A dangerous worldwide coalition of Islamic terrorists, well-intentioned but misinformed students, right-wing fascists, left-wing ideologues, academics, feminists, European politicians, journalists, and international human rights organisations have joined together to again scapegoat the Jews and the Jewish state for crimes they did not commit and for whatever ails the world. In this intensely passionate and compelling book, the best-selling and prize-winning Jewish feminist author Dr Phyllis Chesler demonstrates how old-fashioned anti-Semitism -- now often seen in the form of anti-Zionism -- has become fashionable and even politically correct, and how this plague threatens the Jews of the world, Israel, America, and Western civilization. The 2003 edition of this book was a pioneering work that has stood the test of time. This new edition updates, expands, and strengthens the original analysis and also has a new introduction, resource section, and the answers to the twenty most frequently asked questions.Buy this book on Amazon
"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, The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror
"I admire the courage of this vision and the power of the writing." Rabbi Lord Dr. Jonathan Sacks
"Passionate and beautifully written.... This book will make you weep. It will also make you angry and frightened." –Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law School; author, The Case for Israel
"Absolutely amazing...An indispensable guide to the apocalyptic sandstorms our world now faces" –Erica Jong, poet and novelist, Fear of Flying
THE TELEGRAPH (UK)
An impassioned, highly readable and often painful book...showing how closely connected is hatred of Jews to its psychological twin, anti-Americanism. (It) is short and must be read. Anti-Semitism is now striking roots in the campus again, in the guise of political correctness--and ironically--anti-racism. (This) book reminds us how hard civilized people need to fight against it. --Paul Johnson
WALL STREET JOURNAL
The prominent feminist Phyllis Chesler has recently written The New Anti-Semitism (Jossey-Bass). [She] offers statistics, examples, personal anecdotes and a long list of perpetrators. [She] presents her arguments with clarity and force. Dr. Chesler responsibly calls to task liberal academics. --Jay Lefkowitz
Selected Reviews of Phyllis Chesler's Gefen's 2014 edition of The New Anti-Semitism
The Jewish Press
The New Anti-Semitism: Chesler Forces Our Eyes to See, Our Ears to Hear by Lori Lowenthal Marcus
When Phyllis Chesler first published The New Anti-Semitism more than a decade ago, it was a glowing lamp in the darkening night.
Since that time, The Jewish Press readers know that much has gotten worse. Anti-Semitism is louder, more widely and brazenly espoused, with less shame, than it had been in decades.
More people can now see what Chesler has seen all along, but far too many remain blind.
The essence of the new Anti-Semitism, Chesler explains, differs from the old in the way in which the center-to-hard left has taken up the cudgels, thereby making anti-Semitism (which includes the unalloyed hatred of the Jewish State) acceptable, even required, for those who hold themselves out as anti-colonialist, anti-racist, anti-imperialists.
The new anti-Semitism is the marriage of the evil far-right to the slavering far-left. It is ugly and it is increasingly ubiquitous.
In this brand new edition of The New Anti-Semitism (Gefen Publishing House 2014), Chesler provides answers to some of the questions her original edition raised. What is particularly welcome is her chapter containing suggestions for action by those who have begun to realize action – decisive action – must be taken before it is too late. Those suggestions won't be found in this review, because anyone interested should buy the book and support this frontline warrior.
Much of the same ground has begun to be covered elsewhere by the few who saw the light since Chesler's first edition came out, but here is why this book is different from the other sources now mining this essential topic: this book was written by someone who was immersed in the world that now seethes with hostility to Jews and their nation. The New Anti-Semitism is written by someone with a constellation of qualities that make her uniquely credible.
Chesler's bona fides as a giant of the left are impeccable. She was one of the founding deans of the modern feminist movement, having served in the trenches with Kate Millet and Andrea Dworkin, among many others. Her longstanding and current commitment to feminism makes her accurate portrayal of the feminist movement's turning on the Jewish State so important and so poignant.
