedly been scorned, scapegoated, demonised and ghettoized by the media and the International community. A process described as causing the State of Israel to be just as isolated as the Jews once were in Europe during the Holocaust.
The reader is shown how this process has allegedly escalated since the terrorist attacks of September 11 2001 and how it is further supported due to the tone of the political and media approach to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Whilst reference is made to the anti-Semitism of the Holocaust the book presents a moving case as to how a "new anti-Semitism" has risen in our day, but which is now cloaked under a plethora of different guises such as "anti-Zionism" and/or "anti-Israelism". However, the reader is eloquently shown that when this hostility is closely examined, the very same age-old hatred is discovered at it's core. A hatred described as including all of it's ancient loathing, but now to be found under new, more "politically correct labels".
As stated, the source attaches a considerable relationship between this hate and the alleged bias against Israel in much of the media reporting throughout the International community in relation to the Arab-Israeli conflict. An area where this study cites the State of Israel as frequently being de-humanized whilst Palestinians are depicted as victims. Mention also being made that the Jewish state is itself not doing enough to put across it's own side of the story in an adequate manner to fight such allegedly slanted reporting and to provide the public with a true perception of the conflict that is fair to both sides.
To support this point the source quotes former British leader Winston Churchill who stated, "A lie gets halfway around the World before the truth has a chance to get it's pants on" and with the provision of numerous examples the book proceeds to describe the World press as sometimes functioning as what it calls "Yasser Arafat's private public relations firm".
The book also addresses how during the last decade whilst the Irish, Indian, Kashmiri and other "troubles" have continued to simmer, along with the genocidal atrocities in Iraq and the former Yugoslavia, where by comparison the International, political and media entities have not in the slightest way demonised the British, Irish, Hindus, Muslims, Hutus or the Serbs in the manner focussed on the Jewish State of Israel.
The reader may not agree with all the personal opinions of the source, but it is difficult not to grasp and appreciate the importance & magnitude of the fundamental issue at the core of this essential study.
I would respectfully recommend the following books to those interested in this issue; "The Case For Israel" by Alan Dershowitz and "Peace; The Arabian Caricature. A Study of Anti-Semitic Imagery" by Arieh Stav.
Chesler further illuminates the connections between the hatred of Jews and the hatred of America. Having herself criticized certain actions of Israel in the past, she makes a distinction between legitimate criticism of Israel and that subtle version of anti-Semitism that cloaks itself in Anti-Zionism. She points out that the new anti-semitism is being perpetraded in the cause of anti-colonialism and anti-racism and that it comes from the Left of the political spectrum.
Chesler makes a plea for the truth and exposes leftist disinformation, for example the so-called Jenin Massacre that never took place. The author lived in Afghanistan in the 1960s and was married to an Afghan; she praises the kindness and love she experienced from her Muslim relatives during those times. This wonderful book is a plea for decency, truth and dignity. It includes a 20-page question-and-answer section called What We Must Do on how to reply to anti-Semitic remarks or questions.
Although Chesler's book reveals deeply disturbing trends, it is a compelling read. I would also like to refer the interested reader to the following books: The Case For Israel by Dershowitz, Right To Exist by Lozowick, Never Again? by Foxman, The Return Of Anti-Semitism by Schoenfeld, The Rage And The Pride by Fallaci, The Nazi Connection To Islamic Terrorism by Chuck Morse and Anti-Americanism by Jean-Francois Revel.
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