In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on the United States, internationally acclaimed author, lecturer and Arutz Sheva columnist Prof. Phyllis Chesler walked over to her computer and typed the sentence: "Now we are all Israelis."
It was then, she says, that she understood that a new kind of anti-Semitism had been declared, and it was then that she began her research for the original version of "The New Anti-Semitism: The Current Crisis and What We Must Do About it", published in 2003.
Over the last decade, the alarming escalation of global anti-Semitism has taken on a new and much more pernicious tone, leading Prof. Chesler to devote much of her time over the last year to expanding and revising the original book, whose updated version has just been released by Gefen Publishers.
Arutz Sheva sat down with Dr. Chesler to find out what factors informed her decision to re-release her book and to hear her analyses of the crisis that touches us all.
Some have called this period the apex of contemporary anti-Semitism. What specific factors informed your decision to revise and update your book?
I took the book out of print some time ago and waited for the right moment to reissue it. I believe that moment is now. Neither Jews nor America can decide how to defend civilization against barbarism unless we understand the nature of the war that has been declared against us. It is a religious war against Infidels. It always has been. This is indigenous to historical Islam, it has not been "provoked" by Western imperialism or by alleged Israeli "occupation" of disputed territories.
Why is it that the world feels that the Jews have no right to a state of their own when history has proven they have manifold connections to the land of Israel and have always maintained a presence there?
That is because today, anti-Zionism is the continuation of more old-fashioned anti-Semitism. Europe hopes that by throwing Israel under the bus (so to speak) that they will appease their increasingly hostile and unassimilated Muslim citizens.
But that is not the only reason. It is a way of continuing European Jew-hatred in a new way. Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Koran - not even once. It is mentioned more than 600 times in the Tanach (Bible). The Jews are the indigenous people of the region, going back 3,000 - 6,000 years or more. It was Jewish sovereign territory under Jewish Kings long before Christianity arose in the region - certainly long before Islam arose.
The "Palestinian" identity is a rather new idea, perhaps no more than 60+ years old. It is based on a pseudo-narrative of a historical "Palestine" that never existed and its goal is to eradicate, exterminate the Jews who have returned to our homeland.
From a psychological perspective, are people threatened when the Jew has authority over his own destiny or have they simply bought into Palestinian propaganda that the Jews usurped them from their land?
Both things are true. In Islam, Jews are meant to be subordinate to Muslims as are all other religious minorities. From a Muslim religious point of view, Jews have turned the tables, reversed the world view in which Jews are supposed to be taxed, endure periodic pogroms, have their assets confiscated, be exiled or beheaded.
In addition, the propaganda Bill of Goods sold to the people who once considered themselves part of Syria or Egypt or Jordan has left them at the mercy of tyrants who pocket all the monies meant for their own people.
"Palestinians" have been refused citizenship in 22 Arab countries and indoctrinated by various terrorist groups into believing that Palestinian identity is based on the extermination of Jews and of the Jewish state. The pseudo-Palestinian narratives of the Naqba, the so-called massacres at Deir Yassin and Jenin, the endless Blood Libels, have indoctrinated five generations of Palestinians into becoming human homicide bombs and into a people who celebrate such death dealers.
During a recent televised interview on the FOX News program hosted by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, you spoke of the 'Perfect Storm' in terms of the recent wave of deadly attacks by Arabs against Jews in Israel. Can you elaborate on that?
I believe that there has been one long "Intifada" from 2000 on, with some breaks. The Perfect Storm is the unholy alliance between the Western intelligentsia and radical Islamists or extreme Islamic fundamentalism.
The real suicide killers are the "politically correct" Westerners who are choosing barbarism over civilization, rooting for the terrorists, insisting on sympathy for the Devil, believing that one can reason with and appease and negotiate with those who wish a Jewish Israel abolished and who are driven by imperial dreams of a world-wide Caliphate or Caliphates.
The Har Nof martyrs were not "settlers," nor were they "soldiers." They did not live in "East Jerusalem" but in a very Jewish Orthodox section of West Jerusalem. They may not have been anti-Zionists but they were not particularly high profile Zionists either.
None of the usual excuses given for Jews "provoking" the Jihadist attacks against them apply here. They were murdered - butchered really - because they were Jews, religious Jews at prayer. The Jihadist target was religious Judaism per se, whether it exists in West Jerusalem or in Tel Aviv.
Some commentators suggest that Israel is on the verge of a religious war because of Jews insisting on the right to pray at the Temple Mount? Do you believe this phenomenon of "lone wolf" violence on the part of Arab terrorists is being propelled by this issue or the absence of a peace plan?
The war against the Jews in the Muslim Middle East has always been a religious war. The alleged Temple Mount "provocation" is yet another Blood Libel and a Big Lie to boot. I do not see why Jews cannot pray on the Temple Mount and why only Muslims are allowed to do so. Moshe Dayan made a huge mistake in giving control of the area to the Waqf.
In any event, this is a clear example of the way in which Muslim control exiles all other religions as opposed to Jewish control which protects the rights of all other faiths under Israeli jurisdiction. Let’s be clear. The Two State Solution is now code for the death of the Jewish state.
In terms of the dramatic rise in global anti-Semitism, do you feel that international Jewish organizations are doing enough?
Absolutely not. Organizations want access and influence and are willing to appease all the forces of darkness in order to make sure that their leaders have just that. None of the organizations have been able to deal with the rise of dangerous Jew hatred on Western campuses - although they insist that they are.
The pintele Yid, the small, grassroots, unfunded or under-funded groups and websites that have sprung into being since 2001 are taking on the Cognitive Warfare, dealing with the most profound internet hate. And still, it is not enough. Not yet.
Why, in your opinion, is the Jew the eternal object of hatred?
We are envied for having been "chosen" by God. We are hated for bringing ethical values and monotheism into a persistently pagan world. The Jews set a high standard which "mere mortals" resent. We are loved when we are dead. Well-armed and well defended Jews do not fit the stereotype of the underdog.
What should we be doing to prevent another potential Holocaust?
Everything that we can - and more. But we must begin by acknowledging that a slow motion second Holocaust has been happening first in Israel, now globally.
As you know, many college campuses have been transformed into raging hotbeds of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionist activity. What can be done to address the growing BDS movement and to expose the unholy alliance of leftist academics and Islamic influence on campuses?
They should read and study this book; use the answers to the twenty most frequently asked questions; and then work in pairs and in groups on campuses. They must also be supported by thinkers and speakers who understand what they are up against
In your book, you speak of the danger of the views promulgated by liberal and leftist Jews and the undercurrent of anti-Semitism in the feminist movement. How are these people and groups such as J Street fanning the flames of anti-Semitism?
It is very Jewish to care about the stranger in the gate, to show compassion for oppressed people because we were once slaves in Egypt.
But it is also very Jewish to care about our own people and to defend us against a raging torrent of lies and hatred. Liberal-left Jews follow Hillel’s first commandment, so to speak. They need to balance their compassion, express some for other Jews because our fate is combined.
There will be no escape from the swords of ISIS and Iran for those who claim that their views entitle them to special exemptions even though they are Jewish.