And then there's the fact that Chesler was first married to an Afghani Muslim and lived in Kabul in the family's harem (as described in her fascinating An American Bride in Kabul). And she was later married to an Israeli Jew. Want to discuss western confrontation with the eastern Other with someone who's really been on the line where they meet? Try to top that. No one can.
An additional reason 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.
The new The New Anti-Semitism provides readers with accounts of events in recent history which have been dramatically and dangerously misreported in the mainstream media.
Chesler as our guide through the earliest instances of (the "old") anti-Semitism: blaming Jews for the murder of Jesus, through to Dreyfus, Herzl and Hitler takes us on a familiar path, but she combines a lens of clarity with a compelling voice.
This book also shares some of the less well-known modern-day detours, descriptions of which should be required reading for anyone who purports to care about what is happening in the Middle East.
Chesler is particularly insightful regarding the highjacking of various national as well as global conferences, hosted by the United Nations, by feminists and others, which were transformed into festivals for trashing Jews, Judaism and the Modern State.. This author had a front row seat at many of these events, and she provides an unmatched vantage point and voice of anguish. The disinvitations to even leftist, anti-Israel Jews should have been a warning; it wasn't, other than to Chesler and very few others.
Of course much of the book describes hatred directed towards the Jewish State. Chelser answers the question of whether anti-Zionism is a part of the new anti-Semitism with a resounding yes.
Chesler explains how so many of the new Anti-Semitism practitioners portray Israelis as the new Nazis; they cloak themselves with the view that anti-Israelism is really a form of anti-Nazism. She also discusses current artillery, such as the BDS (Boycott of, Divestment from and Sanctions against Israel) movement, and how it gained footing, assisted by the piously righteous leftists, especially on the campuses. Edward Said, Noam Chomsky and the like are put in their rightful places as legitimizers of the hatred.
Sadly, Chesler is also able to provide us with a ringside seat to what she refers to as Academic McCarthyism. This intense and growing hostility to the Jewish State on campuses is apparent to all those paying attention. But even today too few are paying attention, and too many of those too few are convinced that appeasement and understanding is the best response. That only begets more brazen attacks and more exaggerated demands.
Chesler helps make the case that Jews have been singled out by providing intriguing counter-examples. Why, she asks, weren't the Bosnian Serbs held up for special vilification? The ferocity of their attacks, the gang-rape and murder of children has been virtually unsurpassed, at least in Europe. But those acts have not similarly moved those who attack Israel for real or imagined barbarism. So too, with Saddam Hussein and his vile, sadistic sons, who barely raised eyebrows, let alone entire movements.
As Chesler points out, the fact that a Jewish state exists, which can defend itself, has no intention of leaving the neighborhood, and has begun to settle in territory it conquered in the 1967 war of self-defense has escalated the Jew-hatred into a "near psychosis."
Chesler gives us a manifesto to follow, for those of us less gifted in expressing ourselves:
One cannot claim to be an "anti-racist" and, in the same breath, condemn Zionism. One cannot claim to be an "anti-colonialist" and, condemn Zionism. Israel was the very first FORMERLY colonized state reclaimed by the UN, which determined that the Jews had a prior right and deserved to live there. The Jews were viewed as Israel's original inhabitants (since 1250 BCE) whose land had been occupied, first by Babylonia, then by Greece, Rome, Persia, the Christian Crusaders, the Mamluks, the Turk/Ottomans – and finally, by the European powers.
Along with all the other treasures contained in this new edition of The New Anti-Semitism, the author not only lays out a chapterful of steps people can take, she also provides a lengthy list of excellent resources. For those who finally realize they are not getting the full story from the mainstream media, Chesler offers a panoply of web sites to visit for accurate information.
This book is not just a road map, it is a survival tool.
When the first edition of this book came out this reviewer was so overjoyed to see that someone else was seeing what she was seeing that she purchased a dozen of the books and handed them out to friends and family members. It is heartily recommend others do the same; it just may help increase the number of those still-too-few who "get it." So go get it.
JUST BEFORE THIS REVIEW WAS PUBLISHED, The Jewish Press was able to elicit responses from Phyllis Chesler to questions raised by the recent horrors in France: the massacre at Charlie Hebdo and the attack on the Kosher supermarket.
TJP: Given what has just happened in France, and the outpouring of support for the slain cartoonists, do you believe there will be a long-lasting response which is less towards appeasement and more towards security?
Chesler: I do not believe that government leaders, the intelligentsia, will move swiftly enough since they are still more concerned with potential, imaginary "Islamophobia" than with the slaughter of French civilians, including French Jews. As Gaza goes global, the citizenry will become more aware of who the enemies of freedom and a Western way of life are. But this will take time and blood and as we know, the clock is ticking fearfully.
TJP: And in what way, if any, do you see what happened at the kosher market in Paris as eliciting a different response?
Chesler: Friday, French Muslims prayed at the Grand Mosque. Jews were told to stay home and not pray at the Grand Synagogue.
The Charlie Hebdo satirists were executed for what they had done and they were named, one by one. As to the Jews—religious Jews, any religious Jews would do. The Jews were massacred for who they are: Kuffars, infidels, Jews. While some European leaders have noted that the massacre in the kosher supermarket was an "anti-Semitic" act, French authorities have not offered the Jews any necessary protection.
In fact, this is no longer a matter that the police can handle. A war-level effort is required and the West is still reluctant to fight back, still in denial about whether a handful of "criminal," "lone wolf," "mentally ill," "impoverished," men (and women) who happen to be Muslim, who happen to have been trained in Syria, Yemen, or Iraq, really represent a modern-day Army.
In effect, these are people who still believe that Hamas's soldiers who dress in civilian clothing or who hide behind civilian shields really constitute an Army. I am not sure whether France or Europe understands that those who slaughtered the Charlie Hebdo satirists and the Jews in the supermarket are the same kinds of Jihadists who have been murdering Jews for the last one hundred years in Israel.
Israel National News
"The New Anti-Semitism" Comes of Age a Decade Later by Fern Sidman
As one holds a copy of Dr. Phyllis Chesler's updated book "The New Anti-Semitism" in their hands, we can all breathe a collective sigh and exclaim "this tome hasn't come a minute too soon." Thanks to the excellent research and prophetic analysis conducted by this 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.
Written over a decade ago in a compelling, easy to read and free flowing style, Dr. 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 the Western academy and the "intellectual" crowds. Chesler was among the first to have seen and denounced the suicidal alliance between the Western intelligentsia and fundamental Islam. The anti-Semite needed a new and more acceptable veneer and the little place on the globe known as Israel would serve as the perfect subterfuge. Thus, Zionism does not equal racism but anti-Zionism does. In fact, it is part of what makes the new anti-Semitism "new."
There is no doubt that the al Aqsa intifada and the traumatic events of 9/11 served as an impetus for Dr. Chesler to pen this book as she naturally 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 the 9/11 and the advent of al Qaeda, Chesler is acutely aware of the festering anti-Semitism that appears to be increasingly more ubiquitous with each passing moment. She details major events that she personally encountered during her years as part of the vanguard of the second wave feminist movement and the reader can easily connect the proverbial dots to see and feel the palpable resentment of 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 came to define her raison d'etre, Chesler is most disheartened when women's conferences and forums such as Copenhagen and a pre-Durban one were 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 she 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 blame to all forms of human oppression in terms of 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 ruefully observes. And, she notes, few understand that Muslim history is one of imperialism, colonialism, conversion by the sword, gender and religious apartheid, and slavery. Only the post enlightenment Judeo-Christian West are seen as mighty sinners.
Unlike other authors who have offered works of this genre, Chesler's meticulous research is beyond impeccable as she explores the genesis of post 9/11 Islamic terrorism specifically directed against the West and their global interests. Israel, of course is 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 Muhammed Dura incident and the use of "fauxtography" are given more than an ample dose of good old fashioned sunlight as she reveals one of the most egregious anti-Israel hoaxes ever sold to the public; however deceptively.
While reading this book, one is in retrospective mode as we imbibe 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 compare them to how much worse they are today. It should come as no surprise that the BDS movement and physical and verbal violence against pro-Israel Jewish students has gained a dangerous degree of momentum, power and economic viability in 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 to just name 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 even attempt to sugarcoat the obvious. European anti-Semitism is at pre-World War II levels and the flames of destruction are being consistently fanned not only by the "usual suspects" but by the formidable fourth estate. The European press she writes "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 and is definitely driven by 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.
Yes, Dr. Chesler cautions us to grant this matter the gravitas it deserves and not to dismiss it as mere blather. 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 rather 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, either through economic empowerment against boycotts of Israeli made products and development of community and college based pro-Israel programs connecting with individual Israelis as part of our families.
In one of her final exhortations, Dr. 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.
THE JEWISH PRESS
There's not much more that we can add to the plaudits of such as Professor Alan Dershowitz, Erica Jong, Joseph Farah, Blu Greenberg and Herbert Gold, who have praised this book. They all agree that it is important to read Dr. Chesler's message and take heed. Dr. Chesler urges us to fight the big lies promulgated not only by our enemies but by the uninformed. Phyllis Chesler has written an intensely fervent and informed plea for sanity, fairness and concerned communication that deserves to be studied by all in our community.
A dangerous worldwide coalition of Islamic terrorists, well-intentioned but misinformed students, right-wing fascists, left-wing ideologues, academics, feminists, European politicians, journalists, and international human rights organizations have joined together to again scapegoat the Jews and the Jewish state for crimes they did not commit and for whatever ails the world. In this intensely passionate and compelling book, the best-selling and prize-winning Jewish feminist author Dr. Phyllis Chesler demonstrates how old-fashioned anti-Semitism – now often seen in the form of anti-Zionism – has become fashionable and even politically correct, and how this plague threatens the Jews of the world, Israel, America, and Western civilization.
The 2003 edition of this book was a pioneering work that has stood the test of time. This new edition updates, expands, and strengthens the original analysis and also has a new introduction, resource section, and the answers to the twenty most frequently asked questions.
New English Review
On the Re-Issue of The New Antisemitism: an Interview with Dr. Phyllis Chesler by Jerry Gordon
Antisemitism is like a bad penny. It keeps turning up in different forms, whether in ancient Christian or Islamic doctrines, medieval blood libel or notorious forgeries like the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" by the Czarist secret police. Virulent antisemitism was the foundation of Hitler's final solution, the murder of six million European Jewish men, women and children during the Holocaust of World War II. Antisemitism was transformed following the establishment of the State of Israel as a bastion for refugees from both the Shoah and expulsion of more than 850,000 Jews from Arab and Muslim lands. Mass immigration of Muslims to Europe and the West fostered an Orwellian version: "Anti-Israelism is Antisemitism." It effectively turned the Jewish nation into the world Jew, an object of scorn as the dhimmi usurper in the Muslim Middle East.
Following the Six Day War victory in 1967, re-unification of Jerusalem and conquest of the disputed territories of the West Bank and Gaza, an international campaign arose accusing Israel of being an "illegitimate colonialist apartheid regime and occupier" of Muslim lands. Moreover, a sinister doctrine, what the scholar Bat Ye'or called "Palestinism,"arose attempting to erase the ancient Jewish presence in Israel. In its place, Arab settlers from 19thCentury Syria, Saudi Arabia and Egypt were transformed into primordial occupants with an meta-narrative myth. "Palestinism "motivates the current Palestine Authority seeking full statehood recognition at the UN. This is reflected in theupcoming debateat the European Parliament following symbolic votes by several EU members.
Arab oil interests funded academic programs and media campaigns to delegitimize, demonize and isolate Israel. The effort gained traction in United Nations forums, such as the Human Rights Council, dominated by violators of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the former Soviet Union, its satellites and members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a bloc in the General Assembly. A new libel Zionism is Racism resolution was formally adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1975. It persisted for 16 years; finally rescinded in December 1991.
However, it arose again at the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination and Xenophobia held in Durban, South Africa in August and September 2001 with subsequent review conferences over the past decade. It found fertile ground in the International Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel with allies in liberal churches, academia and the media seeking to economically punish the Jewish state.
Nidra Poller drew attention to the "lethal narrative" of the Al Dura affair, captured in the 55 second news video by France2 on September 30, 2000 at the start of the Second Intifada. That news video spawned a new blood libel, the alleged killing of 12 year Mohammed Al Dura in Gaza. It took 13 years for an Israeli government commission sparked by an intrepid group of journalists and activists to demonstrate that the killing had never occurred. Nevertheless, the myth persisted becoming embroiled in court cases for libel in France.
One of the first to recognize the transformation of classic Antisemitism was Dr. Phyllis Chesler, a liberal feminist whose writings have transformed the women's movement in American academia. Because of her own personal experience confronting Islamic Antisemitism in Kabul the early 1960's, she recognized the confluence of these developments. that prompted her to write a prescient work in 2003, The New Antisemitism: The Current Crisis and What We Must Do About It (TNA). The re-issue of an expanded version,The New Antisemitism by the Gefen Publishing House in Israel is a testament to her prescience. While her thesis had been rejected in 2003 by the American Jewish leadership as no cause for alarm, the march of events have proven her correct. Polls in Europe reflect adverse views of both Israel and Jews. Manfred Gerstenfeld using these poll results in 2013 estimated that 40% of the 400 million population in the EU harbor such opinions. There have been attacks on synagogues and businesses, massed protest marches and riots by Muslim and allied radical groups with cries of "Jews to the Gas" reminiscent of the 1930's in Nazi Germany. There were murders of Jewish citizens and Israelis in France, Belgium, and Bulgaria perpetrated by home grown Islamikazes inspired by terrorist groups Al Qaeda, Hezbollah and ISIS.
In the United States, Jewish students on college campuses have been attacked and cowed into silence by pro-Palestinian and radical leftist groups engaged in so-called Israel Apartheid Awareness Weeks sponsored by Muslim Student Association chapters. Students for Justice in Palestine plastered Antisemitic phony eviction notices on college dorm room doors of Jewish students across America at the University of Chicago, Florida Atlantic University, Rutgers, New York University, Yale, Harvard, San Diego State, University of North Carolina, and Wellesley College. American Jewish leadership has evaded its responsibilities to protect and inform their co-religionists about the new Antisemitism in their communities and schools. Instead Jewish interfaith groups have reached out via synagogue-Mosque 'twinning 'programs, seeking to mollify the primal Islamic doctrinal hatred of Jews. Outgoing Anti-Defamation League executive director, Abe Foxman, launched misguided attacks against the supposed threat of the evangelical Christian community endeavoring to "Christianize America." Evangelicals are among Israel's best defenders. Ironically, Dr. Chesler's views have found a wider accepting audience in conservative media.
Watch this excerpt of Dr. Chesler on Fox News' Huckebee Program discussing, "Israel under Attack":
Against this background, we reached out to Dr. Chesler to interview her on the occasion of the re-issue of The New Anti-semitism.
Jerry Gordon: Dr. Chesler thank you for consenting to this interview
Dr. Phyllis Chesler: Thank you for inviting me.
Gordon: Gefen Publishing in Israel is releasing an updating of your 2003 book, The New Antisemitism. What prompted Gefen to republish this updated version?
Chesler: As monumentally distressing events have gathered force and as all that I predicted has come to pass, it seems possible that there might be a greater receptivity to this message now, than there was back in 2003. Also, the founder of Gefen Publishing asked me to interview him and we really hit it off. He is a hero, one of the Jewish American sailors who crewed the illegal ships which took on the vicious British blockade to bring in nearly 40% of Holocaust survivors at least to Cyprus, if not to Tel Aviv or Haifa. We exchanged books. Back in Israel, he said that my book was causing something of a stir at Gefen. And, I wanted a publisher based in Israel.
Gordon: What is the 'new Antisemitism' and how does it differ from the traditional form?
Chesler: Today, the "new" Antisemitism is the result of a Perfect Storm, an alliance between a suicidal and "politically correct" Western intelligentsia and radical, fundamentalism Islam. Anti-Zionism is also what the "new" Anti-Semitism is about. The Jewish state, which was meant to protect Jews from anti-Semitic persecution is now the excuse given for attacking Jews in Europe and in North and South America. The almost permanent Intifada against the Jewish state launched by Arab states, the United Nations, human rights groups, professors and students now can claim that they are not anti-Semitic, they are merely anti-Zionist. Thus, the single, small, democratic, and only Jewish state on earth has become the world's Jew, the scapegoat for the crimes committed by others.
Gordon: What were the reactions to the book by your former colleagues in the feminist movement?
Chesler: My movements included academics and artists of all sorts as well as leftists, and feminists. The book itself was not reviewed by the mainstream media. Their disapproval and capacity to punish politically incorrect speech resulted in an absolute refusal to engage. I lost my formerly very trendy reputation and was almost comically seen as a traitor, a neo-conservative, and (gasp!) a Zionist because I held the "good" people accountable for their racism or for their Judeophobia. Many believed that, by definition, I now "hated" Muslims. But I work with Muslim and ex-Muslim feminists, dissidents, and apostates and they honor me for my work on Islamic gender and religious apartheid and for my studies on honor based violence, including honor killing. Over the years, a number of feminists have either grudgingly or lovingly thanked me for my keen-sightedness and ability to remain engaged in history as opposed to merely resting on my laurels of long ago.
Gordon: In retrospect how did the American Jewish community react to your book in 2003 and has that changed over the past decade?
Chesler: The Anti-Defamation League demanded four copies of my galleys, marked them up, and then declared me persona non grata because Abe Foxman was finally coming out with his book on the subject-a book which entirely missed the mark, and which focused on Christian right wing Nazis even as Islamic Jihad was rising in history. Some Jewish organizations reached out to me but if one is truly independent (as I am), not a loyalist to any one party or ideology, and if one does not spend literally all one's time attending every event, both major and minor, the networking necessary for recognition and funding does not happen. Jewish organizations honor those who give them money and who occupy positions of political power. Semi-prophets, whistle-blowers, truth-tellers count for a little less. However, increasingly, I have received words of gratitude and support, sometimes even reverence, from individual Jews. And, I have received three Jewish-world awards (The Emma Lazarus Award, the Distinguished Service Award from the Academy for Jewish Religion and a National Jewish Book Award.) I must note with irony and hilarity, that I have rarely received a feminist award despite my 47 years of exemplary service. And I am quite proud of that fact.
Gordon: Since 2003, you have found reception to your views in the conservative media. How difficult for you was that change in venue and how has it worked out?
Chesler: The conservative media embraced what I wrote in The New Anti-Semitism and in my subsequent book titled The Death of Feminism. I was invited to write whatever I believed to be important in a variety of conservative media but not allowed - often rejected - when I sent the same piece to the mainstream or liberal/left wing media. This was true for my work on public gang rape in the Sudan which I called "gender cleansing." It was also true for my work on honor killings both in the West and in Hindu India and in Muslim countries. I have also been blessed by at least three conservative, pro-America and pro-Israel philanthropists (long may they live and prosper!). George Soros et al are not funding my work. My social life has changed. It is all good.
Gordon: Since 2003, Israel has become increasingly isolated in the West. What caused that and why do you view that a dangerous development?
Chesler: Arab oil money spent on propaganda so much so that our universities have been totally taken over, utterly "Palestinianized" and also Stalinized. The UN, UNRWA, the EU, every human rights organization, and the world-wide media are entities straight out of Orwell. Israel is demonized for daring to defend herself; "Palestinians," a people which have never existed, are seen as the indigenous people of the Holy Land, viewed as having been dispossessed and now allegedly "occupied" by these so-called Jewish newcomers from Europe. Forgotten are the 850,000 Jews who were forced to flee North Africa and the Muslim world between 1948-1956, a far greater number than the number of Arabs who fled the Holy Land. The United Nations has legalized Jew hatred. It is literally the only accomplishment they may claim. Forgotten are the 3,000-6,000 years that Jews spent in the Holy Land. Forgotten is the fact that, until the 1940's, but more so since the 1960's, these Arabs used to consider themselves Syrians, Egyptians, sometime Jordanians.
Gordon: A cabal has arisen in certain liberal churches, academic and NGO groups accusing Israel of being an occupying, apartheid state violating human rights of Palestinians. Has that become a force in the new Antisemitism?
Chesler: Yes. Even Palestinian Christians (Edward Said was a Christian) hope to better their fate by covering up the many crimes against Christianity committed by Muslims and especially by Palestinians. They are willing to sacrifice Jews and a Jewish Israel in this cause. But now more and more people, including the Vatican, see that the persecution of Christians by Muslims has reached a point of no return and are calling for some kind of military action.
Gordon: Recently the Administration of Wellesley College in Massachusetts banned Hillel and removed the Jewish chaplain isolating Jewish women students. How dangerous in your view is that and what should be done about it?
Chesler: This is highly dangerous. There is no Jewish organization that is "handling" the campus crisis in America. Our universities have become completely and aggressively anti-Zionist and pro-Palestinian. It has infiltrated every discipline save the hard sciences. Alumna, donors, and state and national government leaders should be monitoring this situation; withholding monies; and prosecuting hate speech against the Jews as well as physical violence and harassment. Our campuses have been hijacked and we will never get them back without putting the same efforts into the Cognitive War that overwhelmed the curriculum.
Gordon: There is a video containing comments by Jewish college students about personal attacks by Muslim students on college campuses that is eerily similar to what occurred in Nazi Germany in the 1930's. Why has the American Jewish community neglected exposing this virulent form of the New Antisemitism?
Chesler: They are afraid. They do not want to offend highly aggressive Muslims and their many Jewish and non-Jewish supporters. They want to get by with as little trouble as possible. Jews, like everyone else, want to lead safe and happy lives. They wish to be popular, trendy. They do not necessarily want to bear the burden of the pariah status that has been visited upon Israel so unfairly, so outrageously.
Gordon: There is an estimate developed by Manfred Gerstenfeld that 40% of Europeans surveyed harbor anti-Israel views. Is that prompting Jews in the EU to consider leaving for Israel or America?
Chesler: Yes, the Jews are again on the move. And Israel is the largest and best defended ghetto the Jews have ever had. And President Obama is dancing with the Iranian devil as the Iranians procure a nuclear bomb with the clear intention of launching it against Israel.
Gordon: How dangerous is the current wave of violence by Arab Muslims in Israel to the future of the Jewish nation?
Chesler: These so-called lone wolf attacks are not so lone. They are directly related to a lifetime of indoctrination in Arabic by both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. What is dangerous is the normalization of bloody barbarism in the general neighborhood that led, most recently, to two Arabs invading a Jerusalem synagogue with axes and meat cleavers to butcher the Jews ('itbak al-Yahud"); and then there are the cars that ride over people and into crowds. And these weapons of destruction are blessed by the Palestinian Authority in Arabic.
Gordon: The success of the Islamic State calling itself a Caliphate ruled by Sharia has attracted thousands of young Muslim men and women globally to its cause. Has Western tolerance of the intolerance of Islam abetted the New Antisemitism?
Chesler: It is not so much tolerance which has caused this. Rather, multi-cultural relativism has allowed barbaric practices and customs to be considered not only equal but as somehow sacred. Also, the Western (and Muslim) indoctrination of people into thinking that Muslims, especially, are being persecuted - when they are not, when they are only being treated as equal, not as superior. Also, the indoctrination of young people in mosques, in families, on the internet, by the media, into believing that ISIS will give meaning and significance to otherwise ordinary lives; that it will allow the "powerless" and sociopathic to become powerful and significant - all play roles in abetting the most fiendish barbarism. Anti-Semitism is at the heart of this evil, this virus. Bin Laden described the 9/11 attacks as having been launched against the "Crusader-Zionist" conspiracy.
Gordon: Dr. Chesler thank you for this timely and important interview.
Chesler: The pleasure is all mine.
The Jewish Week
The Line Between Anti-Israel And Anti-Semitic by Stewart Ain
Phyllis Chesler, a retired professor of psychology and women's studies at City University, has since 9/11 focused on anti-Semitism and the demonization of Israel. She is a best-selling author and feminist who has just updated her 2003 book, "The New Anti-Semitism" (Gefen Publishing). She is a co-founder of the International Committee for Women of the Wall and a fellow at both the Middle East Forum and at the Institute for the Study of Global Anti-Semitism and Policy. This is an edited transcript.
Q: In the first edition of your book, you said the centuries-old hatred of the Jew is enjoying a renaissance in the guise of being anti-Israel. Has that definition changed in this new edition?
A: Several things have changed. Yes, anti-Zionism is still partly what is new about the new anti-Semitism.
At the United Nations, things have only gotten more surreal, dangerous and sickening. In addition to the UN and international human rights groups, academics, celebrities and the Students for Justice in Palestine are condemning Israel for crimes that Israel never committed. And there is a boycott of Israel simply because it exists as a form of Jewish sovereign power.
What has happened to Jews living in Europe?
In the last 11 years, more and more Jews have left Europe because of the … false history that Palestinians have always been a people. That is a complete fantasy; the Jews have been there longer than any other occupying group.
The Palestinian pseudo-history is now virulently active all across Europe, on American campuses and to a large extent in much of our media. The fact that much of the Middle East is Judenrein is not being defined as ethnic cleansing or as religious apartheid — and the Palestinian demand for the Jews to get out of Judea and Samaria is also not being described as ethnic cleansing, which it is.
Is it possible for someone to criticize Israeli policies without being called anti-Semitic?
Not anymore. And as to the allegation of "disproportionate force" that has been leveled against Israel, those who allege this refuse to understand that there are 22 Arab states and one Jewish state and that the Arab League has been funding the weapons and the propaganda against Israel. It has already legalized Jew-hatred at the UN — and that is disproportionate. It is disproportionate to have European countries symbolically recognize Palestinians, which is meant to further isolate the only Jewish state in the world. That is disproportionate.
Israel is being defamed because it cared enough about its civilians to build bomb shelters for them. In Gaza, all the money went into building tunnels for military operations [against Israel] and into the private pockets of the leaders of Hamas and Fatah.
For nearly two years now, Poland has banned kosher slaughtering ostensibly because of animal cruelty. Do you see it as anti-Semitic?
There are animal rights activists who are not anti-Semitic and are sincere in their beliefs. But human beings make mistakes and there is minimal pain in kosher slaughtering. … So it's not necessarily anti-Semitic, but part of the motivation might be; it's a very tricky issue.
How can you tell the difference between honest disagreement with Israeli action and anti-Semitism?
Anti-Semitism is no longer viewed as racism but as politically correct. It's said that if only Israel were abolished, there would be no poverty or illiteracy in the Muslim world and paradise would come. The only state on earth that is said to be quintessentially evil is Israel. … I think Israelis have every right to criticize their government and to change it if they wish. But when the rest of the world criticizes one nation only, we must look at it as Jew-hatred.
Chesler's 'The New Antisemitism': A Timely Warning, Renewed by Joel Pollack
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.